Since the opening of the new baby rooms and the increased space, we have welcomed six new babies into the baby room and they are settling in well.

The babies have been exploring sensory play, playing with rice, sand, shaving foam and water, with the benefit of running multiple activities concurrently in the new rooms. The babies have also been enjoying the recent spell of fine weather, visiting different parks and outdoor areas. Activities have also been taking place at the allotment, with the babies getting involved with the transition from summer to autumn.

We have welcomed new friends from both the baby room and new to nursery, all are settling in well and getting to know the staff and other Tweenies, while becoming familiar with nursery and the local community enjoying visits to parks, the ducks and the allotment.

The Tweenies have been enjoying garden play, fine motor and construction experiences, role play with real foods and have been busy getting messy with a range of sensory experiences.

Play2Learn sessions have now resumed on a Tuesday morning @ 10am.

It is Harvest time at the allotment and we have been gathering crops and preparing for winter.

A new term means welcoming new friends into our room, building friendships and working together to learn all things preschool!

We are continuing with the development of our garden space with the addition of a music area, a larger mud kitchen for more delicious cooking and a revamped outdoor resource box which we have added to after consultation with the children.

Best wishes to you all for 2022.

We have now welcomed back our children and families after hopefully a restful festive period, and we look forward to working collaboratively with them in the year ahead.

Our immediate plans are to safely re-connect with our local community, forging links that enhance the children’s learning around Summerside’s Eco-School work and to maintain our strong reputation within the area as Responsible Citizens who look after each other and the environment.

Our early years and care team has taken the opportunity to use last year’s training and professional dialogues to keep abreast of National Guidance and continue incorporating the Realising the Ambition document into our observations, planning, and practice to ensure the very best experiences take place throughout each child’s learning journey.

Learning experiences this month include exploring winter, investigating birds and their habitats, looking at colours and shapes and, of course, welcoming friends both old and new back into the setting.

We have welcomed back children and families after the festive period.

On our return to nursery new Tweenies who transitioned from the baby room are now settling into Tweenies.

The children have been busy exploring lots of different experiences relating to winter, symmetry and fine motor development while also developing knowledge on colours and shapes. We have been busy exploring different sensory experiences including lots of art and craft opportunities while we redecorate the Tweenie room with lots of new art work.

Our new extended space which has offered more opportunity to freely flow has proven very popular with the children as they enjoy the opportunity to explore the wider space.

We have also been developing gross motor skills with the use of the garden, climbing frames and walks in the local community.

Children are working alongside Ros to promote Summerside’s Eco-School by continuing all the their hard work caring for the allotment.

Staff are training and working together monthly expanding on their knowledge of relevant documents such as Realising the Ambition and SHANARRI, which are including in children’s observations and planning.

Babies have been welcoming four new babies into our room. 

We have talked about and completed activities on what we wear in winter naming the items on their pictures. 

We have been introducing colours this week sensory play with coloured spaghetti, coloured jelly and using different colours to make printing pictures.

As we approach Spring there are some exciting developments happening in our nursery garden. The lawn is being replaced and a larger all-weather space is being created to give our children even more opportunities to enjoy the garden on a daily basis.  The children have enjoyed being consulted with to find out what they would like to feature in their “new” garden.

Within Preschool we have been helping out around our local community, keeping Summerside Street and Victoria Park neat and tidy by litter picking. The initiative has also encouraged families to borrow the litter picking pack and be Responsible Citizens with their children in local areas. 

We are looking forward to the allotment “waking up” after the winter months and continuing our hard work from last year to bring the freshest fruit and vegetables to our nursery plates. The children will also be exploring the life cycles of plants and mini beasts to incorporate science into our learning.

This term also sees the Summerside team collaborate with some of our families who are on the transitional journey to primary school, and we will hold Parent Consultations with all to provide developmental feedback and share next steps in learning to ensure our children continue to be Successful Learners they are.

The children have been looking closely at colours, numbers and letters. We have explored a range of different sensory experiences such as ice, jelly play and coloured rice sensory play, using fine motor tools to scoop and hunt for numbers and letters.

