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Stars Nursery - Miss Rickaby 2014-2015

Welcome to Stars Nursery

Summer Term


This term our topic is Growth. We are all going to be nature detectives and will be doing lots of exciting things. Scroll down to check out what we have been up to.



Sports Day


The children had lots of fun at their Sports Day.  They all competed in the sprint, beanbag and hurdle races.  Some of their parents/carers also took part in a sprint race.  Many thanks to those who did so and to the Y6 children who helped out.


After a short break the parents/carers stayed to watch the children as they demonstrated their agility, balance and co-ordination on the large apparatus in the Early Years hall.


Please take a look at some of our photos below.


Morning Session


Sprint Races





Beanbag Races





Hurdle Races





Adults Races




Afternoon Session


Sprint Races





Beanbag Races





Hurdle Races





Adults Races





Park Litter Pick


We worked with Gateshead Council and Durham Wildlife Trust to help clean up Oliver Henderson Park.  As we frequently visit the park  to observe the wildlife we are often disappointed to see so much rubbish in and around the pond.  The children enjoyed helping to take responsibility for our environment by litter picking in the park while the team from Durham Wildlife Trust cleared the pond.


Becky from Durham Wildlife Trust spoke to the children about collecting litter safely and Jayne from Gateshead Council showed the adults how to make bird boxes. 


Thank you to the parents/carers who joined us for the session. They enjoyed making the bird boxes with their children.  We took them back to nursery to paint and they will be put on the trees in the park in September. 


Some of our nursery parents/carers expressed a wish to become more involved in caring for the park environment so we are are starting a volunteers group - Lingey House Friends of Oliver Henderson Park.  We will liase with Jayne Calvert from Gateshead Council who will provide us with any training and equipment we need.  If you are interested in joining the group please speak to Mrs. Gray.


Please take a look at our photos below.


Becky and Jayne giving their talks


The children litter picking 




Making bird boxes 




The Durham Wildlife Trust team clearing the pond



Mini Beast Hunt


We went armed with spotter sheets on clipboards and magnifying glasses into the nursery grounds to look for mini beasts.  Each time we spotted one that matched a picture on our sheets we stuck a spot on. 


We looked in the bug hotel that we made in the Autumn term and moved different things to see if we could find anything underneath.  We spotted worms, woodlice, spiders, snails, ants and one caterpillar.  We were very surprised when we found some frogs underneath some sandbags! 


When we returned to nursery we drew some mini beasts on our spotter sheets and some of us wrote labels to put into our special Learning Journeys.


Please take a look at our photos below.


Checking on the ground


Checking the bug hotel


Checking the sandbags where the frogs were hiding




Pond Visit


Just after visiting the pond in the park last month we discovered that there was a female swan nesting on the island.  We are happy to report that four cygnets have now hatched.  The children were very excited this morning after seeing the cygnets on their way to nursery.  


There are also five goslings and lots of coot chicks on the pond. 


We are so lucky to have the park on our doorstep.  The ducks often wander into our school grounds!  We  make good use of this wonderful resource to observe all of the wildlife and to teach the children about growth, life cycles and how to care for animals and the environment. 


Please take a look at our photos below.


The newly hatched cygnets


The cygnets with their mother


The goslings with their parents


Coot chicks with their parents


Role Play Garden


When we were changing one of our role play areas the children requested a garden and discussed what they would like to have in it.  We have put in everything they requested and they have had lots of fun potting beans and peas; catching numbered fish in the pond; ordering fish on the washing line; playing with five little speckled frogs and collecting and counting bugs. 


Please take a look at our photos below.


Our role play garden





Bug hunting



Fishing and ordering numbers


Working With Durham Wildlife Trust

and Gateshead Council


We are very happy to report that Lingey House Primary School will be working with Durham Wildlife Trust and Gateshead Council to improve the natural environment in order to conserve the wildlife in Oliver Henderson Park.  Our nursery children were given the opportunity to sew the first seeds to create a wildflower area near the pond.  Jayne from Gateshead Council told the children about the flower seeds they were planting and Becky from Durham Wildlife Trust showed the children how to scatter the seed.


We can't wait to get involved in the next project!  Please take a look at the photos below.



Jayne showing the children the wildflower seeds



Becky demonstrating how to scatter the seed



The children scattering the seed


Park Nature Detectives


We are very lucky at Lingey House to have a wonderful park on our doorstep.  Today we were nature detectives and we went for a walk in the park to see what has started to grow. 


When we left nursery Mrs. Jones, our Head Teacher, asked us to count how many swans were on the pond.  Unfortunately there was just one.  We hope another swan will come to join it.  It would be lovely to see cygnets on our pond! 


We saw lots of signs of new life.  Most of the trees are growing new buds, leaves and blossom; daisies are growing in the grass and the birds are busy building nests. We spotted a few nests with coots sitting in them.  One of them had chicks in it!  We will return to the park soon to see if we can spot the chicks swimming in the pond.


On our return to nursery we spotted a magpie sitting next to a nest in a very tall tree in our garden.  We will continue with our detective work to see if we can spot any signs of chicks in the nest.


