Summer celebrations

What a wonderful term we have had to end such a lovely academic year – the tenth year of Freshford Preschool being open, an amazing achievement in its own right!

We are always looking at ways to give the children life experiences and taking part in the BRAKE walk enabled us to promote road safety in a fun, exciting way. We walked to the train station, negotiating narrow paths and crossing different roads. On reaching our destination, we also got to see a train pull in and waved to the passengers…who all waved back! The children were amazing walkers, covering nearly two miles on the day.

Our summer term is one of many celebrations, and the children help to prepare and plan for each of these. Sporty day was a huge success, with all the children joining in the different events and big smiles all round. The event ended with parents showing off their welly throwing skills, cheered on by children and staff!

Hogwood has been truly magical this year, and parents joined us for the last session to see the magic for themselves… The children abseiled, created amazing dens, used a hand drill to create a woodland medal, balanced along Burma bridges and wobbly logs, and sang songs around our fire pit, enjoying a toasted marshmallow – or two! We ended with a Graduation Celebration, to recognise all the children’s achievements. We hope the children are as proud of themselves as we are of them.

Back at preschool, we have introduced a weekly STEM activity which allows the children to explore concepts in open ended ways, using their creativity and problem-solving skills. So far they have made rockets, marble runs inside and outside, and balanced plates using tubes! This nurtures the children’s resilience to face challenges and work through them, and the activities have been well received by all.

Those children moving on to school are looking forward to their next learning adventures, and here at preschool we have enjoyed welcoming the new cohort of preschoolers for their taster session, where they were able to explore the setting and become familiar with their new surroundings before joining us in September.

The Summer holidays are soon upon us, and we will return in September to some super new outdoor music equipment in the preschool garden! Many thanks to our committee fundraisers, who have raised the £2,000 needed, and to a couple of super-skilled parents who are giving their time to come and install them for us. We’re looking forward to beginning a new academic year with fresh ideas and activities for all to explore, create and discover together.

Enjoying our natural environment

Preschool has, as always, been a hive of activity this term, and the children have all joined in with such a super range of activities and outings!

Forest School at Hogwood continues to amaze, with the changes to the environment being noted and described by the children. They have enjoyed abseiling and using real tools and elder to create bug hotels, jewellery and their own pencils. Having listened attentively to the safety instructions, they were able to use a saw and a peeler with control, empowering them to take the lead in these activities.

Bug hunting has remained a strong fascination in preschool, in the forest and then on our visit to Bath City Farm! The children had a wonderful day at the farm, despite very changeable weather! They met the animals, taking a real ‘hands on’ approach, feeding them and learning about their different characteristics. This was followed by a bug hunt, where centipedes, beetles, woodlouse and spiders were among the crawlies captured, to look at in greater detail through the magnifying glasses and bug identity kits. In the afternoon we all enjoyed a woodland walk, taking in the beautiful views.

The children have displayed a curiosity to know more about life cycles, having seen tadpoles at the farm, and so we have nurtured this interest by bringing some caterpillars into preschool to watch them grow and change! The children have been using different ways to find out information – through non-fiction books and looking up concepts using the computer with an adult. We were also joined by another four-legged friend “Herman” the tortoise. The children were excited to learn all about him and how he lives.

The village fete was being talked about and this gave us an opportunity to support this lovely community event by designing and creating two scarecrows together, to be named at the fete for a prize! The children used their fine motor skills, creativity and imagination to design the scarecrows, and then thought of some names. The winning name on the day was “Suncap Sid!” Both scarecrows are now in our garden looking very happy with their plot and guarding our vegetable patch.

Barry, the sports coach has been developing the children’s skills in negotiating space and moving, using familiar fun team games, as well as introducing the hurdles! These took perseverance and a lot of determination from the children to keep going with this new activity and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. So much so that they will feature in our sports morning on Monday 8th July. The children also took a journey to the jungle in a calming yoga session, where they were able to show their recall of familiar yoga poses, as well as try out some new ones. These sessions are actively promoting the regulating of emotions for children, which with all the upcoming transitions is a vital skill for them to be able to access for themselves.

Looking forward, we have some wonderful events coming up, including a moth trap experience which our committee chair leads, and is always a favourite with the children and staff! We also have a drumming workshop booked, along with taking part in the BRAKE charity walk. We will also be preparing for the end of term celebrations including sports morning, Hogwood celebrations and then the Graduation celebration, which the children will be helping to mastermind. What a busy but brilliant term ahead!