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Birchwood Nursery School

March 2023 - Block Play

What are the benefits of block play?

When your children are given the opportunity to play with blocks, they will develop mathematical and scientific skills like classifying and sorting, problem solving and number and measurement concepts. Block play will also develop your children’s gross and fine motor skills.

Other developmental benefits you will observe include the development of your children’s oral language as they negotiate and talk about the structures they have built. Block play has also been linked to an increase in creativity, imagination, self-esteem, and social and emotional growth too. 

What strategy will help children progress through the stages of block play?

That’s easy!! All you need to do is give your children lots of time and opportunities to play with blocks. If your children have access to blocks and the time to explore them independently, they will naturally progress through these stages. 

Froebel Stages of Block Play

When Friedrich Froebel (1782-1852) gave his cousin a set of wooden blocks for her two young sons as a present and asked her to observe how they played with them, he gave us two gifts in one – a practical resource designed for children’s learning and free play AND an invitation to observe and reflect on our practice.

February 2023 - Literacy

At Birchwood Pre-School and Nursery,

 Children will have a love of books and use this knowledge to retell familiar stories. 

Our children will be able to:   

  • Enjoy listening to a range of different songs, rhymes and stories.
  • Select books independently for pleasure.
  • Develop their listening and attention skills.
  • Use knowledge of familiar stories in their play.

We will...

  • Provide children with a rich and diverse range of different stories.
  • Read to children both as part of a story time session and during their independent play.
  • Ensure that children have access to our school library and get to select books they can share with their adults at home.
  • Sing songs and rhymes with children throughout the day to support children’s language skills.

January 2023 - Loose Parts

“When children interact with loose parts, they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning.  Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play”.

(Dale and Beloglovsky)

December 2022 - Seasons Greetings

In Preschool we are observing the change in season through a range of resources and physical changes in the weather. Neighbourhoods, streets and houses twinkle with light. The early morning frost sparkles across the garden. We encase Christmas trees with a magical glow, fairy lights twinkle and the streets and houses are adorned with sparkly colours and festive cheer. As we work towards The Curiosity Approach, instead of getting drawn into the tradition of a conveyor belt of ‘crafts and activities’ at this time of year, we look instead to experiences that are intrinsic to the child. That bring magical moments into their play space and play. The children have enjoyed exploring a range of materials to explore a transient art activity.

November 2022 - Vege Soup

This story begins outdoors… the children are role-playing.

An adult seizes the moment to support this learning opportunity. She wonders what they are doing? She commentates on their actions and she builds on what the children already know as she follows their lead. The story unfolds and the children talk about what they are going to buy at the shop. They pretend to buy potatoes, peel them and then put them in the oven.

Later in the week vegetables are purchased and the children are introduced to the real vegetable peelers. This task supports the development of gross and fine motor skills, dexterity, hand-eye coordination and crossing the mid-line. The children skilfully peeled and chopped carrots, parsnip, onion and potatoes.

As a result of such hard work we were able to make vegetable soup which was extremely popular at snack time with some fresh crusty bread from Simmons! 😊

October 2022 - Light and Shadows

Look at our CURIOUS little learners, exploring shadows on the wall. Light & shadows form a huge part of our Curiosity Approach setting.

Light is a source of ever-changing wonder for children. Simple moments exploring light can grow into explorations in science, creativity and language.

At very young ages children begin to realize that light can change and make shadows.  They love to explore the wonder of light reflections & shadows in our nurseries.

Our passionate staff help the children to hand pick thought provoking materials to explore, providing inspirational explorations in light.

Magical times ⭐️

September 2022 - Emergent Writers

Children in Preschool have been busy beginning their journey towards writing by making simple marks. Mark making is so much more than just a scribble! It is the first step in your child's journey to writing and is so very important for their development in handwriting, creativity and coordination. 


February 2022 - Working hard exploring

What a busy few weeks we have had exploring at school. We have painted using different body parts, we found dinosaurs trapped in ice and tasting new food for the Lunar new year.


January 2022 - Happy New Year

Happy new year to all our new and old families. We have loved seeing you all back at school.

We have started this very cold new year with exploring with our senses. We have painted with ice and talked about how it feels, used branches to paint and talked about the patterns it makes. We have had great fun mark making in the shaving gel.

Ice painting

November 2021 - Busy few weeks

The children have been working very hard in Preschool developing their skills in lots of areas. We have made a healthy soup, talked about Remembrance day and raised money for Chidren in Need to name just a few things.


October 2021 - Autumn

The Preschool children are settling well and making good use of all the Autumn treasures they have found.