Newsletter – March 2014

There’s been lots of fun at Under 5s over the past month, and one of the highlights was celebrating Pancake Day. The children all enjoyed making, then of course eating some delicious pancakes with various different toppings. As Shrove Tuesday was a lovely sunny day, the pre-schoolers all took part in traditional pancake races on the playing fields. Encouraging children to have a love of books at an early age is really important. Not only does it enable children to learn about language and words, but it’s also great for their imagination and extending their learning. World Book Day therefore provided the perfect opportunity to bring to life some of the pre-schoolers at U5s favourite books. One of the highlights of the week was a bear themed day which linked into the book ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’. The children had a great time decorating bear biscuits, having a teddy bears picnic, playing bear games and culminating in a Bear Hunt, which resulted in the pre-schoolers finding a life sized friendly bear, who chased them all around the garden! Children always learn best if they are interested in activities, and utilising their enthusiasm in subjects can then be extended to ensure that they learn and develop skills, often without even realising it! Book Week also therefore provided the opportunity to extend the children’s interest in popular characters into extending their learning. For example, a story on Bob the Builder helped to develop team work skills as the children then worked together to build towers, and similarly, an interest in Fireman Sam was used to talk to the children...

Newsletter – February 2014

This year, Yatton Keynell Under 5s made the most of Valentine’s day, by using the theme throughout a whole week’s activities. As a result, the village hall was filled with all types and shapes of hearts, which were made creatively using foil painting, marble painting and printed roses using the ends of celery stalks. The children also made their own Valentines cards to their parents that they posted in the preschool’s own post box. Whilst Valentine’s Day is all about hearts and flowers, at U5s it also provided the perfect opportunity for the children to explore about caring and sharing with others. This led to some very thoughtful activities, such as each child talking about things that they like about other children in the setting, and the children drawing on hearts things that make them happy. Chinese New Year also provided the perfect opportunity for the pre-schoolers to learn a bit about another culture. At the start of a week of celebration and learning, the pre-schoolers all worked together to make a large dragon, which then watched over the children all week from the ceiling of the village hall! Two of the highlights of the week was using chopsticks to pick up pom poms into different bowls and playing Chinese Whispers. The festivities culminated in a Chinese New Year party, with the children enjoying lots of themed foods, including noodles, spring rolls and rice. For those wanting to find out more about Under 5s, please pop along to our Open Morning on Monday 3rd March, 9.15 – 11.30. Prospective new parents will have the opportunity to meet the staff...

Newsletter – January 2014

At Yatton Keynell Under 5s, all the children have settled straight back into preschool, after all the excitement of last term’s Christmas activities. After the break, all the children are re-energised and are looking forward to days spent learning and playing. Here at Under 5s, it’s really important to us that as much as possible, activities take into consideration the interests and likes of the children. After all, children are much more likely to become engaged and learn from an activity, if it’s of interest to them. That’s why, from one week to the next, the themes we cover in preschool can differ drastically. For example, this month alone, the children have learnt all about a wide range of subjects, such the Winter and the changing weather as it started to get cold outside, to all kinds of dogs, from pets to sniffer dogs and jungle animals. Offering children free choice, is also a great way to obverse the children at their best, whether its role play, playing with the kitchen or dolls or running around the room as an airplane! One activity at Yatton Keynell Under 5s that is always popular, is making things from balsa wood. It’s a great activity for children as it involves real tools, including hammers, nails and screwdrivers – all fully supervised of course! It enables the children to show some real creativity as they can make anything they like, from cars to dinosaurs, and also using the tools help to develop fine motor skills. For those wanting to find out more about Under 5s, please pop along to our Open Morning on...

Newsletter – December 2013

There is something very magical about seeing preschools all excited about Christmas. Therefore, December was a lovely month at Under 5s, filled with excitement and lots of festive activities and crafts. From the decorating the tree and making Christmas cards, to making Christmas pictures and turning a large box into Father Christmas’ sleigh, there was lots of fun to be had! The children also spent many sessions learning songs and practising for the nativity. Performing a play with over 20 pre-schoolers is always a challenge, but due to the hard work of the staff, lots of practice and some very well behaved children, this year’s play which took place in St Margaret’s Church, Yatton Keynell was a great success and watched by many parents, family and friends. The end of the Winter term culminated in the traditional Christmas party, with festive fun, games and party food. As always, the highlight for all the children was the visit from a very special man in red, who gave each child a little present. In between all the Christmassy activities, the pre-schoolers continued to enjoy taking part in activities centred on themes which particularly interest them. This month, a number of children showed particular interest in zoos and wild animals, which led to lots of zoo themed activities. This also provided the perfect opportunity for the children to visit the trees they planted last month by the pond in the field, and walk through the ‘jungle’ in the wild area nearby. As we move into January, and whilst the excitement of Christmas is over, there is still set to be lots to...

Under 5’s Newsletter – June 2012

Dear Parents, Welcome to the June edition of the YKU5’s newsletter. I would like to welcome all the new families who have recently joined us, and hope that they will be very happy here. With all the rain that we have seen lately, the produce in our garden is shooting up, including potatoes, onions, peas and some lovely herbs – but we need the sunshine now! Children’s learning and development Amy continues to work with small groups of children carrying out activities in the BLAST programme. The older children are now working on ‘blending and segmenting’ activities during the Letters and Sounds sessions, in preparation for going to school in September, where they will further develop these skills. The Reception year is the final year of the Early Years Foundation Stage, so whilst they are ‘going to big school’, they are still working within the Early Years curriculum for one more year. Alex from Kaya Drums visited the pre-school recently and the children had a great time learning about sound and rhythm, and playing drums in time to the beat. Staffing news We were sorry to say good-bye to Caroline last week, who had been with us for just over a year. We wish her well for the future and she will be truly missed by us all. We will also be saying a sad farewell to Sue our pre-school administrator, at the end of the month, and wish her well too. We welcome Helen to our team of Bank Staff, who you will be seeing from time to time in the future and congratulations go to Charlotte for...

Under 5’s Newsletter – May 2012

The sound of drumming filled the village hall recently, as Yatton Keynell Under 5s welcomed the Alex Miles and his Kaya Drums. Alex specialises in encouraging children to combine music, rhythm and musical ideas with the cultures of Africa and South America, and bought a number of his interesting and unique drums to show the children. After a brief demonstration and discussion on sound and rhythms, the preschoolers were up and experimenting with playing the drums. With Alex’s expert guidance and after a bit of practise all the children we completely absorbed in the drums and became experts in keeping in time with the beat by the end of the session! Enjoying our new garden Despite the wet weather, there’s also no stopping the U5s when it comes to being outside, and the new garden is looking a lot greener as the recently planted seeds are starting to grow. It’s an exciting time for the children to see how the potatoes, onions and peas are growing and developing as the weeks go by, although it will be a while yet before there are vegetables to harvest. In the meantime however, the herbs are now ripe for picking, and are providing the opportunity for the children to learn about the different smells and tastes, with plans to incorporate the herbs in baking in the upcoming weeks. Extended hours As the end of the academic year draws near, the Under 5s have no intention of slowing down – before and after preschool sessions (8.15 – 9.00 and 3pm – 4pm) are becoming more popular with parents looking for extended hours, whilst...