It has been a memorable Autumn Term. The ‘Sounds Amazing’ topic caught the children’s imagination in a way that their teachers had not anticipated. After the half term break ‘pop up stage areas’ appeared in the Reception and Kindergarten classrooms complete with props that lead to the children enthusiastically embracing the opportunity to perform. They quickly demonstrated their knowledge of different music genres and their ability to respond to each other when playing the percussion instruments in a ‘band’. The days filled with musical interludes created a positive, energising mood within each of the classes which was very much appreciated on these cold, grey winter days.
Plan, Learn, Do, Review
In Reception the children have been following a cycle of lessons called Plan, Learn, Do and Review. Through these lessons the children have the opportunity to manage a mini project completely independently. In the first half of the Autumn Term they were taught a range of craft skills such as how to curl paper, how to use a split pin and how to make a paper cone. In the second half of the Autumn Term they were tasked with making a musical instrument. Many of the children were determined that their instrument would actually work and there were a number of successful guitars and shakers made. The most ambitious instrument made was a Tenor horn by Camilla at Dame Bradbury’s. At the end of the topic the children performed a mini concert to the rest of the classes in our weekly google meet assembly and many of them used the instruments they had made.
After the success of the ‘Sounds Amazing’ topic everyone's attention turned towards December and making plans to ensure our Early Years children could continue with the tradition of telling the Christmas story whilst remaining Covid secure. Each of our Early Years bubbles was tasked with creating their own nativity and it has been a delight to see the children put their performing skills to use. Through singing, acting and narration the children have reminded us why Christians celebrate Christmas and I would like to thank the children and their teachers for the effort and hard work that went into making such wonderful festive performances.
This is the end of our first term with three Stephen Perse Nurseries. Our youngest children have spent the past few weeks enthusiastically getting to know one another and navigating how to share the Nursery toys! The Autumn term is filled with opportunities to learn about different communities and the Nursery teams have embraced this with a Halloween party, pyjama day to raise money for Children in Need, making poppies for Remembrance day, making rangoli patterns for Diwali and decorating Christmas stockings.
An exciting end to the term was the arrival of snow last Friday. To the surprise and excitement of everybody the snow settled and allowed our Nursery and Early Years children to have a moment of playing in the snow and even having a go at building a snowman.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff in the Early Years and Nursery teams at Dame Bradbury’s, Madingley and Salisbury Villas for making the children’s first term in their Nursery, Kindergarten and Reception classes as memorable as possible under such unprecedented circumstances. Thank you to all of our parents for your support over the past months and I wish you all a peaceful, happy time with your families during the holiday period.
Mrs Sarah Holyoake
Head of Early Years