Cross Gates

Primary School

Aspire, Learn, Succeed

Cross Gates

Primary School

Aspire, Learn, Succeed


Welcome to our Nursery Class page. Nursery is all about learning through play. The children are encouraged to find out new things by exploring the world around them and asking questions. Nursery is a safe, friendly place where children feel happy to take risks and engage in new experiences. All staff strive to build strong relationships with their key children so that they flourish in our setting; children are supported to become "confident communicators" so that they can express themselves effectively to others. We pride ourselves on providing an inviting and engaging learning environment that promotes the Characteristics of Effective Learning and support independent and collaborative learning across all 7 areas of the curriculum.


Please check our page each week to share in our achievements, find out what we have been learning about in school and get ideas for ways in which you can support learning at home.

Take a look at our Nursery!

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Favourite Five

Each half term in Nursery we will be introducing children to our 'Favourite Five' stories. We will read these five stories lots of times throughout the half term (alongside lots of others as well) so that the children become really familiar with the language and pattern of the story. By reading these 5 stories regularly, children are exposed to lots of new vocabulary. Our 'Grandpa Fantastic' collects all of the new vocabulary that we have learnt from each story. We revisit this new vocabulary frequently to support children to absorb the language and explore it in a wider context.

Sports and Well-being Week


Spring Chicken!

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Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of interest in the snails we found in the outdoor area. A group of children were fascinated watching them move around. We talked about the food they eat and found some leaves and lettuce for them. The children were interested in their shells and the different patterns on them. We looked at some different videos on snails and also looked at some information books.

Later on in the week the children were also fascinated in the snail trail and we watched carefully as they made their trails over a builders tray. The children decided to race the snails but they all wanted to climb out of our tray! 

We also looked carefully at the snails and drew our own interpretation of them.

Sprinkler fun!

The weather was wonderful so we decided to have some fun in early years and cool down on a hot day. The children were so excited watching the sprinkler cascade the water over the playground and we all got rather wet. We enjoyed a yummy ice-pop after to help us cool down. 

Stay and Play

It was wonderful to welcome so many of our families into a nursery for our Coronation themed Stay and Play.


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The King's Coronation

We have been enjoyed celebrating the King's Coronation in Nursery. So many different activities from nature weaving, making the king's Jewellery, making nature crowns, siniging, dancing and enjoying a coronation picnic.

We learned a lot about the new king and also his love of conservation and nature. So we made some bird biscuits for our outdoor area. 

We hope you enjoy looking at all the exciting things we were involved in.

Red, White and Blue Transient Art!

Talk For Writing- We're Going on a Bear Hunt!

Text Map- We have been learning the story by using actions as we follow the text map.

Small World play to help us learn the story!

From small world to big scale! Acting out the story in the outdoors! The children repeated the story continuously!

Developing our mapping skills- drawing the bear hunt route!

Chocolate Easter Nests!

Stay and Play
It was wonderful to welcome so many of our families into Nursery for our Easter/Spring themed Stay and Play.


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Easter Stay and Play

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Science Week

This week we have been scientists and have been learning about the things plants need to grow. We all enjoyed planting a sunflower and made sure we gave them water, soil and sunlight. If anyone does any planting at home we would love to see the photos on Tapestry.

Talk For Writing

As we have been learning about growing plants our new Talk for Writing text is 'How to Plant a Seed.' The children are learning this in nursery with our new actions.


The children have been really interested in learning all about birds and in the early years we are passionate about teaching children about nature and the natural world. The children have been making different kinds of bird food and made their own binoculars to use whilst bird spotting in our school forest.


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Dough Disco!

The Nursery, the children continue to enjoy our weekly Dough Disco sessions. We have been learning some new movements including: sausage, piano, 2 finger dancing, pizza and doughnut.

Dough disco is a great activity to do at home! Your children can join in by watching the video below.


Dough Disco

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Wiggle me into a Squiggle - circles 

In Nursery, we are continuing our 'wiggle me into a squiggle' sessions. This week, we have been practising the circle movement. After dancing this move to the song 'You Spin Me Round', the children explored making circles in the paint. 

Wiggle me into a Squiggle - 'up' and 'down'

In Nursery, we have begun our ‘Wiggle me into a Squiggle’ sessions. To become an early writer, children need to experience a specific set of developmental moves to strengthen muscles and their brain. During our ‘Wiggle me into a Squiggle’ sessions, the children practise these pre-mark making moves.

We have  practised the ‘up’ movement. The children used their ‘flipper flappers’ (pieces of material in each hand) and stretched their arms above their head whilst saying ‘up’. We did this slowly and then quickly whilst listening to the song ‘The Only Way is Up’!

