How we plan for the children's learning

We are using a planning system called 'In the moment planning' this term.  This involves the teachers carefully observing the children, and when appropriate joining in with the play.  Using the interests of the children, the teachers introduce new ideas or experiences to assist in the children's development and learning.

Instead of having a topic, we use the current fascinations of the children and work with them individually and in groups, learning through play, which is how children learn best.



What have we been doing?


Forest School

We are visiting the forest on Friday mornings again this term for our popular Foxglove in the Forest.

Forest schools started in Sweden as a way for children to engage with and learn about their natural environment.  It is now a popular way of learning in Britain, in both Early Years settings and Primary schools.  Lindsey and Lizz are now fully qualified Level 3 Forest School leaders. 

The site we are using is a perfect size for supervising the children, they are visible at all points.  There are several good climbing trees, places to hunt for mini beasts, trees for a rope bridge and a rope swing and a fire place.  We will follow the interests of the children in planning each week, as we do at Foxglove, so we can’t say exactly what we will do each week, but we have many exciting activities ready 


Keisha Dance Academy

We have been enjoying weekly visits from Keisha - "I believe dance and movement is integral to a child's development. I design my classes to be fun and unforgettable"



Reading and Writing Workshop

We held an information session for parents and carers to share ideas of how to help your child with the very early stages of learning to read and write.  We discussed what we do at nursery using Montessori resources and methods, and explored ideas of what you can do with your children at home to develop their skills.  Thank you to all those that were able to attend and we hope you enjoy seeing your child develop these skills at home.




July 2018


Have a wonderful holiday everyone!


We have had our leavers picnic; the children did some great singing of songs that reflected our experiences this year and we shared some of our memories.  They have been such a lovely group of children, we will miss them all and wish them well at Primary School.  Meanwhile, we have had home visits to the children starting in September, and they have been to Foxglove for their first settling in session.


The caterpillars turned to chrysalides, then before our very eyes butterflies emerged.  It was one of the most amazing things to watch, and many of the children were able to see the butterflies slide out, rest for a while then stretch their wings.  Just wonderful and very awe inspiring.  We kept the butterflies in their net for a couple of days, then on a lovely sunny day we released them in the Foxglove garden.  We are hoping they stay close and visit us often.  We talked about making our (very parched) garden more butterfly friendly, so we will plant up more butterfly plants in the autumn.


We had our last visit of this term to Chilton Court, to visit our elderly resident friends.  The children who have been visiting will be starting school in September, so we had a little goodbye party and took cakes we had made and some flowers.  The residents gave the children a present each and we played party games.  Some of the children and their families have asked if they can go and visit over the summer, which will be lovely. 


One of the highlights of the term was our Forest School session to which we invited our elderly friends.  Six came, some in wheelchairs, and we made willow crowns and toasted marshmallows and crumpets.  A truly joyful occasion!  Many of the older people have spent much of their lives outside, and were clearly overjoyed to be in the woods.  A very special day.


June 2018

Our caterpillars are growing fast, we have had them for about a week and they have more than doubled in size.  The children have been talking a lot about life cycles having watched the tadpoles turn to froglets, so the caterpillar life cycle is intriguing them all.  We are just waiting for the caterpillars to turn to chrysalides now.


We have started transitions to primary school, with teachers coming to visit us at Foxglove and the children going on their first visits to school.  We have lots of the local school's uniforms in our dressing up area, with book bags and registers, so the children can include these in their role play.  This has led to lots of writing of name badges and school signs; at the moment our school id called Abbot's Ley.


Highlights of the first part of the summer term:

Our first set of Forest School children enjoyed a celebration fire, cooking popcorn, marshmallows and bread.  During these visits to Gallowsfield Woods we have using tools including hammers, drills and a bow saw, hunted for mini beasts, played on a rope swing and lots of different bridges, and been very chilled in the hammock.  The second group have started their sessions and are having a wonderful time.  We have loved watching winter move into spring and on into summer.


