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Ballykeel Primary School & Nursery Unit

Mrs Cumberland

Hello everyone, and welcome to Ballykeel Nursery! The adults in our class this year are Mrs Cumberland (Teacher), Miss Cameron (Classroom Assistant) and Miss Houston (SEN Assistant).

March- April 

What a great start to 2022! The children have really enjoyed our topics so far and have been fully involved in all the learning and experiences which have been provided in January and February. We have yet more fun and learning on the way in March and April. As we approach the spring season we look forward to the better weather arriving to enjoy, more extensively, the full benefits of the nursery outdoor play facilities and the range of equipment (let’s hope the sunshine arrives soon!).

Themes:

During March we will continue to talk about people who help us as our visitors to the nursery continue to share their jobs with us. We will be focusing on Mother’s day, St. Patrick’s day, Spring, growing and Easter.  If you have any items of interest, or know any songs or rhymes you could share to help support these topics please speak to your class teacher.  Your child would love to have you volunteer to come into Nursery to lead an activity, share a talent or help us with our busy days (there’s always something to do!).

How to help at home…

Speech and language development:

We would encourage all parents and carers to take the time at home and talk with your children. This may seem like a simple thing but the benefits to your children are huge. Speech and Language will develop at a far greater rate when you interact with your child and model how to speak clearly. Here are some ideas to try (if you aren’t already); turn the tv off, share information from nursery on the seesaw app, play with your child, talk at the dinner table, read bed time stories, share poems and rhymes, sing songs and talk, talk, talk! Then watch as your child develops in their confidence and ability to extend their language and vocabulary. It’s easy and your child will love it!

The children will have new registration symbols in term 3. These will only display their name and will no longer have their symbol on them. This is to encourage your child to recognise their name. Spend some time with your child at home and look at the letters in their name, providing praise for their efforts, in preparation for this change.

Self-help skills:

Encourage your child to dress and undress themselves at home, put on their coats and zip them up. The children are coming along really well with their independence at nursery and we want to keep developing these skills. If you can, allow enough time for your child to dress themselves in the morning (even if it’s every few days or at the weekend, we understand the mornings can be a busy time!). Talk them through what you do to help them, “I lift your arm up and gently push it through your sleeve”, etc. Let them try to do it by themselves (giving them time to try, make mistakes and correct themselves independently), and provide a little support if needed. Over time thy will progress to needing less help, then eventually none!

Mathematical development:

In nursery we will be encouraging the children to count to 10 (and above if they can), count up to 5 objects (or more if they can), recognise numbers 1-5, their colours and basic 2d shapes (circle, square, triangle, rectangle, diamond, oval, star and heart). You can do these things at home with your child as well! Just try to incorporate these into everyday life or an activity that your child is interested in – it should be fun for them so don’t make them sit down and ‘learn’ at the kitchen table… unless they want to! J

Once again thank you to all of our parents for your support and co-operation with the nursery!

 

January- February

Happy New Year!! We hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

Routines:

Please remember that Nursery hours are 9am-1.30pm. Gates will open at 8.45am and 1.15pm to facilitate drop offs/collections. We would ask that all children are collected by 1.30pm sharp as teachers have afternoon classes in the Primary School.

Breakfast Club still now available for Nursery children - this costs 70p per day and is open from 8am. Please ask your class teacher for more information.

Themes

During the month of January our focus of interest is ‘Winter’ & ‘Arctic animals’, and in February, ‘people who help us’. We will also talk about Chinese New Year and Valentines day. We will discuss how to keep safe and warm in winter, feeding the birds, people in the community who help us, cultural differences around the world, and we will support the children’s recognition of colours, patterns and shapes.  Please work with us in supporting your child’s learning by encouraging them to match colours, shapes and count, e.g. their birthday candles, their toes, etc.  Our numeracy focus in pre-school includes counting to 10, and above if the child is able, and to recognise some numbers. We will also be encouraging the children to count objects, focusing on 1-5 this term, and above if the child is able.

Few other reminders ....

Name It –During the Winter months your child will be bringing more items of clothing, can you please ensure all items (uniform, coat, hat, gloves etc) have your child's name on them. It's a good idea to check these regularly as sometimes they can fade or come off in the wash.

Lending Library - Lending library has started and the feedback has been very positive! The children are very excited each week to get their new pack to share with you at home. Please make sure that you return the book bag and all of the contents on Tuesday each week to facilitate the smooth running of the library. If your child’s books are not brought back we will be unable to provide you with any further books until they are returned. Through Getting Ready to Learn we will be launching the 'Ages and Stages' element at the end of January, busy bags will be sent home with your child.

Illness - it is very important that your child is NOT sent to Nursery if they are displaying any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19. We would also ask that you do not give your child calpol/nurofen or similar medications before school as these can mask some of the COVID-19 symptoms. Just a reminder our policy regarding vomiting, your child can return to nursery 48 hours after they have last vomited. Please send your child’s teacher a message when your child is off sick.

Applications for P1 - all parents need to apply for a P1 place for their child, and these applications will be online. The EA portal is open from 10th January to 28th January - we will keep you posted via Seesaw to remind you of these dates.