We have also practised the 'down' movement. We combined this with the 'up' movement we learnt and sang and danced to the song 'The Grand Old Duke of York'.

After, the children practised the movements in sensory play materials.

Pancake Day!

Today, we had a wonderful time making (and eating) pancakes!
The children helped to make the batter and then enjoyed coming to Miss Harrison’s ‘pancake cafe’ to eat their pancakes with their friends. There were different toppings to choose from including: jam, lemon and sugar and syrup. Lots of empty plates and happy customers!!

World Book Day

The children came to Nursery in their pyjamas and brought their favourite teddy and bedtime story. In the afternoon, some of the Year 3 children came to read a story to the children as part of our whole school 'Big Read'. The children had a wonderful day!

Spring is here!

We are starting to notice signs of Spring. Today in Nursery, we were very excited to discover a crocus in our mud kitchen! On our creative table today, we had some daffodils and the children used their observations skills to paints pictures of the flowers. Aren’t they beautiful!

Science Week

Next week is Science week and we will be  learning all about plants and flowers and how they grow. It would be wonderful if you could have a go at one of the activities below. 

Activity 1

See if you can grow a carrot head. All you need is carrot top, a shallow dish, water and cotton wool pad/kitchen roll sheet.

Add some cotton wool or a sheet of kitchen roll onto dish/plate , then place the carrot head on top. Press it down onto the cotton wool and then place on a window sill. 

Watch it closely and see how long it takes to notice any changes.



Activity 2-   Colouring white flowers


All you need are white flowers, water, a small pot and food colouring. Any type of flower would work as long as they are white.

Make sure all the stems are cut diagonal so they soak up as much water as possible. They also need to be fresh flowers as it won't work if the flowers are wilting. 
Place food colouring into a pot. The more food colouring you add the deeper colour the flowers will change. It won't change straight away but after a few hours you will notice a difference.

Stay and Play

It was wonderful to welcome so many parents into Nursery for our 'Hearts and Flowers' Stay and Play. The children enjoyed playing in both the indoor and outdoor provocations.


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Number Day 

Today, the children had a lovely time celebrating Number Day! They were very excited to show off their outfits and explore the number themed activities in provision. This included: digging and counting treasure in the sand, matching dominoes, reading number stories, reenacting 5 little speckled frogs in the water tray and printing Numicon in the playdough. The children also enjoyed practising their counting whilst using tapping sticks during carpet time. What a busy, fun filled day we had! 😊

We Love Dough Disco in Nursery! 

Dough disco involves moulding play dough in time to music and performing different actions such as rolling it into a ball, flattening it, putting each individual finger into the dough, rolling it into a sausage and squeezing it. Dough Disco supports the children to develop their fine motor muscles, which in turn helps to improve their mark making and writing. 


In Nursery, we have been practising:

Move 1 - squeezing the dough

Move 2 - rolling the dough into a ball

Move 3 - squashing the dough 

Move 4 - using each finger to dance onto the flattened dough dance floor


Dough disco is a great activity to do at home! Your children can join in by watching the video below. We will keep you updated as we learn more Dough Disco dance moves!

Dough Disco

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Windy Day!
Today, it was a very windy day so we found our ribbon wands to play with. The children loved  watching them move in the wind as they ran around the playground.  

Do Dragons exist?

The children have been really interested in dragons since we learned about Lunar/Chinese new year. A debate arose as to how real dragons actually were. One child told us dragons were real, "I know cos they live in caves by the sea. " Another child told us, "No they don't exist, you don't see them anywhere and only birds can fly." There was a lot of discussion about what dragons looked like and whether they were friendly or did they just, "want to breathe fire on everyone." We looked in books and on the internet to find out more about dragons. The children were then asked if they would like to draw a dragon. Nearly all of the nursery children wanted to draw one and they enjoyed looking at other children's dragons. Following this interest a dragon small world was set up in the provision to develop role play and imagination. It was wonderful to hear the stories the children told as they played.

Lunar New Year

The children have loved learning about Lunar/Chinese New Year this week. Sunday is the new year and lots of countries will be celebrating. It is the beginning of a Lunar calendar. Traditionally known as Chinese new year, the name change is due to lots of Asian countries also celebrating not just China. 

We enjoyed some yummy Chinese food including noodles, prawn crackers, spring rolls and practised eating with chop sticks. We also had a go at some Chinese writing, made some lanterns, made money envelopes, played with noodles and chop sticks and made two large Chinese Dragons! It was such a busy few days in nursery and at the end of the week we had a dragon parade around school. We hope you enjoy watching our videos.