We have started visiting Chilton Court Residential home this term.  We walk some of the older children to the home, whre they are building some lovely friendships with the residents there.  It has been very special to see the children gain confidence, and to watch the enjoyment of the elderly people in the children's company.


Our frogspawn has hatched to tadpoles, and we have waited very patiently for legs to appear,  The first tadpole to get all its legs went into the pond this week, and as we popped it in, a large frog jumped out.  Life cycles speeded up!  We decided it was one of our frogs from last year, and it was lovely to see it still living in our little home made pond.


12th March

We have been celebrating national science week this week.  The children have enjoyed activities as diverse as making a bug hotel, planting different seeds, invesigating floating and sinking, making slime and yorkshire puddings (separately!), setting off volcanoes and lots of other experiments.  Lots of fun, and new interests sparked for us to follow up.



5th March

We are into the third week of this term's Forest Schools sessions and the children are blossoming.  Their confidence is increasing week by week and they are embracing the opportunity to take risks and learn new skills.  This week we made a rope bridge, which everyone managed to get across, hunted for bugs, made a beautiful bird's nest and of course played on the hill.

Back in Nursery we celebrated World Book Day a week late because of the snow last week.  The children and adults all dressed up, with some very imaginative costumes.  We did some book related activities, including writing our own books and making Gruffalo masks.


24th January

One of our new families this term is Italian, and the 2 year old girl has been teaching us to count in Italian.  The children have embraced this new opportunity, so we have been practising counting first in English then in Italian.  We have been amazed how quickly some of the children have picked up both the concept and the unfamiliar words.

There has been lots of three little pigs playing this week, with the children building houses of wood and bricks and playing big, bad wolf.  They know the brick house is the strongest and head for that one.  


17th January

The mixed weather this week led to some lovely learning in the garden, with the den making sheets hung over a rope line on a windy day.  The children had a lovely time ducking under them, which led to them asking for the parachute out.  It was a challenge holding on to it but the children listened well and ran under the parachute, swapping places.  The rain also caused huge delight in the digging pit, which quickly turned into a mud bath.  We were glad of the all in one suits!


3rd January

We have been delighted to welcome some new families this week, we hope you have an enjoyable and constructive time with us.  Our 'old' children have come back to nursery full of Christmas news which they have enjoyed sharing with their teachers.  

The children this year have embraced story telling, particularly when they are playing and learning outside.  They use the story tellers chair, which one of the teacher's partners made for us from logs, and the audience sit on logs around the story teller.  The stories are often an adaptation of a favourite classic, with the Gruffalo a particular favourite.  At some point in each story there tends to come  the line, 'And then they all...  ran!'  All the children run round the garden and the next child takes the story tellers chair.  They have developed this system themselves, and they make sure that everyone gets a turn without needing any adult intervention.


11th December

We have welcomed parents in this week to do some Christmas crafts with us.  It has been a lovely festive time, with biscuit decorating, crown and card making, some drilling of wooden Christmas tree decorations and some science to make fizzy wishes from vinegar and bicarbonate of soda.  Wonderful to share our nursery with the parents and we have felt the excitement grow.

A very merry Christmas to everyone!


4th December

Over the last year or so lots of our sand has found its way out of the sand pit.  We are also finding it difficult to control the mud in the garden, as it gets very slippery.  So that we can keep using both sandpit and garden over the winter, we had a delivery of sand and bark this week.  The children have used their wheelbarrows and trolleys and worked really hard, spreading bark and transporting the sand.  We now have a lovely full sandpit and a safe garden.  Well done everyone!

On Friday we had an outing to Piper's Vale gymnastics centre.  So much fun!  The children had so many new experiences, safely led by the coaches from the centre.  Father Christmas paid us a visit there too, ending a lovely outing.


27th November 2017

This week we had a visit from a fire engine and firefighters.  There is a group of children who play a lot of fire fighter games, whether with the fire engine toys or through their role play.  They were delighted to be able to spray the hose and go into the fire engine.  Huge thanks to Paul and Lucy and the other fire fighters who took the time to come and see us.

