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February 2020



Welcome to the February 2020 Newsletter


Our theme this month is:


Farm Animals

We will be discussing the names of farm animals, describing them, where they live, what they eat, what noises they make, what their babies are called, what males and females are called, their life cycles and how they move.

We will be visiting the Ark Open Farm in February.






                                ‘Our Senses’ project this month is TASTE



The children will be tasting various foods and talking about the sweet and savoury things we eat at lunchtime. We will be making stretchy dough out of strong flour. As well as being stretchy it becomes sticky as we use it. We will be setting up the role-play area to fit in with this theme such as the café and will be painting our salt dough to use in the cafe.



Our shape this month is RECTANGLE





Some children find this difficult so need lots of practice!


  • We will be focusing on rectangles – rectangular building blocks, sheets of paper etc.
  • We will be sorting and matching shapes and talking about the shape of the paper we use and the construction toys we play with.



                        Our colours this month are BLUE and WHITE



We will be painting with blue and white paint as well as changing our water to make it blue and then white.







Physical Development


This month in the Nursery we will be encouraging the children to further develop their concentration span and their manual dexterity e.g.


  • Ball games and balance benches
  • Continue to encourage cutting and sticking both paper and cardboard to make flat pictures and cardboard structures (children need this practice constantly so that they don’t lose the skills already achieved.



We have a lot of sickness in nursery at present. Please do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms or have a temperature- even if they really want to come to nursery! This will ensure that viruses will not spread. Please be aware that if your child requires Calpol then they should not be in school. If your child has had either vomiting or diarrhoea then they should not return to school for 48 hours after the symptoms have ceased.







Small Talk N.I.Parent Training


Thurs 19th March 2020 from 6.30-8.00pm

A Parent Workshop has been organised with the help of Extended Schools money and the Getting Ready To Learn Initiative with Small Talk NI. Kerry Mulholland ( a Speech and Language Therapist) will be discussing how language develops in children and how you can help your child with developing their sounds and improving their speech. This is a very worthwhile Parent session and we urge everyone to attend-even if your child is not experiencing any speech difficulties.




Child Safeguarding

Please be aware that during the Winter months we will be gritting the paths and car park around the nursery on icy mornings but we still would like to remind you to be very careful and to hold your child’s hand in order to keep them safe. Thank You.




Drop Off and Collections

We have had a phone call from a resident of Killard Avenue who has asked that we make Parents aware that they are finding it difficult to get to their houses because of people turning and finding a parking space during drop off and collection times.  Please be mindful of this and ensure that residents are not inconvenienced at these times during the school day.

Thank You





Please be reminded that we have a number of children with allergies in nursery and we ask that no food is to be brought on to the premises.

Thank you.







February and March Dates to Remember:


Mon 3rd Feb to Fri 7th Feb

3+ Health Initiative Consultations

With Health Visitor will happen

During this week.



Weds 5th February

Mini’s Music


Wednesday 12th February

The Ark Open Farm 30th Anniversary celebrations. Further information has already

been distributed.


Fri 14th February

Nursery finishes at 11.30 for half term. No dinner will be served.

No dinner will be served.



Mon 17th  Feb to Fri 21st Feb

Half term holidays



Mon 24th February

Nursery re-opens after half term.



Tuesday 25th February

The school photographer will be in Nursery taking the children’s photos.

Family portraits will also be taken from 8.00 am. Please complete the

permission form and return it by the deadline date. Please let us know on

this form if you require a family portrait.  A timetable for family photos will be distributed later.




March dates to remember


Thurs 19th March 2020 @ 6.30pm

Speech and language Parent Training session

on the development of language, helping with

speech sounds and with dysfluency

Kerry Mulholland (Speech and Language



Mon 23rd March to Friday 27th March


Parent Teacher Meetings

School finishes at 12.45pm daily to facilitate these meetings.

Dinner will still be served.

Please complete the date and time request form for the Parent Teacher Meetings attached and return before the deadline date. Thank you.









February Learning Plans


Themes: Farm Animals


Colours: Blue and White


Shape: Rectangle


Personal, Social And Emotional Development


Children will have opportunities to:


· Consolidate rules of co-operation, turn taking and sharing.


· Develop concentration and task perseverance.


· Develop imagination with respect to the role play area including the café and the vets– dressing up, taking on roles, re-enacting previous experiences


Ideas to reinforce your child’s learning at home:


· If you take your child out for a meal or a carry out, look at the menu with them and talk about what food they are going to choose. Reinforce the vocabulary surrounding the café and restaurant.


