Following the Government's announcement on the 4th January 2021 we remain open for all children. I thought it would be useful to put in writing how we will be operating during this National Lockdown.
As approximately 50% of our children do not wish to access our setting currently, we have made some changes to our opening hours and will therefore be closed all day on a Wednesday. For those children still attending the Pre-school, we have allocated two consecutive days for attendance, so that we can keep staff, and children in consistent bubbles and as safe as far as we can. We have reviewed our Risk Assessments in line with Government legislation and are confident that these remain robust.
Our opening times are from 8.15 am - 8.30 am in the morning to 2.30 pm in the afternoon and the children will still require a pack lunch provided by parents.
Again, I thought it would also be useful to provide some guidance as to when children should remain at home if feeling poorly. In this respect there is some very useful information for parents on the Health Service Executive Website particularly this time of year when ordinary colds are prevalent. To access this information you can just copy and paste the link as follows:
For those parents who are currently caring for their child/children at home, if your circumstances change and you would like to take up sessions again, please speak to us. We have kept all places open and hopefully will be able to return to some sort of normality as soon as we possibly can.
Finally, I would like to thank all parents for the support they have shown since the Government's announcement last week of the requirement for Early Years to remain open. We are confident that the caring learning environment we provide is vital for your child's continued development, despite the Coronavirus Pandemic. If however you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Kathryn.
Following the Government's phased return to ending lockdown, we have today opened our doors again for those children going to primary school in September 2020. We are operating in accordance with Government Guidelines and currently have two independent groups, limited to 8 children per group, each operating for two set days a week. We will conduct as far as possible activities in our outdoor space, have implemented thorough cleaning routines and risk assessed the transmission of this virus to reduce the risk as far as possible to both children and staff.
Hopefully this weather will remain for an extended period!
6th & 7th July
We have so enjoyed our time learning outside and using the spontaneous learning opportunities it provides. This week the windy weather was our opportunity to fly an old kite Tracey found at the back of the shed. This activity proved so popular that we had to google how to make paper kites. The children carefully drew and 'stamped' designs onto their paper before Sarah turned them into fantastic kites. After dinner we all went onto the school field and the gusty wind set our kites soaring. With the amount of running up and down the school field, I am sure the children slept soundly on Monday night.
During snack time, one of the children wanted to know what was inside her apple. The 'pips' provided another learning opportunity to explore and engage children in what they were. Eloise quite rightly identify that they would grow into more apples. We then cut open each apple to find the pips. Once all children had counted them we made a tally chart to see who had the most and who had the least. The most amounted to 9 and the least was only two, partly because Lily had already eaten some of them!
We finished the day by decorating with glitter, glue and sequins, our Princess Invitations to our Fairy Tale Party next week! We will be sorry that the term is finishing as we have all had fun, including the staff!
1st & 2nd July
Group B have been busy practising their numbers and letters this week as well as lots of imaginative play in our very own indoor den, kindly created by Group A! Thank you! They had plenty of fun in using the torches and making shadows.
Some fantastic counting and number matching has been going on. Alex wanted to count Pterodactlyl dinosaurs so we found some dinosaur pictures we could use and the children did brilliantly matching them up to the correct numbers. They were all very proud of their creations
During lunchtime one of the children mentioned about when an aeroplane flew over the preschool which then prompted a paper aeroplane marathon! With help all the children made their very own and spent lots of time outside seeing how far they could travel! Cliff claims his went the furthest as it disappeared over the fence!!
29th June & 30th June
Each week we have been introducing a different piece of equipment. Today we set up the cones and poles which were of different heights. The children enjoyed jumping over them like horses.
Tuesday was a wet day so we constructed a 'den' inside. Torches and battery operated candles were used inside the dark tent so the children could make up their own games. Cliff kindly donated some large trucks and simple Christmas coloured pom poms were collected and tipped out all over the carpet! We also used them to make a pretend ball park!
We have also been looking at different Fairy Tales. This week it was 'The Ugly Duckling'. Ariella told her friends that she has eggs at home which are hatching. The next day the children were fascinated by the photos Ariella brought in of her really cute fluffy little chicks! Thanks Ariella for sharing this with us all!
24th & 25th June
This week 'Team B' have been enjoying very busy days in the sunshine exploring the nature around us by going on a hunt for minibeasts! Lots were discovered much to the children's delight!
Willow loved our minibeast hunt, excitedly pointing out a butterfly and then making her very own beautiful butterfly out of stickle bricks when we came indoors! Listening to an old favourite, 'The Hungry Caterpillar' also provided the scope for some amazing creations by the children which have hopefully all made their way home to you!
Another sunshine spell meant we were able to test some new games outside, one of the favourites being escape from the scary shark Cliff! By lunchtime, everyone had definitely worked up an appetite and we were ready for our lunch.!
22nd & 23rd June
This week we have again been fortunate to have good weather. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities learning outdoors provides. The large tractors were the focus on introducing new storylines into their play. As one of our practitioners owns a farm, the introduction of silage, hay and animal food provided hours of imaginary play which was a delight to behold. When Ariella asked if she could pick more daisies, the children enjoyed making daisy bracelets by carefully sticking them onto double sided tape.
We have also been writing our names and numbers each day to practise our handwriting skills. Our goup has also continued to read and enjoy the delights of different Fairy Tales!
17th & 18th June
The children have settled into their new preschool routine now and all know the frequent hand washing drill very well.
We have continued our counting activities this week, extending them into our outside space as much as possible. The guttering made a great racetrack for the cars, as we took turns to count how many landed in the bucket. The children also enjoyed an exciting dinosaur hunt in our very own garden! They managed to find lots of different species much to their delight and took pleasure in decorating a dinosaur using coloured stamps. Alex's dinosaur looked very dashing with the freckles he gave him!
We hope you enjoy your Father’s Day celebrations at the weekend and the special gifts the children enjoyed making for you all. See you next week!
15th-16th June 2020
Our outside garden has proved an invaluable asset in these difficult times. With just a few basic resources and plenty of imagination, the children have invented all sorts of games! Here the girls are making 'slime'. The plastic balls of an old number line and a tyre provided an opportunity to practice hand-eye co-ordination!
10th & 11th June
The children have loved being back together with their friends and we've had lots of fun this week. Although the weather hasn't been as good, we've still managed to get out to play football, chase bubbles around the garden and ride the bikes. The children then enjoyed cleaning them using a sponge and a bucket of water.
We have also been working on our numbers in a variety of ways, including drawing numbers in paint, playing with dice and using the 'beebots' which was a fun activity.
Taking a nature walk in the field and collecting treasures to stick on our pictures, meant we could be creative and paint the leaves and make prints to take home. Our Group also made a birthday card for Kathryn using our thumb prints, which she loved. A spot of yoga and a story finished off our Pre-school week! We're looking foreard to more fun again next Wednesday and Thursday.
8-9th June 2020
It has been great to be back at Pre-school, albeit in reduced numbers. The children have re-adjusted well to changes we have implemented due to Covid 19. With limited resources to play with, they have really enjoyed playing in our outside garden inventing their own games as we did in my day such as making muddy pies and acting out their own storylines.
The rain water from the roof of the gazebo made a fantastic muddy puddle, although as one of our children told us, it wasn't enough for the shark to swim in!
3-4th June 2020
This week is the first week back to Pre-school since the Covid-19 lockdown in March. The children adapted well to the change in circumstances and enjoyed hunting in the school field for flowers and leaves which they stuck onto their wristbands.
It was also an opportunity to play a bit of football with their friends despite the change in the weather!