Tag Archives: outdoor learning

Woodland Adventures

We are excited to be beginning our Woodland Adventures in Eastwood Park again soon!

We have made changes to how we will be running these this session to better accommodate the  varying patterns of attendance of our children. Each room will have a block of four weeks, with sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, and also a Wednesday afternoon.

Our first visits this session will begin during the week beginning 13th September:

  • Block 1: Meadow Room
  • Block 2: Orchard Room (from w/b 18th October)
  • Block 3: Willow Room (from w/b 15th November)

Our Woodland Adventures Handbook will tell you all about them:

Woodland Adventures Handbook

All children will need a completed permission form to participate, including children who were at Glenwood before the summer. Please return forms as soon as possible to enable your child to access Woodland Adventures fully.

Information on additional safety measures that have been put in place due to the current Covid19 situation can be found here:

COVID19 update 2021

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be happy to answer them.

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

     

   

   

 

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.”

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.

 

Runner Beans

The children have been very interested to learn about planting and growing runner bean seeds for our new family centre.  By placing a runner bean seed in a zip lock bag with some wet cotton wool and sticking this on to the window, the children were able to observe the seeds germinate as the roots and shoots started to grow. 

“I can see the roots going down and the shoots going up.”

“They are going to be so tall.”

“The roots are getting really long now.”

After about 10 days the children filled some small plant pots with soil and carefully planted a seedling in each one and then watered them all.


“I will give them some water.  They need water so they can grow.”

The children took responsibility for checking that the soil in the pots was not too dry and made sure each plant had enough water to help it grow.

“The beans need a little drink of water.  I touched the soil with my finger and it felt dry.”

To prepare for planting the runner beans outdoors a handheld drill was used to drill drainage holes in planters, the planters were filled with soil and canes were added to provide support.

“I’m turning the handle round and round.  I can see little bits of plastic at the bottom.”

 

 

To help carefully remove the plant from the pot without damaging it, the children learned about gently rolling and squeezing the pot with their fingers and hands.  They were very interested to see how the roots had grown inside the pot.

“Look at all the roots.  There are so many.”

When the children had finished planting all the runner bean plants they chose a sunny spot to put them in the garden and gave them a big drink of water. 

“The beans are really tall.  They have lots of leaves.”

Further information about growing runner beans can be found on the following website:  https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-grow-runner-beans/

Remote Leaning: Looking after the birds

Responsible Robbie

Responsible Robbie likes to help look after the environment and wildlife.

Have you tried the recipe for bird cake in your home learning booklet?
Why not try to make your own bird feeder from recycled materials you have in the house. Here are some ideas…
Remember to throw any wire away after the birds have eaten the cereal.
The CBeebies website has some more ideas on how to make bird feeders for your garden. Why not take a look… Make a bird feeder – CBeebies – BBC
Why not join in with the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch which is happening from the 29th to 31st January and you can sign up for free. There are lots of other things to do on their website too, including stories to read and games to play.
I wonder which birds you will have visiting your garden?
Why not let us know on Google Classroom or Twitter?
 @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Remote Learning: Fresh Air and Exercise

Just because it’s winter and the days are short doesn’t mean going outside is not fun!

In fact, fresh air really is good for you! It can:

  • help you feel more energised
  • help you sleep better
  • help decongest you if you have a cold
  • restore your mood

Here are some ideas of things that you can do with your families outdoors at this time of year…

Play in the Snow – Why not build a snowman, go sledging or throw some snowballs? Just going for a walk in the snow is exciting – everything looks and sounds different! Can you see different footprints? Who do you think made them? Which way did they go?

Ice and Frost – Go exploring – look for different patterns of frost and different places to find ice. You might slide on it, smash it or pick it up and look through it.

Try blowing bubbles when it’s cold – if you are lucky they will freeze.

Have a go at making ice decorations  click here to find out how.Go on a Bear Hunt – Use all your senses as you squelch through mud, scrunch over frosty grass and splash through puddles! You might need to climb through branches or scramble up a hill… will you find the bear’s den?

Puddle Jumping – It’s always fun to jump and splash in puddles! Who can make the biggest splash? Which puddle is deepest? Can you splash all the water out of the puddle?

