Facebook Group & Nursery Blog


Hi everyone,

As you will know,  as a result of the lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have started a closed Facebook Page for nursery.

This is where we are sharing tips, play-based learning and as a way to keep in touch with children and families. We have over 50 members which is fantastic and we are building our interactions day by day.

A few parents have messaged me to say they are not on FaceBook and is there another way to post the content so they can access it.

I can post limited content on here but due to confidentiality. permissions and social media guidelines, I cannot post everything.

I hope you understand.



Supporting literacy and numeracy evening 24.04.19

We had a marvellous turn out for our parents information evening with 22 parents attending.

Susan led the presentation linked to supporting literacy and numeracy at home. We also discussed supporting children to be life ready instead of school ready in the nursery.

The presentations clear message to parents was don’t get stressed about having your children writing their name or other letters prior to starting school.

The presentation has been uploaded onto this blog for everyone to access along with an additional presentation Susan shared with the nursery team about getting ready to write and the importance of developing the whole body, muscles and pivot joints BEFORE children lift a pencil to engage in formal writing. The text in red is points that we discussed and were not part of the original presentation.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to speak to a member of staff.

Some of the feedback from the evening was :-

  • I loved many practical examples that Susan was backing up with her presentation which put theory into practice. As a new parent who studied abroad I found many tips  I wasn’t aware off before starting school.
  • I now have a strategy of how to encourage my daughters to be learning through play.
  • Timing great, informal with chance to interact
  • Susan’s presentation was very informative with great advice for children going into Primary 1 to help give them the best start.
  • The timing of seeing both groups, the informal setting and quality of info (what worked well)
  • Options of various times which helped working parents, clear concise and informative session
  • Clear, informative advice re both literacy and numeracy
  • All was great!
  • Well presented, informative, good opportunities to ask questions, online booking was easy. Thoroughly enjoyed it
  • Better understanding for me not to force my son on learning letters/numbers etc before P1. I need to stop stressing! presentation was perfect.

Supporting literacy and numeracy 24.04.19 V2 for blog

Strategies for supporting literacy and numeracy at home

Getting Ready to Write Blog version



Growth mind set

Tricia and Lynn have been extending their professional learning and attending a course all about growth mind set. They have been bringing back fabulous nuggets of knowledge to share with the staff along with ideas to promote growth mind set with the children. One of the high level messages that they are sharing is our brains are stretchy and we shape them through all our experiences.

Tricia is our newly identified Growth Mind Set champion and has been working with the children to continue to develop their growth mind set.  They have been talking about how their brain has grown  from when they were a baby up until now and has  been shaped through all the things that they have learned to do. She has collaborated with the children to produce these fabulous mind maps.


Intergenerational learning

A few children went to the Bellfield Centre which is situated in the grounds of Stirling Community hospital. We went along to share our Christmas songs and the nursery rhymes we learned as part of World Nursery Rhyme Week. As we had never been before and the Centre has only been operational for a few weeks, we decided to take along 6 children. This allowed us to see what the room we would be using was like and how many children and adults it could comfortably accommodate.

The session was such a fabulous success, we plan to build these visits into the curriculum and develop intergenerational learning between St Ninians and the Bellfield Centre. We hope they are ready for play dough and painting.

St Ninians Primary and Nursery Class Infographic


Last year, the children, parents and staff worked on creating an infographic which explains our school and nursery identity visually.

Running along the bottom of our tree are the school values, of which, respect, determination and kindness are the main focus in the nursery. From these roots, grow our learning tree where the icons represent the curriculum including technology, numeracy, literacy, health and wellbeing, art, music, science, eco to name a few. Both the school and nursery badge are represented to cover the ages of our learners, from nursery to Primary 7.

Surrounding the tree are the growing figures of our children who  running the Daily Mile and the clouds represent the parents aspirations for their child/children by the time they leave St Ninians to move onto High School.

The bird flying to the tree is the icon which represents GIRFEC (Getting It Right For Every Child) and the SHANARRI (Safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible and included) well being indicators. Health and well being is crucial for learning and development and is threaded through everything we do to support out young learners who are the workforce of the future.

Finally, our whole school vision, Growing and learning together to achieve our best , is heading the whole visual and reminds us of what we are working on each and every day in the nursery and school.






Becoming a Word Aware Nursery



Did you know that good talkers have the best chance of becoming good readers and writers? So the Early Years is a crucial time to get chatting.

We are working on becoming a Word Aware nursery.

Word Aware is all about helping children to be the best talkers that they can.

Over the next few weeks you will start to see our word of the week and we will be giving you tips on how to use this at home.

We will be holding a Word Aware session for parents only, on Monday 18th June, 6.30 – 7.30 pm.  In the meantime, here is some information to get you started.


The nursery team and Heather Watkins, Speech and Language Therapist

Information sheet from families  from Word Aware 2 by Stephen parsons & Anna Branagan

How to help your child learn words

Things to remember

1 Words are important.

2 Home support for vocabulary makes a difference.

3 Have fun with words.

4 It is about talking as much as reading and writing.

5 When talking about words, use comments rather than ask questions.

6 Do a little every day.

Everyday things you can do to support vocabulary

You do not need expensive toys or gadgets to develop your child’s vocabulary. You are the best word-learning toy there is!

