Welcome to St Michael's Early Years Settting!

Who are we?

The Early Years is made up of a Nursery class and a Reception class, where children are able to join us from the age of 3. We are in two different rooms called Woodpeckers and Robins.  Our teachers are called Miss Campbell and Mr Morris. The learning support assistants in our unit are Mrs Robertson, Mrs Telford, Miss Ward, Mrs Bell, Mrs Ottaviani and Miss Sims.

Timings of our day:

Nursery (Woodpeckers) – 8.40am-11.50am

Reception (Robins) – 8.40am-3.15pm

Our Favourite Activities in Early Years

Helicopter Stories:

Every week we take part in helicopter stories, this is where the children write their own stories. These are scribed by an adult before all the children help to bring their stories to life by acting them out:

“Helicopter stories is tried, tested and proven to have a significant impact on children’s literacy and communication skills, their confidence and social and emotional development.” Trisha Lee

Dough Disco:

Dough disco involves moulding play dough in time to music and performing different actions such as rolling it into a ball, flattening it, putting each individual finger into the dough, rolling it into a sausage and squeezing it.

This activity helps to strengthen children’s fine motor muscles to enable them to develop their pencil grip which in turn will help to develop their writing skills. But most of all it’s fun!

What do you need to do a dough disco?

  • Music – any song will do! We have had Abba, Frozen, Musicals and TV themes to name a few of our favourites.
  • Dough – You can buy pots of dough or make your own with your child. See the recipe below.
  • A set of moves – These can be done in any order and you don’t need to include them all.

What are the dough disco moves?

  • squeeze it
  • roll it into a ball
  • roll it into a sausage
  • poke it
  • flatten it
  • pinch it
  • See the image below for more examples!
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Here’s a simple recipe for you to make play dough at home:

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • Half a cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Food colouring (if wanted)

Instructions:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a saucepan. Stir the mixture over a low heat until it comes away from the sides of the pan.

Tip the dough out and leave it to cool slightly.

Store the play dough in an air-tight container or plastic bag and let your child use it every day (it should keep for about a week).

Watch the video below which shows how to do dough disco:

Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle:

Squiggle whilst you Wiggle is a kinaesthetic approach to stimulate early writing. It encourages children to focus on making large scale movements to music. The children then mirror these movements using pens on paper. It is the first stage in handwriting practice delivered in a super fun, lively way and it has been shown to increase handwriting confidence and progress.

Phonics (Read Write Inc):

We use Read Write Inc to teach the children how to read in St Michael’s. Here is a link to a parents guide explaining how phonics is taught. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/reading/reading-schemes-oxford-levels/read-write-inc-phonics-guide/ 

The children in Robins are making great progress with learning their letter sounds. This video shows you how to say all the letter sounds that we teach the children at St Michael’s. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkXcabDUg7Q&list=PLDe74j1F52zSCiOMSn3zQDSzgu9TrbQ1c 

Mathematics:

We enjoy exploring numbers and numerical patterns through play.  The children enjoy counting activities every day and are learning how to subitise numbers.

 

What is subitising?

Subitising is the ability to instantaneously recognise the number of objects in a small group without the need to count them.  An example often used to explain this, is to think of a die – we immediately recognise the number of dots without having to count each one individually. 

English (Talk for Reading and Talk for Writing):

The children arew always encouraged and supported to write about a variety of topics and are encourage to come up with their own adventures each day.

Each half-term a story is selected as a part of our Talk for Reading learning for the children to investigate in depth over a period of weeks. We explore the book in detail and engage the children in a variety of activities such as role play, vocabulary building, making predictions, echo reading and questioning. 

After we have explored the book in Talk for Reading, we use their confidence and understanding to complete a Talk for Writing unit based upon the same book.  Here, the children will learn a simplified version of the story (we call this a five sentence story) and eventually create their own story with slight changes (we call this innovation) such as a change of character or setting. This sets the children in EYFS up for engaging in the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Talk for Reading and Talk for Writing learning. 

Our current book is 'Good Little Wolf' by Nadia Shareen. You can view the story below:

Important Information:

Nursery (Woodpeckers):

  • P.E Day - Our P.E day is Thursday For PE, we wear red shorts or jogging bottoms in cold weather, white t-shirts, plimsolls/trainers.  The children are to come to school in their PE kits but please make sure that any jewellery, including earrings, is left at home.
  • Outdoor learning – We go out in all weathers so please make sure your child has a pair of wellington boots left in school with their name on and bring a coat every day which is appropriate for the time of year.
  • Library – Every Monday we visit our school library and the children will choose a book to bring home to share with you. 
  • Uniform – Please put your child’s name in everything you bring to school. This makes it easier to trace mislaid items.

Reception (Robins):

  • P.E Day - Our P.E day is Thursday For PE, we wear red shorts or jogging bottoms in cold weather, white t-shirts, plimsolls/trainers.  The children are to come to school in their PE kits but please make sure that any jewellery, including earrings, is left at home.
  • Outdoor learning – We go out in all weathers so please make sure your child has a pair of wellington boots left in school with their name on and bring a coat every day which is appropriate for the time of year.
  • Library – Every Monday we visit our school library and the children will choose a book to bring home to share with you. 
  • Uniform – Please put your child’s name in everything you bring to school. This makes it easier to trace mislaid items.