Take a look at what we have been up to...

                                                                      Lunar New Year Celebrations!

Today we extended our Chinese New Year celebrations to the Mongolian Lunar New year! We want to so say a massive thank you to one of our families who helped support us in understanding all about Mongolian New Year's Day! To join in with the tradition, today we have enjoyed a 'family' meal altogether as we enjoyed some food tasting. We tried some noodles, rice and a variety of curries and prawn crackers with sweet chilli dipping sauce. We all tried to use chop sticks to try our food with too! The children have been learning about some of the traditions to help share happiness, luck and health including the red wallets with a golden coin inside. 

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                                                                      Halloween Party!

                                                                      Chinese New Year!

"Gong hei fat choy' or 'Happy Chinese New year!'. Today we began our Chinese New Year celebrations. As this is the year of the tiger, we used one of our favourite stories to enhance our tuff tray .. 'The tiger that came to tea.' We have already had so much fun and the fun will continue all week. The children have took on roles in our Chinese restaurant ; taking orders and cooking food or being the customer and ordering food from the menu. We have also been finding out about fortune cookies and extending our exploration in our play dough station making our own today. We have been watching videos about how this is celebrated all over the world and we took part in our own celebrations such as dragon dancing and making our own dragons! 

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                                                                      Halloween Party!

                                                                      Halloween Party!

                                                                   Starting 2022 with lots of fun!

We love looking back on the photographs we have taken through the week! We never fail to suprise even ourselves at just much fun and endless outstanding learning opportunities we provide day after day! All this fun and learning has happened just this week! The children have had lots of fun bringing stories to life, learning about actions words and prepositions, measuring with coloured spaghetti and even playing letter pong! 

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                                                                      First Activate Fun Session of 2022!

We have loved our first activate fun session of 2022! Today we learnt how to play rugby! We enjoyed warming up our bodies then on to lots of fun developing our passing and kicking skills. Thanks Danny!

                                                                      Nativity!

This week we had the privilege of preforming our Christmas sing song in St Marks Church! It was a truly magical morning and we are still bursting with proud with how well our children did! A massive thank you to St Mark's Church for hosting us and another massive thank you to all our families who came and joined in our Christmas sing song! DVD's and USB's have arrived!

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                                                                     Frozen Day!

What a way to finish for the Christmas half term! We have has the most wonderful day enjoying our 'Frozen' theme! As you can see we all had so much fun dressing up and playing/exploring in the amazing enhancements and experiences all around preschool! Seeing the children's faces as they walked in and hearing things through out the day from them such as "this is the best day ever" is just amazing! We hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and we will see yoin the New Year! 

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                                                                      Breakfast with Santa! 

Breakfast with Santa and Christmas party 2021 at St Marks Preschool today! It was such a lovely morning and every one has so much fun! How luck was we to not only have Santa pop in to give our children a present.. but he also stayed for breakfast with the children. The children loved asking Santa lots of questions and now have the answers to what to leave out for him and his reindeer on Christmas Eve. When Santa had to leave, our party started! Lots of festive fun and party games galore! 

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                                                                      Christmas has begun!

Christmas has officially arrives at St Mark's Preschool and it is definitely the most wonderful time of the year! The children have loved putting up  our Christmas tree and decorating it all together. We have created a 'winter wonderland' in our role-play area where all things Christmassy and wintery will be going on. Our hot chocolate making station has been a massive hit and the imagination role-play has been magical to be a party of! We brought this experience to life by making our very own real hot choclates. The children have also been getting creative creating some Christmas pictures/crafts. 

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                                                                      Diwali!

This week we have been celebrating Diwali and bonfire night! We have enjoyed reading stories and using the internet to find out more information about these celebrations. We have made our own Mehndi patterns on hand prints, explored colour in our Diwali tuff tray. We made our own candle holders and hope our families light the candles at home together to celebrate Diwali together! We have also been learning about how to keep safe at bonfire night and enjoyed stories around our own bonfire, as well as moving our bodies to represent fireworks in our music and movement sessions. 

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                                                                      Food Bank Donations!

Our amazing families have been donating food items for the past few weeks since we started our Harvest celebrations. During these few weeks, we have ran an 'in house' food bank to all our families who could help themselves to what ever food items they needed! Today ,as it is our last day before we break up for half term, we took a trip to our local food bank at Teardrops to donate all the remaning donated food items. As we have talked about this a lot over the past few weeks in preschool, the children knew they were doing a really amazing thing today and we celebrated that we have worked together to help thoese who need it. Thank you to everyone who has donated! 

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                                                                      We remember - Remembrance Day!

This week we have been learning about Remembrance day and supporting the children to understand what we were doing and why. We enhanced our play dough table with green pipe cleaners and red and black play dough for the children to design their own poppy's. We used tissue paper to make a poppy the children could take home and talk about their understanding and learning. 

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                                                                      Outstanding Party!

