Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to another exciting edition of our weekly newsletter! This week at Headstart Preschool, we delved deeper into the fascinating world of life cycles, building upon the themes we explored last week. From fluttering butterflies to hopping frogs, our little learners embarked on an adventure through the incredible transformations that occur in nature.

Exploring Nature’s Wonders: Throughout the week, our curious minds embarked on a journey through various life cycles. We marvelled at the magical learning and understanding on the transformation of caterpillars into graceful butterflies, tadpoles morphing into lively frogs, and learned about the diverse array of baby animals and their unique names.

Understanding life cycles is not only awe-inspiring but also fundamental for young minds. It fosters a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world around us. By observing and learning about life cycles, children develop crucial scientific inquiry skills, such as observation, prediction, and critical thinking. Moreover, it instils empathy and respect for all living creatures, promoting a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

At Headstart, we recognise the significance of integrating our activities with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. Our exploration of life cycles aligns seamlessly with several areas of learning and development:

Understanding the World: Through hands-on experiences and discussions, children deepen their understanding of the natural world, including the life processes of living organisms.

Communication and Language: Engaging in conversations about life cycles encourages children to express their thoughts, ask questions, and develop their vocabulary related to the topic.

Physical Development: Activities such as outdoor exploration and caring for living creatures promote physical development and gross motor skills.

Personal, Social, and Emotional Development: By nurturing empathy towards animals and insects, children learn to respect and care for living beings, fostering emotional intelligence and social responsibility.

Expressive Arts and Design: Creative activities such as drawing, crafting, and storytelling allow children to express their understanding and imagination related to life cycles.

Also, this week, we have heavily focused on activities from turn-taking to attentive listening and following instructions, we are committed to nurturing your child’s development in a supportive and enriching environment.

Turn-Taking: Learning to take turns is a fundamental social skill that lays the groundwork for healthy interactions and cooperation. Through activities like group games and collaborative projects (shopping lotto), children in our EYFS program develop an understanding of sharing and waiting their turn, fostering patience and empathy.

Listening Skills: Effective communication begins with active listening. In our preschool, we provide ample opportunities for children to practice attentive listening through story time, circle discussions, group and one-on-one interactions. By encouraging children to listen actively to their peers and educators, we help them become better communicators and learners.

Attention Building: In today’s fast-paced world, cultivating focused attention is more important than ever. Through engaging activities and structured routines, we help children strengthen their concentration and stay engaged in tasks for longer periods. This skill not only enhances academic performance but also fosters mindfulness and self-regulation.

Following Instructions: The ability to follow instructions is a vital skill that paves the way for success in both academic and everyday life. Whether it’s following a recipe during baking activities or completing a sequence of tasks in a craft project, children learn the importance of listening carefully and executing instructions accurately. This skill promotes independence and builds confidence in their abilities.

At the Early Years Foundation Stage, we recognise the significance of these activities in laying the foundation for a child’s holistic development. By focusing on turn-taking, listening, attention-building, and following instructions, we equip children with essential life skills that will serve them well throughout their educational journey and beyond.

Parental Involvement: We encourage parents and guardians to reinforce these skills at home by incorporating similar activities into daily routines and providing opportunities for practice and reinforcement. By working together, we can create a supportive environment where children thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.

Furthermore, this week we have been on a mathematical adventure by exploring sequencing. We started with simple activities like arranging blocks or finger painting in a sequence, encouraging children to identify and extend patterns. Building on our sequencing skills, we ventured into the world of patterns. Through hands-on activities, we encouraged children to identify patterns in everyday objects and surroundings.  We explored patterns in different contexts, such as colours, shapes, sizes, and even sounds.

The children have also enjoyed numerous opportunities this week to apply critical thinking skills whilst outdoors. Through activities like building with blocks, pipes, tubes, or natural materials, the children have engaged in problem-solving, spatial reasoning, and creative thinking.

Why do we do this? – When constructing outdoors, children encounter real-world challenges such as uneven terrain or varying weather conditions, prompting them to adapt and innovate their construction plans. They learn to assess risks, make decisions, and collaborate with peers, fostering essential social and communication skills.  Moreover, outdoor construction activities promote physical development as children manipulate objects, balance, and coordinate movements. These experiences also connect children with nature, encouraging curiosity and exploration of their surroundings.

Looking Ahead: As we bid farewell to our theme on life cycles, we eagerly anticipate the adventures that await us in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more exciting explorations, where learning knows no bounds! (I have had a sneak peek, and we are learning about Healthy Living/Lifestyles)

Letter of the week-

This weeks letter of the week was ‘I’ where children try to name as many things beginning with ‘i’/’I’ and search for objects where possible to bring to the table as a ‘show and tell’

Next week, we will focus on ‘F’/’f’

Clothing

Please could you ensure that any clothes come with a name on as we are often finding the same items coming in and the same sizes, and we are getting them lost and mixed up. We do try our best to ensure the clothes go to the correct home, but we often get mixed up!

Our weather remains to be very mixed, and we don’t want to stop children learning through play, but we also struggle with spare clothing.  Please ensure that your child has spare socks, pants, tops, bottoms, welly boots, raincoats, cardigans, sun hats, labelled sun cream (all suitable for the weather we are experiencing) which we can leave here.  We are finding in the morning it can be a little wet and chilly, but in the 20’s by lunch and we are all dressed in winter woollies/ or summer clothing only for it to pour down with rain and strong winds! One day, the weather may know what it wants to do and be fully prepared (I Hope) 😊

Book Bags

Please could you ensure that your child comes to preschool with their book bag so we can send pictures home in their bags, and also send home a book from our lending library. With the weather being as it is, we struggle to carry and keep paper safe to take home with your child. Thank you to those who do remember their book bags. Any lending library books will be sent home 1-2 times per week with a book of your child’s choice, or one we feel they may enjoy 😊

School Leavers

We are still in the process to try and book a coach for a proposed venue for our leaver’s day trip.  Please bear with us as unfortunately many schools have booked the coaches up and we are just struggling to secure a day where we can have both a bus and venue which will not impact staffing levels (as many of the staff will be attending the trip with you and a couple will remain in the setting for the non-leavers to attend their session as normal.  As soon as we can secure a date etc, we will send home a letter.

Key dates and proposed days

W/C 29th April – Parents consultation – We still have a few spaces left next week for you to speak to your child’s keyperson to discuss your child’s learning and development.  Here, we can discuss concerns, areas for support at home and any other matters wish to discuss. Please email or call into the office and book a face to face or phone call meeting (no more than 10 minutes appointment with your key person).

Monday 6th May – We are closed due to it being a public Bank Holiday

W/C 13th May 2024- stay and play- you are invited to come in and play/join in on our activities and be part of our family (you will be given jobs of reading, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, outdoor fun, gardening, running on the field playing games, biscuit decorating, taking part in yoga, den building and so on…) 😊- We will be opening our doors on Monday 13th May, Wednesday 15th May and  Friday 17th May for parents/carers to spend 1 hour with your child (10:30-11:30am)  and join in on the fun and learning we do at Headstart. If you were unable to make an appointment with your key person during consultation week, you are free to speak to the staff during the visits.  We are limiting each visit to 1 x adult please as we do not wish to over-run the session with too many adults as this can be quite upsetting for some of our little ones. You are more than welcome to come for your child (or carer) all 3 days, so long as it is only the one adult 😊

Thank you for entrusting us with the privilege of being a part of your child’s educational journey. Together, we’ll make this term an unforgettable experience filled with laughter, learning, and endless opportunities for growth.

Monika, Amanda, Sally, Emma, Harriet, Sarah and Whitney.