Milngavie Early Years Centre

news for parents

May 12, 2021
by Ms C McMenemy
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NEW Family Learning online

Julie Bannerman is our Family Champion at Milngavie EYC.  She has recently been trained in delivering an exciting program of support and information for families.  Click on the purple “Go to this Sway” link for more information

Go to this Sway

 

May 12, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Date for the Diary-Big Orchard Bring and Buy Plant Sale 24th May and Gardening Day this Sunday!

One of our amazing nursery mums- Hazel Cropper – has very kindly organised a Plant Sale in the Orchard, on 24th May between 2.30pm and 4pm.  She has been growing plants for us and we are going to sell them to raise funds for  outdoor projects around the school and orchard.  If you have any plants you could divide in your garden to create some plants for the sale, we would be so grateful to have them.

Our outdoor areas are currently not maintained at all by the council.  Covid restrictions and lockdown have meant that we have not been able to fund raise at all.  If you come along and bring and buy some plants, you will be contributing tremendously to helping us, as we work towards creating amazing outdoor areas throughout our school grounds.

 

Family Gardening Day – 16th May 2021 – 1pm to 3pm in the orchard.  

Everyone is very welcome at our gardening day in the orchard on Sunday.  There will be jobs for all strengths and abilities and families are welcome, as long as children stay near to their own parents.  If you have any plant donations they will be very gratefully received!  Can volunteers bring their own tools, and if you can bring a wheel barrow too that would be fantastic!  You are welcome to bring a picnic and have it in the orchard.  Fingers and toes crossed for a lovely day1   Our orchard is beginning to look wonderful and it is great to see all the plants which our wonderful volunteers have donated and planted, starting to bloom and fill out the beds.  Thanks to everyone for making it such a special space for our children.

May 12, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Our Orchard Thinglink – Explore at home

This week our pre-school children have been planting sunflowers and exploring compost.  We have been using the following Thinglink of our orchard on our interactive whiteboard with the children.  They might like to explore it with you and show you some of the things we are learning about.  Click the link to access our orchard thinglink.

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/1448557108378206210

 

May 10, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Monday Morning News

Our Pre-school Active Learning Project starts this week

This morning our pre-school children started on their Active Learning Project – something we usually do with Primary 1.  Its a bit different this year as we are going to have to share our learning online.  For the next 4 weeks we will be looking at some interesting lifecycles – we started today with Sunflowers.

Two groups of pre-school children became scientists this morning.  As we were going to do planting, we looked very carefully at compost and thought of all the different words we use for the stuff we grow plants in. We came up with soil, earth, dirt, muck and compost – a great list.  We talked about what it was made up of and we looked at it very carefully using magnifying glasses.  Compost/earth is magical stuff – full of bacteria and microscopic creatures – just too small to see.  We tried with magnifying glasses.  We are going to watch a youtube film to see a microscopic view of compost.  If you would like to watch this click this link:   https://video.link/w/lGotc

We looked at the compost under a magnifying glass and felt the texture with our fingers.

We talked about how all the wee creatures and beasties eat through all the dead leaves and dead creatures in that fall onto the ground and poo these out, making the soil really good for plants.  We thought about how plants eat and drink and Finn and Euan told us that they use their roots.   We talked about being careful not to get soil in your mouth and that we need to be very careful to wash your hands after working with soil so we don’t get bugs in our tummies.  We planted sunflower seeds in our compost and watered them.  We are looking forward to watching our flowers growing!

We planted the seeds 1.5 cm deep. We hope that our flowers might grow to 2m tall!

The Blueberry Group looking at their compost

We learned that sunflowers give us sunflower oil and also seeds we can eat as well as plant!

We all watered our seed pots well. We hope they will germinate soon.

Our other groups will be doing this on Thursday and Primary 1 are working on it over the course of the week.  Details of your child’s learning will be put on their Learning Journal and we are also going to share pictures and videos of our learning with Primary 1.  If any parent has any objection to us sharing photos and videos of their child internally within our school please let us know.

A Plea for Prompt Pick Ups

Please could we ask parents to be prompt in their collection of their child.  Our wee people can become upset if they feel they are waiting,  particularly if other children are starting their lunches or snack.  We also have members of staff finishing their shifts at 12 and 5pm.   They can be delayed if there are still little ones waiting to be collected.  Of course, we appreciate that there may be times when you are unavoidably late.  If you call us to let us know you have been held up , we can accommodate this.  We completely understand that life is not always predictable.  However, we ask for your cooperation by being here at your child’s collection time.  It makes a real difference to your child’s nursery experience and also to the smooth running of our centre.

 

 

April 29, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Learning-Our Early Level Curriculum

In Scotland our National curriculum for Education – The Curriculum for Excellence -spans the ages of 3-18.  At present, our children are entitled to a free nursery place from the age of 3, and so children in Milngavie Early Years Centre are  aged 3, 4 and 5.  We work on the Early Level of the Curriculum.

