In September we welcomed 13 new children and their parents to the Nursery for our busiest September in some time. Zuzie, Charlotte and Megan also joined us to help manage our increased numbers and they, like the children, have settled into life at Privett Montessori beautifully.
We based our project work for the term on some of the mammals found in Africa and we and the children learnt many interesting facts about them. For example; giraffe give birth standing up (what a long drop!), rhinos are host to the tick bird which feeds off parasites on their skin, hippos sleep in the water and feed on land during the night and elephants are still illegally hunted and killed for their ivory. We also acquired some silk worms and after feeding them copious quantities of privet, they duly spun themselves inside cocoons. After a long wait and some time spent in Maggie’s airing cupboard, several very large and attractive moths emerged.
In November when the village hall was in use as a polling station, we all went to Marwell Zoo. Many of the children and their parents attended a workshop in which the children were told a story about Sally the stick insect. They then met the biggest stick insect I have ever seen and stroked a friendly rat! The children loved seeing the animals in the park, especially the giraffe, one of which is named after Samuel’s sister, Isabella and the penguins entertained us for such a long time with their swimming and diving antics.
We were visited by Heidi a dentist and ex Nursery parent and Charlotte a hygienist who came and talked to the children about caring for their teeth and the sugar content of food and drinks. The children were all able to practise correct tooth brushing on a model and sorted food and drinks into “good” or “bad” for teeth groups. George later told his parents about the sugar in ketchup and one of our children told her parents that she needed to brush her teeth twice a day not just once as she had been used to doing!
We held a coffee and cake morning on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Care and thanks to everyone who attended, baked and bought cakes, we raised just over £100.00. It was a fun and very sociable way to raise funds for a very worthy cause.
In December, just before the end of term, at the invitation of Privett residents and with the help of John, we went and planted bulbs around the Jubilee Oak tree they had planted earlier, as our part in marking the historic occasion of the Queen’s Jubilee. We look forward to going to see the bulbs in flower this Spring. Our Nativity Show on the last day of term was truly beautiful thanks to the costumes and backdrops made by parents. The whole project was led and managed by Raine, involved most of the mothers in one way or another and entailed numerous “sew – ins” at different houses! During the Nativity performance itself, the children sang 8 songs and behaved very professionally although we nearly lost all our kings to stage fright! During the final rehearsal, Mary was particularly surprised when the angel told her that she was going to have King Arthur’s baby! A shepherd complained that the animals, including a pig, wouldn’t keep still. “That’s OK”, said Maggie. “Animals don’t keep still!”
We have worked hard to fulfil the requirements of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage. This has involved the implementation of written progress checks for 2 year olds, regular sharing of information with 2nd providers and updating our Home-School Booklets. We have also adopted new Policies regarding the use of mobile phones, cameras and videos in Nursery and a policy on Social Networking. These Policies as with all our Policies are available for parents to read in Nursery and on our website. Christina has recently up-dated her First Aid Qualification and also attended an excellent course on Positive Approaches to Challenging Behaviour. This course was led by Portage who also offer support and guidance to parents of Nursery age children. Kate and Maggie have both been to the Montessori Centre in London for a course that looked at the implications of the revised EYFS on Montessori Practice and Maggie also attended Special Educational Needs training there. Roessa has continued to teach Yoga once a week and the children are working hard to learn new poses and to develop concentration and control. Annaliese has been coming into Nursery to help us learn the songs for the Nativity but also to give the children the benefit of her skills as a very gifted music and movement teacher. Rachel joined us recently and will be coming back next term for some work experience before going on to do a teaching degree.
We continue to support the village hall committee in their efforts to raise funds for renovating the hall and are delighted that one of our parents has volunteered his time and expertise to act as auctioneer for a fundraising Auction that is being planned for later this year.
In the meantime, we would like to wish you all a very Happy and Successful Year and we look forward to another busy term with less rain please!