Our trip to Mersea

On our last day of school, we visited Mersea Beach to paddle, make sand castles and picnic with friends and family. It was a lovely end to the term – and the sun shone all day!

When we return on 6th September, our sound of the week will be ‘s’ and our first theme for the term will be Ladybirds Pre-school values. Date for your diary: 17th September – AGM – all welcome. Enjoy the rest of the summer






The final six weeks of Summer Term 2018

This term always zooms past! We hope all the Daddies liked their cards and gifts for Father’s Day – the children worked really hard on them.


This term has definitely been child led, with many requests to have hairdressers, castles, dinosaurs, dolls and horses out in roleplay/small world areas.

Our “themes” of Birds and Construction have linked our learning indoors and our Forest School sessions, and we’ve built dens, volcanoes and lots of nests!

Summer Term is when we really focus on getting our School Leavers prepared so we place a lot of emphasis on listening during registration, taking turns, offering a variety of malleable activities to strengthen finger muscles and independent learning.

But it wasn’t all hard work…….!

We’ve spent lots of time under shade in the sandpit, at the “hairdressers”, or outside creating fantastic water chutes down which boats, sticks and even cars have travelled into the rock pools at the bottom. And it’s not over yet! Our final week will be all about the Seaside, finishing with a trip to Mersea on 23rd July. Photos to follow…..!


A farm visit, healthy eating – and lots of sand!

Apologies for the delay to this post, Easter seems a long time ago but in March the children from Ladybirds enjoyed a cold but sunny Easter Egg hunt in Royston Woods

We searched, found, compared and counted the eggs – we’ll never know what happened to the extra pink egg that disappeared though…..!

Spring Term at Ladybirds started with just that – our Spring theme! We planted cress and sunflower seeds and talked about Healthy Eating using the Hungry Caterpillar story.

Following on from healthy eating, we visited Hollow Trees Farm on 3rd May and had a wonderful time feeding the animals, helping to plant crops, harvesting rhubarb and planting some beetroot seeds for the children to take home. And of course racing around (and around and around!) in Pogal’s Pit on the slides, climbing frames and ropes.

We had lots of learning based on our themes of Dinosaurs and the story Giraffes Can’t Dance…..(they can at Ladybirds when you make them into a puppet!)……

…..and our malleable activities have gone ‘large’, with the children helping to transfer a ton of sand to our sandpit! Together with our topsoil corner, our digging area is complete and the children love to build, dig and discover in them.

Inside, lots of “school readiness” preparation is taking place: literacy worksheets to identify sounds, fine motor malleable activities and, of course, practising being the teacher!

Turn-taking and imaginative games are always encouraged and supported…….

as are “grown-up” games – very important!!

Our Forest School sessions this term have been fun – the children are getting familiar with the woods now and their confidence is growing as they balance, paint, swing and simply play in the woods.

Our themes for our Forest School sessions over the next few weeks are Birds, Dinosaurs and Construction, when we will help to rebuild the natural den in the woods (“it’s a house”, “it’s a Dinosaur Den”, “it’s my hide”)

Over the next few weeks we’ll be learning about birds, water, holidays and preparing for a special day on 17th June……..Image result for fathers day images

Dates for your diaries: we have an Open Morning on 6th July from 10am when you can stay and play with your child and find out more about what goes on at Ladybirds Pre-school. If possible, please call Sam Edwards, our Pre-school Leader, on 07846 604177 to let us know you are coming, or if you would like more information.

Just a reminder: our last day before half-term is 25th May and we return to Ladybirds on Thursday 7th June (there is a PD Day on Monday 4th June). Enjoy the sunny weather!







World Book Day

Thursday 1st March is World Book Day. The children are welcome to wear a book character costume and/or bring in a favourite reading book on Friday 2nd March. We are at Royston Woods Thursday morning but they could bring something to change into in the afternoon if they like.

It is not compulsory though and we have lots of dressing up costumes at Ladybirds.

Our sound of the week will be ‘a’ – I wonder who will remember the “ants on your arm” song……? Have a lovely weekend.


A chilly start to the year…

We welcomed the children back to Ladybirds in January and got started straight in with our theme of Winter – arctic animals in snow (well, shaving foam), penguin craft and  maths activities.



