News

End of Term Celebrations

As our Summer term draws to a close, it has been a pleasure to watch our little ones grow and flourish throughout the year. We are always so sad to say our goodbyes, but what special times we have had together. Today we had fruit kebabs, fun in paddling pools, and made ourselves flower crowns to celebrate the closing of our year. 🌼🌿💛

Thank you to the wonderful community of parents and committee members who presented staff with flowers and cards.💐🥰

Bags 2 School Collection – 6 July

Help us raise money for Playgroup!

Our final bag2school collection for this year is next Tuesday 6th July. Let’s make it a bumper collection and raise lots of money for Playgroup!

Bag2school will accept clothes, shoes, towels and bedding so it’s a great opportunity to have a clear out this weekend! And you can leave your bags at the Village Hall so no trips to the charity shop 🙌

You can leave bags outside the Village Hall from 4pm on Monday or first thing Tuesday morning (before 8.30 please).

Let’s see if we can beat the March collection (pictured here) which raised over £200! All
money raised goes to Playgroup and helps us to buy toys and equipment for the children.

For a full list of acceptable items or to find out more please go to www.bag2school.com/what-we-collect

Salad Spinner Art

Good morning Playgroup! We’ve had some requests to show you all how we made our beautiful Easter cards so here is a little tutorial.

Salad Spinner Art. You will need an old salad spinner, some paint (I watered ours down a little), thick paper or card and a small bit of Blu Tack…. Place the Blu Tack in the middle of the salad spinner base. Stick your card or thick paper down, you can cut it into any shape that will fit in the spinner. Drip some paint onto your card, we started with two colours then after each spin we added a few more drops each time. Secure the lid on and then, with a grown up holding the base, spin! This is so great for the children to really use their muscles! Stop spinning after a while and then see how it looks, you can add more colours as many times as you like to find the pattern that you love. We would love to see examples of your beautiful Salad Spinner Art!! XXCara

Thank You

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to our bags2school collection yesterday. We collected a massive 800kg of clothes which has raised £240 for Playgroup!

We will use this money to buy some climbing equipment for the children to use in our lovely garden.

Thank you all for your support 👏😍👏

Crunchy, Bumpy, Crackley Art

We have been hopping towards Spring this week, especially as we have all had our turn on a mini trampoline 😁🙃

The sun came out as we made little nests in the garden, and learned a new song to sing together.

We spent lots if time creating exciting artwork from eggshells. A mortar and pestle, lots of glue, and paint are what you need. Save your eggshell after you crack the eggs, wash in soapy water, and put in the oven for 20 minutes. Then they will be ready to crush and create crunchy, bumpy, crackley art! 🌼🥚🎨

Wintering Newts

The children found this little over wintering newt in the garden today. Their reaction was so gentle and caring towards the tiny creature and it was wonderful to witness. What a lot of observations and suggestions they made! We found a safe and sheltered place for it to continue its slumbers until Spring. It may well be a Great crested newt, which is a protected species and can live for up to 15 years!🦎

Spring is Coming

We’d like to wish you all a very happy half term. This week we had fun watching the snowflakes fall, as well as observing tiny signs of Spring too. We read and told stories about Chinese new year, and danced to traditional Chinese music. We also tried the calming effects of playing with rice using our hands and bare feet…🌸🌱

Coloured Rice

We played with all this bright rice today! If you’d like to dye your own rice at home simply pour some rice into a container that has a lid. Add a few drops of food colouring to the rice, put on the lid, and shake shake shake! Spread onto newspaper and leave somewhere warm to dry out overnight. 🎉🥢

Learning Songs in the Garden

We still have fresh memories of all the lovely snow that has been drifting down lately, and today we learned a new song, to sing in our own Winter garden! We used instruments to accompany us. We have made mint tea in our kitchen today, enjoying the refreshing smell! There has also been lots of mark making, building, and train track play.❄🎶🧤🚂

Butterfly Masks

Hello my darlings, I’ve been a busy bee today decorating my butterfly ready for tomorrow’s story. Have you been busy too? If you have already finished yours I’d love to see it! You can take a photo and post it in the comments! I can’t wait to share story time with you all tomorrow 🦋🦋🦋 Cara

In The Garden

In the garden, the children have been listening to the magical sounds of the wind chimes. We could hear so many other sounds when we sat and listened. A robin, a pigeon, a helicopter, even a puppy!We have also been reading The Colour Monster, and talking about how we are feeling. We made monsters from clay. What colour would your Colour Monster be?🌿❤💛💚💙💜

The Heavy Bag!

We are feeling very proud of our staff member Sarah who has published her first children’s book!💛 The Heavy Bag by Sarah Surgey is written to help primary school children put words with those emotions that weigh us down, and make us feel it is all too much. Sarah is passionate about supporting young people’s mental health, and wanted her book to be of help to parents and carers and their children. It is beautifully illustrated by Larisa Ivankovic.

Fireworks

We have been talking together about huge fireworks this week, how they explode, and light up in the sky. They are very noisy and go bang!! We have made Diwali diva lamps too, for tiny lights. We have listened to different sounds with musical chimes and singing bowls, and made some quiet little hibernation homes for hedgehogs. Sometimes the hedgehog wakes up…what has woken her up this time?

