Spots and a Tiger!

In November we had lots of special days to remember at Ladybirds: Remembrance Day, Bonfire Night, Divali and Children in Need. We made Poppies to remember those who gave their lives in the wars.

We also made Diva lights out of clay, decorating them with glitter, sequins and paint



and had a spotty day to raise money for Children in Need. Thank you to all who donated – we raised £20 and had lots of fun (some more than others!).

Our book theme was the wonderful story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea – he had plenty of tea at Ladybirds and went on many imaginative adventures! Thank you Jayne for letting us borrow him!

November wouldn’t be November without Bonfire night and our firework pictures, moons and rockets…..

and sparkly decorated biscuits!



Thank you for continuing to send in items for “sound of the week” – this week’s sound is “g” and next week is “o”. The children love books and stories and we support literacy and mark making in all areas of the setting

Our malleable activities this month have included rice, pasta, water, gloop (gulp!) and the always popular playdough – brilliantly realistic bugs children!

For our final fundraiser this year we have a Christmas Hamper raffle. Thank you for supplying festive items to fill the hamper, and thank you also to the Hare and Hounds pub for selling tickets.



 Now that it’s December, get ready for lots of glitter, christmas jumpers and giant snowmen!


Autumn Term at Ladybirds

We hope you have had a wonderful half term break and are ready to start back at Ladybirds tomorrow! Our sound of the week will be “e” – please send in something for your child to show and talk about beginning with the sound “e”.

The first few weeks of this term have been busy with new children starting and our “old” Ladybirds proving to be fantastic role models for the younger ones.

Our themes have been very topical with Autumn creatures (squirrels and hedgehogs), harvest and our book topic of Oliver’s Vegetables.

We always support collaboration and turn-taking at Ladybirds, and we particularly focus on this during the Autumn term when we remind ourselves of our Ladybirds Values (being kind to one another, sharing and being polite). The children have embraced this and are starting to independently play board games, put on puppet shows or create imaginative worlds where they all play a part.

We combined our Harvest and Hedgehog themes to make hedgehog bread rolls:


here’s what they should have looked like………

image (3)

and this is how ours turned out – well they tasted nice anyway!!

image (4)

We’ve also decorated biscuits to look like our family members….

and our forest school sessions are introducing the children to tool use – though some seem very experienced already!

Royston Wood has been beautiful this autumn and the children have loved spending time there. Thank you to the Leavenheath, Polstead and Stoke by Nayland Community Woodland Committee for keeping it looking lovely for our village to enjoy.

Some dates for your diaries:

Tuesday 6th November – Ladybirds Committee meeting – all welcome.

Friday 16th November – Spotty dressing up day (optional)

Monday 17th December – last day of term and our Christmas Party – more info to follow.














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.