This months stay and play session wasn't an ordinary stay and play session.. it was our OUTSTANDING stay and play party for all our families and children! We had the BEST morning and would like to thank all of our amazing families and children! Ro see so many of our families join us to celebrate really meant the world to us! We hope  you enjoyed today as much as we did and one again - thank you for being OUTSTANDING!

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                                                                      Stay and Play!

This morning enjoyed our first stay and play session in over 18 months! A massive thank you to all our families who came this morning - we have missed welcoming everyone in for these sessions!

We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! 

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                                                                      Halloween Party!

We had the best time at our halloween party this week! We was amazed with how fantastic everyone looked and really had the most fun! We choose the story 'room on the broom' as a fitting story theme which extended into our play dough station! The children enjoyed getting messy exploring pumpkin gloop in the creative area and potion making in the tuff tray. We loved finding the spiders in the slime and with every party, we had lots of fun party games and party food! 

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                                                                      Autumn hunt

We have been continuing with our Autumn topic and had endless fun! WE had so much fun when we enjoyed a trip to the park to have a hands on learning experience and find some more Autumn treasures ourselves. Our children and their families have also enjoyed sharing Autumn walks together at home with our 'Autumn Treasure Bags'. It has been so lovely seeing so many of our families get involved and extend your child's learning at home - so thank you! All these treasures have played an invaluable role in the activities and experiences we have has in preschool - from leaf rubbing and painting to autumnal ice investigation. 

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                                                                      Autumn!

                                                       Autumn leaves are falling down! 

The children have loved learning all about all thing Autumn! Autumn leaves began to fall into preschool today. We used the parachute to represent the wind and make the leaves fly through the sky! We finished the activity by having a hands on experience exploring the leaves their colour and texture. After reading a story all about hedgehogs, we couldn't resits making our own in our play dough station. We also made our very own Autumn tree's in the creative area. We discussed the changes that we have noticed from the real leaves in our autumn tray and represented this through our pictures by choosing similar colours and textures. What a fun day we have had! 

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                                                                      Activate Fun Session!

We love our activate fun sessions! We learn new skills and most importantly - have so much fun! 

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   Class of 2021 

Well that is it! Our graduates of 2021 have now officially graduated and what a day it has been! We have had the most amazing day and we made sure the children's last day was a memorable one. We started off the morning with a graduation performance that was steamed to all our parents/carers. The children loved taking part in the performance and amazed us with their singing and signing as they have been working really hard over the past couple of weeks to sign a song in makaton just for the preformace. It was emotional to watch! Once we graduated we started our circus theme party! We had dancing, party games, pop corn, candy floss and a circus themed lunch. We was then lucky enough to be visited by ' The Party People' who provided us with lots of fun games and activities including, plate spinning and and we even got to take part in our very our cat walk. We then ended the day by taking all the children outside to greet their families. We awarded each child a certificate and special memorable gifts to remember us by. 

We have had the best day and we hope all the children will always remember their preschool graduation. We would like to wish all our school leavers all the luck in the world - even though we know they wont need it and are ready to show their teachers what superstars they are! To all our children and families have a lovely summer break and we will see you all in September ready for a new fun and busy term at St Mark's Preschool! 

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                                                                      England Celebrations!

We have had a day full of England celebrations today! The children came into preschool wearing sporty clothes ready for a football themed day. The children have been busy creating and decorating their own footballs and football kits. This morning the children enjoyed a penalty shoot out which was refereed by our own Suzie bear. Suzie bear awarded treat box for the best penalty. This afternoon we all headed outside for a game of football. Before we went out, we prepared for the big game. We all lined up and sang the national anthem. After taking part in some stretches we was ready to head out to the pitch and play the game. We had some amazing players and goals, we hope england have the same on Sunday. St Mark's Preschool are behind you England! What a great day! 

   The Tiger That Came to Tea! 

 Today we practiced one of our important procedures. We we practice this procedure least once a term to ensure all the staff and children are fully aware of the procedure in the event of us needing to follow it. Sarah blew the whistle 3 times, the children was encouraged to walk quietly to the carpet and sit down. We told the children that a tiger has escaped from the safari park and the ranger has just rang us to inform us it has been seen near preschool. We had to stay really quiet so the tiger couldn’t hear us. While Carla went to check all the doors and windows was locked so the tiger couldn’t come in to preschool, Sarah read the story ‘The Tiger That Came to Tea’. Once the story was finished, the phone rang - it was the ranger again! He told us that the tiger has been caught and he is on the way back to the safari park. He even told us the tiger was sat in the bus stop near preschool, the range thinks he was trying to get on a bus, the children thought this was very funny! After that phone call the children then went back to play as normal but was very curious to how the tiger escaped and to find our what the tigers name was!

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                                                                       Paediatric First Aid 

The St Mark's Preschool team have been busy today taking part in paediatric first aid training. After a day of learning we are pleased to say that all our staff members are level 3 paediatric first aiders!

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                                                                    Garden Plot Visit!