Lunar New Year

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Lunar Celebrations

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Dragon Parade

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Invitations to play in our setting

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Changing Seasons

The children have settled brilliantly back into Nursery since the Christmas holidays. The weather is much cooler now, which has inspired lots of discussion about the changing seasons. Our Talk for Writing book this week is ‘That’s Not My Snowman’. The simple, repetitive nature of the story has enabled the children to learn it off by heart, using actions. Today, the children loved making their own snowmen outside using flour and decorations. Look how fabulous they are! 


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At the moment in Nursery we have been learning about some of the common regular 2D shapes. We have been singing songs, playing games and going on shape hunts. This has helped us to identify and name the shapes and to learn about their properties. We have also been printing with different textured circle shapes and looked at the famous painting by Wassily Kandinsky ‘Concentric Circles.’ The children were asked to talk about the picture and then recreate their own representation of his painting.

Flying Kites

It was a really windy day on Wednesday and the children were fascinated watching everything blow around the outdoor area. A group of children were in deep conversation  and one child commented on how they wanted to fly a kite. Some of the other children were unsure what a kite was. This provided a perfect learning opportunity. We talked about things which fly in the sky and looked at kites on the internet. Following this interest the children were provided with different resources to make their own kites and then spent time trying them out. Through flying these kites the children learned about wind direction and listened to the wind in the trees to find the perfect time to fly their kite. 

Christmas Stay and Play

It was wonderful to welcome so many families to our Christmas Stay and Play. At the start, the children enjoyed performing some of our winter and Christmas songs. We were so proud of them! You can listen to  a clip of our snowflake song in the video below. 
After, the children were excited to explore the Christmas and winter themed activities in provision. 

Stay and Play

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A simple Nativity scene for the children to explore

Lemon Juice Delight

The children have been observed adding different things to our water area outside so this interest was extended by adding different containers and liquids to baking powder. The children explored the substances and were fascinated by the reaction of lemon juice with baking powder and also loved mixing different coloured powders into their creations! The reactions on their faces said it all as they watched it “ fizz” and “bubble.”  To develop the strength in their hands and fine motor skills pipettes and syringes were added. This also increased the excitement as the children watched in delight as mixtures were shot through the air.

This interest was sustained all day so the following day the provocation was extended by involving the children in making their own lemon juice. The children used knives and lemon juicers to make the liquid. This was rather tricky but the cooperation and perseverance seen by some of the children was amazing.

We had lots of fun making yucky mud sandwiches, the children were spreading, cutting, mixing and pouring then adding leaves and conkers to make them even more interesting. 

Phase one Phonics- Instrumental Sounds

This week we have been continuing our general sound discrimination using instruments. Today we used the tapping sticks and used them to listen, identify and play loud, quiet, quick and slow sounds. We learned a tapping song and had lots of fun. At home you could continue this by making a musical instrument out of anything you can find at home.

Remembrance Day

We spent some time talking about the poppies children had noticed on my top this week. Jacob amazed us by knowing that they were for soldiers. We watched Cbeebies video on the bunny rabbits and then spent some time making our own transient art poppies and exploring paint to make our own representation. 


Fun in the Movement Area!

Movement is a fundamental way in which children learn. Our provision supports children to develop their proprioception, vestibular and tactile senses. 

Firework Dancing 

The children really enjoyed dancing to music and using the colourful finger lights. They explored making patterns on the floor and the ceiling and followed instructions whilst pretending to be fireworks - starting on the floor and whooshing into the air!

Rangoli Patterns 

Continuing our learning about Diwali last week, the children were enthusiastic to create their own Rangoli patterns using powder paint and stencils. They enjoyed choosing their own colours and deciding where to position them on the stencil. The children found the best way to release the paint was to tap the bottom of the bottle rather than shake it. They also discovered that if they used too much powder paint the pattern was less clear. The children demonstrated lots of critical thinking skills whilst creating beautiful patterns. 

Diwali ‘Festival of Light’

This week we have had lots of provocations in Nursery linked to the Hindu and Sikh festival ‘Diwali.’ The children have been invited to make Clay Divas, Rangoli patterns, Mendhi art and to explore the different resources. As we follow a child led curriculum not all the children chose to be involved in these and lots of other learning as been seen in nursery too. The children have been making slides, towers for our new peg people, jewellery, reading to teddy and so many other child initiated projects. 