Reading and talking

Books are an excellent source of interesting vocabulary. Reading to your child from an early age, and continuing to support their reading, is an effective way in which you can support vocabulary development.

Build on this by talking about word meanings.

• Are there any words that are new to your child?

• Are there any interesting words that your child likes?

• Are there good describing or action words?

Find words that sound funny. Find words that mean … By building this into your reading routine, you are developing your child’s vocabulary.

New words from school

The words your child is learning about at school will be displayed somewhere so that you can see them. This might be on the window, door or board as you come in. Ask a staff member if you cannot see them. As your child is still just learning these words, it is best if you use the word in sentences and talk about them, rather than ask ‘What does that mean?’ If you want your child to use a word in a sentence, he or she must hear the word in sentences many times.

Listen, praise and add an extra word

Listen carefully to the words your child is using and look for opportunities to praise and add words. When he or she uses a new word, let them know by commenting on their word choice: ‘What a great word!’ If your child plays it safe and uses the same words repeatedly, give them alternatives. For instance: if the child says, ‘I made a big tower’, the parent says, ‘Let me see your tower. It is big and it is tall.’

Learn a few simple word games

There might be times in the day when you do not have anything to play with, eg on journeys or when waiting. Use this ‘dead time’ to play word games. They will keep little minds occupied as well as being fun.


St Ninians Nursery and the Daily Mile, a snapshot in time.

Looking through some nursery archives I found a file about the Commonwealth marathon which the nursery participated in to embed the Daily Mile into our continuous provision.

So, here’s a brief history of where it all start for the children at St Ninians Nursery.

The school  had already established the beginning of The Daily Mile, although the nursery was not included.

With the 2014 Commonwealth Games looming, the whole school decided that they were going to run the equivalent of a marathon by the time the opening ceremony took place in Glasgow. The nursery were tentatively invited to join in, and we grabbed the chance. What follows is a piece of documentation that was written in 2014, outlining what we did.

St Ninians Nursery Commonwealth marathon  23.06.2014

Every child from Nursery to P7 has been involved in running the equivalent of a marathon to celebrate the Glasgow Commonwealth games 2014 over the last 6 weeks.

A marathon consists of 26 miles therefore each child had to walk or run 156 times around the yellow brick road (YBR) which circles the school playing fields. In nursery there were three categories in which children could achieve a gold medal:-

  • 156 times around the YBR
  • 78 times around the YBR
  • 5 laps around the YBR every time you are in nursery

Each day, we used the running theme tune from Rocky to signal the start of our training and children gathered together to do some stretches and warm up before we headed outside.


There was a basket of interlocking cubes placed at the end of a lap and the children knew that they took one cube for every lap they completed. This enabled children to :-

  • Independently track their own running
  • Predict if they needed to stop or run more
  • Decide if they wanted to challenge themselves to beat their previous lap numbers
  • Practice using one to one correspondence when counting and use mathematical language such as more, less, same as, enough, not enough, too many, how many
  • Some children were experimenting with creating colour patterns and comparing their cube towers to each others of staffs and deciding if it was bigger or smaller.

Once we had completed our daily running, the children headed back inside to their groups where they counted how many laps they did and it was recorded on their personal running record. We always had a drink or two of water and learned that we need to hydrate our bodies after exercise.

Each Friday  the children received a certificate to say how many laps they did that week and Mrs Wyllie, Head teacher or Mrs Young, Depute Head teacher would come to nursery and present some children with Head teacher Award stickers. These were not for the fastest runner or who had run the most laps. Instead these were to celebrate different categories such as most consistent runner, most dedicated runner, most improved runner.



We kept a weekly total of the laps run on the notice board.


The children evaluated the marathon through drawings of themselves running and staff scribed their feedback.

Feedback from parents, families and staff was gathered and displayed on the board.


Six weeks of running finished at the Summer fun session on Friday 20th June 2014. Parents and carers were invited to join us as we ran or walked the last few laps of the marathon before gathering in the nursery garden.

The children received a gold certificate with their grand total and then crossed over the “stage” to receive their medal from Mrs Wyllie (morning) or Mrs Young (afternoon).

Everyone  was excited  and proud of their achievements.

We then made a marathon book with all the documentation we had collected over the six weeks and Mrs Wyllie used this to showcase the achievements of the nursery children.





















Welcome to the recently resurrected St Ninians Nursery blog, our tiny place in the World Wide Web .

By blogging,  we will be creating an archive of some of the learning opportunities and experiences our community of children, families and staff have been involved in.

We can add links to useful websites in the sidebar and if you find or visit a favourite blog or website which you think would help others, send us the link and we can add that too.

The blog will also give everyone the chance to interact with us via the comments, give reviews, make suggestions, and gain an insight into what the early level Curriculum for Excellence looks like in practice.

We will also add links to the documents which imform our practice and underpins our approach in the early years. For example, did you know that we should no longer be refered to as nursery? We are now known as Early Learning and Child Care settings.

So, let’s make this community  interactive and use social media to its fullest potential. Dont be shy, start commenting on posts.


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