The Community School of Auchterarder

Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder Life at The Community School of Auchterarder

Hello and welcome to the nursery blog. It is our aim to update this at least twice a term.

The nursery blog provides an insight to nursery life and is a great way of sharing our learning, achievements and important information. Writing a blog entry can be time consuming, so we would like to draw your attention to the nursery twitter feed, @TCSoA_Nursery, which you will be able to see to the right of this page. You do not have to be a Twitter user to see what we tweet, as it is streamed here on the blog, but if you do have a Twitter account, please follow us for up-to-date tweets, interactive content and regular updates.

Posting photos and information for parents will be the sole purpose of the nursery twitter feed. If you wish to share personal information or have concerns, please arrange this through the usual communication methods of face to face, email and telephone.

Kind regards,

Vicky Ferguson

Nursery Teacher

Friday 23rd June 2017

Wow the term has flown by! It has been very busy with our preschool children preparing for their move to the ‘big’ school. Children enjoyed visits to play in the classroom with the current primary one pupils and teachers, a tour round the campus, a visit to the dining centre, the experience of a ‘playtime’ and a chance to meet their P1 teachers. In nursery children have role played going to school, making packed lunches, having school dinners and pretend class lessons. It has been lovely to listen to the children taking on the different roles.

We have visited an allotment as part of our growing topic and with the help of parents we have planted peas, salad, carrots, spring onion and potatoes. We have already been trying the lettuce leaves and we are looking forward to using the other ingredients next term. Not only have we looked at how plants grow we have examined life cycles too. The children were fascinated to watch tadpoles grown and change into frogs and they have been looking at caterpillars and butterflies.

We completed our Jungle Journey programme which was about developing our gross motor skills such as balance, movement and spatial awareness in the gym hall. The journey took us to an imaginary world of adventure where we met lots of different animals and creatures from hippos to snakes.

Some of our preschool children have been visiting Parkdale Nursing Home as part of our community involvement. The children have shared stories, completed seated exercises, painted, planted, used playdough and played board games with some of the residents. It has been a very beneficial experience for both adults and children, with lots of lovely interactions across the generations. We hope to continue our visits in the new term.

The weather lasted for us to enjoy a trip to McRosty park in Crieff. A massive thanks to Robert in the café for keeping all the adults happy with hot drinks as it wasn’t the sunniest of days. Please remember the café will be open over the summer – it is worth a visit. When we were on the trip Liam was telling me about the wild garlic he could see and then telling staff all the plants he is growing in his allotment. Great linking! We enjoyed seeing which sticks and natural materials floated down the burn the fastest and we examined the weir. Some children asked about the salmon ladder so we talked about how fish can swim upstream.

June month meant taking part in sports day. Lots of potted activities from welly throwing to jumping from a height was experienced. A huge thank you to so many parents and carers for joining in with the fun! We have been talking about road safety an staying safe using our go safe with Ziggy books.

We have discussed a lot about our feelings and emotions through all the topics this term and learned lots of songs and dances linked to the theme. We shared some of our songs at the leaver assembly. It was a lovely experience to share our assembly in the hall our thanks to Gleneagles for the decoration and sound set up. We were so impressed with the children’s enthusiasm on the day. As I sign off from this blog I wish you all a fantastic summer break and look forward to seeing our returning children in August and the new P1’s.


Friday 31st March 2017

It is the last day of what has been a busy term. The children have extended their learning about creatures under the sea, babies and growing. We have taken a variety of different ways to examine the topics. Please have a look at our talking and thinking books when you return after the Easter break.

For the sea creatures book the children used the internet to find out answers to their questions. Isla found out that “turtles eat lettuce” and Lyla discovered that “crabs walk sideways to the sea and they go under the water”. Owen shared that octopus have “eight legs and they can go camouflage” and Archie T knows a lot of different fish types.

Other children were keen to find out about babies and how we care for them. We were delighted to welcome Rebecca’s little brother and mum to nursery where the children asked questions about what he ate and liked to play with. The children discovered that as a little baby he had no teeth and he drank lots of milk. In the morning session, we were very happy to welcome Callen’s auntie and his little cousin Dexter to nursery. Dexter was given a bath in the nursery by his mummy, the children were fascinated to find out that babies couldn’t wash themselves until much older. The talking and thinking book for babies will be available next term for viewing. Boys and girls have been very excited to show the photos of when they were a baby and the staff have enjoyed guessing who is who!

One of our parent helpers Noreen introducing planting of seeds with the children. The children decorated pots and planted seeds in compost or cotton wool. She chatted with the children about what they thought might grow faster. The cress grew quickly and looks great. Next term we hope to get a group of children up to the allotments for a visit as we would like to observe how the land changes over time.

Our afternoon children have enjoyed a visit to Café Kisa. They had yummy bunny shortbread and a drink of juice. We send a huge thank you to the parent helpers who helped with this and also to Café Kisa for having the nursery visit again.

