Clare's Blog

Clare’s Blog – November

Dear Earleybird Parents & Carers


Clare’s Blog – November!


So we are half way through November. I am not entirely sure how this has happened, but time has literally flown by! Term started then just over 8 weeks ago. When you put it like that, it really hasn’t been that long, and it really isn’t that long in your children’s lives to adjust to a new setting, to new people, and for many it is the first time they have been left anywhere on a regular basis.  They have all done incredibly well.  The key workers have enjoyed meeting up with the newer children’s parents and hope you found it reassuring catching up with them.  Please do not hesitate at any time to speak to them or myself about anything.


So the last 8 weeks have been about settling in, building up confidence, making relationships with each other and the adults and learning the expected behaviours and rules of pre-school.  We have just started to look at focus children as part of our planning now the children are settled, and we have been taking a few children each day for a small group activity, with a plan to extend small group activities to all of the children by after Christmas.


It is important to realise that unless the child is settled, has reasonable listening skills and will follow the instructions given by an adult, then even small group activities will not help them to learn their letters, sounds and numbers.  Often it just means that they disrupt the activity for the children that are ready to engage.  If they are not yet ready for this, we will continue with free flow activities a little longer to allow the child’s social, emotional and personal development to mature more.  We do get a lot of questions every year about letters and sounds and numbers, and please be reassured that we do focus on this every year, but every year we have a different set of children and our focus may be slightly different.  Whether they are ready for small groups or not, we have letters and numbers within many of our ‘playful’ activities, and we do a lot of focus on recognising the beginning sounds of their names for example. We may ask all children whose name begins with a D (duh) to collect their belongings.  Or to choose which activity they would like to do. Useful games you can play at home to support recognising initial letter sounds include I spy. But it is important that you use the phonetic sounds (found here) rather than the letter names.


If you would like to encourage your child to start writing their name, please do be mindful that not every child is ready to hold a pencil yet and that it can be painful if their muscles are not developed.  It will discourage them if they find it uncomfortable or they can’t yet do it.  It is much better to be playful and use a little flour or salt on a tray and start making recognisable letters in the flour/salt with their finger.  Lots of using clothes pegs, playing with playdough, baking bread etc will help the small muscles develop ready for pencil writing later down the line.


I hope this rather lengthy update has been useful to you, any more advice or questions,  I am always happy to help!


You may have heard that many children in Hawkedon school are absent today due to being off sick, but wanted to confirm that today (Monday 20th)  all Earleybird pupils have attended and with no sickness absentees.


To prevent sickness bugs affecting our setting we take precautions to limit the impact by reminding parents to teach their child the importance of thorough hand washing.


If your child has a sickness bug (vomiting & diarrhoea) , please could you ensure that they have a 48 hour period of recovery.



Thank you

Kind regards

Clare Sheppard


Earleybird Pre-School