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Rufford Park Primary School


Rufford Ave, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7QR

0113 391 0906

Our favourite things about school...

Nursery news 2020-2021


February 19th

The children(and staff) came back refreshed and raring to go this week!

We have really enjoyed finding out about Spring and are looking forward to longer, brighter days. We have looked at bulbs, buds on trees and spring flowers. We have looked carefully at then painted daffodils. The weather has been good and we have enjoyed building obstacle courses as well as riding bikes and scooters.

We have talked about farms, which animals you can see there and why they are kept and the different animal homes.. We matched parent and young and learnt their names.

In maths we counted groups of animals and sang some farm counting  rhymes. We also counted flowers then found the correct Numicon tile to match.

The most exciting activity this week was the start of Dough Disco!!

We do hand exercises daily, using a small amount of playdough to a background of a disco beat. This is great fun and really helps with coordination, hand strength, rhythm, following instructions, and listening and attention. You can see the look of concentration on the children's faces in the pictures. 

Thank you to those who have sent in a sealable pot. If you haven't sent one yet or you have spares we would really appreciate them. It means the playdough is only handled by one person and is easily accessible.

Exciting news-I can't wait to welcome our home learners back to Nursery from 8th March. It seems such a long time since we were together at Christmas. I am really looking forward to a very busy but 'normalish'  Summer term!

if you have any questions or concerns about returning to Nursery please contact me via Tapestry.

Next week: frogs and World Book Day


February 12th

We found even more ways to explore and investigate the snow and ice this week.

The children are still excited to play out in the snow but even they are starting to talk about summer and warmer weather!

Inside we have talked about some festivals and the special ways in which they are celebrated. We heard the story of the animals race in Chinese New Year and how families clean and  decorate their homes before eating a special meal. The children related their own stories of Christmas and Eid dinners and birthday teas. We talked about Pancake day and tried to flip play dough pancakes.

We talked about St Valentines day and the people we love, some we haven't seen for a while.

The princess castle turned into a dragon's cave, we shared lots of stories about dragons and made our own fire breathing dragons. 

Thanks to all our home learners for sharing your news, we miss you!

It is the break for half term next week, see you week beginning 22nd February. Fingers crossed the weather is kind so that we can all find more paths in our local area!

After half term; farms and Spring!

February 5th

We have really enjoyed listening to traditional tales and fairy stories this week.

Many of the stories featured princesses and knights , which then prompted lots of talking and imaginative role play. It was reassuring to see the games still featured dogs and babies though! Miss Scott has been very busy making tunics for knights and princess hats, which the children really enjoyed.

After reading 'Rapunzel', we compared the length of plaits and wands and put them in size order. We read 'The Princess and the pea' and then stacked mattresses in our sensory tray of dried peas.

Outside we made snow people and built snow castles. Have we had our quota of snow for this year?

Friendships are continuing to develop and the children are enjoying playing as a group. Some even broke the 'lockdown rules' by going on 'holiday' together in our pirate ship!!!

Thanks to the children at home for sharing all your lovely photos and sharing your news.

Next week: DRAGONS......

January 29th

The end of January brings us a little closer to spring and hopefully a step closer to all being back together in Nursery.

We are missing the children and really enjoy hearing your news. Thank you to the those parents who have uploaded photos.

In school we have enjoyed playing with the wooden castle and made our own using 2D shapes. We found out who might have lived in a castle, named different parts of the building and read lots of stories. When talking about shapes we used the language; curved and straight. We counted sides and tried to say where we could find the shapes in our environment.

We talked about the shortage of food for birds in winter and made some simple pine cone bird feeders. We hung them in the garden and have noticed two very hungry looking pigeons eyeing them up!! Not the visitors we hoped for!

In phonics we are looking at rhyme. We are encouraging the children to give the missing word in stories and rhymes such as - Humpty Dumpty had a great ......and also to think of their own rhyming word to continue a string; hat, mat,........ 

Take care,

Next week: knights and princesses



January 22nd

The weather threw everything at us this week but we have enjoyed talking about the weather and testing our wellies!

We often have to change wet clothes after playing outside and we use this to practise being independent. It is hard to manipulate shoes and trousers and the children do struggle at first. They persevere with lots of encouragement and are so proud of themselves when they manage.

Inside we used loose parts to make playdough snowmen and then marshmallows to create gooey snowmen biscuits.