Fun with Sticks – You could try a game of Pooh Sticks if you are near a bridge over a stream or take some sticks home and make a Stickman using what you have in your house.

     

Go exploring with a torch – Why not go for an adventure after dark? Take a torch with you and explore the woods or just have a turn in the play park! You might choose to watch the sun go down while you are out as well.

Have a campfire – Some of you might be lucky enough to be able to have a fire in your garden. Why not try cooking some tasty treats on it, such as foil wrapped bananas or marshmallows?

Remember to wrap up warm – Several thin layers are better than one very thick one – then if you get too warm you can take one off! Adults please remember that children will not feel the cold as much as you do BUT they also may not realise when they get too cold – especially when hands and feet get wet.

Whatever you do outdoors – have fun and please share your adventures on Google Classroom or on Twitter @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

Exploring Mark Making

Over the past few weeks at nursery, the children have been exploring different ways of mark making both indoors and outside.

Here are just a few photographs of what we have been doing…

Pens and pencils
…working together on a large piece of paper.

Whiteboards are a favourite…


 

 

Writing  in  salt…

Gloop is always popular!

Mixing our own colours of paint…

We love painting on a large scale (although it can get messy!)

Making paint from things we find outdoors…

Mashed brambles
Mud painting
Mud painting

Crayon rubbings and chalk outside too.

How do you like to make marks, draw and write? Why not share with us on Twitter  @GlenwoodFC  or in your Google Classroom.

Remote Learning- Sunflowers and other plants

Mrs Brown writes-
I have been keeping a close watch on my sunflowers since I planted my seeds and I am delighted with how much they are growing. I had to replant them into bigger plant pots and I have now planted them in a sunny part of my garden near a wall for protection from the wind. Every few weeks I measure their height. In the beginning I  used a ruler to measure their height but now they have grown a bit taller I need to use a measuring tape. I  record their height on a growth chart.
Perhaps you have been measuring the height of your sunflowers. Are they taller than Mrs Brown’s? We would love to see how tall they have grown.
While in my garden I  got a bit annoyed because I spotted some weeds growing. Then I remembered weeds are just wild flowers growing in the wrong place and I recalled the fun I had as a child with wild flowers …..

Buttercups As a child I loved picking buttercups and holding them under the chin of friends and families. If you could see yellow under their chin it meant they liked butter. Why not try it to see if your family like butter.

Daisies Everyone loves making daisy chains. Not only are they very pretty, making daisy chains is great for hand eye co-ordination and fine motor skills.

Dandelions Although dandelions make me a bit cross when they grow on my lawn, they really are fascinating. You can see their life cycle over a short period of time as they change from yellow flowers to dandelion clocks with their fairy-like seeds. As a child  I liked to pick the yellow flowers and flick their heads off, saying, “Mary, Queen of Scots, got her head chopped off!” (although we all know what they say about picking dandelions…) I also recall counting “one o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock…..“ as I blew the seeds into the air and watched them fly away in the wind, ready to find a new place to grow.

I love this transient art idea ‘borrowed’ from Carlibar nursery, for making a dande lion picture. Why not try making a picture with items you find in your garden.

Remote Learning – Minibeasts

Children love exploring what they can find hidden under or in objects.  Why not involve them in a minibeast hunt in the garden?  This supports their curiosity by inviting them to look under stones or plant pots, to dig in the garden or to search other garden areas to discover minibeasts and where they can be found.

Finding the best places to search for minibeasts provides children with a problem solving experience as well as risk assessing the areas to keep safe.  For example, care will need to be taken with possible hazards such as overhanging branches, uneven ground or slippery surfaces.

Some children love to pick up minibeasts, holding them in their hands.  Providing a container or small spade may allow some children the opportunity to scoop up a minibeast to have a closer look if they prefer not to touch them. Using a magnifying glass is also a great way to look at them in close detail.  Your child might enjoy drawing or painting a picture of the minibeasts they find, or perhaps like to take some photographs or make a model.

