Welcome to the New Year!

A very big welcome to everyone to 2016-2017.

You will notice lots of changes! Not only have 18 children left for reception classes, 2 have also moved away with the army. So preschool life is much less hectic! Particularly at the beginning of the day and at lunch time. Valentina has a new job, and Toni will soon move south. We wish them well, and thank them for all their work at Stampers – you are much missed. We hope to welcome a new member of staff to our team soon.

You will also have seen our new small sheds. We have one for construction and den-making equipment (e.g. crates, rubber bricks, big lego, large wood blocks and planks, material, pegs, carpet, role-play tools etc); one for water play resources (e.g. jugs, water wheels, funnels, watering cans, all sorts of containers), sand resources (spades, buckets, scoops, sieves, moulds, rakes etc), and mud kitchen resources (pots and pans, plates, bowls, cups, utensils, baking equipment, scales etc); and one for ride ons – (e.g. bikes, scooters etc). This means we can now use our big wooden house much better – we now store the wellies and waterproofs out there – and change into them in there too. We are developing an ‘Investigation Station’ in there – with space and resources for studying bugs, plants, wildlife etc e.g. magnifiers, books, scissors, paper. We need some solar powered lights next. Also, space just to relax, play and read. Or like last week, escape a heavy downpour of rain!! It sounded amazing!

So now the middle area has more (and nicer) space to arrive into, and for our ‘Workshop’ – with facilities for arts and crafts much more accessible, as well as for woodwork in adult lead groups. We also have some of our small groups in there, for example for working on our listening and attention skills, language skills, and working towards learning about speech sounds and the written letters that go with them.

New resources in the main area include new dolls and dolls clothes, and a lovely set of wooden vehicles. We will soon be borrowing some new IT resources – more at a later date on this. What we are dreaming about is a decent sound system…

All this is due to the fantastic fundraising organising by our committee, and supported by our families – so a most gigantic thank you – it makes such a massive difference.

What have we been up to this week?

Given that we have only been back for 3 days, we have been very busy! In particular, we have harvested out french beans – which have grown massive over the summer! There is also a massive sunflower in the growing area by reception (round the corner from the main Stampers door) – go and have a look! I’m not sure what happened to all the others that were planted! Siobhan has had broad beans growing in her garden at home, so she brought some in. We had fun opening the pods and finding big broad beans nesting in their soft bed in there!

Home learning

What has everyone been doing over the summer holidays? Please post your photos and stories on Tapestry – we can then show these to the children to encourage them to tell us and their friends their own stories.

With harvest time all around us, keep an eye on the countryside around you. There are lots of combine harvesters out cutting down crops. (If you’re lucky, you might find a stalk of wheat or barley that has yet to be cut – these are lovely to look at closely and pick apart.) Blackberries are now ripening in hedges. These are great fun to pick and eat. This is also a good opportunity to talk to your child about only picking berries with an adult, as some will make your tummy sore. And it won’t be long before there are conkers and acorns to find – or maybe you have already?

What signs of autumn can you see already?!

And tell us if you have any vegetables or fruit growing in your gardens – better still – bring some in!