Welcome to Nursery
Nursery is the the start of the Early Years Foundation Stage at Castlefield School. We have separate provision for 2-3 year olds and 3-4 year olds, with opportunities for all of the children to join together for play in our outdoor area, as well as during adult led sessions at different times throughout the year.
We focus on supporting children to develop their language, communication skills, and social skills in particular though a range of child initiated learning experiences, supported by a team of Early Years specialist practitioners.
 All of the Nursery children have had the opportunity to participate in cooking activities this half term. Children in our 2-3 year old room made some banana and strawberry smoothies. They were keen to use mashers to crush the fruit and mix it into jugs. Children in the 3-4 year old room used knives and peelers to make some chips, just like Oliver in our story! We all sat together and shared what we had made. 
Inviting the younger children to join us for shared activities will increase next half term, as we support them in looking forward to transitioning up to the 3-4 year old room. The older children are being good role models, welcoming and supporting their younger peers. There will be ongoing opportunities for the children moving up to Reception in September to visit and take part in transition activities after the half term break.
Pizza Party!
Our eagerly anticipated pizza party took place on 28th May. The children had been enjoying role playing pizza shops and investigating cutting and chopping vegetables using knives, so we thought they would enjoy the opportunity to make some vegetable pizzas. Once we had suggested the idea to the children they became increasingly excited about the idea and planned their own 'party' sharing ideas and 'jobs' such as being in charge of balloons and making shopping lists.
We looked carefully at the ingredients and used Mrs Stenko's bread machine to combine them to make the dough.  Children in the 2-3 year old room added toppings to mini pitta breads and children in the 3-4year old room rolled out the dough before adding their healthy vegetable toppings. 
We all sat together to eat our delicious pizzas at the 'party'!
We will carry out another cooking activity this half term and will be asking the children for their ideas and suggestions on what we can make!
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
Supporting children to increase in confidence, become more independent and regulate their emotions is an ongoing focus throughout the Nursery year. 
This half term we are working towards being responsible for age appropriate tasks and taking on new challenges as we look forward to moving up to our new year groups in September.
Physical Development
Our outdoor Continuous Provision allows children to access a range of resources to support physical development, movement and gross motor skills. Adults work alongside children to encourage them to attempt physical challenges, particularly when using the fixed climbing equipment.
Children have free access to our outdoor area each day, Please ensure that your child has appropriate clothing for the weather (including wellington boots and a waterproof coat on wet days).
Communication, Language and Literacy
Throughout their time in Nursery, children are supported to develop their conversational skills and use language imaginatively during their play. We introduce children to new vocabulary in context through play as well as through our 'never heard the word' focus.
Early reading and writing skills are encouraged within our continuous provision which allows children to freely access mark making materials and books.
This half term we are reading stories based on our topic 'Let's Get Growing'. These include 'Planting a Rainbow', 'Errol's Garden', 'Jack and the Beanstalk', and 'Oliver's Vegetables'.
Children in our 3 year old provision are working towards writing their own names and have started to join in with daily phonics sessions.
Understanding the World
We have been finding out about the world around us and living things by investigating vegetables using our senses in a range of learning areas and growing flowers and vegetables from seeds.
We are learning how to take care of our seeds and are being patient as we watch them grow. The children have talked about which vegetables they like to eat and we are excited about using fruit and vegetables to carry out some cooking activities soon!
Mathematical Development
Counting and number recognition are supported daily though songs, rhymes and games. Access to mathematical resources allows children to follow their own interests and begin to solve simple mathematical problems.
This term we are focusing on counting accurately to 10 and finding ways to begin to represent numbers. 
Developing writing skills
Writing in the Early Years is a whole body experience. Children need to develop their large muscles through large movements such as climbing, swinging, pushing and pulling.
Smaller movements using the hands and fingers develop the muscles needed for using pens and pencils. Activities such as threading and playing with playdough are good ways to strengthen these.
You can support your child to develop their skills with pens and pencils by giving them lots of opportunities to draw.
Making patterns using lines, circles and zig zags will help develop letter formation.
Expressive Arts and Design
We offer the children the opportunity to be creative and explore a variety of media and materials through our Continuous Provision. There is always an opportunity to paint, draw, mark make, dance, make music and play imaginatively.
As part of our 'Lets get growing' topic, the children have been carrying out observational drawings and paintings of plants and flowers. They have worked individually as well as on large scale collaborative pieces.
Supporting your child's learning at home
Carrying out fun daily activities with familiar adults is the best way to help your child continue their learning at home. Reading stories and singing songs together are perfect for developing language and imaginative skills. Below are links to additional websites with lots of ideas and videos to help you and your child.
Upcoming Events
Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th July-
Whole School Transition Days (Nursery children will be visiting their own classrooms)
Monday 12th July-
Nursery Sports Day
Monday 19th July-
Teddy Bear Picnic
 'What to Expect When'- A guide to child development with ideas on supporting your child's learning at home.

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