The children made a great card to say thank you to the fire fighters.



We are using a new online learning journey for the children.  It has been lovely to share the children's learning with parents, and to have input from home about what the children are doing there. 

We received a letter from one of our friends who moved to America.  The children have found America on the globe and written some great letters in reply, using their handprints and in some cases writing their names and other messages.



The new term

September 2017

We have welcomed lots of new children this term, who have settled in beautifully.  It is a big step in a young child's life to start nursery, leaving mum and dad, sometimes for the first time.  The children have done really well and are now coming in happily and making some wonderful friends already.

We seem to have some amazing thinkers and planners amongst these children.  There have been some lovely structures built outside, obstacle courses, fire engines and water courses.  Some very dramatic role play is going on inside with much negotiation as to who is who.  Mum remains the most coveted role!


End of term Friday 21st July

We had an emotional end of term picnic as we said goodbye to our leavers as they head off to their primary schools.  This week we have been watching the children and reflecting on their progress since they started with us up to 2 years ago.  They are artists and dancers, scientists and engineers, but even more importantly they are negotiators and good friends.  This week they have played and laughed together in a way that has been lovely to watch. 

They are a group of children who know how to think for themselves and lead their own learning, following our Montessori principles of independence.


P (4) was in the Art Room as M (3) asked if she could paint her hands.  Before the adult in the room could answer, P told her, 'At this school the adults don't tell you what to do.  You can choose what you want to do and do it and then put it away afterwards.' 

Beautifully put! 

Good luck to all the children leaving Foxglove.  You will be fantastic at school just as you are fantastic at nursery.


17th July

The chicks were in to visit again this week.  They are already getting bigger and now we know what to look for we think there are 2 cockerels and 3 hens.  We will see if we are right when they start crowing.  The children are able to describe the life cycle of a chicken in great detail having had direct and hands on experience.  The best way to learn.


10th July

We had a visit from Kate, Annabelle's mum but also part of the community health team, this week.  She taught the children the importance of hand washing and how to wash their hands properly.  Lots of fun, especially as the children set off on a hunt for hand prints using an ultra-violet torch.  Great detective work showed up lots of hand prints which were traced back to the teachers.

The chicks came to nursery for a couple of days and all the children were able to hold them.  They were so small and fluffy.


3rd July

Back in March we had some eggs and an incubator at nursery.  We hatched 5 hens and 3 cockerels and as we couldn't bear to send the cockerels back, a teacher took them home to her house in the country.  The hens went to two of the children and their families.  The hens have just started laying, and are producing some big double yolkers.  The cockerels have made friends with the hens that the teacher already had, who then got broody, with the result that 5 new chicks have hatched!  Life cycles in action.  Hopefully the chicks will come and visit next week.


12th June

Save the Children's Den Day was this week.  We decided to build dens all week so that everyone could have a try and were very grateful to receive so many different sized boxes and selection of sheets to make our dens.  Some of the skills we had learnt at Forest Schools came in handy - using ropes and making teepees and we had a wonderful time hiding in boxes.  Lots of fun and some money for a good cause too.


5th June

We had a visit from the food standards agency and were delighted to receive a 5 (Very good) for our food hygiene.  The children were brilliant, showing off their excellent hand washing skills.  The inspector was very impressed by the children washing up after snack and lunch and commented on their independence. 


26th May

We have had a busy week this week.  James from West End Music  came to visit and brought a wonderful selection of instruments.  Some of the children tried everything, while others preferred to watch and listen, then try out their favourite instruments.  Lots of dancing and singing!

It was our last Forest Schools session this week.  We had a fire and toasted marshmallows as well as revisiting lots of our favourite activities.  Overall favourites have been using the ropes, working with tools, climbing trees, the mud kitchen and jumping in the ditch.  A big thank you to Jo and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust for running our Forest School sessions.  We made a lovely banner to say thank you:




15th May

The children who are leaving us this summer are starting to think about their new schools.  We have had some of the school Reception teachers in to visit us at Foxglove this week, and children are visiting their new schools with their Foxglove teachers to help ease the transition.   We have uniforms from the local schools in our dressing up area, so the children can practise putting them on and enjoy role play based on their visits.


