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Convent of Mercy Nursery, Folly Lane, Downpatrick, County Down

Home Learning


January Home Learning

It’s hard to believe that we find ourselves home schooling again yet we did it before and we can get through this.

Did you know that you already have everything you need for a mini Nursery school.  

How is a Nursery school set up?  Where is it in my house?

We have a range of play areas and they can be on a table or on the floor.

  • Drawing /Art Area - the kitchen table, a playroom table or easel
  • Construction / Small World Area - the kitchen table, a playroom table or the floor
  • Playdough Table - the kitchen table away from carpet
  • A story area - the sofa, under the kitchen table with a bed sheet thrown over the top
  • Water or Sand Play Areas - the kitchen basin
  • Role play area - in the playroom, bedroom or a large cardboard box.
  • Jigsaw Table / Maths Area - the kitchen table, the floor or playroom table

Hopefully you will have received your January Home Pack if not don’t worry it will arrive in the next few days.  During the parent/teacher meetings in November many parents mentioned that they have to focus on the older children’s home learning, the day to day running of the house / extended family or their own jobs. One of the key skills a child can develop is working with increasing independence - within the Nursery we set up resources in the above play areas and encourage the children to select, explore and develop their attention and concentration through their own interest - the adults pop in and out of their play with comments, a few prompts or to provide extra resources to allow them to extend their play.  We would have an adult led activity each day which we would invite them to join so to develop their experience and develop their attention skills - this could be an art or cooking activity for example.  There is a lovely freedom in Nursery so please don’t feel you have to sit at the table all day - children learn through play and there are so many ways to play.  

We will be providing daily suggestions, stories and weekly videos of the adult led activities.  These will be using items from the pack or everyday objects that you can find at home.  Please see the lists below to gather as we use lots of simple materials to create art pieces. 

Follow the school Pinterest Account:

Hold on to......

  • egg boxes
  • kitchen & toilet roll tubes
  • yoghurt pots
  • juice cartons
  • plastic bottles
  • If you have a shredder - hold onto the shredded paper
  • cardboard boxes of all shapes & sizes
  • packaging from the delivery boxes
  • old Christmas cards

Gather up from around the house (we will be using these over the next few weeks)

  • ice trays
  • food colouring
  • a disposable glove or an old plastic washing glove
  • bun cases
  • food bags
  • pegs
  • cotton wool balls
  • tin foil
  • dried fruit or fruit peels
  • seeds

Possible Time Table

Time Activity What can we do?  Why?  What can we use ? Where can I find this?
9.00 Get Active We can develop our fine and gross motor skills through movement and dance.  This will support our coordination and balance. School Website - Home Learning - Keeping Active Section- you can select from The Body Coach - 5 Minute Workouts, dancing to our favourite songs in Let's Dance, a CBeebies Andy's Workout or a little bit of Cosmic Yoga
9.30-10.15 Independent Play We can develop our attention and problem solving skills as we work with our own toys.  When we work with our toys we are developing our fine motor skills as we for example dress the dolls or push the bricks together.  Our model might fall down yet we will build it again this time should we make a wider base as this will give more support. You have endless resources within the home, you will be amazed how busy a child will be using a tape measure, using masking tape to join empty boxes or using their own toys - yet you can add some cotton wool to the farm setting for frost and discuss how the famer has to care for his animals during this cold weather. Check out a YouTube video of the famer feeding the animals.
10.15-10.30 Snack Time Developing their eye hand coordination as they fill a cup, using a knife to spread the butter & awareness of a routine.   Can they pour their own drink or butter their cracker then put their dishes in the sink?  What shape is the top of the cup - can they find any other circles? What shape is the cracker etc
10.30-11.00 Jigsaw Time / Early Maths  Developing awareness of daily routines, a sense of time we don't have cereal at bedtime we have it in the morning.  Exploring number in play - how many letters did the postman bring today, if setting the table for lunch - can we help? How many knives and forks do we need to set the table. Awareness of shape and pattern in everyday objects.  Using mathematical language - we need two more, the parcel is heavy.   The children can complete a jigsaw - locating the corner pieces and then identifying matching pieces.  Can they turn the pieces to fit?  Exploring with number in play - can they select they correct sized clothes for their dolls, how many cars do they have in their garage. Using a box you can create a car park with numbered spaces - then number the cars  - can they park them in the correct spot? (Check out the Junk Art board on Pinterest)  Matching the pairs of socks by colour or pattern - then count how many pairs you have.
11.00-11.45 Get Creative

We are exploring a wide range of materials and textures.  As we cut and paint we are developing our pencil grip and control of the resources.  We are growing in confidence as we explore and develop of art pieces. 

The Pinterest account has lots of fun ideas, you can complete one of the art activities sent in the Home Pack.   We could prepare a show for the evenings entertainment.
11.45 - 12.15 Story Time & Songs

Develop their listening and attention skills.  Awareness of different situations and cultures.  New words - can they repeat the word - what does it mean?

We often discuss the author or illustration of the book and check to see if we have any other of their stories.

Developing early reading skills as they hold the book in the correct position & turn the pages in the correct order.  Using the pictures to prompt their retelling of the story.  

Each day a new story will be loaded into the school website in the Home Learning - Story Time section.  At 11am each day Mr Hullaballoo will read a story on his Facebook Page (information sent out on 11th January).  Can your child be the teacher and retell one of their favourite stories to their teddy bears?
12.15-12.45 Lunch Time Developing awareness of their likes and dislikes.  Can they help you prepare lunch? Developing awareness of how the cooking process changes the food.  Where did the milk come from ? Watch a  YouTube videos of cows and the milking process.  They are gathering information, taking on responsibility and developing their fine motor skills. Chopping the vegetable for the soup or helping you measure how much you need.  What is the number on the scales? How many carrots do we need? 
12.45-1.15 Let’s Explore

Children are always listening and observing - they gather information and they wish to test it.  They are developing problem solving and investigative skills - early history, science or geography.  


Bird Watch - can we set up an area in the garden to place their bird feeders then watch who comes to visit each day.  

Can we place a bowl in the freezer with a few objects such as plastic toys, bead chains, glitter or tin foil.  When it is frozen - allow them to test what happens if they add salt or slightly warm water.  

We will be sending a daily message to start the day, providing links to helpful websites and asking you to email us photos of the children at play, their completed art work, what they have built, cooked or when you are out for a walk to share with their friends on the Friendship Page.  


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CBeebies Andy's Adventures

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