08 September 2017

September 1st was the first day of school for children at the English Garden Baby Daycare, Nursery School and Pre-school. The first days of the academic year are a time for establishing routines and building positive relationships. Setting the right tone is important, and parents support during their childís transition is important. During these important first few days we invite parents and caregivers to support their childís learning journey by carefully explaining what their child can expect at school, assuring them that they will return each day, and showing a positive attitude even in the face of tears. Even pre-verbal children can understand their parentsí simple explanations and respond to a positive approach and attitude to change.

In the Baby Daycare the babies and toddlers begin the school year with staggered start dates so each child can receive the special attention they need to feel safe and secure. The young toddlers are just beginning to learn to play together and socialise, so careful guidance is essential when helping them play together safely.

Daises and Bluebells have enjoyed getting to know each other and are starting to recognize new classmates.

Meanwhile for many children in the Nursery School there was no need to settle in because they were happy to reunite with old class mates and teachers. This week the Nursery School children were encouraged to share sensory play resources and to learn their own names and the names of their friends through Circle Time activities and outdoor play.

The Snowdrops loved playing with the outdoor toys, especially the motorbikes and drawing on the giant chalkboard.

The Buttercups enjoyed developing their fine motor skills using different pens and pencils to draw or creating out of play dough.

The Poppies got to grips with using colourful paints and paintbrushes to decorate their own body portraits.

The three and four-year-old children in the Ladybirds and Butterflies group are beginning to separate more easily from their caregivers and become more confident in their classroom group. The children in both groups enjoyed lots of fun activities to help them build their social skills. The children were practicing taking turns with the classroom toys, and learning how to sit on the carpet to enjoy registration, circle time and story sessions. These important basics will give the children the foundation they need to learn and grow together throughout the year.

The Ladybirds gathered together to play in one of the sandpits.

Meanwhile two Butterflies enjoy rocking together!

The Dragonflies and Bumble Bee classes focused on learning the classroom rules and routines. The children had a tour of the classroom, looking at all the toys and other resources and learning how to put them away properly. They also started the Reception class curriculum, which follows the Jolly Phonics scheme and the Maths Makes Sense programme. These programmes offer fun, interactive curricula and allow for a strong sense of continuity in the English Garden as children follow the programmes from Reception through Year Two.

The Dragonflies discovered the new dressing up box during free play.

The Bumble Bees worked on some challenging puzzles as part of their structured learning.

In the Year One classes the Crickets and Grasshoppers worked on revising skills learned in the Reception class. The children reviewed the letters in the Jolly Phonics scheme and worked on maths concepts like patterns, shapes, and number. They also spent a lot of time exploring the new classrooms and the resources and learning the rules and routines they are expected to follow in the Upper Pre-school.

During circle time the Crickets revise 2D and 3D shapes.

Meanwhile the Grasshoppers listen to a story.

In the Year Two class the Beetles worked together on maths games and puzzles to build their relationships and problem solving skills. The children were eager to work with partners and in small groups, helping each other to complete different geometry and spatial awareness activities. The Beetles also enjoyed decorating their new classroom and discovering new books, games and puzzles.