In the water tray the children explored pipes and tubes and whether ice melted more quickly in warm water.

 To develop fine motor skills, we threaded beads onto icicles. We exercised our hands and wrists then made large and small marks on paper to encourage writing.

We have counted snowflakes and buttons on snowmen.

Hope everyone at home is well. We are enjoying seeing what you are doing and hearing your news on Tapestry. Well done to all those who have completed their challenges!

Next week; castles.

January 15th 2021

Another strange and short week!

In school we used our senses to explore ice, talked about how it is made and where it goes and how it changes.

We have heard penguin stories, used penguins for counting and making patterns and created our own from the outline of our hands.

Thank you to the children at home for your snow photos-we have displayed them alongside our snowmen.

We hope you are all safe and well and keeping busy!

Next week; more snowmen.

January 8th 2021

Happy New Year!

Well this has been a very strange week, in and out of school and then we go and get the best snow to play in for a long time! 

We really missed seeing the children and catching up with their news.

Some children were in and we talked about winter and the different types of weather we might see. We sorted clothes into winter and summer piles and did lots of snowy pictures.

Please read the school newsletter for an update on Nursery opening and let me know your thoughts.

Stay safe!

Week 7 18-12-20

We all enjoyed our party this morning. The children behaved beautifully, they were excited but not overly, were 'out' with good grace , all joined in everything and they did some fantastic dancing. They also had lovely manners when we had our party food. Well done to everyone!

So this very strange term has come to an end. You should be very proud of how independent the children have become, when arriving at school, washing hands, observing the no touch rule and looking after their own things. I'm sure they are just as independent at home!!

Everyone is tired and the children deserve a good rest and will hopefully get rid of the latest round of colds.

We have new starters in January and I am sure the children will help them to settle and to learn the ropes!'

THANK YOU for all your kind wishes, cards and thoughtful presents. We will enjoy opening them with feet up and a 'special' cup of tea!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

from the Nursery team!

Week 6 11-12-20

Most photos this week are from our snow day last Friday! The children made the very most of the little snow we had. They were so excited - I really hope its not the only snow we get! We used tools for scraping, digging and of course made snow(slush)balls! Luckily the children's aim is not great yet.

Inside we have continued with cutting, sticking and decorating. The presents some children brought home were a maths activity. Is this paper big enough for this box? Is it the right shape? I hope you were not too disappointed when you looked inside.

There has been some lovely role play around the Christmas story  and Father Christmas. It is such a shame that we are not able to do our Nativity this year. Staff have really missed the songs and costumes. Lets hope we are back to normal next year.

The children looked splendid in their Christmas jumpers.  Thank you for your donations; the proceeds go to Save the Children.

Next week: our Christmas party is on Friday and the online panto will be on Wednesday.

Week 5 4-12-20

We have had a lovely week in spite of the weather.

Rainy afternoons always seem to allow for great games and the best ideas. Cardboard boxes became boats and a very long line of chairs started off as a bus but then became different games depending on where you were in the line. A  pack of puppies roamed the carpet and there were lots of teachers reading stories and doing the register. The children play well together and there are plenty of friends to choose from each day.

We got our tree out and enjoyed decorating it. We remove the baubles each day for the children to put on again the next. Good exercise for small fingers! I have explained that they are only allowed to strip the Nursery tree-not the one at home!!

We have had lots of Christmas crafts materials on offer. Some activities are guided and some the children are left to their own devices and to develop their own ideas.

We read the Nativity story and and talked about Christmas traditions. In maths we have counted baubles, played shape games and noticed shapes around us. Outside we have been on the bikes and playing chasing to keep warm.

We do get the children wrapped up before we go outside. Please could you make sure coats, hats, gloves, cardigans and wellies are named to help us help them. Gloves on a string through sleeves is an old idea but works very well. Thanks!

Next week: Christmas!

Week 4  27-11-20

The children took their role as law enforcers very seriously this week.

People were stopped for speeding and bad guys were put in jail for taking things and 'jumping over the carpet!' Very strict!!

We have had lots of super speaking and listening about emergencies, following the rules and helping people. We worked out why we use lights as warnings in certain places such as lighthouses and level crossings and made our own emergency vehicle.

In maths we talked about repeating patterns like on police cars and compared objects by weight using balance scales. We used the language; heavy, light, heavier than, lighter than and the same.

