Welcome to Polyphemus. (Our little Polys!)
The adults who support our learning are Mr Walker, Miss Hawkins, Mrs Brownlee and Miss Maria Cawley.
Mr Walker is always on the door during drop off times and is happy to talk to parents about their children and answer any questions that they may have.
Our morning session starts at 8.45am your child must be in school for 9 am. The doors open for you to collect your child at 11.30am, they must be picked up by 11.45am.
The afternoon session starts at 12.15pm, your child must be in school by 12.30pm. Doors open at 3 pm for you to collect your child and they must be picked up by 3.15pm.
Parents are encouraged to stay and play with their children, at the start of each session, so they can explore the classroom and see what their child's interests are.
In phonics we should be working within phase 1.
We are using a program called Language in Colour.
The book they are following this term is The Washing Line by Jez Altborough
Where Are You, Blue Kangeroo by Emma Chichester Clark.
We are counting the words in sentences using our fingers.
We are also clapping the syllables in words.
Some basic skills in maths really help us in our work.
In maths it would be really helpful to practise counting different objects. Counting other things such as claps, jumps or even steps can be really helpful. Any sort of counting would be great.
We have dance on Monday afternoon or Friday morning so we need to come to school in sandshoes or trainers.
Reading is a hugely important part of the development of children in Nursery. Not only does reading with your child offer the chance for children to be exposed to new vocabulary but it also allows them the chance to grow in to confident readers.
We felt extremely pleased with the support that we have had from parents when we have spoken to them about reading strategies that will support their children. In the Nursery we are working to get the children to look at the pictures in books and either tell their own story or recount the story that they have heard an adult read to them.
After reading a story with your children some key questions to ask are;
- Where was the story set?
- Who were the main characters?
- What happened in the story?
Getting your child to hold the book that you are reading is also an important step to developing them into confident independent readers.
Where are our books?
In order to give children the widest exposure to books that we can, we have books in every area of the classroom as well as having them outside. We try to match the books that we provide to the interests of the children and to match the area that you find them in. In the maths area we have counting books. In the home corner kitchen we have recipe books and books about food.
We have created an area for our book of the week, in this area the children have the chance to access a book that they have been read on multiple occassions. Reading books more than once with children gives them the chance to absorb the story and the ability to be able to recount the story back to you when looking at the pictures.
Please take your time to look for the books during stay and play with your children.
Our Library and Stay and Read.
We have recently launched our Nursery library and it has been a great success. We have Fifty different books on over that offer a wide range of book types. Parents are able to take them they drop off their children and then bring them back when they have used them.
On Wednesdays we ask parents to "Stay and Read" during this time we ask parents to look around the classroom and use the different books that we have on offer to look and read with their children. This day is also when we display our Library in the center of the classroom, which gives children and parents to more easily look through the collection. On other days the books are on the Library shelf and parents and children are welcome look through for a book to take home.
Communication and Language.
A key focus for our Nursery is giving the children time to communicate as a whole class. We sit down with the children at the start of the session and start with a cirlce, which is part of the Restorative Process that runs through the whole School. We give the children time to talk about how they are feeling and what they would like to play with in the session.
We then sit down as a whole class and have a snack towards the end of the session. This is a time a for children to talk about what they have done at the weekend or the night before. Staff find this time really useful to get children talking to each other and about different topics.
Language in Colour
We have started a new program in the Nursery that uses colour coding and pictures to help children learn new vocabulary and build sentences.
When we do it.
The children spend one focus time a week with a staff member and use 6 key books, that have been chosen with the input of specialist Speech and Language staff. Children will then be able to access Language in Colour resources during Continuous Provision and will sometimes do small group and one to one work during the week.
How it works.
The children in the Nursery are focusing on four word types; Who, What, Object and Where. The Who cards are surrounded by the colour orange and this allows children to easily identify characters in stories and focus on who they are describing in sentences. The What cards have a yellow boarder and these are action words such as brushing, reading etc. The object cards have a purple boarder. The Where cards have a red boarder and describe places. The Language in Colour approach leads to the opertunitiy for lots of new vocabulary to be taught and has really given children the confidence to extent their speaking and sentences.
Is it working?
The children have been absolutely fantastic and have really engaged with the staff who are also new to this approach. Together we have been able to make huge improvements in our vocabulary and speaking. We have been able to show this approach to Schools throughout the City and have hosted staff from other settings. The children have been confindent enough to show the visiting staff just what they can achieve.
We spend a lot of time in the Nursery encouraging children to make marks and tell staff what they are drawing. We focus on giving children as many oppertunities as we can and like to scaffold support so that all children can access resources and equipment throughout the setting.
We realise that all children are different and tailor our provision to match the needs of the children in our setting.
You can find numbers all around the Foundation Stage. We work in small groups to look at numbers and shapes through out the week and staff are quick to recognise and praise children when they use numbers in their play.
Shape, Space and Measure
This is an equally important part of mathematics and is a focus in our setting due to the National and Local data which has shown that this is an area in which children do not reach their full potential in many instances. We have developed our setting to give children oppertunities that allow them to use language of size and shape in their play. Staff are also all aware that this is a focus and are happy to talk to parents about what they can do to support us.
Count everything you can with your children. It is important for children to realise not only objects, but anything can be counted, including steps, claps or jumps. Do this by counting what you put in shopping basket or the steps you walk up.
When counting physical objects make sure you ask your children to place a finger on each item. This is something that staff teach and helps avoid mistakes and ensure children are confident about what they are counting.
Recognising numerals is an important step for children and by the time they leave Nursery the aim is that children recognise the numerals 1- 5.
Shape, Space and Measure Tips.
During your trips to the shop talk to children about the differnet sizes of the objects that you buy. Giving children the oppertunities to see you use language describing size is an important support you can offer.
Talking about time based events such as when tea/dinner is and what comes after will help develop a sense of time and an understanding of routines.
Helping your children learn the names of shapes is fantastic but take it one step further and help them hunt for these shapes in the every day environment. Can your children see squares in windows?, circles in the lids of milk? or rectangle in the television.