Our book theme for the term was an old favourite “Going on  Bear Hunt” so we did……in the garden…..

at the woods…….

and…at the craft table – where we made them in their caves!!

We also found the characters which were hiding in the shredded paper and made little puppets to use when Donna read the story.



We’ve focused on malleable activities this term, important for developing fine motor skills and strengthening finger muscles:


as well as spending lots of time in the kitchen roleplay area and with small world characters creating fantastic imaginative games with friends.


We had a visit from our dental nurse Amy again who talked about healthy snacks to eat –  and taught us a few songs to remind us the best technique for cleaning our teeth!


We’ve had more frosty fun in our Forest School sessions using our new tent and swing – and even toasted marshmallows on the fire on our final session of the half term.

We’re back on Thursday 22nd February when our sound of the week is “s”.








Happy, healthy 2018, from all at Ladybirds

It’s been a packed second half of Autumn Term 2017 with themes of Halloween, Bonfire Night, Remembrance, Hedgehogs, Castles and, of course, Christmas!

We’ve enjoyed a range of weather in our outdoor play area including sunshine, snow, light rain, and wind – a great excuse for getting out the bubble mixture (not that we ever need an excuse!)

Thank you for continuing to look for, and send in, items for our ‘sound of the week’. We find it’s a great way for the children to focus on different letter sounds, and supports them in developing literacy skills.

We love sensory ‘play’ at Ladybirds and this takes many different forms including cooking, painting, play dough, frozen objects/insects, jelly and spaghetti to name just a few.

Thank you to everyone who supplied a cake or bought raffle tickets at our Christmas Fayre in November – we bought some new toys for the children including prams which have proved very popular!

We love the fact that the children are not aware of all the learning that takes place – they think they’re just having fun building towers, making ‘tea’ in the kitchen etc, but all the time they are using mathematical language, developing social skills and finding out about the world.

Our Forest School sessions have been going well and the children are really getting to know Royston Woods. We have made bird feeders, flying birds on sticks, hedgehogs and stickmen. The children love to explore, climb and jump through the woods, looking for creatures (real and toy) hiding in the leaves. If you visit the woods, you may still see some friendly mud faces looking at you from the tree trunks….

In December, like everyone else, we were very busy getting ready for Christmas.

This December we were fortunate to have three special visitors: Rev. Armstrong told us the story of the Nativity and the children joined in with the beautifully knitted characters…..

…..we had a Christmas party with lunch and games……

……Tam brought in her shadow puppet theatre and told us the story of Stickman – the children (and adults!) were mesmorized….


….and finally, if all that wasn’t exciting enough, Father Christmas visited with presents for the all the children – thank you Santa!

We return to Ladybirds on Thursday 4th January when our Sound of the Week will be ‘u’. Don’t forget, if you are going on a trip anywhere and would like to take Froogli with you, please ask – we love to hear about the exciting things the children do when they’re not at Ladybirds!

We wish all our families a Happy, Healthy 2018.




Autumn Term…..

It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the Autumn Term. We hope all our July ‘Leavers’ have settled in happily at big school – it’s lovely to see the photos of them in their school uniform so please keep them coming in!

Our Autumn themes of Harvest, Divali and Hibernation have kept us busy so far this term, with the Hungry Caterpillar making a popular appearance too. And we hope you liked the Face Plates which came home early in the term – the children were very specific with the features! We’ve made vegetable soup – more cooking to come.

We have a very imaginative group of children at Ladybirds who make up fantastic games by themselves – it’s a shame to disturb them for lunch…..

We have started again with our “Sounds of the week” and so far have talked about s, a, t, i, p, n and ck. Please send your child in with items which begin with the sound of the week – they show them to everyone during registration and it is a great way of supporting their confidence as well as communication skills. Sam plans lots of mark making activities around the sound of the week with colouring and tracing among the most popular, but also using shaving foam and gloop. This week’s sound is “e” and next week is “h” as we follow the phonic order which is used in primary schools – there is a reminder of this order on our noticeboard.

This term has seen the start of our Forest School at Royston Wood. Unfortunately our first session had to be changed to a Windy Walk as the high winds meant it was too dangerous in the woods – but the children enjoyed being blown about on the village green instead!