Next term is set to be busy with our community involvement. We will be visiting Parkdale nursing home and have a few visits to the library and weather permitting hold our garden party celebrations. More transition activities will take place for our preschool children and we look forward to welcoming our new starts to nursery.

Until next time have a lovely Easter break.

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Well it is a snowy day outside and as I sit and update the blog the words to one of our nursery songs is going through my head “you like sun but I like snow…it’s fabby dabby dee!” I hope you have enjoyed being able to play in the snow with your child/ren and have not had to make treacherous journeys. As I catch up on paper work I am reflecting over the work the children and keyworkers have been doing recently.

Topics of interest from the children have moved on to creatures under the sea. This stemmed from a relaxing music video playing in the background one day in the nursery. Callen, Owen, Kayden, Zak and Aidan found the fish interesting and started naming them based on the film characters they know “that one is Dory… and Nemo”. Mrs. Baxter informed the boys that each had a different name and asked if they wanted to find out more. From this children have created paintings, drawings, made models and researched from books and internet what they wanted to know. In our talking and thinking book we have been challenging our thinking and relating it to what we already know for example ‘how do fish breathe under water?’ Brannon said “in Octonauts they wear helmets to breathe they are electric,” Caitlyn thinks “fish breathe through their tails” and Owen pointed out “bubbles go up and up and burst out the top!” What amazing thinking and talking from children. It is lovely to listen to each other as they challenge what they know in response to others. Our talking and thinking books are being remodelled this term, more information will follow at the sharing our learning evening, please take a moment to have a look at the ‘Under the Sea’ one.

Other topics of interest have still been linked to people who help us. This week we were building the hospital in nursery and talking about the different roles people do. Children have been listening for heartbeats and pretending to give medicine. Next week we will move on to basic first aid as Liam enjoyed telling what he had learned while visiting Cubs with his brother “I had fun and was put in the recovery position.” I am looking forward to Liam sharing all he learned with others.

We have been thinking about why it is good to be us and what makes kind friends. During our music and singing times we have been learning some fantastic songs about having friends who share and play along nicely. One of my favourite songs and one the children are super at singing is “It’s good to be me, it’s good to be you, it’s fabby dabby dee, it’s fabby dabby doo”. If you would like access to the words of the songs please ask.

Last week we had a great day visiting the Ruthven gallery to see the Oor Wullie statues made by P1. A huge thanks to our parent helpers!

Over the next few weeks various surveys will appear in the corridor, please take time to have your say. One will be for choosing where our trip will be this year as we need to get it booked. Until the next blog have a fabby dabby doo time!


 Friday 27th January 2017

Yet again time seems to be flying in! Since my last blog we had the Care Inspectorate visit. The report is now available to read on their website or in the nursery. We enjoyed sharing all about our nursery with them.

The children and staff had a fantastic time with Christmas activities and particularly enjoyed partying with Silly McB. Thank you to all parents who helped out over the festive period with all the preparation. We would like to thank you all for helping raise funds through all our Christmas Enterprise. We still have money coming so a final total will be announced in a newsletter. We have appreciated all the feedback about the green screen videos and are glad you have enjoyed treasuring the moments we filmed.

This term has already started with a blast! The children have wanted to find out about planets and astronauts. Brannon made an amazing space control panel at the junk modelling area and described exactly what it did “you use this button to talk to the control centre”. An area of the nursery has been zoned for space flight and another for the command centre. Children have been calling and talking to each other and dressing up as the astronauts. Lots of messy play has followed with the children creating their own space models from a variety of materials to exploring different materials for out of this world painting.

The dressing up area has changed to 'Princesses' at the request of the morning children. Again listening to the stories being told has been a delight.

At the opposite end of the nursery there have been serious emergencies with the need to call on the fire brigade. The children have transformed the climbing frame into a fire engine adding the hose with pretend water and taking emergency calls for the fire fighters. A lot of dogs and cats have been rescued from the towering buildings. Lots of lovely interactions have happened between the children and it has been great listening to all their story ideas.

January has brought a time of learning Scottish songs and poems for our annual Burns celebration. The children have enjoyed singing ‘Sam the Skull’ and learning to recite one verse from ‘Up in the morning early’ by Robert Burns. Thank you to all parents and carers who attended our end of session Scottish singing. Despite the technology difficulties the children loved singing the songs.

In March, at our ‘Sharing our Learning’ evening we will be looking at literacy in the nursery. Talking and listening is a vital life skill. In nursery it is important for children to learn to listen and respond to each other, to negotiate, share and build skills to develop friendships. New vocabulary is always being learned and at a fantastic rate. The ability to talk, listen and communicate filters through all of the play experiences we offer to help extend and develop each child. Talking and listening skills have an impact on children’s reading and writing ability; it is key to develop the talking and listening well before independent reading and writing. Getting communication right helps all the other areas of language fall into place.

