The Autumn term has been as busy as ever ending with some very important and welcome news for parents with regard to our successful application to become a Hampshire Pathfinder Nursery School. More of this later.
In the meantime, following the fundamental principles of Montessori education to give children new skills and independence, our children have been practising mixing their own paints. We gave them primary coloured powder paints, jars, paint pallets, brushes and water and showed them how to mix the powder with water to create a painting medium. To begin with the children needed guidance with how much powder and water to use. We also needed to show them how to clean their brushes so that their paints didn’t all end up as different shades of sludgy brown! As the children became increasingly competent at mixing their paints they began to discover the wonderful variety of colours they could produce. They have become confident and independent in their use of the paint and have produced beautiful, unique artwork. So much so that some of our children entered an art competition organised by a Farnham toy shop. We are very proud to say that one of our children, Oliver, won the runners up prize for 4 year olds. The judges complimented all our entries for their individuality and praised all the work, which was “clearly the children’s own”.
Our project work this term was about dinosaurs. This work developed the children’s understanding of the world and also increased their knowledge of measurements as they began to appreciate the size of some when we measured out 9 metres (the length of triceratops) by 9 children lying head to toe in a line along the floor! We also learnt about how fossils form and are very grateful to Flora’s Mum who brought in a huge variety for us to examine. We made some “fossils” by sinking some chicken bones in dishes of sand, removing them and pouring plaster into the mould. The children enjoyed excavating them and weeks later Olivia was very excited when she found a “dinosaur fossil” in the outside sandpit!
Towards the end of the term, we participated in the Tree Festival in West Meon and our tree, adorned with natural objects including fir cones, crab apples, oranges and cinnamon and decorated by our children was on display for all to see in the church.
As usual we had a very happy Christmas party with lots of games and super food donated by parents. On the last day of term the children performed and sang beautifully in our nativity play.
As I mentioned at the beginning, at the end of November we applied to become a Hampshire Pathfinder Nursery and we have just heard that we have been accepted. This means that from January 2009, children aged 3 and 4 may attend our nursery for 15 hours per week free of charge. We have some places available now, but these are obviously limited to the number of children who may attend per session. So, we urge parents to contact us as soon as possible for details.
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!