Making a ‘road slide’

There has been lots of interest in the ‘construction’ area this week. Vinni was observed in deep concentration building a horizontal structure using lots of blocks. He explained to me that it was, “a road slide for cars to go down so fast like a steep road.” Vinni explained he didn’t want it to be just one slide but lots for the cars to do down. Other children noticed what he was doing and came to join in. Jessica and Amelia both made suggestions as to different things which could be used. Amelia suggested our new number line and both children discovered that it kept getting stuck in the groves where the numbers were. I questioned the children to see if they could get rid of the numbers and Amelia realised that if they turned it over the numbers weren’t there. The children also wanted to ensure everything was ‘the right size’ and trialed lots of things to see if they measured the same as the blocks. There was so much co-operation between the children as well as problem solving and creativity. 


Number sense develops over time through opportunities to explore and play with numbers. Visualising numbers in different contexts, spotting relationships with numbers and predicting the patterns, all these contribute to good number sense. This week we have started our number studies beginning with number one. We have been performing one action, clapping, jumping, hoping and drawing concept images of one. You can continue this at home by going on a number search looking for just ‘one’ of different objects. 

Phase One Phonics

In Nursery the children follow phase one phonics. This concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonics work which begins in phase two. The emphasis in phase one is to get the children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects and the first is environmental sounds. The children this half term have been involved in lots of listening games and activities to help them become aware of the sounds around them.

We have been on a 'listening walk,' listened to sounds without being able to see them, identified hidden objects in socks by listening to them. We have also listened, identified and described animal sounds, seaside sounds, Autumn sounds and listened and identified sounds on instruments.


If you want to play a few games with your child at home you could go on a walk around your house/garden/local area and close your eyes, stop and identify which sounds you could hear.  Below are a few game you can play.



Parents as Partners

We have loved welcoming families into our setting for ‘reading cafes’ and ‘stay and play’sessions. Thank you everyone. It has been wonderful getting to know more about our families. 


We our inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to education and this teaches the children the changes in the seasons. The young children in nursery have began to notice the hints of Autumn in the changing colour of the leaves and the change in temperature. We have enjoyed exploring the leaves by drawing them, chalking on them, feeling them, making collages and even enjoying rolling through them!

Autumn rolling!

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Buttons and Leaves

Continuing our button project we looked at the different shades of leaves during Autumn and tried to match the colours with buttons from our button box. We thought we managed to make such a great match of colours!

Pumpkin Bonanza!

Thank you so much to everyone who brought pumpkins in for the children. We have had so much fun exploring them in every possible way. The children have been rolling them, racing them, counting them, comparing them, painting them, exploring their insides, hammering golf tees and buttons into them, stretching elastic bands on them and covering them in play dough! So many things to do with pumpkins. 

Reggio Emilia 

We are inspired the Reggio Emilia approach to early years and see children as competent, curious, full of knowledge and potential and interested in connecting to the world around them. Project work is an integral part of the curriculum and we follow projects which are guided by the children's interests. The children have been showing curiosity in simple 'buttons'  and a small project as been followed on this. Project work allows us to cover all areas of leaning based on children's interests and the children are the basis of the learning.

The Button Box

The children have been interested in pouring and filling lots of sensory things so as a invitation to play the children were introduced to 'The Button Box.' 

Talk for Writing

This half term our T4W is different nursery rhymes. Our first rhyme was Incy Wincy Spider. The children loved learning and talking about the rhyme. Different pipes and tubes were added to the provision for the children to explore. Lots of children placed spiders, and tried to put other animals down the tubes. Harry discovered the conkers and the children had lots of fun racing conkers across the floor. Eli decided that the tubes made a better instrument and loved making noises with them. Jacob got a spider stuck down one pipe and this provided a problem for lots of children to work out.

                               How do we rescue the spider? 

The children discovered their hands were too small so then they tried to find other things to stick down the pipe to release the spider. Vinni suggested we pour water down like in the nursery rhyme. Eventually Jessica started to bang the tube which loosened the spider and Jacob was relieved to be able to take it out. It was wonderful to see the children working together on a shared problem and we were all relieved when the spider was released.

Learning in the Rain!

Rain provides so many opportunities for learning and today we wrapped up warm in our waterproof suits and had lots of fun playing in the rain.

Transient Art 'Food Face'

It is harvest festival in school this week and in Nursery we have continued our approach of transient are making faces out of different items of food. We hope you like them.


Exploration and Investigation

It has been wonderful getting to know all the children and settling the other children back into Nursery. The children have been following their own interests and discovering all the learning opportunities in our inspiring provision.