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Alston Lane Catholic

Primary School and Nursery

Learning and Growing as Children of God

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School Logo

Alston Lane Catholic

Primary School and Nursery

Learning and Growing as Children of God

Weekly News

Spring 2 Week 6


A great end to this half term. We have been out exploring our local environment looking for signs of Spring. We found buds growing on tress, new flowers blooming and lambs in the field. We also spoke about how we look after our environment. The children know not to throw rubbish on the floor and that we should recycle.


We have done various Easter activities including baking and making chocolate nests. Some children helped to decorate our Easter tree. Our broad beans are growing well but unfortunately the tadpoles still haven't hatched. We will hopefully get some more after the holidays.


This week we had our dance session in the classroom. The children enjoyed using the parachute and working as a team to keep the pom poms in the air. 


Thank you to the parents and carers that came to our stay and play sessions. The children do love spending time with you in the classroom and showing you what we have been up to.


We hope you all have an enjoyable and restful few weeks and we will see you on Monday 17th April. 



Spring 2 Week 5


We started our week by baking hot cross buns which were enjoyed as an afternoon snack. The children did well kneading the dough and waiting for their turn.


We have seen sun, rain and wind this week and have embraced it all. We got out in the eco garden and planted our potatoes whilst the weather was fine. Once the rain came we got suited and booted and enjoyed some puddle jumping!


In maths the pre-school children have continued to develop their understanding of estimation. They had to guess how many tadpoles would fit on the lily pads. Each day they improved and made a more sensible estimation. We have also been jumping like frogs to see who could jump the highest and the furthest. Try this at home and then measure how far they can jump. 


Our runner beans are growing fast. Next week we will be focusing on how to care for plants, animals and our environment.


Remember stay and play sessions next week:

Tuesday Zebra's 2-3pm

Thursday Elephant's 2-3pm

Friday Tiger's 9-10am 



Spring 2 Week 4


Wow! What a messy week we've had! The children thoroughly enjoyed creating their Jackson Pollock inspired artwork. We used different tools, large and small to help us create our own master pieces. The children used language such as 'dribble' 'splat' and 'flick'. They explored colour mixing and much more. 


On Wednesday we worked on our balancing skills during dance. The children were encouraged to hold different poses. Ask them to try this at home. 


We also had some fluffy visitors. The children were ever so careful and quiet when handling the chicks. We spoke about the importance of caring for God's creatures. Some children held the chicks and others just wanted to stroke or watch them. 


In maths we continued to develop our understanding of measure by drawing around our hands and feet. We then cut them out and used them to measure against various objects. We also extended this activity by asking the pre-schoolers to estimate how many cubes would fit onto their hand. We explained that estimation is making a sensible guess. You could practise this at home and ask your child to estimate how many grapes would fit in a cup etc. 


We would like to wish all our lovely Mummy's and Grandma's a happy Mother's Day for Sunday :)

Spring 2 Week 3


This week in maths the children compared size. We measured ourselves against the beanstalk and the pre-schooler's made three beanstalks of different sizes. We expect the children to be using the language of 'bigger', 'smaller',' tallest', 'shortest'.


In phonics we have been exploring initial sounds. Recognising the sound at the start of our name and our friends. We have played lots of different versions of eye spy to help us consolidate our understanding of initial sounds. Check the reading handout sent last week for some more ideas to support with phonics at home. 


The children have planted some beans using a hydroponics method. We will monitor them closely. We want the children to understand the life cycle of a plant and the importance of taking care of living things. To further develop their understanding you could grow something at home and send a picture in to us :)


We have enjoyed being outdoors again, especially when it snowed! Please do send your child with hat and gloves in this cold weather. Thank you. 

Spring 2 Week 2


Well done to nursery for being joint winners in the World Book Day competition. We worked hard to prepare our beanstalk. Some children helped to paint the bean stalk and others made leaves using printing and collage techniques. We spent the day reading the books that the children had brought from home and admiring each others hats. The children enjoyed hot chocolate and marshmallows as a reward for winning.


During our Key Person time we have been thinking about God and where we might find him. We looked at the bible and listened to some hymns. We also went to church. The children enjoyed sitting on the pews and admiring the stained glass windows. They were very well behaved. 


In our maths session we have been matching the correct amount of objects to a numeral. The children were given a numbered dragon and had to count the right amount of dragon eggs. Practise this at home by writing down a number and then asking your child to find the correct amount of objects. E.g 4 pieces of fruit, 5 spoons, 6 pencils. We would like our pre-school children to be confident to recognise numbers to 5. 