This afternoon we finally got to visit our garden plot over in Victoria Park! It's been so long since we've been able to go over - and we could tell by how much our garden plot has grown. We have worked hard together to make a start at tidying the garden up. We also couldn't walk part the park without having some fun altogether for the first time in what seems like forever! It was an absolute pleasure watching and hearing the children's reactions to our outing today.. "I'm so happy right now!" E told her friend! 'I've missed coming here!" A shared. 

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                                                                   St.George's Day Celebrations!
Happy St.George's day! Today we have had lots of fun celebrating St.Georges day. To find out what is it and why we celebrate we used the internet to watch a video. Then we enjoyed lots of fun activities such as deigning our own coats of arms shields, painting the English flag, using knights and dragons to enhance our play dough station and we even enjoyed some role play where we acted out own own interpretation of what happened to the dragon, the princess and St.George. 






 
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                                                                   A world without words!

This morning we shared a very special book in preschool called 'can you image a world without words?'. It's a book about a little boy who lives in St.Helens and the author is his mummy, Natalie Musker. The book helped us to step into the life of the little boy with non-verbal autism and we tried to imagine a world with out words. the children very quickly responded with "I'd feel sad" "I'd feel lonely". It was a great book to share to encourage the children to always be kind and friendly.  





 
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                                                                   Celebrating Holi!

Today we have celebrated the Hindu festival of colour "Holi", as you can see, we had so much fun! We watched a video explaining what Holi is and how it is celebrated before letting the fun begin. We used water balloons filled with coloured water, coloured chalks, powder paint and filled eggs with paint for some 'smashing fun'. We enjoyed some traditional dancing as we enjoyed spreading these colours. T told everyone - "it looks like a massive rainbow". 