8th May

We made dens at Forest School this week, learning how to carry a long stick safely between two children.  There were also different animal bones to inspect through magifying glasses and best of all an owl's wing.


1st May

A lovely day at Forest Schools on Friday.  It was M.'s 4th burthday, so we played the Montessori birthday game.  When we play this at nursery, we use a candle in the middle of a circle of children.  The birthday child carries a globe and walks around the circle of children as many times as they are years old. This symbolises the earth circling the sun (the candle.)  As we were in the woods for her birthday we had a small fire and M. walked around the circle of children 4 times while we sang happy birthday.

Back at nursery, the arrival of a stack of real bricks has sparked some building fun, with the children making 'cement' from sand and water, then building structures using the bricks and cement.  This echoes the building the children do inside using our large wooden blocks, which is always popular.  O (3) has made some fantastic fire stations recently for the large fire engine, and labelled them using his emergent writing.


24th April

We have a 2 reel tape deck to take apart this week, and already the children's progress in using tools is very obvious to see.  They have needed very little help with this piece of equipment, remembering to push down on the screwdriver while they turn it.  Even the tricky little screws are manageable, sometimes with two children co-operating and helping to get them started.


18th April

Our first week back after Easter and we have been happy to welcome 6 new children.  They are settling in brilliantly and enjoying exploring the different areas of nursery. 

We went to Bradfield woods for our first session of Forest Schools on Friday and we had the best time.  The children made crowns from natural materials, designed their own name badge and had some wonderful times exploring the area of woodland.  Experimenting with ropes, climbing trees and jumping down into the ditch were all very popular.  We are going to the woods for 6 sessions, so we will look forward to developing the play and learning over that time.


13th March

We had a go at woodwork this week, using a small hand drill and a real (child sized) hammer.  The children concentrated very hard, and took great care of their own and each others fingers.  Great satisfaction resulted from being able to drill right through the piece of wood.

The children also had the chance to use a bow and arrows.  They drew a target on the wall and patiently took turns shooting the arrows.  This took a lot of coordination, and again the children were extremely pleased when they succeeded in hitting the target.


6th March

The biggest excitement this week was being able to hold the chicks.  The children sat very still on the floor and an adult placed a chick on their lap.  Almost all the children had a turn, some visibly plucking up courage while others came back for many turns during the week.  By the end of the week the chicks were getting quite big, so went to their new homes.  Two very excited families took two hens each, and the cockerels went to a teacher who lives in the country.  Thank you to all of them, we hope you enjoy your new pets.


27th February

This week has been all about the chicks.  Ten eggs arrived on Monday with an incubator.  They started to hatch on Tuesday and all but one successfully hatched by Wednesday evening.  The awe on the children's faces as the chicks battled their way out of the egg, clearly exhausted, was a delight to see.   Everyone has been fascinated, many children sitting and watching as the chicks fluffed up then started to peck for food.

The children have been so nurturing, willing the last chick to hatch to survive, although he was very small (so far, so good!)

They have drawn pictures for the chicks, written them stories and named them.  They have made pictures of chicks too, and talked about life cycles and thought about what else we do with eggs.

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - show care and concern for living things and the environment

Understanding the world - comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world

Understanding the world - can talk about some of the things they have observed



20th February

The children's interest in the tinker table continues, as they continue to take apart the cd player and also a couple of telephones and an old keyboard.  G(4) heard an adult comment that it sounded like a piece of metal had fallen on the floor.  'Let's magnet it to find out,' he suggested.  We had already found the speakers contained magnets, so he used those to check, then fetched one of our magnets and checked all the components to find which were the 'right sort' of metal to be attracted to the magnet.