Just a few reminders:

  • Please do not bring carrier bags into nursery as they are dangerous. We will be sending these home.
  • Chop all small food such as grapes and cocktail sausages length ways.
  • Names need to be on water bottles
  • Pre-school trip to Nellie Carbis Woodland is on Tuesday afternoon

Spring 2 Week 1


The children thoroughly enjoyed wearing their fantasy costumes this week to kick start our new theme of 'magic, awe and wonder'. Some of them made dragons and others made castles for knights!

On Tuesday we made pancakes at snack time and were very impressed with Mrs Maymon's flipping skills. We chose from lots of different toppings and squeezed on our own lemon or orange juice.

Clare Bear was back on Wednesday morning. The children have definitely missed her. They did really well remember some of the dance moves and stretches. 

The children have been using the 'tap tap' hammer and nail set to help develop their fine motor control. The pre-school children wowed us with their pictures!

We have made the most of the good weather, it finally feels like Spring is here! The staff are developing the outdoor area over the next few weeks so there may be a Facebook post asking for resources :)

Spring 1 Week 6


For mental health week we have spent lots of time outside. We spoke about the importance of exercise and fresh air! We have practised 5 calming yoga poses before lunch each day. Ask your child to show you and practise at home. 


We have read the story Silly Billy by Anthony Browne and spoke about what might worry us. We made our own worry dolls to put underneath our pillows. During circle time we passed around a smile and shared what makes us smile. Lots of the children said their friends and family :)


Thank you to the parents that came to the stay and play sessions. We hope you have a lovely half term and we will see you on Monday 20th February. 

Spring 1 Week 5


We have started to explore floating and sinking this week. The children showed a good understanding of heavy and light objects. This also linked to our core story 'Lost and Found' by Oliver Jeffers. 


The children have shown some great imagination and role play this week and have been building large and small worlds with different construction kits. We are removing our garage and dolls house to encourage the children to build their own. 


Some of the pre-school children have been moving in time to the beat using the song Popcorn - Beat & Body Percussion - YouTube

Try this at home and see if they can clap, stamp, tap and bend their knees in time to the music. 


In maths we have been using 2d shapes to build boats for the characters in our core story. We were impressed that some of them knew the names of 2d shapes and were able to use the correct mathematical language to describe them. 


Remember stay and play sessions next week:

Tuesday- Zebra's- 2-3pm

Thursday- Elephant's- 2-3pm

Friday- Tiger's- 9-10am


Come to any session if you can't make your child's key worker slot :)

Spring 1 Week 4


This week we celebrated Chinese New Year. The children enjoyed role playing, food tasting, lantern making, lion dancing and much more! Through discussions we understood about similarities and differences between cultures and traditions. 


Alongside this we explored the forces 'push' and 'pull' linking to our core story Duck in the Truck. We found items in the environment that we could push and pull and then we even had a game of tug of war, until the rope snapped!


The pre-school children can re-tell the core story and were able to talk about the characters in detail.  We are asking the children to 'Give me Five' which means eyes looking, ears listening, hands empty, lips closed and bodies still. They have really impressed us with their listening skills. 

Spring 1 Week 3


This week the children designed ramps for different vehicles. It involved lots of team work and problem solving. They realised the higher the ramp, the further the car would travel. We also experimented with different materials but found the plastic pipe was best!


Some children made their own vehicles using construction kits and even built a train using the large wooden blocks. We watched a train journey and pretended we were in the Swiss Alps!


On Wednesday some children helped to make soup. They peeled and chopped the potatoes very carefully and seasoned it with lots of garlic! It was delicious. 


Each day we have been out exploring the elements and changes in the weather. Even though the children decided the floor was lava! So we had to build pathways around the garden. 


We are very lucky to be taking part in the Red Rose Letters and Sounds Phase 1 Phonics pilot. The first 'block' is all about tuning into sounds. The children are in three different groups at this time with our youngest children having 'nursery rhyme time'. More information regarding the pilot will be sent out in the coming weeks. If you have any questions please ask a member of staff :)

Spring 1 Week 2


The children have been moving and mark making to fast and slow music. We spoke about how it made them feel. We have been busy carrying out balloon experiments as our core story has been 'The Blue Balloon'. Unfortunately, our balloons weren't indestructible! We found different ways of making them move and explored the reaction of vinegar and bicarbonate soda! 


Here are some more experiments you could try at home.

Balloon Science Experiments - Science Fun


Over the week we have had the opportunity to look at the models from the library loan transport boxes. The children amazed us with their knowledge of the different vehicles! We spoke about how they were similar and different to the transport we see now. 