Please have a look at our photos to see what we discovered.



                       Leaf buds                                                Young leaves


     A Canada goose walking alongside us                             The swan


                  A coot on a nest                                  A magpie next to a nest


Spring Term


This term our topic is 'Fit For Life'.  We will be learning about our bodies, the benefits of exercise and healthy eating.  We will even have a mini gym in our role play area.  Keep checking our page to see what we have been doing. 

Nursery Boot Camp


We held a Boot Camp for the nursery children to end our 'Fit for Life' topic.  The children had lots of fun on the 'assault course' and demonstrated their balance, co-ordination and agility very well on all of the apparatus.


The children climbed on and off (or jumped off) movement tables, high agility stools and a vaulting horse.  They walked across floor balance beams; travelled across a high beam between agility stools and up a form on to a vaulting horse. 


The confidence shown was amazing and they can't wait to do Boot Camp again!


Take a look at our photos below.



Crawling on hands and knees through a tunnel



Crawling commando style through a tunnel



Climbing onto the movement table and walking across the floor balance beam



Walking across the floor balance beam and jumping off the movement table





Travelling up the bench to the vaulting horse





Travelling across a beam placed between high agility stools

World Book Day


This year for World Book Day we took inspiration from Claire Freedman's book, Pirates Love Underpants.  We all dressed up as pirates and wore underpants on top of our outfits.  Parents and carers were invited into nursery to read books with the children.  They also took the opportunity to look at their children's Learning Journeys.


After looking at all of our wonderful books we played pirate games.  We then had a visit from Captain Underpants who came to award copies of Pirates Love Underpants for the best pirate costume and the best customised underpants. 


Thank you to all who came along.  Please take a look at our photos below.


Parents and carers sharing books
















Pirate Games




Morning children winners with Captain Underpants




Afternoon children winners



The staff join in the fun




Stay and Play!


On Friday before the half term holidays we enjoyed inviting our parents and carers in for our first Stay and Play session. Lots of our friends and families came to join in and share our nursery day, many stayed for snack too! It was great fun to share learning in our lovely nursery play areas. Some of us pretended to be doctors, some enjoyed arts and crafts, and some enjoyed playing games in our garden. 


Thankyou very much to all those that participated and made this Friday a wonderful shared learning experience! We look forward to hopefully seeing you again at the next one in April!

Valentine's Day


Our children have been busy making a Valentine gift for the special people in their lives.


They followed instructions well and stuck buttons on to heart shaped card.  They took great care to stay within the shape. The end results were very good and the children were very happy with their work.


Their parents loved them. They are a wonderful keepsake which, in years to come, will bring back memories of Lingey House nursery.


 Happy Valentine's Day everyone.


Making a Valentine heart


 Valentine heart

The children with their special adults


Chinese New Year


This week we have been celebrating Chinese New Year in nursery. We listened to stories which told us how Chinese families celebrate New Year and we had lots of fun activities to do.


We transformed our home corner into a Chinese restaurant and had great fun cooking, serving and practising eating with chopsticks.


We practised our cutting skills when we made Chinese lanterns. We made yellow lanterns as Chinese people believe they bring good luck in school/work.


To finish our week of celebrations we had a banquet where we were able to try Chinese snacks and sauces.


Take a look at our photos.


Our Chinese restaurant


     Cooking and using chopsticks


Cutting the paper lanterns


Tasting Chinese snacks and sauces



Circus Dance Session


One of our parents, Mrs. Hylton, a dance teacher, came in to lead a dance session for the children.  The theme was the circus.  Mrs. Hylton showed the children how to stretch, balance and roll before they demonstrated their skills on the tightrope lines.  They children were all fully engaged and thoroughly enjoyed the session.  Many thanks to Mrs. Hylton for taking time out of her busy teaching schedule to work with us.


Take a look at our photos below.


Mrs. Hylton showing the children how to balance


Stretches and balances




Demonstrating their new skills on the tightrope lines


Making Healthy Snacks


We have been learning about eating healthily and making tasty snacks that help look after our bodies. We listened to instructions to make sure we used our knives carefully when preparing our fruit and vegetables. We helped to make Spanish aioli to go with our vegetable crudités and enjoyed tasting a variety of fruits when we made our fruit kebabs at snack time. 

Making healthy snacks

Ice Sculptures


This week, because it has been so cold, we decided to make ice sculptures.  We put some natural materials into containers, carefully poured water in and then placed them outside to see if they would freeze overnight.  We were very happy to discover that they had and we hung them on one of our willow dens for everyone to see.  Please take a look at our photos below.



Preparing the sculptures


The ice sculptures hanging from the willow den

The children admiring their artwork




Stay and Play

Super Stars Gym


The children have thoroughly enjoyed exercising in our nursery mini gym.  They have all been given their own personal Super Stars Gym membership cards and have been working out daily.  We will soon have the fittest children in Gateshead!

Take a look at our photos below.  There are lots more photos on display in the gym.  Please have a look when you are collecting your child.   



