We are now taking bookings for the summer play scheme. Please complete our booking form The Launchpad Summer Play Scheme Booking Form 2017 .
Don’t forget to let us know if there have been any changes to your contact details or your child’s medical details including changes to medication routines.
We are having an open day on the 8th for parents who would like to take a look around the nursery and speak to staff. This coincides with a Family Fun day being run on the playing fields behind the nursery so it’s a great day to pop in, view the nursery and then enjoy the events at the Family Fun Day! 12 noon to 4 pm. Follow signs to drop in during the day or call 01753 654 546 to arrange an appointment.
Two new clubs for older adults with time on their hands! Darts, pool, table tennis, dominoes and more. Cake and a cuppa. Do you know anyone who would like to pop in and meet up with old friends and make new ones. Tuesdays and Wednesdays 12 noon to 2pm in the Evreham Youth Centre, Swallow Street, Iver. Term Time only. Contact email@example.com Tel. No. 01753654546 for more information. £2.00
It’s almost the Christmas Holidays. Our final day for funded children is Friday 16th December and for non funded children the 20th December. We reopen on the 5th January 2017 for non-funded sessions and on 9th January 2017 for funded sessions.
Don’t forget to keep a record of any WOW moments over the holidays to tell us about in January or add to our WOW board by the main door. If you do need to contact us we will be keeping an eye on the firstname.lastname@example.org emails and any messages left on the office phone 01753 654546.
Happy Holidays everyone! Click below to see a selection of activity ideas for the holiday period.
Toddlers and young children are growing very quickly. They have small tummies and so need small nutrient packed meals. Here are some healthy lunchbox ideas that you might find useful if your child stays for lunch.
The Lunch Box
A small inexpensive plastic box is perfectly acceptable. Please check that your child can open the box easily. Don’t forget to label the box with your child’s name.
Remember to include a named bottle of fresh drinking water for your child to use during the day.
Keeping It Cool
Although lunchboxes will be stored in a cool place out of direct sunlight we cannot refrigerate them. A small freezer pack is a good idea to ensure that your child’s lunch remains cool.
The Packed Lunch
We are very keen that children bring the kind of lunch that they will be expected to bring or eat when they go to school i.e a healthy packed lunch that forms part of a healthy balanced diet. A packed lunch should contain:
1 portion of vegetables or salad—carrot sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, pepper sticks, broccoli, sweetcorn
1 portion of fruit—fresh, dried or tinned (in natural juice) fruits are all good
1 portion of milk or dairy products—Cheese, fromage frais, yoghurts
1 portion of meat, chicken or protein– Ham, chicken, cheese, tuna, low fat sausage, beans, chickpeas
1 portion of starchy food– Bread, rice, pasta, pitta bread, bagels, crackers, wraps
1 small treat (optional)- Slice of malt loaf, flap jacks, carrot cake, small fruit bun
A portion is what will fit into a cupped hand. How many grapes would fit into your child’s cupped hands?
The eat well plate below gives an idea of the proportion of each food type we should be aiming for.
Do you know how much salt is in your child’s diet?
Too much salt in a child’s diet will increase their blood pressure, which in turn damages the heart and can lead to heart disease and strokes in later life. Children under 3 should have no more than 2g of salt a day and children under 5, no more than 3g.
One packet of crisps, a ham sandwich and a cheese string will contain over half a child’s recommended salt intake for the day. Please don’t put crisps in your child’s lunchbox everyday and let them have them as an occasional treat. Try breadsticks, crackers, dry cereal like puffed wheat, dried fruit or popcorn instead.
For further information and ideas visit:
This week at The Pod’s Cookery Club we’ll be baking Jamie Oliver’s delicious ‘Brilliant Brownies’. If you’d like to try these delicious teatime treats and cook along at home with an adult you can follow the recipe below.
Edited from text for TES.
Numbers can provide a lot of entertainment for small children. They first become aware of the sounds of numbers, then they begin to understand what they mean. Finally they need to recognise them when they are written down.
There are four main skills that children need to develop before they can count. Follow the links to see these explained and how you can help.