The phonics focus for pre-school has been all about mouth movements and voice sounds. Encourage your child to look in a mirror at home and make different sounds. Talk about the position of their teeth, tongue and lips. Our younger children have been moving in different ways to instruments e.g stomping like an elephant to the drums, slithering like a snake to the shaker.


We continued with positional language in maths but this time encouraging the children to use the language now that they understand it. 


For baking this week the children enjoyed making jam tarts :)




Spring 1 Week 1


It has been a great first week back. We have enjoyed looking at our family photos of Christmas and hearing all about the exciting things you have been doing.


We have had our daily exercise using the new playground equipment, even the staff had a turn! Some of our younger children have spent time in the library after their listening walk around school. They also went to the music room to listen to different instruments. 


Pre-school children have been focusing on oral blending. This week we played 'I spy' with farm animals. You could try this at home with different cvc objects e.g cup, pen, hat. The adult is to say the sounds and wait for the child to blend them together and find the correct object. 


In maths we have been using positional language. Try hiding objects around the house and ask your child where they are. Encourage language such as 'on top', 'in between', 'in front'.


The children decided to turn our kitchen area into a cafe yesterday so today they have been busy preparing meals and selling them to their friends. There was some fantastic writing on the order forms!


Some children helped Mrs Maymon bake an apple cake which will be enjoyed later this afternoon for snack. We also had cereal for our snack this morning and the children were very independent in organising themselves.


I have uploaded some pictures from our final week before Christmas, including 'Box Day'. 


Autumn 2 Week 6


We have been enjoying festive activities this week. Lots of creative crafts and glitter! We also embraced the cold weather and explored our frosty environment. We spoke about how the ice felt and what it sounded like when we stepped on the frozen grass.

Some children went for a walk down the lane and through the fields. We spotted lots of sheep and robins along the way! The rest of the children stayed in class and baked some Christmas biscuits that they will decorate this afternoon. 


In Phonics this week we have focused on rhythm and rhyme. It is important for children's phonological awareness that they can hear rhymes, create their own rhyming string and be able to copy a simple rhythm. Some children even made up their own rhythms! Try this out at home using body percussion or objects from around the house.


In Maths we have spent time recognising numerals to 10 and then counting out the correct amount of objects. The children were given individual Christmas tress and then had to add the correct amount of baubles (pom-poms) on. You could change this activity at home by rolling a dice, showing them an amount on your fingers or just using a flash card.


Please do send boxes in for our Box Day on Tuesday :) 

Autumn 2 Week 5


The children thoroughly enjoyed making their transient artwork this week. We used natural materials throughout the environment and focused on making spirals. Some children used tweezers to create their work, developing their fine motor skills. By the end of the week the pre-school children were able to tell us that Andy Goldsworthy is an artist that creates transient artwork! We were very impressed. 


We focused on pattern work again and even tried to make a repeated pattern with the cake mixture! The children baked colourful spiral cakes and made some tasty carrot soup for our snack on Friday.


We got into the Christmas spirit and the children helped to put up all the decorations. Thank you to everyone that came to the stay and play sessions. We hope you had a lovely time. 

Autumn 2 Week 4


There has been lots going on this week. We embraced the wet weather and the children worked as a team to build a water way in the garden. We experimented with colour mixing in the puddles and used our gross motor skills to sweep and mix. In the classroom we tested different materials to find out if they were waterproof. At home you could carry out your own experiments. Talk to your child about the textures and how they are similar and different. 


Some children explored our local environment and collected natural materials for our transient artwork next week. We will be learning about Andy Goldsworthy and creating sculptures and patterned artwork. 


Mrs Maymon found lots of pears that needed eating so of course we had to make a pear crumble and even some pear crisps! They were delicious :)


We were lucky enough to meet some unusual animals. Herbet the tortoise, Dustin the Kenyan sand boa, Tojo the temrec, Curly and Wurly the millipedes and Willow the skunk. We learnt some amazing facts. Ask your child what they can remember. 


Today we raised money for St Catherine's hospice by having a relaxed day in our pyjamas. We even enjoyed some hot chocolate. Mrs Ollerenshaw will post on Facebook next week with the amount we raised. 


Next week it is stay and play sessions from 2-3pm.