We have explored different arts and crafts materials to develop their knowledge on colours, mixing, sorting and exploring different ways to create art while discussing what colours we recognise and use.

We have been practising sharing and working together through group work, playing lots of group games such as sandy girl and boy, sleeping bunnies and have been singing songs and reading stories.

We have also explored local parks, walkways and our allotment developing our gross motor skills and learning about plant life and what it needs to grow.

The Tweenies have also been practising using magnets and magnifying glasses to hunt for different things in the Tweenies room, such as hidden animals and shapes in different sensory trays, developing our science skills.

The babies have been learning about colours painting, sensory activities in the sand, shaving foam and water play.

Sensory play is all about hands-on activities that invite your child to explore with her senses — including touch, sight, smell, sound and taste — as well as use movement or balance. Sensory activities tend to be unstructured, giving children the opportunity to dive in and play at their own pace.

Sensory stimulation is an important way that babies first get to know the world around them. As sensory play progresses to hands-on activities, it also plays an important role in helping children build cognitive skills involved in problem solving and abstract thinking. Early visual and motor stimulation also seem to play a role in the development of language and math skills later on, too.

Giving babies the freedom to explore and get messy can also encourage them become stronger learners. When small children are given the opportunity to play at their own pace, they’re more likely to develop a natural sense of curiosity and persistence — two traits that go a long way towards succeeding in school, and later, at work.

We have also had lots of outdoor time visiting the Botanical gardens exploring in the woods and looking for ducks.

Within Pre-school this month we are going to be investigating life cycles of different creatures. Our focus for learning will be the cycles of frogs and chickens and then we will explore in more detail how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly by watching larvae grow and transform before releasing the butterflies from the garden.

Our hard work at the allotment continues to ensure the fruit, vegetables and flowers have he best start possible and we will be revisiting our “Stick Man Garden” design and making a start on bringing the plans to life by building our entry for this years Pocket Garden competition.

Spring also gives us the opportunity to investigate the weather and all the changes the new season brings. This could prove quite exciting; especially when the weather gives us snow and sunshine in the same day!

The Tweenies have been busy exploring a range of sensory experiences to expand on their interests and knowledge on animals’ life, shapes and textures. They have particularly enjoyed exploring coloured rice, flowers and cloud dough.

We have been spending time in our local community enjoying exploring local parks, walkways, we have been looking at the daffodils and discussing the season changing to spring while also enjoying time at Astro’s to play group games. The Tweenies have also loved playing in the garden as the renovation is now complete, loving the extra space to challenge their gross motor development!

We are beginning to learn all about the change in season, including spring and easter related experiences into our planning, e.g. creating Easter cards and exploring spring-coloured sensory trays.

We had a room change around to expand on areas that the children are particularly enjoying, we have welcomed new friends into our room and have based our popular play-dough area on a new animal habitat each week with the children loving discussing where animals live.

The Tweenies have been showing lots of interest in feelings and emotions, showing concern and sympathy towards peers’ feelings, to expand on this we incorporated a very popular baby caring station and have included a sensory love potion making station where the Tweenies enjoyed creating, mixing and pouring while also reflecting on their knowledge through drawing pictures and looking at photos.

This month Preschool are beginning the transition process for our friends who leave us in the summer to start their journey into Primary School.

We have taken part in professional discourse with staff from the schools that our children will be attending and have passed on important information to help our Summerside Superstars to settle in the best they can.

Although this can be a sad time, we hope our Graduation at the end of the month can be a fun and happy occasion which celebrates our children and families time here at Summerside.

Over the summer months we will also welcome new friends into the Preschool room and will buddy up to ensure they feel welcome in their new environment.

With these changes taking place, we shall also be working on expressing emotions and learning strategies to help us cope in a range of situations.

It’s been a great growing season with many days of fine weather. We have had many happy sessions at the allotment playing and gardening.