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world

Understanding the world - can talk about some of the things they have observed


6th February 2017

Lots of Gruffalo fun this week, following children's particular interest in this Julia Donaldson book.  A highlight was making Gruffalo Crumble cakes and decorating them with fruit to look like the Gruffalo.

Children also enjoyed taking apart an old CD player.  They used a screwdriver and wire cutters to remove the circuit boards and lots of bits and bobs from the machine.  Everyone was fascinated to see what was inside!

Literacy - shows an interest in books and illustrations

Physical development - uses one handed tools and equipment

Communication and language - questions why things happen and gives explanations


30th January 2017

Some of the children were playing Mike the Knight this week.  An adult extended their play into building castles and making shields, using non-fiction books to find out what castles look like.  The children chose to carry on this learning outside as well, making castles from large blocks and tyres.


There was lots of mark making this week too, with children drawing in shaving foam using vehicles, writing in sand and writing shopping lists.  Children also used the Large Moveable Alphabet to spell out words and write their names.

What we learnt from this:

Literacy - shows an interest in books and illustrations

Creative arts and design - selects appropriate resources and adapts work where necessary

Literacy - hears and says the initial sound in words


23rd January 2017

We have had a chilly week this week, with lots of crunching in the frost in the mornings.  The children have been exploring the ice around the garden, some enjoing smashing the ice on the patio while others have been creating fantastic works of art by painting on the ice.  Some of our tyres which were leaning on the vegetable beds had water in the bottom and made some great shaped ice blocks.


The children have been enjoying lots of role play opportunities.  As well as the ever popular domestic role play of mums and dads, they have explored working in a baker's shop with salt dough rolls and bread, playing doctors and being firefighters.  Some great story ideas and collaborative play.

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world

Understanding the world - can talk about some of the things they have observed

Understanding the world - shows an interest in different occupations and ways of life



13th January 2017

The children have been exploring magnetism this week, searching the nursery for the 'right' metal to use their magnets with.  They have been fascinated by the strong forces of attraction and repulsion from our big magnets and have been talking about the 'invisible force.'  G (4) played Superheroes with a super power of 'magnetic force.'


We had a morning of snowy fun on Friday, with a light dusting on the ground and then a few strong flurries.  For a lot of the children it was their very first snowfall and they were fascinated.  We managed to make a tiny snowman with a cone for a hat and a plastic carrot for a nose.  We broke the ice on the water tray and found the most beautiful patterns on the bottom of the ice.

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world

Understanding the world - can talk about some of the things they have observed



6th January 2017

We have welcomed some new children this week, and we are very proud of quickly they have settled in.  We all shared our stories of Christmas and the fun we had with our families.  E (3) related how 'Father Christmas came and he saw my Christmas tree and he did leave me presents.'

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - recognises and describes special times for family and friends

Communication and language - uses vocabulary based on objects and people of particular importance to them.



12th December 2016

Our last week before Christmas.  We finished off all our Christmas making with some marshmellow snowmen, then took everything home to share with our families.  Our end of term outing was to see the Three Little Pigs at the New Wolsey Theatre studio in Ipswich.  The play was just right for 2 to 4 year olds and made us laugh and laugh.  Z (4) said it was 'the best show ever.'  A surprise visit from Father Christmas was a great end to a perfect outing.

Happy Christmas everyone!

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - recognises and describes special times for family and friends

Communication and language - joins in with repeated refrains

Literacy - beginning to be aware of the wat stories are structured



5th December 2016

The promised trumpet turned out to be a trombone!  This was loads of fun and everyone managed to produce a note of some sort.  J (2) was fascinated by the sound produced and when he wasn't blowing a raspberry into the mouthpiece (this is apparently the best way to play) he was feeling the music by putting his hand into the bell.  We played all of our other intsruments through the week, comparing our African drums and shakers with the more traditional instruments in our music box.  We particularly liked using our bells and tambourines to accompany the singing of Jingle Bells.

What did we learn from this?

