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Staff: Miss Gavaghan / Mrs Ward / Mrs Deacon / Mrs Kalawska

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Remember to go on to Tapestry for regular updates . 

Welcome to Panshanger School and to our Nursery class. On this page we post photos every half term sharing updates on the activities and learning the children are completing. 

Summer 1

This half term has been all about life cycles and watching and helping things grow.

We enjoyed planting flowers and vegetables in the nursery garden and growing some Mung Beans in class, in clear food bags so we could see the different parts of a plant.

Our plant learning helped us in mathematics where we explored the concepts on tall and short and our literacy text Jack and the Beanstalk provided inspiration for both these topics.

We were very excited when some caterpillars arrived in our classroom, we got to observe them and see first- hand a complete life cycle in action, releasing some beautiful butterflies about two weeks later.

This half term was our trip to Foxholes Farm, a very enjoyable and hands on experience of farm animals and their young. The children enjoyed capturing an animal they had seen in clay, on their return to school.

In the final part of the half term we explored mini-beasts and found some fabulous examples in the school garden. We learnt about the different parts of  insects and the children made their own mini-beasts using the woodwork area.

Spring 2

This half term has focussed on new life and new beginnings. We started the half term by exploring farm animals and their young. We enjoyed doing work around the book “Noisy Farm” which helped our phonics as we listened carefully trying to guess all the animals we could hear. We were very lucky to have some duck eggs in school that we were able to observe hatch and grow, experiencing a real-life life cycle in front of us. We then visited our local lagoon to see ducks in their natural environment and spot the signs of spring in our local area.

 All this new learning made us very creative and we explored printing in art to make our own landscapes based on Constable’s Wivenhoe Park, creating backgrounds and placing animals in the foreground. In honour of our ducklings we learnt our first poem off by heart, “Five Little Ducks that I once knew” and also perfected a performance on the Djembe drums focussing on holding a 1,2 beat.

We had two exciting themed days, we held an Elmer day for world book day with a story telling focus as well as an appreciation of differences. We also had a red themed day for Red Nose Day, a day of only red themed activities was great fun !

To end a term of new beginnings we of course explored the festival of Easter and what this time of year means for different people. We were very excited to use our new orienteering course to complete an Easter egg hunt helped by Year six.

Spring 1

This half term Nursery have been very busy exploring Polar Worlds and Traditional Tales.

We read the books “Polar Bear Polar Bear” and “Poles Apart” and compared the animal’s environments to our own. We looked at how Polar Bears and Penguins adapt to their environments and also the people who live there, we were even lucky enough to have an igloo in the classroom. 

This half term our inspirational person was Lewis Hamilton which linked nicely to our PSHE where we were looking at resilience and not giving up. We worked in teams to build cars and race them.

During the second half of the term we explored traditional tales, it was lovely to hear so much story language being used in the children’s play and we became authors in class, telling our own alternative version of the Three Little Pigs, there were lots of Big Bad Polar Bears linking back to the polar worlds topic.

We celebrated pancake day by making our own pancakes and we celebrated Valentines day with our own Kindnesstines Day where we made kindness posters and reminded each other about how we are kind to each other.

Autumn 2

Nursery have really enjoyed their Light Festivals Topic, we explored Halloween, Diwali, Hanukkah, Birthdays and of course Christmas. We had a visitor from our Jewish community who showed us some of the things they do when they are celebrating Hanukkah and we compared this to festivals we celebrate at home. We held a Birthday party for our class cat Chloe and made cupcakes as part of the celebrations. As the evenings have drawn in, we have explored the concept of light and dark, looked at nocturnal animals and explored shadows.

  In phonics the children have become very good at identifying rhyme and we have enjoyed sharing some fun rhyming texts such as “Oi Frog” and playing games such as rhyme and seek. There was great excitement when the Christmas Elf “Elvis” left us an Elf on the Shelf rhyming game. We have also explored the letter sounds s, a , t and p and the children have been very good at bringing in objects for our sound of the week table.

  We have been focussing on activities that support the children’s fine motor skills such as threading beads, manipulating playdough and posting pegs. This has really helped the children when it comes to holding a pencil and their mark-making has greatly improved. We have also helped the children’s writing by working their rotator muscles by using tools such as the large brooms.

The term ended with our early years production of “Wiggly Nativity”, we were so proud of Nursery as it was their first time singing and dancing in front of an audience and they were amazing! We also enjoyed a festive Santa Cycle, a family bauble decorating morning, a trip to the panto and a Christmas Party.