Wednesday, 30 April 2014

TRANSITIONS


Transitions from home to nursery or from nursery to primary school can be challenging for some children.  When transitions work well they help children to develop confidence and acquire skills to manage future changes in their lives.  

In Kylemore Nursery School we want to provide support from the earliest stages in Education for Life.  Thanks to DSD Neighbourhood Renewal  funding we now have  an additional member of staff who supports families - especially during Transition.  Agnieszka, our Transition support worker, works with families in the nursery, who have worries about their children.  She also offers guidance and a 'listening ear' to families and children where English is not their first language. 

She supports language development every day with children in nursery.  She also works for part of the year  in St.John`s Primary School and Killowen Primary School.  Through simple games and songs she helps children to build their vocabulary, confidence and communication skills.   This term her role will also include liaising with families and children transferring from the 2 year old programme to our school in September.


Parental involvement in a child`s learning is extremely powerful, so Agnieszka organises workshops for parents and children.  Sharing learning experiences can be an important part of support, as families gain the skills and confidence to support their child’s learning at home through play and everyday activities.  



During the workshops in Kylemore parents have an opportunity to work with their child and also share ideas as they work.  They can also meet other families and share experiences.  The workshops are a great opportunity for parents and children to have some “me” time together.  Positive feedback about our workshops has been encouraging andthose parents who have come along have really enjoyed them.

There are a few more planned for this term so keep an eye out!!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Bug Hotel or Minibeast Mansion?

Our latest Eco-school project.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of Barry from Coleraine Borough Council and William one of our daddies, the bugs and minibeasts in the Heights area of Coleraine now have a new 5***** dwelling!




What makes a good bug hotel or minibeast mansion?

The best bug hotels have lots of small spaces in different shapes and sizes and made from different materials.  Ideally, some should be nice and dry inside, and others a bit dampish.  Bug hotels are generally made from reclaimed materials, or natural objects, which reduce cost, helps them blend with their surroundings and is probably more attractive to the mini-beast guests.

We began by gathering together wooden pallets, some bamboo canes, old straw and other bits and pieces.  Then we asked for some Mammies or Daddies to volunteer to come and help Barry and the children to build and drill holes in logs. 
Before....

...ready to start.

Willing volunteers!!

Real tools - real tasks



Securing the foundations.....



Push, poke, fill it up!








PLASTIC BAG TAX IN NORTHERN IRELAND

The Plastic Bag tax in Northern Ireland is providing wonderful opportunities for school and community groups to improve facilities.  Who would have believed it!
We have been fortunate to receive a grant from NI Environment link to provide a Parent/Child friendly space at the front of our school! Last December we created the initial seating area in front of our school.


We have now extended our outdoor seating area by creating a second area that mirrors the first. Both are linked by trellis for additional planting.

We have also formed a safe barbecue area for use by staff and parents.  This seating was erected around our barbecue area.....

All work has been carried out by the Conservation Volunteers and we have been impressed with the standard of their work, their efficiency and awareness of the need to risk assess and ensure all works are carried out with safety in mind.

Soil and grassy sods have been built up to create added interest areas in the grounds.


Today the Parent/Child friendly space was planted up by Daphne and Yvonne ably assisted by some of the morning children.  They talked about the colours of the pansies, the scents of some herbs and they also closely examined the root system of plants we were planting.



How lucky are we....Granted it was a bit of hassle and time spent applying for the funding but I must say it has been well worth it!  It will be lovely to see the space used by parents and children in the better weather, we have now got a base to use for ECOschools meetings....and most importantly the children will have somewhere safe to sit when we use our barbecue!!!

Now when I go shopping I don't mind paying 5pence for a plastic bag!!!!
It's good to know that the proceeds are used to improve facilities in the community!