Expressive arts and design - creates sounds by tapping, shaking and blowing

Expressive arts and design - explores and learns how sounds can be changed



28th November 2016

This week saw the start of our Christmas celebrations at Nursery.  We have a books advent calendar, where we open a present each day and find a different Christmas story book.  So far we have found 'Dear Santa' by Rod Campbell, and the 'Jolly Christmas postman' by Alan and Janet Ahlberg.  Dear Santa in particular caught our imagination, and the children made up a story sack containing all the presents mentioned in the story. Next week we have been promised the loan of a trumpet, as that was one of the presents Santa didn't bring as it was 'too noisy.' 

We have also been practising our present wrapping skills, using boxes and tubs from the junk modelling box and wrapping them up ourselves.  This has been lots of fun, and we have enjoyed taking home presents for our families.

What did we learn from this?

Literacy - shows an interest in books and illustrations

Knowledge and understanding of the world - enjoys joining in with customs and routines



21st November 2016

We were very pleased to welcome Mrs. Murray to share Thanksgiving with us this week.  We listened to Thanksgiving stories, sang songs and did some Thanksgiving turkey crafts.  We also thought about what we are thankful for.  The children had some lovely ideas, Z (3) said he was thankful for 'Going to pre-school and playing with my sister, T (3) said he was 'Thankful for playing' and  L (3) said that she was thankful for 'mummy and presents.' 

We have been putting the finishing touches to our entry for the crib festival at Combs Church.  We have made a beautiful box showing Angels and stars, using lots of handprints and our best drawing skills.  We hope it will look lovely in the church.

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - recognises and describes special times for family and friends

Communication and language - uses vocabulary based on objects and people of particular importance to them.


One of the most used of our small parts resources is a little treasure box containing different pebbles and shiny stones.  The children enjoy counting and sorting the stones, lining them up and making up stories.  This week two children were playing pirates and an adult suggested they could make a treasure map, hide the treasure chest of stones and then their friends could seek out the treasure.  This was lots of fun, and the children repeated the exercise over and over again so that everyone could have a turn of hiding the treasure.  As they hunted, the children used their language skills to guide each other to the treasure as well as their maps.

The children have returned to this activity independently a number of times during the following days, extending their learning by themselves.

What we learnt from this:

Creative arts and design - selects appropriate resources and adpats work where necessary

Mathematics - uses positional language

Personal, social and emotional - can take turns and share resources


14th November 2016

We have had a week of spotty activities for Spotacular Children in Need.  We all dressed in spots and stripes, made Pudsey masks and pictures and decorated gingerbread Pudseys.  We experimented with colour mixing icing to decorate the Pudsey biscuits, squishing the icing and colours in bags and making a great range of colours from our primary coloured gels.

What we learnt from this:

Understanding the world - recognises and describes special times for family and friends

Expressive arts and design - explores what happens when they mix colours


We have been shown how to use the Montessori red rods and number rods to create a maze.  We walk through the maze carrying one of our hand bells or a glass of water, practising our most careful walking.  Some of us have revisited this several times, rebuilding the maze with a little adult help and guiding our friends.

What we learnt from this:

Maths - uses familiar objects and common shapes to recreate patterns

Personal, social and emotional - demonstrates friendly behaviour with peers and adults





7th November 2016

The children were still following their interest in the pumpkins, so a member of staff brought in a selection of other squashes from her allotment.  The children were fascinated to see the variety of shapes and colours, and had a wonderful time rolling all the different types along the middle of nursery.

T. (3 years old) noticed as he walked to nursery that the apples on the trees near nursery were rotting on the ground.  He made the connection with his pumpkin at home and was sad to think that his pumpkin might rot as well.  This led to some great discussions on how we make compost.  We also thought it would be a good idea to plant some of our pumpkin seeds to grow new pumpkins for next year.  We have planted lots of the seeds in pots to take home to grow, so fingers crossed for next year's crop.

What did we learn from this?