One of my favourite play areas is always with puppets. Even the quietest of children can be found playing with the creatures or pretend people either talking to them or making them talk. How amazing to have that freedom to explore their ideas in a natural and secure way.

Pre reading matters. We have started back with our Bookbug sessions. If you are interested in joining us please add you name to the list in the corridor. Sharing a story with your child on a daily basis helps grow their language skills. Hearing stories develops their imaginations, vocabulary and skills of talking and listening. Story time can be calm and comforting for a child, developing their attachment and sense of security. Reading books is not just about the words on the page. Children can get so much from looking at the pictures, talking about everything they see, they can create a very different story to the one by the author. It is good to ask your child what they think might happen next in the story; can they predict and suggest alternative story lines?

Did you know that the work children do in gym also helps for writing later on? Did you know mixing, squashing, picking and pulling things apart in the mud kitchen all help children with writing? I could list all the different play choices we offer but I don’t have that much space! Pre writing skills are important. Large physical activities develop a sense of balance and strength. If children do not develop and use the muscles to hold their body when sitting it makes learning to write harder. Small, tidy neat handwriting will not develop until a child has learned to use their shoulder, elbow and wrist joints appropriately and then learned to strengthen and bend the muscles in the fingers. Writing is a complex skill. As children refine their use of each muscle group so the control of a pen or pencil develops.

Each child should take the opportunity to develop writing through lots of different activities from painting on an easel to using tweezers to develop the tripod pincer grip all of which will help when learning to write. Encourage your child to explore everything; please do not focus solely on learning their alphabet and counting numbers. Take them outdoors enjoy running through the park and picking the smallest daisy from the grass. Marvel at everything around you take a walk in the woods. You will be aiding your child’s language development without them even realising!

Thursday 24th November 2016

Trying to get in to writing the blog and playing catch up already!

Wow! We can’t believe it has been a while since we set up the blog on the page. Nursery has been very busy.


We enjoyed dressing up to raise fund for the school our whole campus supports in Linthipe. We had great fun with our Spectacular Science Day. Children mixed and created potions, trialled the skittles experiment (and maybe ate some of them!), made our own weather clouds, discovered crafty colours that wouldn’t mix no matter what we did on some materials and as always enjoyed watching our exploding coca cola experiment. Ben described it like a “volcano” and Murrin said it went “really high”.

Grandparents Coffee Time

We enjoyed having the grandparents in for coffee and a sing along. The children said they liked singing “Ye Canny shove yer Granny af the Bus and Dingle Dangle Scarecrow”. We were very impressed with all the singing from children and adults. A huge thank you to everyone who attended making it a success. Feedback from grandparents “It is lovely to be in the nursery and to see all the wonderful things going on here… It’s nice to feel included in the grandchildren’s education… We didn’t have this when we were young, children have access to such wonderful facilities… thank you for having us in we had a lovely morning.” Thanks for all the lovely comments.

 Nursery activities

The children have been taking a big focus on night and day. It started with the story “The Owl Who Was Afraid of the Dark” by Jill Tomlinson. Children found out about nocturnal animals and creatures that hibernate in the autumn. Isn’t it great that dark is exciting… dark is fun and there is so much more to learn about our world? This led to thinking about light in the dark. Torches were added to play two weeks ago and the dark den was created. Since then the children have learned how to operate all our wind up torches and have discussed how they operate Zak said “you squeeze this bit in and out here (pointing to the side handle) and it makes the light come on and off”. The children have talked about the sun and moon “when the sun goes down the moon comes up and when the moon goes down the sun comes up”  said Jack. We have made our own sparkling pictures of the sun, moon and stars. We created our own firework pictures as gifts for grandparents as we thought about staying safe in the dark on bonfire night. We have created our own bonfire pictures in response to all our personal experiences – stunning art work by the children. We have examined reflective and light clothing to help keep us safe. A few weeks ago the preschool children came home with the book ‘Ziggy’s Halloween Wish’. If you have time we encourage you to look at with your child. It has videos and games about road safety. Later this term our ante pre children will receive ‘Ziggy visits Granny’.  In the role play area a bedroom area was created for us to talk about our daily routines with appropriate dressing up clothes added. The children have created lots of lovely fine line drawings and have challenged themselves with their mathematical thinking of colours, amount, numbers and pattern.

We have examined the cold and frost with the change of the weather and been exploring numbers through our snowmen pictures. The children have started preparing items for the Christmas Fayre on Sat 3rd December. We hope to see you there.

This week we have started trialling our green screen filming. Why not check out our photos on the twitter feed you can follow the nursery @TCSoA_Nursery.

We have only mentioned a few of our learning activities going on in nursery but hope you have enjoyed finding out about them too. Next week brings some preparation for all things related to Christmas especially for our sing along in December! Have a lovely week until next time….