Tuesday- Zebra's

Wednesday- Elephant's

Friday- Tiger's

Autumn 2 Week 3


What a busy week we have had! We started nursery rhyme week with '1,2,3,4,5 once I caught a fish alive'. The children experimented with bubble painting and printing and then cut out their fish for our display. Tuesday we made pirate grog using fruit juices, coconut water and limes. We also walked the plank and made pirate hats. The nursery rhyme was 'The big ship sails'. The children even made their own pirate ship.

Wednesday we learned all about frogs for '5 little speckled frogs'. We made some brilliant play dough frogs and hats. On Thursday we made dog biscuits and found out about different dog breeds for 'B.I.N.G.O'. We finished the week with 'Twinkle twinkle'' and made some salt dough star decorations for the Christmas tree which we will decorate in the coming weeks. 

It was also road safety week so we practised crossing the road safely. The children knew to stop, look and listen and were very sensible. 


Pre-school children are focusing on alliteration in phonics. You could encourage your child to find items in the house that start with the same sound or play eye spy focusing on just one sound. Ask your child what their alliteration name is :)

Autumn 2 Week 2


The children have spent time this week learning about Remembrance Day. We watched the following video and spoke about what the poppy represented. We painted poppies in class and decorated biscuits to look like poppies. 

Poppies video


As always, the children had fun exploring the environment, especially the outdoors. 


Next week is Nursery Rhyme week. Remember to check out the website for games and activities to do at home. Each day the children will focus on a different nursery rhyme. 

Nursery Rhyme Week


Autumn 2 Week 1


We have had a busy first week back. The children enjoyed a walk around the school grounds. This was to support our maths focus, talking about a familiar route. At home, try encourage your child to re-tell what they have done or where they have been. Using language such as first, then, after that as well as using correct tense is important. 


In our phonics groups the focus was either volume, exploring loud and quiet sounds and mouth movements/ voice sounds.

The children practised making sounds with their bodies and instruments. We turned the volume up and down. They definitely preferred making loud sounds!

We also practised passing different voice sounds around the circle. Encouraging your child to make different sounds and mouth movements is all part of early reading. Try the following with your child:

Make your voice go down a slide – wheee! 

Make your voice bounce like a ball – boing, boing 

Sound really disappointed – oh

Hiss like a snake – ssssss

Keep everyone quiet – shshshsh 

Gently moo like a cow – mmmoooo

Look astonished – oooooo!

Be a steam train – chchchchch 

Buzz like a bumble bee – zzzzzzz

Be a clock – tick tock.


Some children have been practising their scissor skills and others have been doing large mark making, swapping hands and changing directions. This week's song was 'Proud Mary' by Tina Turner!


We finished off the week by making some delicious soup which was enjoyed by everyone this afternoon. 

Autumn 1 Week 7


For our final week we invited our families to 'Stay and Play'. The children really enjoyed having their grown ups in the classroom, showing them what we have been up to. Thank you to everyone that came and for taking time to complete the questionnaire. We value your feedback and will look at how we can improve.


The children have consolidated their understanding of rhyme, story sounds and pattern work this week. They have impressed us with their knowledge and explanations!


We hope you have a lovely half term and we will see you on Tuesday 1st November when we reopen. 

Autumn 1 Week 6


We have been focusing on the construction area this week. The staff have been observing the children to see how they use the resources. They came up with some fantastic ideas such as dens, princess towers, an obstacle course and cages for animals. 


The children were developing their social and language skills as well as their fine and gross motor control. We are wanting to further develop this area by introducing various tools. If you have any children's construction tools such as hammers, drills, nuts and bolts they would be very much appreciated :)


Our main aim for this area is to develop their Personal, Social and Emotional Development by showing friendly behaviour, encouraging others to join their play, finding solutions to conflicts, follow safety rules and being proud of their creations!


We will let you know next half term how they have been getting on. 


Attached are two documents. LCC's Autumn newsletter which has useful information about communication, RSV, flu vaccinations and breast feeding. Also a leaflet on how to become a parent group leader. 

Autumn 1 Week 5


We have been busy practising our scissor skills this week. We expect pre-school children to be able to hold scissors correctly, make snips and attempt to cut along lines. 


The children enjoyed creating an autumnal piece of art work that we will display in the nursery. Some of us made 3D sculptures using the natural materials.


In our weekly dance session with Clare Bear we used scarves and ribbons to move in time to the music. We are working on our listening skills and remembering sequences of movement. 


This was our second week of the core story, Mixed by Arree Chung. The children can retell the story very well and were keen to draw a scene from the book. We also explored colour mixing and related the story to our friendships and families, celebrating how everyone is different. 


We finished off the week by baking a plum cake that will be enjoyed this afternoon at snack time.  