 
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                                                                   St Patricks Day!
We have had a great day celebrating St. Patrick's Day in preschool! We started the day by using a book and the computer to find out why we celebrate St. Patricks Day and learning about St Patrick himself! Then we found some iconic features of St. Patrick's day such as shamrocks and leprechauns! We have enjoyed painting with potatoes, making our own shamrocks in our play dough station and making a big rainbow. We shared a story about how the Irish fairy visits rainbows and leaves a pot of gold at the end. To our amazement in the afternoon, we noticed something at the end of our rainbow... our very own envelope filled with cold coins  - the children was amazed! We finished off the day listening to a variety of Irish music as well as learning a small Irish dance. 
                                                             Growing of our Chicks!
Its been such a lovely experience that we have been able to share with the children this week. As of today, we have seen 5 eggs hatch. The children and their families have also chose the names of each chick so thank you for your amazing suggestions! The children have watched in awe all week! We have had the privilege of watching a couple actually hatch from the egg. The children have cared for the eggs and chicks so well and their knowledge and understanding of the life cycle of a chick and also the importance of looking after and caring for them has developed invaluably. Well done to each and everyone of our children .. we can't wait for Monday so we can continue our experiences and see if any more eggs have hatched. 
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                                                          Chick's Arrival 
Today was a very egg-citing day in preschool!
It saw the arrival of some very special chick eggs!
 We are very excited to be able to share the experiences of looking after and caring for the eggs and observing the changes as the chicks get to hatch. The children have been so excited but they have already done an amazing job at looking after the eggs.  
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                                                 World Book Day - 2021
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                                                                              Welcome Back!
We have had a fun filled first week back at preschool! This morning, we have had lots of fun making our very own bird feeders for in our garden area. We used some bread, butter and bird seeds before treading a pipe cleaner though and hanging them on our tree in the garden. We are so excited to see if the birds come for a bite to eat. We have also been busy baking in preschool this week, we made two cheesecakes this week. the first week we encouraged the children to add ingredients that they think goes into a cheese cake. We allowed the children to freely add the ingredients of their choice and estimate the amount of each ingredient needed. We then put it in to the fridge to set. Later on it was taste time, we think everyone would agree it didn't taste like cheese cake so we decided to make it again but this time we decided to use the internet this time. We used the internet to find a recipe, we followed the recipe and weighed out all our ingredients following the information we seen. After putting it in to the fridge to set, we tasted the finish product and it was save to say this one tasted so much nicer! the children enjoyed tasting the yummy cake that they worked hard to prefect. Great job guys! 
if you would like to make a no bake cheesecake at home click below for a simple but yummy cheesecake recipe...
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                                                                                 Pancake Day!
Pancake day falling in the half term was never going to stop us celebrating .. so today pancake day came early to St Marks Preschool! This morning we shared a story called 'Mr Woolfs pancakes' We loved this story! As we got ready to make our own pancakes 'E' told their friend "if you ask for help to make these, i will help you!". We enjoyed playing and pretending to make pancakes in our tuff tray and in our dough station before getting to make the real thing for snack time. We talked about the ingredients we needed and about keeping safe.. and then the fun began! With some help we even got to flip our own pancake. We chose our own toppings and enjoyed the yummiest of pancakes. We can't wait for pancake day  next week even more now!
                                                                       Online Safety Awareness! 
Today we have celebrated 'safer internet day'. At story time this morning we shared a new story in preschool. The children really enjoyed the story 'Troll Stinks' and once again amazed us with their understanding and appreciation of the meaning of the story. We spoke about the importance of keeping safe online and discussed the ways which we do so both at home and at preschool. We also talked about the importance of being kind every where including online. We promote internet and devices safety in preschool everyday and the children are actively involved in making sure the devices and websites they are using are safe and they know when to ask for help or advice. If you would like to read this story at home please click on the link button below... 
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                                               Valentines Day Celebrations
Today we have shared some lovely stories which have talked about the meaning of love, and who and why you might love someone. We have slow danced to some Valentine themed music, made love potions and we have been busy writing some messages for those we love! Our play dough table is enhanced with making our own roses using coloured play dough and pipe cleaners and we have also enjoyed a special valentines themed candle lit snack today with love heart crumpets and treats.  We have had such a lovely day to finish off our half term. We'll see you all when we return on Monday 22nd February - when the fun and learning can resume! Happy Valentines Day everyone!
                                                Chinese New Year Celebrations!
Today we have started our Chinese New Year celebrations! We have had so much fun! We started the day off by reading a story and watching a video which told us lots about Chinese  New Year, how we prepare for it and how it is celebrated. We then put what we have learnt into practice. We had so much fun pretending to make our own noodles and rice in the tuff tray and delivering the food to our Chinese restaurant. The children enjoyed dressing up and even enjoyed writing their names in Chinese and using the play dough to make our own Chinese dumplings. you can't celebrate Chinese New Year without tasting some yummy Chinese food! The children cooked their own noodles and tasted them along with rice, two different types of Chinese curries and some prawn crackers and dips! The children have also took a Chinese New Year envelope with a chocolate coin home.  Press the buttons below to learn all about Chinese New Year at home ..
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                                               Mental Health Awareness Week
This week we have been busy promoting Mental Health. We have been so busy taking part in a variety of activities that has gave us the confidence to explore and express our feelings, talk about other peoples feelings and building on our own confidence to love ourselves. On Monday, we introduced our 'calming corner' where we have enjoyed listening to relaxing music while sharing books and colouring. We have also enjoyed  a 'positive friendship' sessions where in pairs we shared something nice about each-other and took part in pair co-ordinations to different rhymes. We also started a positivity jar, where each child has chosen to add something positive to say. We fill up the jar and keep looking back at these positive vibes when we need them most. Of course as its children's mental health, it's really important to us at St.Mark's Preschool to make sure the people who are shaping those little minds are looked after so we treated our staff members to some flowers, a candle and a face mask so they know how important they are to us! On Tuesday and Wednesday the children worked hard to make their very own candle holders to take home and share with their families. We enhanced our dough station with some relaxing herbs, 'A' told us they didn't like the smells but 'N' told us that he did - this was a great talking point for how different people feels and think but neither are right or wrong! On Wednesday we dressed to impress! We invited the children to chose what they wore at preschool that day that best's expresses themselves. It was great to see a variety of outfits... we had pyjamas, casual comfy clothes, fancy dress costumes and some very expressive hairstyles. Thursday we took part in some calming yoga and enhanced our dough station and water with some lemons and lavender. On Friday we ended the week by inviting the children to come dressed as a superhero! We thought this was a perfect way for our children to think about and understand unique and special each of of them really are! We started off the day with the question "What's your superhero power?" Each child told us the superpower of the superhero they was dressed as. the day went on and we helped the children to realise and appreciate that everyone has their own special super power and they should be so proud of that power! We have had a wonderful week celebrating Mental health Week and knowing our children had lots of fun while recognising, learning about and understanding the importance of looking after our mental health. 
Even though this week's focus has been promoting children's mental health, we don't and shouldn't forget ourselves, the adults, families and carers that care for the children. It is important that we look after ourselves to ensure we can care for the children the best we can. If you need any support please don't hesitate to contact us and will help you the best way we can! 
Please see some helpful links below .... 
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                                               Last Day of Term - Snow Man Theme Day! 
The children loved our snow man themed day all based on the Christmas film 'Snowman and the snow dog'. We have had the most magical day with snowman theme activities, games and a snowman theme lunch! Is there any other way to end the day with a snow! Something truly magical happened at preschool... 
During story time, we read a Christmas story called 'William's Wish'.  In the story William wished for snow. All the children decided they wanted to wish for snow just like William, so after chanting our wish came true 0 it snowed in preschool!! We couldn't believe it! The children was amazed that their wish came true and they loved dancing and playing in the snow. We waved the children off at home time and the snow appeared outside too. We hope our families and children loved the snow surprise at home time. we hope the magic continues and everyone has a truly magical Christmas! 
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                                                                    Christmas Party!
What a wonderful Christmas party we have had! There was festive fun and laughter throughout the day. We enjoyed singing, dancing, and good old fashion party games. We had to pin the nose on the Rudolph and had lots of fun bashing the reindeer piñata! Everyone enjoyed a Christmas themed lunch and we quickly noticed signs that a visitor must have been into preschool last night while we was all sleeping. When we checked the video footage.. we couldn't believe our eyes. Santa himself had sneaked into preschool and left us a very special message and even a gift each - seeing the children's faces was just magical! 
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                                                                   Tinsel the Elf! 
Tinsel the elf brought all the children a special Christmas treat! We all come to preschool wearing  our pyjamas ready to watch a virtual pantomime. Tinsel left us some yummy hot chocolates to enjoy, marshmallows that we could toast and a gingerbread man house to build in teams. What a magical day! 
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                                                            Christmas Nativity
This week we have been busy recording our nativity for 2020! As with everything this year - our nativity is very different to how we normally put on a show but we think all our families will definitely enjoy the show when they come to watch the DVD's with their little ones! We would also like to thank all our families for your support and cooperation as we have prepared for this years nativity. 
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                          It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in preschool! The children have absolutely LOVED our 'Festive fun Factory'. We know Santa's mail room will already be bursting - just with the amount of letters our children in preschool. The children have put so much effort into making their own letters - some have cut out things they want from catalogues and stuck them to their letters, some have amazed us and wrote exactly what they want. We have loved making lots of different crafts to take home and we even created our very own bells to participate in the 'Doorbell Jingle'  with the community. The children was also very excited when we got a visit from Tinsel the elf. She brought us special advert calendar and many different surprises on the run up to Christmas! 
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                          Bonfire Night Celebrations 
We hope all our families have a lovely night celebrating bonfire night whatever you are doing! The week in preschool we have had so much fun learning all about bonfire night and d fireworks! We've discussed the importance of keeping safe and we keep save. We have been very creative with crafts, painting, chalks and glitter making our very own fireworks. We even used our bodies to represent being a fireworks in our music and movement session and today we enjoyed making our very edible sparklers for snack. 
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                          Remembrance Day! 
Lest we forget! This week we have talked about Remembrance Sunday and how it marks the end of the war. We have watched a video from CBeebies titled 'Poppies' and talked about the importances of remembering and being thankful for what the armed services have done and continued to do for us. As we can't make our annual visit to the cenotaph this year, each child made their own poppy wreath and took them home. We hope the talks about the importance of remembering continued at home. 
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                          St Helen's Scarecrow festival!
Along with the St Helen's community, St Mark's preschool have been working hard to create our very own scarecrows in aid of Willowbrook hospice. The children have been learning the importance of this charity and have loved getting creative for a great cause! The children was so proud of themselves and give each other a big clap. 
 