The Early Level spans 3 years of education – 2 nursery years and all of Primary 1.  Mapping out our children’s educational progress is done by comparing their experiences and abilities with the “Experiences and Outcomes” of the Early Level.  There are 8 curricular areas:

  • Expressive arts.
  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Languages.
  • Mathematics.
  • Religious and moral education.
  • Sciences.
  • Social studies.
  • Technologies.

Each area has it’s own Experiences and Outcomes and we work towards these through play-based learning.  Young children learn best when allowed to follow their interests and learn in the context of their play.  It is our job to make learning exciting and memorable and we do this by observing our children’s interests and reflecting them in the environment we set up.  Trying new and exciting things is highly encouraged, and our skilled staff are trained to interact in a way that is supportive, but that encourages independence and resilience.  We have a strong ethos of nurture at Milngavie EYC- the building of the fundamental self confidence needed to learn is recognised as key.  We work hard to make sure all our children settle and feel secure and happy and this facilitates their confidence to learn.

Parents have a huge role to play in the learning their child experiences in nursery.  By informing the nursery of your child’s preferences, their interests and what makes them happy, we can help your child settle quickly and tailor the learning to their interests.  By feeding back to us, either in comments on your child’s learning journal, or even just at pick up or drop off about how your child feels about things they are learning,  or giving suggestions for new learning by telling us what they are loving doing at home really helps us in our aim to Get It Right For Every Child.

The following links will take you to the documents we use for the Early Level – The Experiences and Outcomes, and The Benchmarks.  The benchmarks are a more detailed exploration of the route we take to achieving the Experiences and Outcomes – a breakdown of the skills involved.  We use these to map our children’s progress.  When reading them, please bear in mind that we aim to achieve this level by the start of Primary 2.  It is a three year journey.

Experiences and Outcomes:

https://www.edubuzz.org/curriculumforexcellence/planning-support/interdisciplinary-learning/outcomes-and-experiences-at-a-glance/

https://education.gov.scot/documents/All-experiencesoutcomes18.pdf

Benchmarks:

https://education.gov.scot/nih/Documents/EarlyLevelBenchmarksAllAreas_.pdf

Should you have any questions about the curriculum – how it is delivered in our centre or how it relates to your wee one, please feel free to speak to Kate Cameron, our Nursery Teacher.  You can phone her at nursery  – 0141-955-2251 or email her at KCameron@milngavie.e-dunbarton.sch.uk.

April 29, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Welcome to our Milngavie EYC community!

At Milngavie EYC, we have always benefitted tremendously from the help of our wonderful parents.  In pre-covid days, we enjoyed welcoming parents who shared their talent and skills with craft activities, baking, reading stories and accompanying us on outings which allowed us to explore our rich local environment.  The Pandemic  brought an abrupt stop to all of  this.

However, during lockdown we had incredible support and help from a nursery dad, Eric Avenier, who worked very hard to transform our tired garden space and replace lots of rotting wood, creating a beautiful and exciting area for our children to return to.  They love all the special things he has made for them and our garden is the most popular place in our nursery for children and staff alike.

We would love any help that parents might be able to give us, maintaining our garden or helping us plant up our garden with the wee plants we have seeded in the polytunnel.

Families can get involved in helping with our orchard at the Orchard Family Work Days.  We had the first of these since lock down, just last week and were so grateful for the number of families who turned up to help us moving compost, clearing areas and planting seeds and plants to encourage butterflies, bees and other insects and bugs.  Details of these days are put on the blog and on the Milngavie Orchard Project Facebook Page.  They are a great way of meeting other families and getting involved in the life of the school and nursery.

We also would welcome help from anyone who could help us maintain our bikes.

If you love reading stories we would love you to make a video of you reading one and send it to us.  Email KCameron@milngavie.e-dunbarton.sch.uk for details on how best to send this.  We can play your video on the big screen and I know that your child would just love to have you read their favourite story to their friends.

We would also love to hear any ideas you would have for bringing your skills into nursery.  Perhaps you could make us up a story bag for putting in our lending library (when we can re-open it).  Perhaps you can make some clothes for our poor wee naked babies which at the moment, are taken out in the scud in all weathers!  Perhaps you have fund raising skills which you could share with us to raise some money to buy new resources for our nursery, or ideas about improving the outside of our building.

You could also recycle your boxes, cartons, etc every week into our junk modelling boxes, which are always in need of new junk.  Be prepared to bring some of it home again, transformed into wonderful creations which your wee one has spent time, energy, imagination, not forgetting their problem solving skills, building for you.

There are lots of ways to be involved.  We love feedback – it helps us plan and improve on what we do.  You can leave us feedback by liking or commenting on blog posts, either on the blog directly or on  our FaceBook page.  Please tell us what you think.

April 29, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Blog updates- we would love your feedback!!!

