All posts by gw19murraylouise@glow

Glenwood Family Centre- Time Capsule

We chose to mark the end of our first session in the new building with a Time Capsule, positioned at the front entrance and within the heart of the community in Eastwood Park, signifying our place in the heart of the community. We marked the spot with a toadstool, which came from the garden of the old building from a wooded area known as Toadstool Tales.

This letter was placed inside the Time Capsule- 

Glenwood Nursery School opened officially on 4th October, 1976 in a purpose built building on Woodfarm Road, with a capacity of 80 children in the morning and 80 in the afternoon. The first entry in the log book dated 10th November 1976 states, “ the waiting list opened on 13th September, and mothers have been enquiring daily ever since. Even at that numbers are slow to rise. At this moment we have 50 morning and 26 afternoon children. At this date we have one Head Teacher, one Assistant Teacher and five Nursery Nurses.”

The first head teacher was Mrs Elizabeth Anderson (became McDowell). She was succeeded briefly by Mrs Robertson, acting head teacher, in January 1990 before Mrs Karin Gilhooly took on the role on 3rd September, 1990. Mrs Gilhooly retired in June 2013 and I, Lorraine Brown, was appointed permanently in October 2013.

In 2015 Glenwood Nursery School became Glenwood Family Centre and we began operating throughout the year. Soon after, Scottish Government plans were announced for every child to receive 1140 hours of early learning and childcare by 2020 and so, to meet the increased demand, a new centre was planned due to open in August 2020. The new building was to be sited close to the old building. This was a much more prominent site, in the heart of Eastwood Park.

Unfortunately the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in 2020 resulted in the country going into lockdown and the opening of the building was delayed. The new building finally opened during a second lockdown at the start of 2021. We welcomed the first of our children on 1st February 2021, opening only to children whose parents were key workers or vulnerable children who were attending the Hub provision. The first children to step through our doors were Lewis and Cameron Wilkinson. On 22nd February 2021 we fully opened for all children. Our role at February 2021 was 141 children, with a head teacher, a principal teacher, a teacher, a depute head of centre, a senior child development officer, 16 child development officers (including 4 part time), 5 part time early years play workers, 2 business support assistants and 2 janitor/ cleaners.

The new centre has a capacity of 180 children at any one time, with children attending various patterns across the week to meet the needs of the families. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm every week day except public holidays and in-service days.

We hope that upon opening this Time Capsule, you will experience some of the thrill of learning about the past and the history of Glenwood. We have had an eventful journey recently due to coronavirus however the spirit of Glenwood is strong and we hope this continues long into the future. 

Love and Best Wishes

Mrs Lorraine Brown

Head Teacher

25th June, 2021

     

   

   

 

Fun Friends

Going to school is a big transition and children feel that. From May as children’s awareness of their move to school increases we see slight changes in the children. We often hear individuals saying to their friends or adults “I’m going to miss you when I go to school”. Some of our younger children protest “I’m going to school too”. We see some children become a little more anxious and look for more reassurance, or return to play they had previously moved on from.

At this time children also begin to explore their identity through their friendships and sometimes excluding others and we often hear disagreements about who is allowed to join in or who is in a friendship group. Recently some children made this sign:

As adults we seek to encourage children to be aware of how it feels to be excluded; and challenge children to think how and why we should include others. Parents this is a time when children will soak up the way you interact with others and your values both conscious and unconscious ones.


At Glenwood we use the Fun Friends approach with all children. You may already be familiar with this but I am putting links to previous blogs and a sways to provide more fun ideas to support wellbeing.

 

F is for Feelings

We talk to children about their own feelings and others “I can see that you thought that was funny and it made you laugh but look, your friends not laughing he got a fright. https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/05/21/remote-learning-fun-friends-have-feelings/

 

R is for Relaxing and Self-Regulation

Learning calm ourselves when we are scared, angry or in a disagreement is an important skill and it involves stopping a moment and breathing slowly.  https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/05/28/remote-learning-relax/

 

I is for ‘I can do it.’

We teach children to think positively “I can’t do it yet, but I can try hard. We call positive thoughts green as they help us go and negative thoughts red as they make us stop. https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/06/04/remote-learning-fun-friends-i-can-do-it/

 

E is for Encourage

We celebrate success and encourage on the journey “you are concentrating really hard” or “I can see you are doing your very best” https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/06/11/remote-learning-fun-friends-encourage/

 

N is for Nurture

We are wired for positive connection. Love can be ‘all we need’. https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/2020/06/18/remote-learning-fun-friends-nurture/

 

D is for don’t forget to be Brave. 

Facing new experiences and people requires bravery. Children can practice being confident in new situations or saying they don’t like something.  https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/er/Glenwood/?s=Fun+friends

 

S stay happy and stay safe

Children learn best when they are happy and safe. They love having Fun. Also they can learn safety messages when presented in fun ways. https://sway.office.com/j8AjRWaA8PxjM1CQ?ref=Link

 

 

Playdough and loose parts play

The orchard bubble have been busy! 