 We are very pleased to introduce you to ... 
Sally the scarecrow! 
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                                                                          Home learning -  Autumn Hunt!
Following our Autumn topic in preschool, we have LOVED seeing our children and families enjoying their autumn walks and finding lots of things to fill their Autumn treasure hunt bags. Thank you for all our families who are extending our children's learning about the changing season at home! Please keep the photographs coming and don't forget to send your bags back to preschool so we can all take part in creating our very own Autumn exploration tray. 
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                                                                                 Autumn
This term we have also been very busy learning all about the season 'Autumn.' We just love this season and love learning / talking about the changes in our environment and exploring Autumn leaves, conkers, acorns and much more! As you can see from some of the pictures below, we have took part in several fun and engaging activities that everyone has enjoyed. We don't even know we are learning when we are having this much fun! 
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                                                                          Occupations!
This week we have been extending the children's interest of different occupations.We firstly, looked close at the role of a police officer. We read information books, researched information using the internet and of course dressed up and role played being a police officer. We then looked at the role of a firefighter. The children learnt lots of fun facts and information, they now have bigger insight into what the role consists off - not just putting out a fire! We did have to give our trainee fire fighters a call as there was a fire in preschool's garden. They had great team work and communication as they battled the fire! To top of the week we looked closely at the job role 'palaeontologists'. This was one our of our children's current interest and we ran with it to provide lots of learning opportunities! 
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                                                                        The Gingerbread Man story!
This term, our story focus is 'The Gingerbread Man'. The children are loving reading this story book at story and register and independently during free play. It's great to see the children recalling the story and repeating the repeated phrases in their play. The children have been busy making their very own gingerbread men. They was scared though that their gingerbread men would run away just like he did in the story but luckily, he stayed on the baking tray so we could decorate them and take them home! 
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                                                                          All about me!
It has been so lovely to see old friendships reunite as well as seeing new friendships form. We have took part in a variety of  all about me activities to learn all about each other. We talked about similarities, differences and what makes us unique. After making our autumn family tree, the children loved making their own very family members on our craft area. The children have also enjoyed recreating their friends faces with the play dough. Our community tray was also a great way to get the children to talk about their home life with their peers. 
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                                                        Welcome back!
We have had an amazing start back to the term! We have welcomed back many familiar faces and have welcomed lots of new children children to! We have been very busy having lots of fun and making sure our children are happy and settled back in. Well done to everyone of our children and our families for helping us get back to a "new normal" so easily. We couldn't be prouder - heres to a new term!
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                                                                                              Graduates 2020!
On Friday 24th of July was a very emotional day for everyone at St.Mark's preschool! We had an amazing day celebrating our school leavers achievements and final day with us. We started the day with no less than the red carpet treatment for our superstars! They all did us proud and there wasn't a dry eye in the house as we completed our graduation ceremony through live stream for all our families. Then it was time to party!! We cannot put into words what huge impact each and everyone of these children have had on St.Marks preschool, and us personally! We have loved getting to know them all, caring and teaching for them and knowing how truly privileged we have been to be a part of these children's journey. Now it's time for them to take their next steps to big school! Go and show them what superstars you are all are! 
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                                                                                              A special visit to our garden plot! 
Today we visited our garden  plot so all the children could show off their hard work. We was amazed when arrived at how beautiful it is looking! This visit was extra special, as it would of been our school leavers children last time visiting the plot with the preschool. We would like to thank a particular family of ours who gave us such a lovely gift today and brought this beautiful tree for us to plant in our plot. What  better way to always remember one of our special school leavers (not that we'll every forgot any of them) by planting a tree with them and caring for it and looking after it for many years to come!
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                                                                                              Garden plot visits!
We are loving seeing and hearing about some of our families visiting our garden plot in their own time and helping to look after our plot and even planting their own beautiful flowers and plants! Thank you to everyone who has visited or is planning to visit soon. We are such a big team at St Marks Preschool!
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                                                                                              Welcome back!
This we have opened our doors for the first time in 11 weeks! We have really had the best week and we would like to thank all of our families who have been so supportive and patient as we delivered all our plans and procedures for reopening! It has been a pleasure to see the children again, its like they have never been away!  The children have had a great first week back they are getting more and more used to our "new normal". We could not be prouder of well our children have coped with and managed the changes. Despite all the changes, we are continuing to have so much fun! 
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                                                                                  Happy Holi !
Today we have had an absolute ball celebrating holi festival of colour!. Thank you to all our families for providing old clothes for your children to get messy in, as you can see from the photographs we've had a great day! From popping balloons filled with powder paint, throwing coloured water balloons and filled paint eggs at the tuff tray. What fun we had!
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                                                                                     Happy World Book Day!
We have had a wonderful day celebrating how much we love books and bringing some of our stories to life. We do our very best to inspire the children at St Mark's to have a love of reading and all things to do with reading right from the very start of their journey with us! Not only have we had a great tine dressing up and sharing our favourite stoties, this afternoon we had a very special visitor for a special story time. We were joined by author Rebecca McDowall who read her own book "cheeky dragons". It was lovely session and thank you to all our families for joining us! We hope we have made some wonderful memories for your children to remember World Book Day 2020.