                 Super Stars Gym                                   Membership Card


Working out in the gym 


Autumn Term


Please scroll down the page to see some of the things that we have been doing in nursery this term.



Christmas Party

We had lots of fun at our Christmas party.  We played games and danced and even had a visit from Santa Claus!



Playing the bean bag game

Visit from Santa Claus





Party tea

Nursery Rhyme Nativity Play


Nursery performed their nativity play for their families and friends. The 'Nursery Rhyme Nativity' was written exclusively for Lingey House by the nursery staff. The children worked very hard rehearsing the re-enactment of the nativity story. This helped them to understand why we celebrate Christmas. 

They learnt lots of new songs and a new dance routine.


All of their hard work was worth it because on the day they were wonderful. They even sang in French and used Makaton sign language. We are so proud of them. We have very talented children!







Secret Reader


Thank you to Adam's dad for being our first Secret Reader this half term.  The children sat beautifully and listened well to the story he read to them.


If you would like to surprise your child and be one of our Secret Readers please put your name on the list in the cloakroom.


Squiggle While You Wiggle


The children from Stars and Rainbow nurseries get together three times a week for 'Squiggle While You Wiggle' sessions.  The children do gross motor exercises that develop their fine manipulative, mark making and handwriting skills.  The children love these exercises which are performed to music. 


Take a look at the photos below.



Practising the Squiggle movement in the air


Using the Squiggle movement for mark making on paper








Bonfire Night


Once again the children in nursery made a guy for the bonfire that is built in Oliver Henderson Park.  They had lots of fun making him and then delivering him to the bonfire site.  Lots of our children went to watch the bonfire and fabulous firework display.  Many thanks to Ian Banks and the team from Gateshead Council for allowing us to put our guy on the fire.


Take a look at our photos.





Making the guy


Delivering the guy to the bonfire site




    The guy being put on the bonfire                             The fire is lit



The wonderful firework display 




The children and staff came to nursery dressed in Halloween outfits.  We had lots of witches, vampires, spiders and other scary creatures.  We played games and then had a disco. 


Spiderman suprised us by coming to our party!  He thanked us for being  recycling superheroes during Arts Week. 



Some of the ingredients for witches' stew!


Stirring the stew



Dancing at the disco


Spiderman with the children

Art Week


For Art Week in Stars Nursery, we have been...


Recycling Heroes of Lingey House!


We have worn our recycled material capes, made cereal box masks and helped the community by going out and collecting litter from the park. As heroes we have helped provide a safe, clean environment for our families, friends, neighbours and all our local wildlife. We have learned about the different materials that can be reused into new things and about the importance of putting other litter in the bin.


We love keeping our environment clean, safe, and rubbish-free




Collecting litter in the park
Recycling Heroes!



To celebrate Diwali in nursery we lit up our role play camping area with lots of different lights.  The children sat there to listen to the story 'Lighting a Lamp'. The story explains how Hindus celebrate this festival of lights.  We learnt that Hindus decorate houses with lamps, draw rangoli (patterns) on the floor and give gifts.  They also have firework displays like we have on bonfire night.  


The children made their own rangoli patterns on paper using coloured sand. 


Listening to the Diwali story



Making rangoli patterns


Outdoor Learning Week 2014


During Outdoor Learning Week the children's families joined us on a scavenge hunt in the school grounds and a bird hunt at the pond in Oliver Henderson Park.  On the scavenge hunt the children had to collect natural materials with different textures and colours.  At the pond the children matched the birds they spotted to the pictures on their charts.


After these activities the children and their families worked together to create pictures with natural materials.  These are on display in the nursery so please come in to have a look at them.


Local artist, Katherine Bedingfield, also came in to work with the children.  She told them a story about a woodcutter and a tree spirit.  The children then used natural materials to make their own tree spirits.  These are also on display in various areas in the nursery.  See if you can spot them all.





The scavenge hunt in the school grounds



Bird spotting at the pond in Oliver Henderson Park





Making natural art pictures



Making tree spirits with Katherine Bedingfield



For Harvest Week, we have been learning how bread is made, and tasting different types of bread from around the world to also continue our learning about other cultures. We learned about where our food comes from, sorting food that comes from animals and plants, and we explored food shapes by printing with fruit and vegetables.


We also made some wonderful hampers thanks to all the kind donations from our parents and families, and we delivered them to our neighbours.


Thankyou for all your support during Harvest week! 



This term we are learning about different celebrations around the world.  This week we celebrated Eid.  We learnt that Muslims celebrating Eid have mehndi patterns painted on their hands.  One of our parents kindly came into nursery and painted beautiful mehndi patterns on our hands.  The children were very pleased with the results and were very careful not to smudge the designs before they dried.


As Eid is celebrated with sweet food and is sometimes known as the "Sweet Holiday," the children were given sweets to take home. 



Mrs. Ritchie, our Deputy Head Teacher, also had a mehndi pattern painted on her hand.



This term we have been celebrating Autumn, looking for signs of Autumn on our walks around the nursery building. We went on a spider hunt, looking at spider webs and counting how many spiders we could find. Some were very big!