Maths - uses shapes appropriately for tasks

Maths - beginning to use mathematical names for 2d and 3d shapes

Understanding the world - develops an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time


Towards the end of last week we read 'We're going on a bear hunt' by Michael Rosen.  The children were very taken with the book, which has a wonderful rhythm to it, with a repeating refrain that the children enjoy joining in with.  This week we worked with the children's interest, watching Michael Rosen read the story on our laptop, then acting it out outside.  We made a river in our welly boot tray, and some wonderful 'thick oozy mud' on the grass.  This took lots of team work to fill our watering cans and stomp in the mud patch we made, until we had enough mud to 'squelch, squerch' through.  We acted the story over and over during the week, with children taking turns to be the bear in his cave.  We made up some of our own obstacles using our slide and our imaginations.

What did we learn from this?

Literacy - joins in with repeated refrains

Literacy - describes main characters and story setting

Physical development - moves freely and with pleasure and confidence in a variety of ways




31st October 2016

We have done lots of learning based around our pumpkins this week.  We ended up with three pumpkins at nursery, and following on from the thinking about big, middle sized and small from the Goldilocks learning, they were all different sizes.  The children were very keen to test their muscles by lifting the pumpkins, and they were soon commenting on the different sizes, weights, colours and shapes.  An adult encouraged them to try and roll the pumpkins to each other, which was harder than it sounds, because they were quite bumpy.

The children were shown how the pumpkin matched some of the 3 dimensional shapes from the Montessori maths equipment, and they independently matched some of the other items from the nature table with other solid shapes.


Later on, we cut the top off one of the pumpkins and scooped out the seeds.  We found that the seeds were quite slippery, and we used some lovely descriptive language such as squishy and slimey to describe the texture.  We washed and dried the seeds and now we are using them for transferring activities in the practical life area and well as for collages and making.  We were amazed how many seeds there were in the pumpkin, and estimated there might be about 100 and counted as many as we could. 

With the pumpkin now empty we used a hammer and nails to make holes in the sides.  This was tricky as the pumpkin was not a flat surface, but no-one gave up, and everyone was very pleased to see the tip of the nail appear inside the pumpkin.  We put a candle inside and turned out the lights and we loved seeing the light glowing through the holes.

At the end of the week the pumpkin was going a bit soft, so we put it in the compost bin to rot down and make good compost for next year.

What did we learn from this?

Maths - uses shapes appropriately for tasks

Maths - beginning to use mathematical names for 2d and 3d shapes

Maths - counting to 10 and beyond

Physical development - uses one handed tools and equipment safely

Communication and language - builds up vocabulary based on experiences

Understanding the world - develops an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time




17th October 2016

It rained properly for the first time this term, so we were able to try out our new rain suits and stay out in the rain.  We discovered that there is a stream of water that runs off the corner of the canopy in the rain, and we had lots of fun catching the water in different containers.  We discovered that the rain makes a different noise going into containers of different materials.  The metal dishes from the mud kitchen were our favourite sounds.  We used the water we collected to make a car wash for the toy cars, to wash the babies and to make rivers in the digging patch. 

What did we learn from this?

Listening and attention - shows an interest in play with sounds

Understanding the world - talks about why things happen and how things work


The children have been choosing the cultural activities from the Montessori equipment this week, particularly exploring the animals and people from our continents folders.  There was a great deal of interest in the animals of Australia, and we found Australia on our globe and on the world map.  We found the puzzle of koalas quite challenging, but persevered and working with our friends we managed it.

What did we learn from this?

Understanding the world - can talk about some of the things they have observed such as animals

Personal, social and emotional - confident to ask adults and peers for help



10th October 2016

This week we continued reading the story of Goldilocks.  We made chairs and beds out of our junk modelling box and told the story in different ways.  Of course we wanted to make porridge ourselves so we made shopping lists of the toppings we would like to have.  The porridge was delicious, and we decided jam and raisins were the best toppings.

What did we learn from this?

