A New Year at Footsteps
2021 didn’t start as we had all hoped or expected. With another National Lockdown we were thrilled for our families and children that Early Years settings have been allowed to remain open this far, and we hope have retained some sense of normality, reassurance and routine for parents and children. We of course have been taking the highest possible measures to keep our staff and families safe too, and we wanted to say a big thank you for supporting our efforts.
But whilst things have been challenging, this has not stopped the immense efforts of all our teams across the Footsteps family in providing, as ever, an environment filled with fun, laughter, learning, new skills, creativity and exploration.
At Footsteps Watermead we have had a great start to the term. The children have settled back beautifully and thrown themselves into all the activities on offer. We have created some snowy wintry scenes complete with spectacular snowmen with sponge printing and sticking, practiced our selfie faces and taken pictures and seen some great imagination at work as well as some brilliant towers with the Duplo. We had a really fun session covering our hands with green glitter and then practising washing our hands properly, alongside a great conversation about why we need to do it. These are skills we have always practised and are skills for life! We have certainly seen some colder weather but that has not stopped us from getting outside in our lovely garden. The frost gave us a great opportunity to do some mark making as well as take inspiration for our winter artwork. Our focus topic is shapes so we are also enjoying a huge range of activities exploring them – with puzzles, pictures, printing and looking at where we find them around the classroom and outside.
Footsteps Maple Cross
Footsteps Maple Cross have been busy! With puzzles, construction and theatre performances in our inside choosing areas as well as lots of opportunities for role play. The children have been enjoying changing dollies nappies and chatting to each other on the telephone. We have been working on those gross motor and physical skills too, with a fun cold but sunny afternoon out on the bikes and vehicles. Playing with these led us nicely into our topic of keyworkers. It has been great to both learn about these special people and jobs – especially in the current environment. With lots of role play and small world set ups, building with bricks as well as stories and artwork, the children have really enjoyed this topic.
At Farnborough as ever the team have come up with a whole host of creative ways to explore their topics. And letting the children help choose what they are interested in has certainly meant these are wide ranging! From roaring dinosaurs in prints and junk modelling, miniature characters of the children for small world play at the castle, through to robots made of cardboard boxes to outdoor potion making. The world really is their oyster and we have been so proud of how enthusiastically they are using the resources around them to explore it. It has been amazing to see how much the children have grown over the holidays so we have been practising our ICT skills too as we scanned our hands, curt them out and measured how tall we were. We are looking forward to lots more adventures this month.
Footsteps Chalfont St Peter
At Footsteps Chalfont we have had a very cold start to the term. Not just the weather but we have been exploring the arctic – the environment and the creatures that live there through activities, crafts and sensory and messy play. We have made igloos out of different materials and found that the children were particularly interested in Polar bears. So guess what? We have learnt all about them! We have made puppets, stencil pictures, biscuits and paintings as well as a polar bear hunt in the garden. We’ve been developing our literacy and numeracy too as we’ve counted snowballs, played “What’s the time Mr Wolf”. We have also recapped letters A to L numbers 1-10 and 2D shapes.
The children have really enjoyed learning all about winter and some of the experiments we have done with natural resources too. We picked some sticks and leaves and put them in a bowl of water with some ribbon before freezing them. We made some ice ornaments and we were able to talk about freezing and melting as they were hung up. We have been outside whatever the weather with tennis lessons and making obstacle courses a great way to warm up.
We hope everyone has had as much fun as we have and we can’t wait to put more smiles on all those faces this month.
Stay safe. Team Footsteps. x