Bags 2 School

Thank you so much to everyone who donated a bag of clothes for our bag of clothes for our bags2school collection yesterday.  There was a massive 450kg of clothes which raised £135 for Playgroup!  This money allows us to buy toys and equipment for the children that we couldn’t otherwise afford.  A fantastic effort, thank you so much!

Autumn Has Come

Autumn has come
Nights growing cold
Blackberries in the hedgerows
And leaves red and gold🍂🍂🍂

Mark making, storytelling and singing are some of the things we have been doing this week. Cara has brought us some amazing pumpkins and squashes. They have been inspiring our play!

farm_large

Warleigh Lodge Farm

On Monday 6th July the children, staff and a few parents enjoyed a trip to Warleigh Lodge Farm. The sun was shining and we were able to explore the farm with Farmer Julian and his wife. We began with a big run across the fields, then paddled in a stream and ended up at an enormous hollow tree that the children were able to climb inside. Farmer Julian thinks the tree may be around 500 years old. He then took us all on a tractor ride back to the farm. The children partook in various activities including feeding the lambs, feeding and collecting eggs from the chickens, grooming the donkeys and feeding the goats. We also saw the pigs and their piglets. We ended the trip eating our lunch in the barn and having a sing song of Old Macdonald had a farm. A thoroughly enjoyable time was had by all.

zanda_zoo_l

Little Zoo

Playgroup enjoyed once again our annual visit from the Little Zoo. The children were able to see, touch and even hold a number of animals they would not normally encounter. They were delighted to meet Baby Surgess the Meerkat, Cepen the African Pygmy Hedgehog, Al Barney the Barn Owl, Sid the Royal Python, Harry the Tarantula who they all got to high five! and Dillis the 3 banded Armadillo, who delighted us all by running around on her tiptoes. The children were impeccably behaved and thoroughly enjoyed the visit.

money

Early Years Pupil Premium

From April 2015 the Government will be providing extra funding for 3 year olds from lower income families to help them to do their very best. This is called the Early Years Pupil Premium. We as a setting will be able to claim extra money to help support your child in their learning if you are eligible to apply. more more details, please click here to for the Early Years Pupil Premium letter.

Watch this space, more details to follow!

cakes

Table Top Sale!

Our most recent fund raising event is the Table Top Bonanza! Are you interested in a table or do you fancy a bargin, then come along. We have quite a few people showing interest in having a table, and a Phoenix Cards representative confirmed, so do let me know if you would like to reserve a table.

Donations of toys and books for our toy sale are much appreciated. We will be asking for these donations nearer the time.

Sellers: A £5 donation to Playgroup for a table (any further donations optional), set up from 9am.

Watch this space, more details to follow!

Update

Thank you also to all of you who helped out at the table top sale and to those of you who supported this event. We have booked a trip (with the money raised) to Warleigh Lodge Farm.

Thank you

christmas1

Christmas Party

Our Christmas party will take place on Saturday 13th December this year. There will be lots of fun activities for the children to take part in.

Donations of toys and books for our toy sale are much appreciated. We will be asking for these donations nearer the time.

Update

A big big thank you to everyone involved in the Christmas party, from the organising, helping out on the day, all the donations, and everyone who came along with their families and spent money!!

We raised about £250!, so we have met our target for a mobile cloakroom unit, this will help staff a great deal, thank you.

ofsted good

Ofsted – Good rating!

Playgroup was paid a visit from the Ofsted inspector during the last week of term and we are very happy to say that we have been awarded a good rating which is a grade up from our last inspection. This is down to the hard work and dedication from staff, committee and parents both past and present. One area we scored highly on was “having a strong parent partnership” so thank you to all those who have helped out and volunteered and thank you to anyone who was quizzed by the inspector on the day. The full report can be viewed here, click on the lastest report.

Volunteer Garden Day, please help?

One of our outdoor projects is to create a new learning area for the children at the top corner of the village hall garden.

We are having a volunteer garden day on Sunday 13th July from 12:30pm to clear the overgrown area, to see what space we have to play with!

Experienced tree surgeon, James Nash, will be advising us and I’ll be bringing a shredder, which will hopefully minimise some of the waste.

If you can get away from the little ones, even for half an hour, all help would be great and very much appreciated!!

Bring your garden gloves, secateurs, pruning saws, spades, forks, rakes, green bins and lots of community spirit !

Update

During term 6 we were successful in receiving a grant from the Big Lottery Fund to improve the outdoor space at the Village Hall, the work has been done over the holidays, we have new steps, fences, paving areas and an area of artificial grass!!, it all looks great! we have more ideas to follow to improve it further! Thank you to everyone involved in the transformation!

bathampton school

Bathampton School is having an open day for prospective parents

Its a great chance to have a look round the school, meet teachers, and ask any questions you may have.

In addition, Mrs Kirby is visiting the pre school children at the playgroup on the 18th June from 9.30 onwards.

If this is your first time through the school admissions process, applications for September 2015, are usually submitted from October ’14, with a closing date, by the end of January 2015. (TBC)

The best place to look is on the BANES website, where there are links to information booklets, to help answer all questions. Click here .