Nursery Newsletter - our newsletter will be posted on the school website, sent on Seesaw and displayed on the classroom window. Please read carefully information contained in this, and try to encourage your child by talking about the topics we are covering and perhaps even trying the songs and rhymes they will be using in Nursery.

 

November - December

Routines:

Please remember that Nursery hours are 9am-1.30pm. Gates will open at 8.45am and 1.15pm to faciliate drop offs/collections. We would ask that all children are collected by 1.30pm sharp as teachers have afternoon classes in the Primary School.

Breakfast Club is also now available for Nursery children - this costs 70p per day and is open from 8am. Please ask your class teacher for more information.

Topics this term:

In November we will be looking at signs of Autumn - talking about the colours, the weather and what we should wear. As we move into December we will talk about how people and animals prepare for Winter, including migration and hibernation.

In December we will also focus on the Christmas Story, learning about the birth of Jesus; and Christmas traditions. We will be practising hard for our Nativity play which will be filmed and shared with parents via the school website. Christmas is always a very exciting time in Nursery, and we will be making lots of crafts, cards, writing Santa letters and singing lots of Christmas songs. We will finish the term with a class Christmas Party with lots of fun games and songs.

few other reminders ....

Name It - please ensure all items of clothing (uniform, coat, hat etc) have your child's name on them. It's a good idea to check these regularly as sometimes they can fade or come off in the wash.

Lending Library - as part of the Getting Ready to Learn programme, every Friday the children will be taking home a book pack containing 3 books from our Nursery library. Please try to take time to read these with your children, and talk about which book was their favourite. Packs should be returned on Monday or Tuesday to allow for checking and quarantining before a new pack is sent home again on the Friday. Please try to take very good care of our books.

Nursery News - our classroom window will be used to display any important information/reminders, as well as these being sent on Seesaw. Please ensure your Seesaw is turned on and checked reguarly as this is our main means of communication for information and for updating your about your child's learning.

Nursery Newsletter - our newsletter will be posted on the school website, sent on Seesaw and displayed on the classroom window. Please read carefully information contained in this, and try to encourage your child by talking about the topics we are covering and perhaps even trying the songs and rhymes they will be using in Nursery.

Illness - it is very important that your child is NOT sent to Nursery if they are displaying any of the symptons associated with COVID-19. We would also ask that you do not give your child calpol/nurofen or similar medications before school as these can mask some of the COVID-19 symptons.

Applications for P1 - all parents need to apply for a P1 place for their child, and these applications will be online. The EA portal will open in January - we will keep you posted via Seesaw about when this happens and the closing date.

 

August - October

Settling In & Routines:

Please remember that from Tuesday 24th August - Thursday 9th September the children will only attend on specific days (from 9.30am - 12 noon) to help them settle in to the class and allow Staff to get to know them all individually. From Friday 10th September onwards the whole class are in every day, and from Monday 13th September doors will open at 8.45am with our official start time being 9.00am.

From Monday 27th September onwards, some children in the class will start staying for dinner (finishing at 1pm) while the rest of the class continue going home as normal (12 noon). On Friday 1st October all children will stay for dinner and go home at 1pm. We will let you know beforehand when your child starts staying for dinner. 

From Monday 4th October all children are in for the full session of 9.00am - 1.30pm (including dinner). Doors will open at 8.45am and 1.15pm to allow for dropping off and collection.

We hope that your child will settle into life in the Nursery with ease, but don’t be alarmed if they need a little extra support with this, it can be perfectly normal. Please be guided by the Nursery Staff if your child requires a longer period of time to settle in.

Topics this term:

During the months of September and October we will be focusing on settling in, and gradually increasing the days and extending the time to the full session. Our theme for September will be ‘All About Me’. We will be talking about ourselves, our features, our likes and dislikes, our families and our new friends in the Nursery. In October the theme will be ‘Harvest’. We will be talking about various fruits and vegetables, where they come from, the season Autumn, and changes in weather. We will discuss and promote healthy eating through daily snack and dinner.

A few other reminders ....

Name It - please ensure all items of clothing (uniform, coat, hat etc) have your child's name on them. It's a good idea to check these regularly as sometimes they can fade or come off in the wash.

Nursery News - our classroom window will be used to display any important information/reminders, as well as these being sent on Seesaw. Please ensure your Seesaw is turned on and checked reguarly as this is our main means of communication for information and for updating your about your child's learning.

Home-Time Box - each child has a speical box where they will keep any art, craft and paintings they do in Nursery. These items can be taken home at the end of each day.

Parent Pay - emails have been sent inviting you to sign up to the cashless payment system used in school. Further information will be sent via Seesaw about using this method to pay for Nursery Fund and School Dinners.

Nursery Newsletter - our newsletter will be posted on the school website, sent on Seesaw and disaplyed on the classroom window. Please read carefully information contained in this, and try to encourage your child by talking about the topics we are covering and perhaps even trying the songs and rhymes they will be using in Nursery.

Illness - it is very important that your child is NOT sent to Nursery if they are displaying any of the symptons associated with COVID-19. We would also ask that you do not give your child calpol/nurofen or similar medications before school as these can mask some of the COVID-19 symptons.

We hope your child has a memorable year in Ballykeel Nursery Unit; please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns.

Mrs Cumberland, Miss Cameron and Miss Houston

 

 

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