As children play and investigate the world around them you may hear them developing their numeracy skills as they count the number of legs on the minibeasts or the number of each minibeast they find.  They will be excited to share news of their discoveries and recognise colours while talking about the characteristics of each minibeast.

Searching for minibeasts in the natural outdoor environment also provides a great opportunity for children to learn about habitats and what creatures need to survive.  It also provides an opportunity to ask open-ended questions to encourage children to chat and further investigate minibeasts:

‘Where do you think that beetle might live?’

‘I wonder why we found these woodlice hiding under the piece of wood.’

‘Why do you think this spider is climbing on the cane?’

‘I don’t recognise this minibeast.  How are we going to find out what it is called?’

Using a minibeast chart can be a fun way to identify and tick off the ones you find. You could make your own chart or here’s one you could use:

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2019/04/minibeast-hunt/

Use the minibeasts you find to make comparisons and predictions:

‘Which is the longest/shortest worm?’

‘Which minibeast has the most/least legs?’

‘Which snail do you think will move fastest?’

Another fun way of finding minibeasts in your garden is to make a pitfall trap.  Minibeasts that are moving on the ground nearby will fall in and you can check the next day to see what has been trapped.  Further information and instructions about pitfall traps can be found by clicking on this link.

Remember that minibeasts are very small and need to be handled carefully.  If you do pick them up, always put them back where you found them.  Don’t forget to wash your hands when you are finished.

Hope you have had fun trying out these minibeast ideas.  Please remember to share your child’s learning by tweeting @GlenwoodFC  #Glenwoodlearningathome

 

Remote Learning- The Great Outdoors

Being outdoors has many benefits to children’s wellbeing and development. It has a positive impact on mental health as the body increases production of the feel-good hormone serotonin and reduces production of the stress hormone cortisol. Being outdoors provides lots of opportunities for physical activity, which increases muscle strength, stamina and bone density as well as reducing obesity. The NHS recommends that children under 5 years have at least 3 hours of physical activity daily. One final benefit is that spending time outdoors can lead to improved sleep.

At the moment children do not have the option of visiting their local playpark so here are just a few ideas of what you might do together outdoors…

Scavenger Hunts turn any walk into an adventure! Look for signs of spring, shapes, things that are one chosen colour, numbers (in order), make up your own list or download one from online….

 

 

 

 

 

Explore nature in the garden  Go on a minibeast hunt – look under stones, pots, logs, under plants for creepy crawlies. Use an old plastic container such as a yoghurt pot to put them in if you don’t have a bug box.

Some other ideas can be found on these websites.

https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/looking-after-yourself-and-nature

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/03/kids-nature-activities-self-isolation/

Gardening Even if you have no seeds to plant, it’s great exercise to help tidy up the garden by weeding and digging over the soil. You might find some minibeasts to investigate as you work.

Don’t forget to plant the sunflower seeds from your Family Learning Bag. You might try growing new plants from fruit and vegetables that you have been eating – apples, potatoes and peppers are good ones to try.

Family Sports Day Everyone likes a bit of competition!

Try some novelty races – ‘egg’ and spoon, balancing a beanbag (or rolled up pair of socks) on your head, penguin waddle (hold a ball between your knees), crab walking, wheelbarrow race, dressing up, shoe box slide (put empty shoe boxes on your feet)…

Make you own assault course – go under, over, along, up, down. Use whatever you have available – garden chairs, tables, slides, planks of wood, old sheets, skipping ropes. Time how long it takes for each person to complete.

Target games – who can get closest to the target? You could use a bucket as a target or make one on the ground. Throw balls, rolled up socks, wellies… Just make sure there is nothing breakable in the way.

Or you could make some skittles using tin cans or plastic bottles.

 

 

 

We hope you are inspired to have fun in the outdoors and don’t forget to share with us on Twitter @GlenwoodFC #Glenwoodlearningathome

 

A foggy morning

Today as we came to nursery we were quite excited about the foggy morning.

Some of us read a story about fog.

When we went outdoors we easily spotted the spider webs because of the cold, foggy morning.

We went on a search for some more webs and discovered some spiders on the webs.

Come and see the spider’s web I found.” Jacob

”I want to see the spiders too.” Azan

The spiders are orange or black.” Jacob