Autumn 1 Week 4


The children have loved our new school trim trail. They were very adventurous and we were impressed with their strength and balancing skills!

We also started our weekly football sessions with Mr Harris. The children did really well with their listening skills and following all the instructions.

Mid week we baked scones and enjoyed them sitting out in the sun. We used the left over dough in our malleable area to make some delicious recipes. 

We have been on our first autumnal walk and gathered some natural materials to make our crowns. The nursery children used some fantastic language when describing the conkers and leaves, "spikey" "smooth" "bumpy"

To end our busy week we gathered some crops from our eco garden, just before the rain came! We have been spending time talking about where food comes from and will be exploring this further next week. 

Autumn 1 Week 3


We have been busy doing lots of physical activities this week to help our gross and fine motor skills. The children enjoyed playing games with the parachute and dancing to Jackson 5 ABC using their flipper flappers. Some of our preschool children were keen to practise their writing skills!


We made an apple crumble and enjoyed this as an afternoon snack, it was delicious! The children were brilliant at waiting their turn and using different mathematical language. 


I have attached a link for any parents that need support in getting rid of the dummies and also a document that might help with toilet training. If you are worried about anything or have any questions please do come and speak to a member of the team. We are all here to help :)


Tips for ditching the dummy | Toddler | Health for Under 5s

Toilet training support

Autumn 1 Week 1&2


We have had a busy few weeks settling the children into nursery life. They have all been amazing. We are very impressed with how confident they are in the setting and how friendly they are being to one another :)


We have been learning our daily routine, practising tidying up and sitting beautifully on the carpet with hands in a basket.


Harold the giraffe came to visit us and we talked about looking after ourselves, keeping clean and brushing our teeth.


The children have started their self portraits and have been talking about themselves and their families. Please remember to send in a family photograph to display in our classroom. 



Summer 2 Week 5


We have had a great week! The children have enjoyed making their own kites and explored the windy weather. The zebra group baked scones with Mrs Maymon and we sampled them for our snack. They were delicious! Sorry for the lack of photographs, we were too busy having fun :)


We have been using different tools when being creative, chunky chalks outside and fine paint brushes when doing our mindfulness paintings.


Next week:


Tuesday- Zebra's stay and play 2:00-3:00pm

Wednesday- Pre-school graduation- 9:15-9:45am

Thursday- Elephant's stay and play 9:00-10:00am

Friday- Party- 1:30-3:00pm


Thank you to everyone for the warm welcome back. It has been so lovely to be back in the classroom with the children and seeing all the progress they have made this year. 


Summer 2 - Week 4


We have loved all our grown ups joining us for sports day this week. A big thank you all our families for coming and joining in. See the video below for all the best bits!


It is my last week this week, a big thank you to all of our families for making me feel so welcome during my time at Alston Lane. Next week we will be welcoming Mrs Rushton back.


Don't forget stay and play sessions start again next week. The first session will be for the Tigers, Thursday 7th July 0.00-10.00 am. 


Have a lovely week everyone!

Miss Greenwood 

Sports Day.mp4

Still image for this video

Summer 2 - Week 3


We have had another busy week at Nursery this week. Check out the pictures below to see what we have been up to! We have been enjoying the nice weather and done lots of talking about how we keep safe when it's hot. Please don't forget to bring sun hats and water bottles every day and apply once a day sun cream before you come to Nursery. 


Next week we will be holding our sports day sessions. We are all very excited and cannot wait for our grown ups to come and watch our fantastic skills! 


Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Miss Greenwood 

Look at our fantastic drawings!

We love exploring different area in the garden

We worked as a team to make bridges

Ice experiments

Dancing with Clare Bear

Drawing shadows

Using the safety knives to cut our vegetables to make ratatouille

Summer 2 - Week 2


Snack time and lunch time are valuable learning experiences for our little ones. Without even knowing it, they are learning to communicate with their friends, how to use their cutlery, sitting nicely at the table and what foods and textures they like or don't like.


It is important for us to encourage children to be independent at Nursery, particularly at meal times. Children are taught at snack time to get their own food, butter their toast, pour their milk and wash up their dishes when they have finished. At lunch time we teach the children to have a go at cutting their food up before asking a grown up for help. These are all important life skills that every child should learn at some stage!


We need your help too! It is important that those children who bring pack lunches bring a healthy lunch. We want to develop healthy bodies as well as healthy minds! As a school we promote healthy eating. Please see the pictures below for more information on healthy eating in school.


Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Miss Greenwood 


Look at how independent we are!