All posts by Rachel Bargewell

Library Visits

We like to support our local library and visit regularly. The children enjoy choosing and looking at books either independently or by listening  to them being read.

We have also been lucky enough to be joined by some of the year 6 class at the primary school in the afternoons at preschool.  The year 6’s  have been ‘reading buddies’.  This  gives the children a head start and helps to prepare them for school.

We have also noticed that these sessions lead to children asking questions about the books and the information within, giving chance to speak about what is happening and using these as good learning experiences.

Reading is also an easy way to help their language skills and develop their fluency. There is nothing better to see when all the children (big and small!) are sitting on the grass together,  listening to stories and chatting about them 🙂


Healthy Eating Week

Last week was Healthy Eating Week. The children engaged in lots of Healthy themed activities to think about looking after our bodies . In our P.E session we found ways to keep our bodies moving and active by skipping, hopping, jumping, throwing and catching. We also talked about the importance of resting and eating breakfast.

We have also been looking at books by Julia Donaldson and last week was ‘The Gruffalo’.  We incorporated healthy eating with this by cooking ‘Gruffalo Crumble’. The children measured ingredients and prepared a fruity desert to take home.

Easton Farm Trip

Just a quick reminder that we are off to Easton Farm Park on Wednesday 12th June,  so there will be no pre-school sessions in the cabin!  If you are coming with us, the bus will be leaving at 9:45am. The weather forecast is sunshine and showers, please dress for muddy conditions such as wellies and a waterproof coat.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


We had lots of pyjama themed fun at the library this morning, singing nursery rhymes, adding stickers to story books and snuggling down in our pyjamas to listen to A Busy Day For Birds. We also ate moon and star shaped biscuits which the children had made – all to celebrate bedtime stories.

The children were given a free book to take home called Car, Car, Truck, Jeep by Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt courtesy of BookTrust.

Many thanks to Maureen from Debenham library who warmly invited us to the event and made us feel very welcome. We are looking forward to more activities at the library next month and we will continue to make regular visits during the term.



New Mud Kitchen!

We were all very excited to use the new mud kitchen for the first time today! Here are some of the comments from the children I noted down to share with you…

“Who made it?. They are good at building!” 

“We’re making cup cakes -loads of cup cakes!”

It’s yucky, but it’s a rainbow cake”

“We love the mud kitchen!”

Definitely a positive response and I am sure we will continue to get lots more learning opportunities from it while having fun getting muddy! 🙂

Welcome back!

Welcome back to Pre-school! We hope you had a lovely break! Today’s newsletter has now been emailed out to you, please let us know if you have not received it.

This term we have our very own Post office! It has been received very well today, all have been busy with lots of letter writing, posting, sorting and delivering parcels.

We also have a wormery on the interest table to coincide with our book of the week – Superworm by Julia Donaldson.

Also a reminder for children who attend on Thursday morning session to wear pyjamas for the library visit. We will be arriving in our pj’s and children can change into their clothes before lunch, if staying all day. Parents and children who do not normally attend are welcome to join us at the library at 10am.






Pyjamarama event!

On Thursday 6th June  Preschool  are set for a morning full of fun as Debenham Library invites the community to join together and celebrate ‘Pyjamarama’, BookTrust’s inaugural celebration aimed at getting more children reading.

The local library will be distributing a number of  free books to celebrate BookTrust’s ‘Pyjamarama’ 

As part of Pyjamarama week, BookTrust is working with Debenham Library  and other community partners to ensure as many children as possible have their very own story to read before bed. Over 1 in 4 children in the UK aged between 0 and 5 are not read to regularly. This means over 1.4 million children are missing out on the vital benefits of regular reading in the early years – it’s our job to make sure every child has an equal opportunity to have a bedtime story.

To help, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity is giving out over 450,000 free copies of the picture book Car, Car, Truck, Jeep by Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt (Bloomsbury Children’s Books) at libraries, children’s centres and foodbanks across the UK who are getting involved with Pyjamarama themed events happening throughout the week starting 3 June 2019.

We will be dressing up in our pyjamas and taking our teddies with us as we share bedtime stories and rhymes while snuggling up in blankets, to encourage children and their families to have fun reading together, anywhere and anytime and to share the magic of books.

Children who normally attend on the morning can come in their pyjamas (with a teddy if they wish) and bring a change of clothes if they are staying all day. We will walk over to the library at 10am. Children who do not normally attend on Thursday sessions are very welcome to come to the library but will need to be accompanied  with parents/carers as we need to adhere to the correct adult: child ratios.

Please let us know if you wish to attend so the library has an idea of numbers. We look forward to seeing you there!






We had another enormously successful Duck Race this year! We raised a whopping £1280 which will go towards funding  to enable us to move towards the Early Years Online Learning Journal Tapestry,  to record all the learning and fun of children’s early years education in the next year. 

The pre-school staff and committee would like to say a huge thank you to all the parents and friends who joined us on Sunday and especially to all the local businesses (listed below) who helped make the day such a success by generously donating prizes.

Ruby and the Angel
Simply Stylish
Henry Abbott Hardware
Palfrey & Hall
East of England COOP (£10 voucher and allowing us to sell outside on the Saturday)
The Filling Station
Colchester Zoo
Kenton Hall
Cabbages and King’s Café
Stonham Barns Owl Sanctuary
Stephen Anderson Hairdressers
Meraki hairdressers
EJR ceramics
Kristina Boulton
With help for selling:
Webster’s newsagents
Vanilla Bakehouse
We would also like to say a huge thank you to the local firefighters and Family Styles for joining us and providing additional entertainment with the fire engine and tractor experiences! 🙂

Mini Beast week

We have been busy exploring and investigating mini beasts all this week. The children have been finding lots of interesting things in our garden, displaying fascination and curiosity about them.  One child commented on the spiral shape they could see on a snail shell and was able to recreate this when we made snail shaped biscuits in our cooking activity.

We looked at the caterpillars and how they are developing into their chrysalises. We are also learning about metamorphosis of a frog, the children watched a short time lapse video of a tadpole changing to a frog. One of our families kindly gave us some tadpoles to have at Preschool so we can look first hand at the different stages they make.

It has been a good opportunity to incorporate mathematics in our play too, for example, counting legs of spiders, sorting insects into bugs that fly/have wings and counting spots when making paperplate ladybirds.