The Lodge Day Nursery has now been open for its first term and we are delighted with the progress so far. We have really enjoyed seeing our children having fun, building new friendships and watching them grow over the weeks.
Both children and staff are all settling in well and we have had some wonderful feedback from parents, which means so much to us. We now have our wonderful Cook, Martha, who came to The Lodge Nursery from the Lower Prep School, where she has worked for many years, and continues to help run Breakfast Club in The Prep every day.
In February, the topic for the term was ‘All About Me’, to support the children in settling into their new environment and building bonds with the children and the staff around them. Some of the activities we did included mark making with paints, Percy the Park Keeper story sack, naming and sorting objects, using construction toys to build our homes, drawing around ourselves with the chunky chalks, learning to use scissors safely and regular story and song time with music.
We also celebrated Shrove Tuesday by making pancakes, role-playing and giving the children the opportunity to partake in pancake races. For Valentine’s Day we had art and craft activities plus having group discussions about our immediate families; who is special to us and why, which links in with children’s understanding of the world and their personal, social and emotional development.
On the 20th February was the Grand Opening of the Lodge. We were extremely lucky to have one of the bestselling children’s authors here to do the honours for us, notably Nick Butterworth, author of the Percy the Park Keeper books. Nick was overwhelmed with the Nursery and how lovely everyone was, he created some wonderful sketches whilst here and also found time to do a few book signings. Everyone had a fantastic time!
We also had the ‘Beast from the East’ to contend with. The children made the most of the snow in The Lodge garden and enjoyed making snowmen and building snow castles. Unfortunately though, due to the severe weather, The Lodge was closed along with Ipswich School and the Prep School for a few days. The school last closed due to snow back in January 2010 and it was not an easy decision for Mr Weaver, the Headmaster, to close on this occasion. He had to take many factors into account, but the decision was made much easier when Suffolk Police advised against travel.
In March we started developing our Mud Kitchen, visited a corn snake over at the Prep School and learnt about the term’s topic of ‘Transport’; by Air, Road, Water and Rail. The activities are designed to support the babies and children in a number of ways, including physical development, communication and language, understanding the world, literacy and maths etc. Some of the activities included dancing to transport songs, water play with vehicles, exploring how we move using our large equipment, singing transport songs such as wheels on the bus, creating sound with movements, traffic lights – exploring colours and more.
For St Patrick’s Day the Adventurers did ‘All Things Green’. Over the Easter period we will all be enjoying a good mix of activities and learning, A Sensory Walk through Christchurch Park, an Easter Egg Hunt for the children in The Lodge Garden, Easter craft activities, a visit to Ipswich Museum to meet Wool.i.am, Ipswich’s very own woolly mammoth, and friends. We will be making good use of the Prep School’s Hall, with tumble mats, climbing, sliding, tunnels, beanbags and music.
The number of children attending is increasing steadily each week, which means the children have been able to make more new friends. We are so pleased with the amazing start the Lodge has had and can’t wait to continue coming up with more fun and exciting things for the children to do. I’m sure the Nursery will continue to go from strength to strength.