Literacy - shows an interest in books and illustrations

Literacy - gives meaning to marks as they draw and write

Creative arts and design - selects appropriate resources


One of the children is away from Nursery at the moment with a broken leg so we made him a card.  We looked at our face in a mirror then drew what we could see.  We talked about the shape of our face and how we are different from each other.  We wrote our own names in the card.  We hope he likes it.

What did we learn from this?

Literacy - gives meaning to marks as they draw and write

Personal, social and emotional - understands own actions can affect others


Playing goodies and baddies is always a popular theme with us.  This week we extended that to playing police and baddies.  Nobody really wants to be the baddie so one of the adults offered to play too.  We made police badges and a police station, then played chase round the garden.  Once an adult was playing it was much more fun!

What did we learn from this?

Literacy - gives meaning to marks as they draw and write

Knowledge and understanding of the world - shows an interest in different occupations

Physical development - negotiates space successfully when playing racing and chasing games with other children.



3rd October 2016

We have been reading the story of the Gingerbread Man, so the children were very keen to make some gingerbread men themselves.  We acted the story, decorated paper gingerbread and made some real gingerbread.  Delicious.  There was even enough to take an extra one home for someone special.

What did we learn from this?

Literacy - shows an interest in books and illustrations

Knowledge and understanding of the world - enjoys joining in with customs and routines


Having enjoyed our tractor learning last week, this week we were very lucky and got some new diggers and dumpers.  We played with these with marbles, picking up the marbles with tongs, spoons or our fingers, loading the dumper trucks and transprting the marbles.  We also played with the diggers and dumpers in the mud and discovered that different vehicles make different tracks in the mud.  We were very lucky that while we were playing the gardeners came and mowed the field near our garden with the mini tractor.  We watched through the fence and waved every time the tractor came past.

What did we learn from this?

Physical development - uses one handed tools and equipment

Knowledge and understanding of the world - shows an interest in different occupations


We have got a large pumpkin on our nature table at the moment and we had some great ideas what to do with it.  In the end we decided we would like to make pumpkin cake, keep the seeds to grow next year and then hammer nails into the pumpkin.  We also talked about pumpkins we have seen before with scarey faces carved into them, but we decided we would prefer to have a happy face in ours.  Lots to look forward to...

What did we learn from this?

Personal, social and emotional - listens and takes account of what others say

Communication and language - uses talk to connect ideas, predict what might happen, recall and relive past experiences



26th September 2016

Our letter sound of the week was 't' this week, so lots of children brought in tractors for show and tell.  We have done lots of learning based around tractors - we looked at reference books to find out what different types of tractor look like, we made pictures of tractors using different shapes and we sang 'the wheels on the tractor go round and round.'

We always enjoy playing with our large selection of tractors inside and outside and we shared and took turns with the tractors, playing in mud, shaving foam and water.  We also made a tractor from our large blocks and some tyres.

What did we learn from this?

Literacy - shows an interest in books and illustrations, handles books carefully

Maths - uses shapes appropriately for tasks

Physical development - uses scissors carefully, jumps off a block and lands correctly

Personal, social and emotional - shares toys and equipment

Creative arts and design - sings favourite songs, makes up songs.



One of the children noticed that our little pond was looking overgrown.  We weeded the pond by pulling up the grass and put the grass in our compost bin.  While we were weeding the pond a frog jumped out.  We watched the frog for a long time and he made us jump by hopping out of the pond.  We talked about the life cycle of a frog and then of a butterfly.  We pretended to be frogs and hopped around the garden and we read 'the very hungry caterpillar.'

What did we learn from this?

Knowledge and understanding of the world - developing an understanding of changes over time.

Literacy - reading favourite books.

Physical development - moves freely in a variety of ways.


A child commented on how an adult's watch was going 'round and round.'  Using large sheets of paper that child and two of her friends drew a watch face, and having studied the watch in detail, made marks to represent numbers.

What did we learn from this?

Physical development - uses large motor movements to draw circles

Maths - start to recognise and write numbers

Maths - recognise and name shapes