The orchard bubble has shown a great interest in making playdough over the last few weeks. The children have taken responsibility for their own learning by coming up with different ideas of how they want to create their playdough from colours and texture.  “I want blue.”

       

 

 

“I want pink.”

 

 

 

The children had shown an interest in loose parts and wanted to include this in their playdough experience. By incorporating loose parts with playdough the children are developing their fine motor skills. They use a variety of movements such as pressing, rolling and stretching. This will help to strengthen the muscles in their hand which in turn will help them with their writing skills.

 

“I want to use leaves.”       

 

 “Oooohhh feathers.”

 

 

The children showed ownership over their creations and seemed to enjoy the fact that they could start again when one model was finished. They did show interest in taking them home so our next steps will be trying to create models with loose parts and clay. 
 

 

“Can we take them home?”

Children’s Voice

Listening to children’s voices.

At the end of April, after every bubble had spent three weeks in each playroom every child was invited to share their thoughts. We used photographs of the playrooms to help us to talk about our likes and dislikes.

The children said they enjoyed moving around all the rooms and shared their ideas to make each room better. Some children felt that the garden in Playzone 2 was too small. 

“I don’t like the garden”

“I didn’t like this because it wasn’t too big.”

  

We were able to begin using the side garden from Playzone 1 and expand the outdoor area for Playzone 2.

Some children missed the tyre swing from the old building so we added one to Playzone 1.

“I miss the tyre swing.”

“We should put some swings in the back yard.”

 

 

 

In Playzone 3 we added dolls to the home corner.

Can we have babies in this room?”

“I would like to play with babies here.”

 

 

To help us look at some of the areas more closely we used Tuff Cams to share our thoughts.

  

“This art area is not so good. We need more things for sticky pictures.” 

“People need to put things away in the right place, we need signs to tell them”.

The children suggested new resources and helped to organise and label them.

This has led to lots of new opportunities for leading their own learning.

    

As we continue to settle into our new building we can’t wait to hear more of the children’s ideas and suggestions to develop our learning environment.

 

Eco – Wormery

The Orchard bubble had a great experience creating a wormery. They were involved in every step of the process. We started off by watching a video instructing us on how to start creating a wormery. It provided us with information on the benefits of having a wormery. The first thing we started doing was drilling lots of holes in our box which took quite a number of days. The children thought this was: ‘Hard work.’

After we had finished drilling the holes in the box it was then time to add our compost into the box to start creating a nice home for our worms. The children were developing their gross motor skills by helping to pour the heavy bag of compost into the box. The children thought that: “The worms are really going to love their new home.”

Miss Maclean had ordered special composting worms from the internet and they had arrived. The children couldn’t believe that you could order worms from the internet. We sat down at group time and looked at the worms and Miss Maclean explained why we needed to use composting worms. The children had even remembered that: “The wormery helps us recycle” and “they will help make compost.”

  

Now that the worms are in their new home the children love to care and look after them everyday. “We spray the worms to give them a drink.” “We need to give them our food waste.” The Orchard bubble are attached to their worms and want them moved into the next room we move to.

“Miss Maclean can we look at the worms again.”

Musicality benefits

From a very young age children benefit in all areas of their development when taking part in musicality sessions.

Literacy

  1. Helps children understand the meaning and the sound of words.
  2. Helps develop their listening skills (loud, quiet)
  3. Rhyming
  4. Syllables (clapping out)
  5. Helps them predict
  6. Imagination
  7. Conversation
  8. Follow instruction

 

Maths

  1. Counting beats
  2. Number song
  3. Recognition of numbers
  4. Recognition of Shapes And their names
  5. Rhythm pattern

  

Gross and fine motor motor skills

  1. Jumping, hopping, skipping and dancing.
  2. Helps them develop and control their body movements.
  3. Better control at manipulating objects (instruments)
  4. Helps strengthen their muscles.
  5. Moving the instruments in all different directions(up downside to side, front back)

Social and emotional skills

  1. Interaction with other children.
  2. Introduction to different kinds of music and cultural differences awareness.
  3. Increasing confidence in performing
  4. Sharing resources.

  

 

 

Ballet

In Ballet the children are learning how to control their bodies through balance, good posture, listening skills, following instructions and rhythm, also finding their own space, cooperating with others and taking part in a performance.

We started of with the basic movements of dance and Ballet such as Feet Positions ——- first position (happy feet ) , parallel ——- (feet together ) and Second (feet apart).

  

Arm Positions ——- Bras Bas (first position of the arms ) Gateway (out in front ) Second(arms out wide ).