Auction of Promises

We are holding an Auction of Promises on Saturday May 17th at Bathampton Village Hall. Doors will open at 7:00pm and the Auction will start at 7:30pm Tickets are £3.50, free glass of wine for every guest! If you would like to reserve a ticket, please email Chloe. Email chloe@yandell.org

We have received many generous donations from local businesses, members of the community and parents, and more are yet to come!, Thank you to all. Here is a selection of the promises up for auction!!

  • 10 week Water Babies course.
  • 6 month pass The Toll Bridge.
  • A weekend break at Atlantic Reach, Cornwall.
  • A Polka dot party kit and a personalised keepsake picture of their choice from Feather Grey.
  • 2 seats on a Scarper Tour to Stonehenge. Tour includes the Stonehenge entrance fee.
  • 2 tickets for a Saturday Performance at The Egg Theatre.
  • Dry Arch vegetable box delivered to your door.
  • Back massage from Hands on Health.
  • A free term of Rugby Tots lessons including free registration fee and free kit and water bottle.
  • Bottle of Champagne.
  • Chimney sweep and log burner install survey from Chimney Knowledge
  • One to one twitter master-class or personal social media audit from Social i.
  • Baby sitting

Update

The Auction of promises was a huge success and we reached our target of £1000, which will be going towards improving the children’s outdoor environment – more information on this new project – coming soon!

Thank you to all involved in organising the event, our generous donations from local businesses and parents, and of course everyone who attended the event and helped us raise funds!

pigs

Visit to Dry Arch

We also hope to take the children in small groups up to the dry arch to have a walk around and to do some bark rubbings and maybe some planting and to have a story there in their recycled house. We then plan to get the children involved in making a map of their walk there and also building some interesting things of their own out of junk modelling.

Update

On Tuesday the children and staff at playgroup and a few parent helpers thoroughly enjoyed their trip to the Dry Arch. The children were told a little bit about the Dry Arch Community Growers and then set off to explore the place in little groups. They were able to water the vegetables, pick and smell and feel the different herbs growing in the rockery, meet and feed the pigs (we tried to think of names for the piglets and the most popular choices were Peppa and George!), and they also did bark rubbing. After a good explore the children enjoyed a story and a well earned drink of the Dry Arches very own apple juice. This went down well!

The children all seemed to enjoy themselves as did the staff so we will be visiting again soon.

school

Starting school in September?

We will also be carrying on with our special learning sessions for our pre-school children to help prepare them for starting school. These will be short sessions and will focus on letters and sounds involving stories, singing, rhymes and games. We will also practice things like putting on shoes and coats and the all important ‘sitting still on the carpet. Jill and I recently met with the reception teacher at Bathampton Primary School to discuss next year’s intake. We know you have not heard yet about school allocations but we have arranged to take the children who get a place at Bathampton down for a visit at some point later in the term in small groups. If you have any questions about this please ask. For Bathampton Primary School website, Click here.

rugby tots

Sports Day with Rugby Tots !

Paul Hurley Lead Coach with Rugby Tots, Bath will be leading our fun sports day event this year, In the field opposite Playgroup, we are extremely grateful for his offer, should be lots of fun! Details to follow! To find out more about Rugby Tots go to www.rugbytots.co.uk

Update

On a hot summers day in the last week of term the children at Bathampton Playgroup enjoyed their annual Sports Day which was very kindly run by Paul Hurley of Rugby Tots. An audience made up of parents and one Ofsted Inspector watched as the children took part in a number of team activities. After a warm up they ran, jumped, weaved and balanced their way around the playing field cheered on by staff and parents. The children thoroughly enjoyed their sports day and Paul was a great hit with them. Thank you so much to him for running it for us. We are looking forward to his next visit.

hog

Little Zoo

We are looking forward to a visit from the Little Zoo on Wednesday 24th March. They will be with us for about an hour and will bring animals such as a barn owl, a meercat, a skunk, an armadillo, and a snake for the children to meet. We would be grateful for any extra help on this day for the hour that they are here (10.15-11.15). Thank you for all of you who helped to raise money for this visit from the last coffee morning. It should be an exciting morning.

Update

Everyone enjoyed our visit from Little Zoo, meeting the animals and learning about them and their environments, Thanks to the Little Zoo team!

We met, Cepen the African Pygmy Hedgehog, Dillis the 3 banded Armadillo, Surgess the Meercat, Al Barny the Barn Owl, and Elvis the Skunk!’

world book day

World Book Day

On Wednesday 5th March one of our Moms will be coming in to read her book Baby Badgers Wonderful Night to the children for world book day. If any of your children would like to dress up as their favourite book character this week please feel free to let them or they could simply bring in their favourite story to share with us.

bear

‘Share’ a Bear – Paddington

We will continue to welcome Paddington to playgroup. Your child will have a turn to take Paddington home and can record his stay at your house in an accompanying scrapbook. A simple recount of a family activity, maybe a photograph and/or a drawing is perfect. We look forward to finding out what fun you have at home!

For more pictures go to our NEW bear’s adventures page, click here