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                                             Visit to the Polish Shop!

Today we visited a polish shop! Kasia taught us some Polish words before we went and told us the Polish names for each item in the shop. We also learned how to say "hello" and "thank you" in Polish so we could speak to the shop keeper. We bought some Polish food and we took it back to Pre-school to taste it with our friends.

                                                                               Stay and Play 
Thank you so much to everyone who came to our stay and play session today! We love having our families come in and spend some time seeing what we get up to and having a catch up with the staff . We make sure we alternate the days and times we offer our stay and play sessions each month to try  and give everyone an opportunity to attend when they can. Keep an eye out for our mothers day themed  stay and pay session in April. 
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                                                                      Makaton!
The children are loving learning Makaton during our 'its time to sign'. Each day the children have been learning how to sign a whole sentence . We are enjoying learning sentence that we may use during the day.  The children are picking this us so fast and are really eager to learn new words. It has been great to see the children using Makaton to communicate during the session. We can't wait to learn more!
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                                                                                     Happy Pancake Day!
We have had so much fun celebrating Pancake Day today! The children loved making their own pancakes and eating them for snack! They chose their personal toppings and had a giggle as we even tried to flip them! We continued the pancake day theme in our Spanish lesson with Sarah. We learnt how to say some toppings in Spanish and talked about our likes and dislikes. P said " Me gusta Nutella!" which means " I like Nutella!".
 