Over the next couple of weeks we are updating the layout of our blog.  The categories at the side of the news feed will be updated to include current information on our current staff, family learning and parental support, planning in the moment approach, curriculum, school and nursery holiday calendars etc.   These categories make our blog easier to navigate and they are permanently there for reference.  If there is anything you would like included as a permanent feature of our blog, please can you let us know and we will create a category for it.

On the in-service day next Thursday we have been asked to give a short presentation to our EDC colleagues on how we use our blog.   We would really appreciate any comments you have about our blog – do you find it useful, do you enjoy reading it, or could we improve it for you?  Comments can be made on our blog page or our Facebook page.  We would be very grateful for your opinions.

April 28, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Nursery Closed on Monday May 3rd and Thursday May 6th 2021

Just a wee reminder that our centre is closed for the May Holiday on 3rd May.   Staff are having an in-service day on Thursday 6th May – the day of the Scottish Parliamentary elections, and our centre will be closed then too.

We are hoping that the weather warms up a little and we can all enjoy a sunny Spring holiday. 

April 26, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Update on our Coffee and Chat – Transition arrangements and graduations

 

Many thanks to everyone who came along to the online coffee session last Wednesday.  It was lovely to see so many of you on screen and actually have a bit of a catch-up.  We discussed our pre-schoolers’ transition to Primary 1.  Some of our parents have had the opportunity to visit the Infant Building in the school, for a guided tour with Mrs Stillwell and Mr Graham. If you did not manage to book an appointment to do this, you, and your child, will be welcome to visit on our next in-service day – Thursday 6th May.  Please phone the school office 955-2251 to book a time for your visit.  Our pre-schoolers had an opportunity to visit the Primary 1 classrooms and Active Learning Zone during the Easter Holidays when nursery was open, but the school was not.  The children really enjoyed this visit and came back full of excitement and enthusiasm.  We will be repeating this again over the school’s summer holidays and if your child did not go over in the Easter break there will be more opportunities to get to know the layout of the school building, then.

We traditionally have a joint active learning project which our pre-school children take part in along with the Primary 1 classes.  This year we will not be able to meet up as we are all in our own bubbles, however we have devised a way to take part in collaborative learning, by doing the same activities and investigating the same subjects, then meeting up on Teams to share our learning.  While not ideal, it still allows us to have contact and see each other.  We are going to become explorers and research the lifecycles of butterflies, frogs and sunflowers, watching their development in our classrooms/playrooms, in the garden pond and in the polytunnel.  We are going to have great fun and learn lots!  Look out for news and photos of our learning on your Learning Journal and in the blog.

One of our mum’s asked if there was any chance of having some Forest Kindergarten sessions in this last term as her son had really been looking forward to them.  Unfortunately we will not be able to offer the session a week for 6 weeks we did pre-covid, but we do intend to take groups of our pre-school children for some Forest Play adventures over the next two months.

We also discussed graduation.  At present our plan for graduation is to have a separate wee event for each of our playroom bubbles.  We are really hoping that the infection rate continues to fall and that we will be able to invite parents for this special celebration.  Dates will be confirmed this week and we will keep our fingers and toes crossed!  Should this prove impossible, we will record a wee graduation video for every pre-school child.

Thanks again to all who managed along- apologies for the less than slick presentational style.  Though I have been to loads of them, I have never hosted a Teams chat before! Hopefully I can only get better!!!! Thanks for your patience and good humour!  Hope to see you again soon!

April 26, 2021
by K. Cameron
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Working on Emotional Intelligence

Lisa Smith, one of our Support for Learning Assistants, has been exploring emotions with the children in the Rainbow playroom.  It has been extremely worthwhile in increasing the children’s awareness of reading body language and anticipating how someone might be feeling, to build empathy with others.  We have seen lots of different types of faces as we have role played, drawn and modelled how different emotions look.  It has been lots of fun and made us think carefully about how we feel at different times.  Here are some of Lisa’s posts with some great comments from the children:

 

Today we drew different facial features on paper, and used these to make various expressions and feeling faces. This helps the children to think about how they may be feeling at certain times, and encourages them to identify many different emotions they may experience. The children enjoyed making lots of silly faces with this activity, and lots of fun was had chatting about when we might have a very silly face. For some of the children I asked them to make a face correlating to a particular feeling, and then look in the mirror at their own face to see the sort of shapes their features were in.
Iona ‘ I am sad when I get in trouble’
Emma ‘ I am happy when I am at nursery and I can play with Zara’
Arabella ‘ If my big cousin Ellie was coming for a sleepover I would be surprised’
Using homemade playdough we were exploring feelings and facial expressions today. We made a variety of facial expressions together using the playdough, and then chatted about times where we might have feelings of happiness, excitement, sadness, worry and surprise. We also started to explore the sensations we may have in our bodies when we have those emotions.
Many of the children had a good understanding of situations where they may feel differing emotions.
‘I would have a surprised face if I got a present not for my birthday’  – Sophie
I would have a worried face if my baby crosses the road by itself’ – Callum
”I am happy when I play with my friends at nursery’ – Iona
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