Moves within Ballet such as —- point lift, point close, springs in first, plies “which we called make a diamond,”

   

And at the end of every performance we learned who to do a bow and a courtesy.

We put it altogether and made a dance and chose music.

        

Ballet is an art form created by the movement of the human body. It is theatrical – performed on a stage to an audience utilising costumes, scenic design and lighting. It can tell a story or express a thought, concept or emotion. Ballet dance can be magical and exciting.

 

 

 

 

Risky Play

What is Risky Play and Why is it Important?

 

Children need to be kept safe from potential harm and hazards at all times, but they also need to explore and take risks. Risky play is exciting, challenging, fun, it pushes limits and there is every chance of physical injury. We don’t want children’s lives to be in danger, or any serious injury to be likely. That’s why with any new piece of equipment we carry out a risk assessment. This allows us to assess whether the risk of a resource or activity outweighs the benefit. Is something guaranteed to be seriously dangerous? Well, then it’s probably not ok. But if there is a low chance of bumps, grazes, or cuts? Maybe that’s alright. 

The Experience of risky play is an important part of children’s learning. It develops the child’s self-confidence, resilience, promotes problem solving and trust in their own judgements as adults.  Children have the right to make decisions and take risks through their play. In having these opportunities, children will be able to maximise their enjoyment of the environment whilst removing obvious risk. The ‘United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ states in article 31: ‘All Children have the right to relax and play and to join in a wide range of activities.’ 

In our Centre we encourage children to manage their own risk in everyday play situations both indoors and out.

 

  • Climbing a high tree


 

  • Rope swinging

   

  • Whittling wood

   

  • Balancing

 

   

  • Using tools at the woodwork bench, saws, hammer and drills
  • Playing in the stream to build a dam
  • Building fires
  • Running fast, chasing each other.

It’s easy to say things like: “Be Careful,” and if you listen to yourself on how many times a day you say it with your child you will be amazed. What we are actually doing is telling children to stop and it’s for our benefit because we don’t want our children to get hurt. If instead we ask: –

  •     Do you feel safe?
  •     Can you see anything that could hurt you or be in the way?
  •     What can I do to help you to be safe?
  •     Where can you put your hand next?

This helps the child to focus on the environment around them. With time and Space, the child will revisit this experience, remember what they did before and build on that knowledge.

 

Superb Science

Over the past few weeks we have been carrying out a number of different experiments using water and food colouring. Using our observation skills we are beginning to recognise simple cause and effect. We have been developing our ability to ask relevant questions and making predictions about what will happen next.

We used different concentrations of food colouring to see  what flower would change colour first.

 

 

“How fast will it go?” 

 

“Is mine going to change colour?”

 

 

We also made our own lava lamps!

 

 

“Look at my bubbles, my bubbles are moving.”

 

 

 

 

We made a rainbow water walk.

 

“The colour is getting sucked up like a straw.”

 

 

 

 

“They have mixed together.”

 

 

Wonderful Weaving!

We’ve been having lots of fun being creative and exploring how to use different materials to learn how to weave.  The children enjoyed choosing from a variety of colours and textures of ribbon, paper, card and wool.  Weaving is a fantastic activity for young children to try and offers many benefits such as developing fine motor skills and hand eye coordination, as well as developing concentration and providing a physical experience of the spatial concepts of over and under. It is also an ideal experience to help strengthen the muscles in both hands as the dominant and non-dominant hands are used at the same time.  Here are some of the different types of weaving that we tried:

Fence Weaving

 

“I like all the different colours of the ribbon.”

 

 

 

 

Table Top Weaving

 

“You need to go over and under and over and under all the way to the end.”

 

 

“I’m lifting the wool up so the ribbon can go under”

 

 

 

Paper Weaving

     

“This is quite tricky.”

Large Needle Weaving

“I need to push this through and catch it at the other side.”

Individual Loom Weaving

 

“I like the gold ribbon best.  It’s so shiny.”

Small Needle Weaving

 

“I’m getting good at this now.  I’m just going to pull the needle.”    

WOODWORK

At Glenwood our children enjoy daily opportunities to engage in woodwork.  

This involves experimenting and tinkering with the possibilities of the materials and tools, which helps to build our children’s confidence and develop their creativity and imagination. 

“I want to use the hammer.”

Observations of the children show high levels of engagement and perseverance with challenging tasks.

“The saw is a bit tricky.”

Design is part of the woodwork process, defining the task and planning how to proceed.

“I’m making a helicopter car. I need 4 wheels so it can drive and a window at the front. The helicopter blades are going to sit on top so it can lift off into the sky.”

 

 

 

 

The importance of woodwork cannot be underestimated!

 

 

 

 

 

Look at all the skills our children are learning – 

  • Hand eye coordination
  • Fine motor development
  • Problem-solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Imagination
  • Independence
  • Respect
  • Understanding of the world around them
  • Language development

The foundations for STEM!