                                                                               Happy Valentines Day!
Today we have had such a lovely day, sharing compliments, telling each other what we love about each other and also talking about who we love in our families. We have been busy making our own valentines day cards which we hope all our families love. We started the day by a good old fashion sing song and slow dance to Ed Sheeran and that set the tone for the day. We shared a Valentines snack all together, with heart shaped crumpets. We also enjoyed talking part in some great valentines day themed games. We hope all our children enjoyed today as much as we did! We are also breaking up for half term today so we would like to say a huge thank you to all our amazing families for a wonderful half term. We hope everyone has a super week off and we can't wait to kick start the fun again when we open as usual on Monday 24th February.
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                                                                          Age UK - Mansion House
Thursday 13th February, we thoroughly enjoyed another one of our regular visits to the elderly people over at the Mansion house! The children get so excited when we tell them we are visiting, as do the staff! Today we took some crafts over and made some 'love bugs' and some valentines day flowers. The children took it in turns to make their very own flower. Once, they made their flower the children chosen who they would like to give their flower to. The children delivered their flower to the elderly resident of their choice and they said "Happy Valentine's day!". As you can see from the photographs below everyone involved values these visits so much! Thank you to Age UK and The Mansion House for another magical visit.
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                                                                         Jiggy Wrigglers
As always we loves our Jiggy Wriggler session with Lorna today! We had so much fun listening to music, jiggling away and even having a great sing song. Today we has to put our listening skills to the test as we danced to the "Hokey Cokey". We also had such a lovely time lifting the parachute up and down as we sang about flying a kite together.
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Early Years Curriculum Roadshow
Sarah attended the Early Years Curriculum Roadshow with Ofsted on Tuesday 11th of Febuary. 
                                                      Spanish Lesson!
Today we enjoyed our regular Spanish lesson. We started our valentines's Day celebrations in our lesson today with Sarah from Kidlingo! We enjoyed sharing a story 'Guess how much I love you' in English and Spanish. We practised counting in Spanish and learnt a teddy bear song. We loved using the parachute with our love themed balloons. We really do love our Spanish lessons and we can't wait for our Valentine celebrations to continue!
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                                                                             Our trip to Asda!
This morning some of  our children visited the recycling bins at Asda to drop off some of the things from our recycling area which we have organised into the right categories. We then popped into Asda to do a bit of shopping. We used the scanners to 'scan as you shop' and had great fun looking for numbers - we didn't have to look far! We used our scanner to scan the bar codes and got the items on our shopping list! We also used the scales to weigh how many bananas we wanted to buy. Then we went to the till to pay. We scanned our scanner and it told us how much to pay. We got back to Pre-school and enjoyed eating the fruit we had just bought for snack. We had a great morning, with lots of learning opportunities!
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                                                              Our litter picking challenge!
We are SO proud of our children and would like to say a massive thank you to all of our families who supported us aw we completed our Litter Pick in Victoria Park today! The children have recently been very interested in their environment and regularly comment on how much litter there is when we take trips out in the community. So with the help of the park rangers we planned to take action and help our local park free of litter. Everyone worked together to pick up litter across the entire park and we couldn't be prouder!
 
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                                                            Chinese New Year celebrations
This week the children have loved taking part in Chinese New Year celebrations! We tasted a variety of Chinese food for snack. We even attempted to use the chopsticks to eat the rice and curry. The children's favourite was definitely the prawn crackers! We then cooked our own noodles outside! The children did super jobs and loved tasting them once they were cooked. P told her friends 'These are the best noodles ever!".
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Making home made bread!
We have been encouraging the children to think about where their food comes from and they asked us where bread comes from. Instead of just telling the children how bread is made, today we made our very own bread. We talked about the ingredients we needed and followed a recipe while working as a team. We couldn’t believe how big the dough got before we baked it. We then enjoyed our bread for snack, it was tasty! 
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                                                          Library visit!

Today we have loved visiting the library! It was so exciting.. we even got to go on a bus! We had an amazing time. We sang 'The wheels on the bus' as we sat down and got our tickets from the bus driver. We loved looking our of the window and talking about what we could see. When we arrived at the library we got to look at all the books - we couldn't believe how many books there actually were! We chose one for Helen to read and then we got to chose some books to take back to Pre-School with us. The lady helped us by stamping the books for us. We then got another bus back to Pre-school, we couldn't wait to share our experience with all our friends once we got back. 

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                                                          Spanish Lessons!

Today we LOVED our first Spanish lesson with Sarah from Kidslingo! We had so much fun and didn't even realise we were learning another language. Sarah taught us how to say hello and my name is.. we sang some songs and today we learnt some colours. We cant wait for our next lesson!

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                                                          Another busy week!

We have been very busy this week taking part activities. We have been exploring different vegetables finding out what they feel like, what they smell like and where they come from. We also compared one of the plants inside Pre-school to a bunch of real flowers. We found that there were lots of differences and used amazing words like "smooth" and "spiky". We put our real flowers in the water and made our own predictions of what we think might happen over the next few days. We used the iPad to take photographs to help us remember. We also created our recycling centre in our role play area. We cant wait to start recycling in Pre-school. Some of our children have been really enjoying their phonic group times. We are now becoming aware of rhyme and some letter sounds.

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                                                          Welcome back!

We are back and couldn't be happier! Seeing our little ones faces as we opened the door was just what we needed after a lovely break! We kicked off the day with a vote for snack, fruit or pancakes and fruit won! We also introduced the story "The Enormous Turnip!" we got to have a look a real turnip and even got the opportunity to plant our own turnip seeds. We cant wait to have more fun bringing the story to life!