We went into the hall on a wet day to play some games. The children enjoyed the space and listened really well to instructions. 

We enjoyed drumming inside and out,  to find different sounds and tried to make them loud and quiet. 

A lovely busy week despite the latest round of runny noses!

Next week; Other people who help us and Christmas!!!!

Week 3  20/11/20

We have had great fun exploring our 'dark den' with torches this week. Some children were happy to go in with a friend and some looked from the outside.

The children took turns in the den to look at objects that glow in the dark and some reflectors.  We talked about different types of light and what makes them work. We found out that some people work at night when we are in bed and had a good chat about how the dark makes us feel. Some of the children expressed worries about scary things, funny noises and monsters in the dark. We read lots of stories about night time and the dark that talked about these issues and hopefully may have helped.

To encourage mark making and writing this week we removed the table. Laying and sitting on the floor uses different muscles and is more comfortable for some children. It also encourages gymnastics!!

Outside we definitely noticed the cold. Moving tyres from A to B  keeps us warm though!

Next week: warning lights and people who help us.

Week 2  13/11/20

This week our focus has been nocturnal animals.

We have talked about British animals that only come out at night, how they move, how they get their food and what they do during the day. We discussed whether people are nocturnal and our own bedtimes. Waking up in the night and going into other beds seems to be very common at the moment. 

We learnt a new song about bats and used small bats for counting. Ask the children if they can teach you our song, they are very good with the words and actions!

Outside the children used the tyres and long tubes for building. Moving large heavy things is great for developing spatial awareness and gross motor skills. The children worked as a team with the tyres which was lovely to see.(Apologies for the slimy coats!)

Thank you for your Children In Need donations. The children were very excited about dressing up and seeing what others were wearing. It was good to get our dressing up clothes out again. They are not allowed out every day at the moment as part of our Covid19 risk assessment so it was a treat to have them and have princesses swirling around Nursery again.(They will be packed away and washed this weekend.) We talked about why we are dressing up and some children were able to explain about helping others. Fab!

Next week: night and day and different types of light.

Autumn 2

Week 1  6/11/20

The children were fresh and raring to go this week and we have had lots of fun talking about fireworks.

We used instruments to recreate firework noises and sparkly paint to make pictures. Outside we had a safe bonfire (no fire!) and even toasted marshmallows.

We discussed fire safety, looking after our pets and how fireworks make us feel. In maths we used shapes to make rockets and put numbered rockets in order.

The children are working hard to write their names, showing great concentration.

We had photos taken in the hall and the children were fab! All followed instructions and coped with a very situation well!

Next week; Light and dark.

Autumn 1

Week 7 23/10/20

We have enjoyed lots of Autumn activities this week and really noticed the changing weather.

We used natural materials to make pictures and mixed paint to make autumn colours . We found out about hedgehogs then used play dough to make our own. In Maths we added pegs as spikes on numbered hedgehogs. We compared the size and shape of squash and pumpkins then tried to order them by size. We followed instructions using positional language to place conkers then used the language ourselves to describe where they were.

Outside the children were very helpful in sweeping up leaves- a long job on a windy day! The search for mini beasts continues!

The children are developing their listening and attention skills, especially at carpet time.   The children really enjoy story time and love to join in with familiar stories.

It has been a very busy half term, the children are gelling well as a group, making friends and have settled really well. They deserve a well earned rest!!

After half term- light and dark!

Week 6 16/10/20

We had another exciting walk this week when we went around school grounds on our Autumn walk.

We learnt how to find a partner, stand in a line and stay behind the person in front. The children listened really carefully and added these new important skills to their repertoire! We enjoyed finding Autumn treasure and talking about the changes we could see around us.

Inside we rolled conkers in paint, made Autumn trees with finger painted leaves and mixed Autumn colours.

We were excited to have the play dough out and the children did lots of cooking. We have to play a group at a time to allow for hand washing, rather than free play as it used to be, so it has become a very sought after activity.

Our fruit and vegetable role play shop was busy. There was lots of super talking and listening, maths and imaginative play as well as negotiation over turn taking. We also used the fruit to practise counting with an adult. Practical activities at home such as counting cutlery and glasses at the table really help to consolidate understanding.

The weeks are flying and the children are surprising and impressing us every day.

