Parents Newsletter February 2017

Dear Parents & Carers


Warm wishes as we are now mid-winter of another year. May we say a huge thank you to those of you who continue to support Reflections and recommend us to friends and colleagues.

1. Nursery Focus


Our Friendship focus continues to open up questions for us all here at Reflections as we observe the children’s interactions throughout their days here. We have had many a story about the duck and the bumblebee from Pre school One’s atelier, to the ‘protectors’ of the ‘big man’s leg’ in Pre school Two, the developing friendships of the children across both the Toddler section and Toddler 4 to the delights of the Babies discovering their own reflections and making their first tentative interactions with one another.

2. CHILDREN’S WORK & PROJECTS ACROSS THE NURSERY


Baby room – Our babies have been exploring with the educators carrying out the day to day tasks within the nursery and have been going for long walks down to the seafront to explore the world around them. Within the room itself, the environment has been enhanced by adding a few resources, offering hanging resources onto the pulley system and introducing the babies to new materials such as clay, paint and water play. The Babies have enjoyed visits from Small school and have visited them in return.

Toddler rooms 1, 2 and 3 – Toddler 1 has seen the children continue their interest in the rolling of objects both inside of the room and in the garden. The children have also been exploring their physical capabilities and limitations through climbing. In the afternoon sessions, we have been enhancing this space with more sensorial resources to support the children further their investigations using all their senses.

Toddler 2 has seen the children further their investigations of posting. They have attached various containers onto the wall and have been observing the children post objects into and through these. The children spend prolonged periods of time working out which tubes contain the objects and which allow them to pass through. In addition to posting, the children are using the pasta to enhance their role play opportunities within the kitchen. Filling, emptying pots and pans with the past and then carrying them back and forth to one another whilst pretending to blow and eat them.

Toddler 3 is supporting the children develop their gross motor skills. They are following lines on the floor and t=finding their own pathways in the garden, tracing and re-tracing pathways they find or they have created. The educators have also noted their interest in malleable materials and are enhancing the room with clay to further their explorations.

Toddler 4 – Main room, the children have been using the three areas; construction, role play and the mini-atelier. In the Mini-Atelier we have been offering the children a range of resources, paper, pencils, scissor and paint. This changes daily depending on the children’s interests.
We are watching out for relationships and connections between the children. There has been a lot of physical contact between the children - hugging, kissing and holding hands. Humour or sadness is bringing them together.

Some of the younger children are comforting each other in addition to the older ones. We have noticed that as the younger children don’t speak, they are using a lot of gestures, facial expressions and movement to comfort each other. This has led us to begin to explore some research questions…

Does children’s empathy towards each other change as they get older? Does speech effect relationships and bonds between children?

Side garden In the side garden the children have been interested in mark making with water. They have been especially intrigued by getting up high. They want to spray the water up in the air. Some of the younger children have been enjoying building at the table, using words, ‘up’ and ‘down’. This has encouraged counting also.

We will introduce some hanging material such as tracing paper or tin foil so the children can spray up, whilst the older children are still very much showing and introducing the younger children to their new environment.

Atelier The Atelier is a world of paper, a space for interactions, new relationships and connections.

The children have been unrolling rolls of paper all around the Atelier. These strips of paper have been hung up high. The children have hidden behind the paper, using it as another space to interact privately with each other. Sometimes they will push the paper aside as they stomp through.

‘I’m stomping like the dinosaur’ Tess 2 years 4 months

The children are enjoying making marks on tracing paper on the light box, small books, and large white paper on the floor. Tess has created ‘bugs’, and ‘men’ with eyes and very long legs. Tess, and other children have added to these drawings. More long lines and tiny circles have been found layered on top.

‘It’s a bug in the hole. It’s not in the hole now. He’s walking and he’s stomping. He stomped. He stomped. He stomped!’ Tess 2 years 4 months

We will continue to offer rolls of paper, interactive spaces, and mark making tools along side the drawings. We will film the children entering the space, top down to get a big picture of how the children use the space and low down, close up shots to see what you can’t always see…

How and when do the children interact together and apart?

Pre-school 1


Communication Room - The children have been making dough over several weeks looking at how to combine the ingredients needed together. This has led them to experimenting with other ingredients to see how their mixtures combine. On one table, there is vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, and the children and mixing these ingredients together causing bubbles to form. The children are making their own predictions as to what they think might happen and then recording them down in their note books. On the other table, there is cornflour and water and the children can mix these materials together to form a runny gloop. The children have delighted in the opportunity to test out their predictions and theories on an individual basis and alongside their peers.

Construction Room Most of the children have been working in the construction of trains, planes, cars and constructions to transport people. They have been using the small people as well as they used themselves as protagonists of their stories. We have decided to extend their constructions projecting the shadows of their buildings on the white wall, as well as projecting photographs of their works.

We will offer big white paper and pens to allow them to design and draw on the space of the wall. We are observing and recording their interactions considering our friendship focus. We created a book collecting all...) Atelier We created a book collecting all the children’s drawings about their ideas of friendship as well as a book collecting several ‘writings’ the children did. They wrote their stories for their friends as well as stories about their extra ordinary friends: a duck, a bumble bee, a fish, a caterpillar, a naughty cat...
The children have been illustrators and authors of these small books. We created a story square where they usually tell these stories. We introduced a recorder to record their verbal stories as well as an area with different provocations for their written language (signs from different languages from all over the worlds, first example of written languages...)

