School closures, distance learning & virtual show-arounds

Story Carley WBD reading

Hopefully you and your loved ones are keeping safe during this period of uncertainty and the spread of Covid-19. As of Monday (March 23rd) we will be closed except for children of emergency workers, in line with the Department for Education’s instructions. This means, of course, that no new children can start settling in with us in the short term and indeed visits or show-arounds will not be possible, as we all need to work together to protect the most vulnerable groups. But even so, we will not be closing our virtual doors! Home packs, remote learning, and other educational methods will be deployed as of Monday and all our staff will continue working full-time. The picture above is from World Book Day a couple of weeks ago, which was followed by British Science Week. We will be building on the special acitivities that took place then, ensuring the continuity of our children’s learning experiences as much as possible.

Continue reading

Maths in Early Years: building children’s confidence from an early age

The older a child gets the harder it is to get them to engage with and truly appreciate mathematics and the powerful reasoning behind it. Therefore, introducing maths at an early age is of crucial importance: not only does it help them understand how to deal with abstract symbols, like numbers, but more importantly it helps them develop problem solving and reasoning skills.

Children need to be given an opportunity to practice their skills with numbers, linking them to concrete quantities, which are out there in the physical world, their sensory world. Knowledge of shapes and patterns also improves their competence and confidence in using mathematical concepts and language.

However, shapes, space, and measures is a key area that the Government is considering to remove from the Early Years curriculum from next year. As an outstanding nursery school, we place a lot of value on this area and we will certainly continue teaching and developing it. In this post, we summarise some of the things you can do at home to support your child’s learning in this area, which is so beneficial to children.

Continue reading

End of Year Celebration!

Another amazing year has gone by here at Alphablocks Nursery School, a year in which we have built on our Outstanding Ofsted results by pushing the boundaries of our early learning provision with innovative projects, for example, through our:

  • Focused Learning Weeks, which included a High Scope Approach week
  • Our “inter-generational project” where we visit a local care home and run joint activities with its residents
  • Dedicated maths workshops, phonics classes, as well as our regular curriculum classes (drama, music & movement, Spanish with Bilingual Beats, etc.)

Our cohort this year, moving on to Primary school, is composed of 12 children who have made exceptional progress in all areas of learning.

To celebrate all their hard work and achievements, we put together a performance entitled “We’re Going on a School Hunt“, directed by Rebekah, our Drama Teacher.

Continue reading

High Scope Approach – the importance of reflection

“What did I do today? Let me think”
Eloise, age 4

Focused Weeks

During our “focused weeks” this Summer Term we explored in detail a specific educational approach every time. As part of this process, we made a lot of progress in implementing more elements of the High Scope approach. This is one of the four core early years educational methodologies that we follow as part of our overall hybrid philosophy.

high-scope-banner

Continue reading

‘Focused Weeks’ at Alphablocks Nursery School

Our hybrid educational approach at Alphablocks Nursery School has been recognised for its beneficial mix of pedagogical methods, which are naturally incorporated in our everyday practice and guide our children’s learning journeys. During this Spring Term we are focusing on a different approach every two-week ‘cycle’ (we call these ‘focused weeks’). Regular updates will be published in our blog.

intro_focused_weeks_March2019

Continue reading