1. Recognition of the sounds of the numbers.
2. The understanding of one-to-one correspondence.
3. The understanding of “How many are there?”
4. The number of objects is the same however they are arranged.
The next stage is for your child to recognise numbers as symbols which can taught by playing number recognition games.
Once children recognise numbers they will want to start writing them themselves. To help encourage them to form their numbers correctly, use our number formation guide. (found at the back of this leaflet)
Children need to learn the sounds of the numbers ‘one, two, three…’.
Children can start to recognise the sound of numbers from an early age if they hear number songs and rhymes and hear people counting. Some examples of rhymes are:
Five currant buns in the baker’s shop
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Once I caught a fish alive
Five fat sausages frying in a pan
1 potato, 2 potato, 3 potato, 4
Books and stories that include numbers can help too. At story time make a point of counting the characters and the key items in the pictures. Some examples of books are:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Three Little Pigs
These will give reinforcement to the sound of counting and with it the fact that numbers relate to different amounts. Children will then start to notice numbers in speech and begin to develop an understanding of how they are used.
The children may even be able to count by reciting the numbers from 1 – 10, but this has little meaning at this stage. It is a good idea to point out numbers that appear in everyday contexts such as on a clock, a telephone, on doors and money. This will help children to understand that numbers have a practical use, as well helping them to recognise written numbers.
Before learning to count a child needs to understand ‘one to one correspondence’. This means being able to match one object to one other object or person.
You can practise ‘one to one correspondence’ in all sorts of different contexts. Laying the table is a good idea. Alternatively you can do this in a play situation as indicated below.
Make some dough cakes and ask your child to give one to each of their soft toys. Use very small numbers at first.
Children need to understand what is meant by ‘How many are there?’.
As you count objects together touch each one. This helps children to understand they are counting one thing at a time. Also, only count up to three at first and do not progress until your child can do this successfully. Gradually add one more number at a time. Counting opportunities arise with everyday objects such as cutlery or biscuits. Ask your child to guess how many objects there are before counting them together. It is important to build confidence through positive comments.
Counting Game/Throwing Games
Games which involve throwing a number of objects, such as rolled up socks, in a waste paper bin or cardboard box can give good counting practice.
Use paper plates for this activity. Write a number on the plate. Provide a pile of dried pasta or bricks and show your child how to count the appropriate number onto each plate before he or she has a try. Underline 6 and 9 to avoid confusion.
Counting everyday objects
You will find many daily opportunities to count aloud together. Cooking is a wonderful way to introduce a child to practical maths and extend vocabulary. You can count baking cases, spoons of sugar or chocolate button decorations. Later you can use buns for simple addition and subtraction sums.
The number of objects is the same however they are arranged.
Make some cards with numbers on one side and the corresponding number of spots on the reverse.
Lay the cards out with the spotted sides upwards and ask your child to put them in order.
It is important that he or she can recognise the number of objects however they are arranged. Using the cards theme, you can represent some numbers with different patterns of spots. Ask your child to match the cards with the same number of spots. Take the opportunity also, to arrange everyday items in different formations, for your child to count.
Developing the ability to estimate is also a useful skill. Asking a child to guess how many items are on a tray will help to develop this. Always count them out together afterwards, so that the child can see how close he or she was.
Recognising the Symbols
A fun way to help recognition of numbers is to select a few number cards. Take one from the pile without letting your child see it. Ask him or her to guess which one you have as you gradually expose the number from behind a screen (eg. a book) If your child guesses wrongly explain what the number is. Introduce a few numbers at first and build up slowly.
Number Formation Guide
Encourage your child to form numbers in the standard way. Bad habits are difficult to break, so following our simple guide can help to prevent problems at a later stage
Spots indicate the starting position of the pencil. The pencil should remain on the paper, following the arrows. For the numbers four and five, the pencil must be raised before completing the second part of each number. Crosses indicate the second starting positions.
Edited from text for TES.
Why begin Teaching Reading through Games?
It is vital that early reading experiences are happy and positive. The aim should be not just for children to learn to read, but to enjoy reading. Whilst games may appear to be an indirect approach, they do protect a child from a feeling of failure. By ‘playing together’ both parent and child are relaxed. Where a child could feel pressured in a formal teaching situation he/she will usually enjoy reading activities in a ‘play’ situation. This leaflet aims to give you simple ideas to try.