Fortunately our second and third Forest School sessions went ahead and we’ve made a bug house, giant collages of a rainbow and hedgehog, stickmen and stick hedgehogs. We’ve played hide and seek, painted trees using “magic” paint and generally explored Royston Woods. Don’t forget we aim to go out in all weathers (except high winds and lightning) so please remember warm clothes and sturdy shoes.

We couldn’t find any blue leaves for our rainbow so the children painted their own!

Happy Halloween everyone, and have a safe firework night.

Phew – it’s been emotional…!

We had a wonderful day at Mersea Beach for our last day of term – thank you to Mersea Island Lions Club for letting us use your hut again. The weather held and we made sandcastles (and sand mermaids, sand ladybirds, sand stag beetles and sand boats!) paddled, wrote in the sand, had picnics and much much more!

It was an lovely way to end a packed term: here are a few of our highlights, including:

Father’s Day,


finding a stag beetle,


our Ladybird Trail which raised £52.73

and Lady Sam’s Birthday!

We even managed to do some learning too!

Our seaside theme has run throughout the term with lighthouses, starfish, rockpools, Rainbow fish, water (lots of water!) and sand dough.

We had a visit from Amy the Dental Nurse who brought in her baby dinosaur and giant dog to teach us about looking after our teeth and healthy snacks.

And Kayleigh, who we have been lucky to have with us this term, has just graduated with a BA(Hons) in Education Studies and Special and Inclusive Needs. Congratulations Kayleigh and good luck in your PGCE!19959227_1387164508063660_8766722919966299104_n

We say goodbye and good luck to everyone going to Big School, we will miss you very much – including Amy, who has inspired and taught us so much this year

We hope everyone has a wonderful, safe summer and look forward to seeing you back on 7th September.

















A trip to the farm….and healthy eating

The local elections meant that Ladybirds had to vacate the hall so we put on our sturdy shoesand headed for Hollow Trees Farm! What a great day we had feeding the animals, eating our picnic in the marquee and having a ride on Jenny the tractor. Finally we ended the day at Pogul’s Pit climbing on, sliding down and crawling through the play equipment. Sorry – no photos – we were too busy enjoying the day! Thank you to Hollow Trees for a fantastic day as always – and we loved being one of the first groups to use the new marquee.

Our trip to Hollow Trees started off our themes of Growing, Planting and Healthy Eating; we’ve looked at different sized seeds (cress, acorns and sunflowers), made real fruit kebabs and stuck pictures of fruit in Handa’s basket. We’ve planted herbs in our raised bed which has evolved from a dinosaur land to little people garden – Smurfs to be exact! And it’s also home to some bumble bees who have made their way in through the back – we don’t mind sharing the raised bed, the children enjoyed watching them make their way in and out (we talked about being careful) and we know they won’t be there for long.

This is the last term some of our children will be with us as they are moving up to school in September. They have been working hard with fine motor skill activities, to strengthen their finger muscles, and looking at letters to support upper/lower case correspondence.

With the beautiful weather, you can imagine we’ve wanted to be outside a lot, so we’ve moved our craft and snack areas there – water play features highly!

We still enjoy indoor activities too – and the hall can be a cool oasis when the weather is as hot as it has been recently.

Please remember to put sun cream on your child before they come to Ladybirds – we don’t want to have to delay getting outside straight away, they are so keen! Suncream is reapplied throughout the day as necessary of course.

And a reminder – our seaside trip is booked for 21st July, our last day of term.



Ladybirds in April – short but sweet…

It hardly seems 5 minutes since we went back after Easter! We’ve been celebrating Spring and making the most of the sunny (although sometimes chilly) weather.

Lots of obstacle courses, digging (sand and earth), washing the outdoor toys and playing popular circle games like Duck Duck Goose took place in our garden. The children took themselves off on ‘Bear Hunts’ and made dinner for us in the Mud Pie Kitchen. Inside the hall, we had some lovely play in the role play and small world areas, and children took turns playing with board games.

Our junk modelling and free craft produced some very imaginative creations – sorry if some were a bit wet (or didn’t fit in the car!)

Thank you to those who have already brought back their Easter Egg tubes and coins. We will be creating our Ladybird Trail in the garden this term so please remember to return them – thank you.

Our May themes will include Farms, Growing and Planting and Healthy Eating, beginning with a trip to Hollow Trees Farm at 10am on Thursday 4th May – we can’t wait!