Next week: more Autumn changes, harvest and break up for half term on Friday.

Week 5 9/10/20

We've had a very busy senses week.

We had a 'listening walk' around school, including the hall which was the first visit for some children. They did listen beautifully and enjoyed seeing older children in the distance and visiting the office. We talked about eye tests and what we can see from our Nursery and the children had great fun trying on frames(no lenses). Some even decided to keep them on all day- apparently when you're playing teachers you need glasses! We tested 'smelly pots', most children recognised a mint plant as toothpaste and we took turns to guess the object in a feely box. We talked about our favourite foods and you might be surprised to hear that fruit was very popular! 

Outside we practised road safety and used bubbles in a tray to wash some vehicles. Squeezing sponges is a good  way of developing muscle strength in small hands-ready for mark making. Inside we have an elastic snake which we pull, stretch and shake for hand and arm strength. Children need a firm grip to hold a pencil and apply pressure when writing.

We were also very excited about using our water butt. The children now have the independence to fill their own bucket when playing with water. They are also learning concepts such as heavy, full, empty and OVERFLOWING! An extra benefit is that the children are becoming more independent at changing their wet clothes!

Next week; Autumn

Week 4- 2/10/20

This week we have talked about some of the ways we can look after ourselves and who can help us when we feel poorly.

Our doctor's surgery was very popular. The children arrived with lots of symptoms, but surprisingly, not the ones all the adults are talking about! We discussed keeping clean, looking after our teeth and getting rid of germs. 

We have talked about keeping safe near roads and the importance of holding hands and staying with our grown-ups. We practised stopping at the crossing and what the Green man tells us. The children all assured me that they would NEVER run off!!

In Maths we used the language of size; big, small, tall, short and compared our friends.

We took advantage of the sunshine to get our playhouse ship shape. The children were very effective with cleaning and getting themselves wet!

We used sand in the tray to mark make. Firstly with brushes and then making tracks with the cars and trucks.

It is lovely to see friendships developing between peers and relationships developing with staff. The children have done so well at coping with new Nursery routines. Who would have expected 2 and 3 year olds to be so independent, coming into school without parents, hand washing automatically and being in charge of their own belongings. Well done everyone!

Next week- our Senses.

Week 3-25/9/20

We have had a lovely busy, week. Most children were back in following their colds, but there are still lots of runny and green noses!

We continued to make dolls and to talk about ourselves. We painted self-portraits, named features and described what we look like.  The children really enjoyed looking at pictures of faces and saying how the person was feeling by looking at their expression. We tried to copy expressions such as angry and sad and then talked about what makes us feel like that.

In maths we used jelly figures to talk about size and name the parts of our family.

We have had every type of weather this week but have enjoyed the bikes, some parachute games, water and puddle play. We will play outside throughout Autumn, so please send your child in wellies or waterproof shoes.

I hope your child has shown you the 'magic way' of putting on a coat and you enjoyed the videos. We are encouraging the children to be independent and they are really proud that they can be 'big boys and girls!'

Thank you for the family photos, we will keep the display up for a few weeks so there is still time to send one in.

Next week; keeping healthy!

Week 2-18/9/20

This week the children have become more familiar with our routines and are learning each others names.

There are some lovely friendships developing and a sense of the group coming together. I am very impressed with how the children come into school, a few tears are common so we are doing very well and they all enjoy themselves once we get busy. 

We have started to talk about ourselves and our bodies and most have made a doll of themselves. Thank you if you have sent a photo of your family. The children get very excited when they tell us who's who.

You might have heard about the 'scream'. We use the 'SCREEN' for games, songs and the occasional Peter Rabbit. Very useful while staff are doing end of session cleaning.

Story time is going very well. We have talked about 'good sitting' and the children are trying hard to remember- eyes looking, ears listening, lips closed , hands still.

Next week; families

Week 1- 11/9/20

Welcome to all our children and families old and new. We have had a fantastic (if tiring) start to the school year.

Twelve children returned to Nursery and sixteen brand new starters arrived, all of whom came into school without the reassurance of their parents. They all managed beautifully, taking hand washing, new routines and unfamiliar surroundings in their stride.

I am so impressed with them all and glad to say everyone seems happy, settled and keen to come back next week!

Here are a few pictures of the children settling in and making friends. What a lovely bunch they are!

Click here to find out what we got up to last year!