The Sounds of Letters
Tips for teaching your child the sounds:
• It is important for a child to learn lower case or small letters rather than capital letters at first. Most early books and games use lower case letters and your child will learn these first at school. Obviously you should use a capital letter when required, such as at the beginning of the child’s name, eg. Paul.
• When you talk about letters to your child, remember to use the letter sounds: a buh cuh duh e … rather than the alphabet names of the letters: ay bee see dee ee . The reason for this is that sounding out words is practically impossible if you use the alphabet names. eg. cat, would sound like: see ay tee
• When saying the sounds of b, d, g, j and w you will notice the ‘uh’ sound which follows each, for example buh, duh… You cannot say the sound without it, however, try to emphasise the main letter sound.
Sound Games to Play at Home
Collect several objects that begin with the same sound and make a card with this letter sound on it. Make a second group of objects beginning with a different sound and a card to go with those.
Discuss the sounds of the letters on the two cards with your child and shuffle the objects. Separate the cards on the floor and ask your child to put each object near the sound that it starts with. This activity can help your child to “hear” the first sound of a word.
Say a number of words, all but one of which begin with the same sound. See if your child can pick out the odd one. It can be helpful to have the corresponding objects there for the child to look at.
For small children the usual way of playing that starts ‘I spy with my little eye something that begins with ….’ can be too difficult. You can make this easier by providing a clue. ‘I spy with my little eye something that barks and begins with.
Write a letter at the top of each page of a scrapbook. Concentrating on a few letters at a time collect pictures of objects that begin with those letters. Do not use as examples words where the first sound does not make its normal sound such as in giraffe, ship, cheese, thumb. Stick the pictures on the appropriate pages.
Games For Recognising Letter Shapes
Fishing for Sounds
You will need a few cards with individual letters. Attach a paper clip to each card. Using a small stick with a string and magnet, your child fishes for letter sounds. If your child can say the sound of the letter he/she wins the card, otherwise you win it.
Sequencing the Letters in your Child’s Name
Providing the individual letter cards for each letter of your child’s first name can be a useful way to teach the sequence of letters. Remember you will need to write a capital for the first letter and lower case for the rest.
If you want to print out the cards using a word processor use a font such as Century Gothic on PC which has not a. Show your child how to make the name first, before shuffling the cards for him/her to have a try. For a very long name work with the first few and build up a letter at a time.
‘What does it start with?’ Box
You will need:
• A box
• Several items each beginning with a different sound
• Corresponding letter cards
This game is similar to the common objects game on the previous page, but the emphasis now is on recognising the sounds the letters make. Ask your child to choose an object from the box, to think what its first sound is (remember it is the sound you are looking for rather than the alphabet name) and then to match the object with the relevant card.
Sand Tray or Finger Paints
Children enjoy writing letters with their fingers in a tray of sand or with finger paints. These ways provide good opportunities to teach correct letter formation.
This activity is quite useful when your child has been given an early reading book. Quite often parents say “He’s not reading the book. He’s remembering the story off by heart”. This can happen. Some children become over-dependent on the picture clues and do not look for clues from the words.
Read the book with your child so he/she is familiar with the story. Then simply use the first sentence from the reading book and copy it out on a strip of paper. Either write it out or if you use a word processor use a font such as Century Gothic (font size 36 at least). Leave a double space in between each word. Now cut up the sentence into the individual words. For example:
Ask your child to make the sentence, “This is a dog.”, using the individual words. At first you will probably need to help. When he/she has made the sentence ask your child to read it to you and encourage him/her to point to each word with a finger.
Retain interest by only spending a few minutes a day on the activity. If your child makes a mistake do not say “That’s wrong” immediately, because negative comments discourage. Ask your child to read the sentence and mistakes will often be self-corrected. If not, you can give clues such as, “What sound does dog start with?” If your child is still unable to read it, say positive comments such as “What a good try. You got all these right and only this part wrong. Well done.” Then show your child the correct order.