· Talk to your child about the vet and their role in the community.


· Encourage your child not to bring toys from home into nursery. (See newsletter.)


Language Development


Children will have opportunities to:


· Share information about their half term holiday experiences.


· Extend vocabulary through use of relevant words relating to farm animals e.g. animal names, descriptions, where they live, what they eat, the noises they make and what their babies are called.


· Continue to develop listening skills with respect to stories and visitors.


· Discuss and reinforce nursery evacuation procedures.


· Consolidate ideas relating to Winter including the weather, hibernation, nature etc.


· Sing songs relating to the theme of farm animals.


· Reinforce Winter rhymes from last month.


· Read stories relating to the theme of farm animals.


· Relate non-fiction books looking at farm animals.


· Recognition of child’s own name.


· Take a Story Sack home from Thursday to Monday to enjoy with family and friends.


Ideas to reinforce your child’s learning at home:


· Sing songs and rhymes with your child relating to the theme of farm animals, this can enhance their future reading abilities. (These rhymes can be found on the monthly rhyme sheet.)


· Consolidate rhymes from last month by singing them at home.


· Read stories to your child which again will help them when they come to reading for themselves. (Don’t forget there are books to borrow in the nursery foyer as well as your local library.)


· Discuss the farm visit and what the children have seen and experienced.


· Look at photos of children during the farm visit displayed in the hall and discuss this with them.


· Encourage children to recognise their own name.


· Share the Story Sacks with your child and enhance their learning through the use of these valuable resources.








Early Mathematical Experiences


Children will have opportunities to:


· Sort and match farm animals according to type.


· Sort and match farm animals according to whether they have fur, feathers, skin or scales.


· Count animals.


· Match animals to their babies and name.


· Look at farm animals according to size.


· Look at animals according to their patterns.


· Sing songs and rhymes that include numbers and farm animals (see the monthly rhyme sheet).


· Use animal shaped cutters in the dough.


· Draw, colour and cut animal shaped pages at the writing table.


· Look at their own farm animal booklets.


· Sort food in the café and carry out in the role play area and during tidy up.


· Match up food to menus and orders.


Ideas to reinforce your child’s learning at home:


· Discuss farm animals while out walking or out for a drive.


Physical Development


Children will have opportunities to:


· Further experience Winter weather during outside play.


· Develop fine motor or manipulative skills using art equipment, construction materials and general self-help skills.


· Develop gross motor skills handling larger construction materials, climbing, running, pedalling wheeled vehicles and ensuring their own and others safety.


· Further practice at pulling the zips up on their suits.


Ideas to reinforce your child’s learning at home:


· Encourage your child to use a pair of safety scissors properly.


· Encourage your child to zip their own coat up.


· Encourage your child to hold a pencil or pen properly.


The Arts


Children will have opportunities to:


· Listen and join in with songs, rhymes and drama activities relating to the theme of Farm Animals.


· Participate in a Mini’s Music session on the theme of Farm Animals.


· Experience sticking activities with bot P.V.A.


· Make animal pictures using animal shaped sponges.


· Have continued use of art activities on the art table, writing table and easel.


· Have continued use of felt tips, crayons and colouring pencils.


· Continue naming their own pictures using the stickers provided by the staff.


· Valentine’s Day art activities.


· Experience musical instruments during outside play.


Ideas to reinforce your child’s learning at home:


  • Encourage your child to recognise their own name by writing it on to their drawings. Remember not to write their name in capital letters i.e. JAMES but instead write James as this will be the way they will be taught in Primary 1.


· Discuss Valentine’s Day with your child.






The World around Us


Children will have opportunities to:


· Look at and discuss farm animals.


· Be involved in gardening activities.


· Look out for items that are blue or white in the environment.


· Continue to examine the change in the seasons.


· We will be discussing the Chinese New Year and all that it entails. “Gung Hey Phat Choi!”


Ideas to reinforce your child’s learning at home:


· Encourage your child to find items that are blue or white in your house.


· If you had time, a visit to the farm would reinforce their learning in school and let them show what animals visited nursery.


· A visit to the local library to borrow fiction and non-fiction books about farm animals would enhance your child’s learning.


· Collect more natural materials on a Winter walk and encourage your child to bring them into school to share with the rest of the class.


· Discuss Chinese New Year with your child and share what they have learned.