Pre-school 2 


Construction room has seen the construction of a hotel within the space. The children have been looking at their town and building landscapes within enclosed areas alongside projections. The hotel has now required some wiring to enable the facilities to be on offer “a television”, “Lights” and a “bed”. The children have sourced a variety of different types of wiring from re-create to enhance their building.

The little room has seen the development of contrasting ideas of babies and monsters, hidden and visibility, light and dark through sculpture, performance and mark making. The children have continued to engage in a world of imaginative play allowing them time to explore these big ideas.

Outside Atelier have been designing and creating their own wedding dresses for the bird, butterfly and the dragons. As part of this design process, they have been carrying out their own research asking the staff team about their own dresses on that ‘special day’ and researching online. They have been discussing their findings and posing their own questions “why do they wear wedding masks and when the music stops, they take it off?” Oscar 3 years 11 months.

(Drawings by Leoni 4 years 2 months)

Atelier has transformed into a woodwork workshop where the children have been using old pallets to upcycle into their own workbench, skateboards, go karts, guitars and many other experimental pieces.
The children have really enjoyed getting hands on experience and mastery of real tools. The are over coming ‘problems’ and inventing ‘solutions’ as they go , as they design on paper, then build their ideas.
There is a lot of emphasis on scale and measurement in their language. The children are still using the ‘Bird Garden’ structure alongside their new building projects as a space to compare measure, talk about ‘stability’ of structures and escape into

The Bird Museum (which evolved last year) is moving and small groups of children are becoming involved in curating and shaping the new space . This has awakened a new interest in the Birds and the idea and research into museums and how they should be put together and used. This will continue to develop over the next few weeks.

Small School


Since a visit to Baby Room the Small School children have been working on creating a town for the babies. They have been studying architectural plans and creating their own designs for the town.

The babies then came to visit Small School where the children had adapted the space into a den for the babies to explore. They realised that the babies preferred to use the table to help them stand rather than crawling underneath it. The children began to have discussions about how STRONG babies are, how they communicate and what kind of environments they would feel most comfortable in.

Recently the children have been exploring sounds as they felt music would provide a calming and peaceful atmosphere. Some children have been working on a hotel for babies which has slides, roller-coaster and trampolines inside. They have also been working on attaching the town to a train so it can travel to babies all around the world.

3. Nursery Update

We have successfully completed the works on the roof over the Christmas period and just in time for all the rain fall over the past few weeks and now we have focussed our attention to the Lower Ground Floor in Westerfields where we are carrying out some maintenance on the Southern wall. The Construction Room has been temporary re-homed whilst this work is underway. We anticipate the works will take 2 weeks to complete. We are delighted to announce that Amy Foat (from our Baby room) and Jordan Moore (Chef) have given birth to their first baby Arlo, born on Sunday 22nd January and all 3 are at home doing well.

Donna Edwards (one of our lunchtime support staff) has also given birth to her first baby Nova, born on Friday 13th January, 6 weeks earlier than expected. Donna took Nova home on Monday 30th. She and her partner are delighted to all be home together.

We are also pleased to share that 4 of our educators will be travelling to Reggio Emilia for a week long study tour in April to help deepen their understanding of our practise here at Reflections. This is a real privilege for the staff team to study such a profound educational philosophy and we are hoping to see some positive influences on their return to Reflections.

4. DATES FOR YOUR DIARY


Parents evenings;

We would like to invite all parents to come along for an evening in March 2017 to chat to the educators about your child away from the busy day to day of dropping off and collecting your child. This is a great opportunity to find out a little bit more about how your child is settling into their home-base rooms, their likes and dislikes and to ask any questions you may have specifically about your child’s development. This is also an opportunity to meet other families of the children within the same rooms and put names to faces. A member of the management team is always on hand to chat with you too.

We offer an evening appointment as during the day our priority is to be with the children and we do not always have the time to set aside to ensure that we have undisturbed time with you, we trust that you understand.

If you would like to book an appointment, please book directly with your child’s group.

Baby Room and Toddler Rooms 1,2,3 = Monday 27th March from 7.00pm until 9.00pm Toddler 4 Room = Wednesday 29th March from 7.00pm until 9.00pm Preschool 1 Section = Tuesday 28th March from 7.00pm until 9.00pm Preschool 2 Section and Small School = Thursday 30th March from 7.00pm until 9.00pm

5. Polite Requests


Please can we request that you do not park down the side of our Tudor Court building. These parking spaces are for the flats behind our nursery and they are struggling to park their own vehicles. If our car parks are busy, please remember that Victoria Road and Christchurch Road which run alongside our buildings have parking between 4pm and 6pm.

At this time of year, it can be difficult to fit all of the children’s additional layers into their bags however owing to the risk of suffocation, we do not allow plastic bags in the nursery, so if you need an additional bag; please ask in the front office.

Thank you to all of you for not letting people into the nursery. This whilst we understand can feel uncomfortable is vital to ensuring that everyone remains safe and well.

MP – you are going to mention; The nursery becoming younger Turning into the driveway Presentations for parents 6. Forest School 2017/2018

If your child will be 3 years old by 31st December 2016 and you are already certain you want your child to attend Forest School sessions, please complete the form below and return to the Front Office in Westerfields House. Please note that there will be a £12 additional charge for each Forest School Session. Many thanks in advance.

The Forest School team will be presenting to interested parents in the summer – dates to be advised.

To find out more about Forest School at Reflections, you can purchase Martin’s book ‘I Love Forest School’ from Reflections front office, or direct from Bloomsbury here at http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/i-love-forest-school-9781472906076/

Best wishes from the Reflections team