We recommend working on a maximum of five sentences on each reading book.
Edited from the original leaflet by Hannah Widdison for TES.
Letters and Sounds is a fun and interactive teaching system endorsed by the UK education system to support children in learning how to read and write.
The children are taught the sounds they will come across in English words systematically. There are several programmes around and the schools in Iver use Jolly Phonics. Jolly Phonics represents each sound with an action helping children to remember both more easily.
The alphabet contains only 26 letters. Spoken English uses about 42 sounds (phonemes). These phonemes are represented by letters (graphemes). In other words, a sound can be represented by a letter (e.g. ‘s’ or ‘h’) or a group of letters (e.g. ‘th’ or ‘ear’).
Once children begin learning sounds, they are used quickly to read and spell words. The first six letters that are taught are ‘s’, ‘a’, ‘t’, ‘p’, ‘i’, ‘n’. These can immediately be used to make a number of words such as ‘sat’, ‘pin’, ‘pat’, ‘tap’, ‘nap’ and this helps children understand the meaning behind the phonics.
To learn to read well children must be able to smoothly blend sounds together. Blending sounds fluidly helps to improve fluency when reading. Blending is more difficult to do with longer words so learning how to blend accurately from an early age is imperative.
Showing your child how to blend is important. Model how to ‘push’ sounds smoothly together without stopping at each individual sound.
It is also recommended to talk to your child about what blending is so they understand what they are trying to achieve.
Segmenting is a skill used in spelling. In order to spell the word cat, it is necessary to segment the word into its constituent sounds; c-a-t.
Children often understand segmenting as ‘chopping’ a word. Before writing a word young children need time to think about it, say the word several times, ‘chop’ the word and then write it. Once children have written the same word several times they won’t need to use these four steps as frequently.
Children will enjoy spelling if it feels like fun and if they feel good about themselves as spellers. We need, therefore, to be playful and positive in our approach – noticing and praising what children can do as well as helping them to correct their mistakes.
Letters and Sounds is split into six phases. Below is an overview what is included in each phase.
Phase One (Nursery / Pre-school)
The aim of this phase is to foster children’s speaking and listening skills as preparation for learning to read with phonics. Parents can play a vital role in helping their children develop these skills, by encouraging their children to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do.
Phase Two – Four (Reception)
Phase Two is when systematic, high quality phonic work begins. During Phase Two to Four, children learn:
* How to represent each of the 42 sounds by a letter or sequence of letters.
*How to blend sounds together for reading and how to segment (split) words for spelling.
*How to read and spell some high frequency ‘tricky’ words containing sounds not yet learnt (e.g. they, my, her, you).
The Letters and Sounds Programme progresses from the simple to the more complex aspects of phonics at a pace that is suitable for the children who are learning.
Phase Five (Year 1)
Children learn new ways of representing the sounds and practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling.
Phase Six (Year 2)
During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.
Tips and Definitions
Talk to children about Letters and Sounds – “These are letters. A letter can make a sound. Sometimes letters are stuck together and they make a new sound. Letters together can make words. If we can read those words we can read; labels, signs, notes, comics, books and lots of other things all around us.”
Tricky words are words that cannot be ‘sounded-out’ but need to be learned by heart. They don’t fit into the usual spelling patterns. Examples of these words are attached. In order to read simple sentences, it is necessary for children to know some words that have unusual or untaught spellings. It should be noted that, when teaching these words, it is important to always start with sounds already known in the word, then focus on the ‘tricky’ part.
High Frequency Words
High frequency (common) are words that recur frequently in much of the written material young children read. They need to learnt by sight as they often occur in written material and some are tricky words that can’t be sounded out using phonics.
Not all words can be read using phonics and some children may not respond well to phonics teaching. Children with speech or hearing problems might find it especially hard as may children who are dyslexic. Extra rules like the magic e rule can make it confusing. Some words sound different depending on how they are being used and the some words, which sound the same, are spelt differently. Remember that love of story and knowledge fuels the desire to read and write and some words that your child will struggle with when presented on a flash card or in a list will be easily decoded in the context of a sentence.