Our best crops this year have been the Runner Beans, Soft fruits such as strawberries, black currants and raspberries, rhubarb, peas and sweet corn.

The Preschool group have had a number of cooking sessions at the allotment using a small fire bowl and pan. They have learnt how to ‘set’ a fire and have cooked up jam, courgettes, bread and marshmallows. We will continue to do this.

It’s been a great year for flowers and the Tweenies created a wonderful flower bed with Marigolds, Gladioli, Liatris and Godetia. We have grown our tallest Sunflower ever this year and it is 10ft tall, we measured it last week.

The baby group really enjoy their allotment sessions. It makes them feel very relaxed, is lovely and sensory for them and they enjoy the gardening jobs such as watering and putting seeds into pots.

We have crops planted that we can harvest through the winter such as leeks, Brussel Sprouts, broccoli and kale. We are hoping to organise some parent visits to the allotment in the near future, now that restrictions are easing.


The Allotment in November 2021

The weather has been quite good through November, it has been generally mild with some bright, sunny days. We have kept busy at the allotment, and the main big job that has been completed has been building some new raised beds. The children quickly knocked down the old ones, used pallet collars to make the new beds and refreshed the soil. They have really enjoyed doing this.
We have harvested winter vegetables such as leeks, artichokes, spouts and kale-and it all tasted very good. Some of the veg was made into soup.
The bulbs planted earlier in the autumn have started to sprout already. We have planted a number of tree seeds including acorns, conkers and sweet chestnuts-lets hope some of them start to grow in the Spring.
We have marked the COP26 conference by having an Eco Meeting, and meeting Sara from The Leith Collective who talked to us about sustainability and the ability for us all to ‘Make a Difference’ through being knowledgeable and the choices we make.

January at the Allotment-2022

It’s been quite a mild January so far and already there are signs of Spring, such as the daffodil and tulip bulbs beginning to grow.  We are keen to get going on the gardening year, so the allotment has had a good tidy up and is ready for action in the coming months.  We have already planted some peas and broad beans.

We have harvested some more of our winter vegetables such as kale, leeks and broccoli.

We have also decorated the apple tree to try and wake it up, a custom known as wassailing

This is the month when hopefully the weather improves and we can really start planting things again.

We have been as busy as ever and I can tell you about spring flowers and birds, peas and beans starting to grow, chitting potatoes and planting onions.  I can also tell you about our new gate and fences and World Book Day.

The spring flowers are lovely and we have been learning to recognise snowdrops, Irises, primroses and daffodils.  We have made a daffodil Theatre and will be entering photos of this into The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society Spring Show.  We have also seen a lot of our very tame robins and been aware of birds checking out our nesting boxes.

Our peas and broad beans have started to germinate and we will be able to plant them out pretty soon.  We will be planting the onion sets out pretty soon, they go into trays first to get them started.  The tweenies have also laid out the first potatoes to start them chitting or sprouting.

We are very pleased that the allotment officer has replaced all the fences and gates in our bit of the Warriston site and they look very smart.

The children will be building another pocket garden for Eco Schools, the design of a Stick Man Garden was selected by the judges and we will enter photos of the garden into the next part of the competition at the end of May.

Finally, we have celebrated World Book Day at the allotment and had books located all around the plot.

Spring is in the air at the allotment!  We have had birds nesting, and many sightings of butterflies and bumble bees.  The potatoes, onions, cabbages, broad beans, peas, radishes and chard have all been planted outdoors and are doing well.  The more tender plants have been planted and are germinating fast, this includes such plants as squashes, pumpkins and sweet corn.  The poly tunnel is filling up fast with salad crops of many types.

The children have been very excited to design and plant up our ‘Stick Man Garden’.  Our entry was a winning design for the eco schools ‘Pocket Garden for ‘The Year of Stories’ which is being celebrated in Scotland this year.  The children have been very motivated by every aspect of this project.  We were also pleased to win third prize in a horticultural show for our daffodil entry.

The first crop this year has been the rhubarb and radishes, and we look forward to a bountiful harvest through the summer.