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                                                          Last day of term - Polar Express Day!

What a great way to spend our last day in Pre-school before the Christmas break. Today we all enjoyed our Polar Express day. We got all cosy in our pyjamas while we watched some parts of the film 'Polar Express'. The Polar Express train arrived at Pre-school,we gave the conductor our tickets and she hole punched a letter in each ticket just like the film! We then enjoyed a yummy hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. The children also got to take home their very own 'we believe' bell which they have to shake on Christmas eve. We have had such a magical last day, all our children have been so excited. We wish all our children and families a Merry Christmas! We cant wait to see you in the new year.

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                                                          Our Christmas Party

We have all enjoyed the build up to the Christmas events. The children have enjoyed taking part in Christmas activities and crafts.Today was our Christmas party and what an amazing Christmas party we have had! Thank you to all our children for coming and making this afternoon magical! We have danced, played party games and had not 1, not 2 but 3 special party guests. We had a lovely sing song with Elsa, then Santa and Tinsle the Elf came! We hope all our children had a wonderful party!

                                                          Our Christmas Nativity 

So today was the day of our magical nativity! We are the proudest nursery teachers in the world right now... each and every child did an amazing job of coming into a beautiful church in front of  so many people! thank you to everyone who supported us and made today happen! We cant wait for the DVDs to arrive so we can re-watch our amazing superstars! 

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                                                     The Pre-school election

In Pre-school we enjoyed having votes for lots of different things. Today, we have discussed that a very important vote is happening today! We talked about how important our votes are and that we should really think about what we're voting for and why/ A very important vote took place in Pre-scool today .. what shall we have for snack? The choice was crumpets or poppadoms! With a vote of 19 votes to 7, poppadoms won!

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                                                              Last day of the term!

What a busy last day we have had today! This morning some of the children visited the elderly residents at the Mansion House for another one of our inter generational visits. The children made us so proud with how well they behaved. We love how much everyone benefits from these visits... the children, the elderly residents and all the staff involved. The children also learnt all about Diwali and that its the festival of light. We enjoyed playing and exploring brightly coloured rice. In the afternoon, the children got changed into their Halloween costumes and enjoyed a Halloween party. We read the story 'the room on the broom'. We then enjoyed making our own magic potions. The children made their own n spell and they was amazed at what happened next. We carved more pumpkins, joined in with some party games and eat some yummy Halloween treats. We hope everyone has a great half term and we will see you all next week!

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                                                              Pumpkin Fun!

The pumpkins haven given us some great learning opportunities this week! We have enjoyed pumpkin picking in our outdoor area, we used mathematical language to describe the size and weight of our pumpkins. We even had to pay for our pumpkins using our pennies! We drawn different shapes on our pumpkins to create some great faces! We then took our pumpkins inside and enjoyed opening up the pumpkin. The children used their senses to explore the inside of the pumpkin, we could hear lots of descriptive language.We also loved making some yummy pumpkin soup. We followed a recipe step by step listening to each instruction. We all had a turn at cutting and steering the ingredients, the children was so sensible around the equipment. The children all tasted the soup and it went down very well, that well the children asked for more!

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                                                              Vegetable/Fruit printing

We have lots of real food in the home corner and in vegetables our market, we feel like it will be such a waste just to put it in the bin at the end of the week. So instead, each Friday the children love exploring all the different type of food and  herbs. The children enjoy cutting up all the fruit and vegetables! We talk about  the texture, colour and smell.  We talk about the changes we can see in the fruit and vegetables from the beginning of the week until now.We use a variety of colours to make lots of colourful prints.

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                                                              World Mental Health Day

What a truly relaxing day we have had today! We have loved celebrating world mental health day! We have done our best to show all our children, parents and staff how important they are to us and that our mind, body and soul are so IMPORTANT! The children haven enjoyed peer massage, yoga, made their own lavender scented candles and enjoyed talked about how each and everyone of them are special while making their own mirrors. The staff enjoyed the well-being basket in the staff room and their flowers and cards this morning. We also provided our parents with a snack in our welcome area and the opportunity for a chat when Preschool had closed. All the staff and the children enjoyed coming to preschool 'dressed down' to ensure a truly comfy and relaxing day.

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                                                              Macmillan Coffee morning

Thank you, thank you , thank you to each and every one of our families who have donated food, drink and cash donations to male our Macmillan coffee morning as great as it was today! Thank you for all your amazing support and giving up your time to come along. We have raised £120 for an amazing cause! It was also so lovely to see so many of our families today. Don't forge we hold stay and play sessions each month so keep an eye out for the next one. 

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                                                      The three little pigs

The children haven took a real interest into the story 'the three little pigs' so we decided to bring the story to life outside to! We developed our understanding of the story whilst getting hands on building our own houses, acting out the story. We had so much fun the children asked to do it all over again!

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