Literacy – Jolly Phonics

Our Pre-school children are so enthusiastic about letter sounds and letter formation through the use of Jolly Phonics. We inform parents at the beginning of each week as to what sound we are focusing on that week so that they can continue exploring the letter sound at home. We incorporate games such as silly soup and Binky Bunny into making phonics fun.

Scallywags Going Home Library

– is based in Sunflowers for Pre-School children to take a book of their choice home for the week and bring it back the following week.

The children are encouraged to choose a book at their leisure with help from a member of staff if needed then to sign it out once they have picked. There’s a wide selection of books to chose from such as fairy tale to fact books.

Show and Tell

– is a big success in Sunflowers.

This activity helps build confidence and self-esteem amongst the children, builds positive relationships and encourages the children to share information at an appropriate time. The children also learn about the wider community and different cultures through listening to others and using their visual props to build a picture about their experiences and what things they see as important to them.

Going Home Ted

– has made a big impact on the Sunfower children’s weekends. Ted goes home with the children, along with a scrapbook for them to draw pictures and add photos of outings. Parents and children also write down what they get up to over the weekend with Ted. Ted promotes communication between home and nursery by involving parents and helps in building a bigger social network between nursery, parents and home. Ted encourages children to show care and concern for nursery objects, extends their emotional attachment and builds a link between nursery and home life. Once returning Ted back to nursery the children are able to express themselves using the scrapbook to show their peers and adults their pictures, photos and talk through experiences. This activity is great for all children being able to express themselves as individuals and to use different forms of communication as they wish.

Binky Bunny sessions

Binky is a soft toy rabbit used in special language, listening and communication sessions with the children, in small groups. The more time the children spend with him, the more their affection for him grows. Binky is well loved and the children follow his every word.

Silly Soup

This is another small group activity we do with the children in a circle. The children take turns to add objects to a large pot passed around the group singing the ‘silly soup song’ whilst stirring with a spoon. The objects will have something in common – they may be the same colour, made from the same material or sound the same and during the session the children will identify this and talk about it

Story time, singing and rhymes

Throughout the day the children will have small group time to share stories and books, sing songs and say rhymes together. We have a large selection of story sacks with props and additional materials to support the story and the children can often be seen using these to tell the story to their friends.


Children learn maths through lots of different activities.

All units participate in baking activities where the children learn to measure, divide and pour quantities of different substances. They learn the different textures and density of materials and learn to cut shapes, vary the sizes etc.

Playdough, puzzles and colour and shape activities are often used.

Once in Sunflowers, the children will also have specific times when they have the opportunity to join in a numeracy time where activities are even more focused.

Music and movement sessions

These classes usually take place in one of our music rooms and are separate from the music sessions supported by Mary.

The children use lycra, ribbons and voiles to dance and move to music. As well as being creative and developing their motor skills the children also do activities to develop numeracy and language skills.

Please see the section below on Jabadao for that specific activity and the separate title of Music Play Time for Mary’s music sessions.


– is one of our children’s favourite activities. We make a variety of things from fruit kabobs, flapjack, bread to sponge cakes. We encourage good food and personal hygiene at the start of baking/cooking and during the activity We specially encourage the children to keep on top of their runny noses. Children are able to learn basic food preparation skills, general hygiene requirements for baking/cooking, handling tools and equipment appropriately and also understanding the effects that good and bad foods can have on their bodies.

Story Sacks

– are amazing!!

Our children love using them in nursery time and being able to take them home to show off to their Mummy and Daddy. We have a selection of story sacks to choose from which all contain a book, puppets, other props, games, a scrapbook and some of them contain music CDs.

This activity is great at promoting all seven areas of learning; communication & language by the children listening to and speaking about the stories, emotional & social by sharing and listening to others, physical development by mastering the use of the puppets and props, literacy by positively displaying illustrations and word formation, mathematics by having a game linked to the themed story, understanding the world by introducing CDs and small world objects and lastly, expressive art & design as every sack containing a scrapbook & pencils.


Free dancing with the use of props such as lycra and ribbons;

  • is about finding how to be very comfortable in our own skin
  • is spontaneous, improvised, created in the moment
  • is about the feeling of movement, the feeling of being me
  • follows sensation, instinct and image – interweaving with thought
  • supports the human need to move in ways for which our physiology
  • has developed delights in exuberance and playfulness
  • is created and re-created, as a collective endeavour, by those involved
  • focuses on relationships rather than product
  • is about improvisation rather than rehearsed pieces

Christmas Sing-Along

Families are invited to socialise at Christmas after joining in with the children in their Christmas sing-alongs.

The children work very hard up to Christmas rehearsing for the event and will perform songs from all different cultural celebrations that occur at this time of the year.

Messy Play

Both Buttercups and Sunflowers have their own space for painting, play dough, sticking, sand and water play and a whole variety of messy activities that are on offer each day. The emphasis is on exploring and experimenting and everything is on hand for the children to help themselves to.

Outdoor Play

Our large garden is reached by going through the jungle walk and is situated at the back of the nursery.

It has been specifically designed to provide fun learning opportunities. Imaginative open and covered play equipment allows the children to be outdoors most weathers and provides special little places for them.

The large grassy area provides a physical space with climbing equipment and wobbly tyres.

We have a large, sheltered sand pit that the children can climb into and opportunities for water play.

A large, undercover role play area which changes in character, depending on the interests of the children and a cosy summer house to relax and look at a book.

The gardening area is full of activity throughout the year and we grow and eat some of our own fruit and vegetables. A new gardening area has been designed and we have some volunteer grandparents who are kindly donating their time to educate the staff and the children in the art of being self-sustainable!!


Once your Sunflower has flowered, and is ready to go to school, we hold a graduation. Graduation is held at the Salvation Army Citadel on Psalter Lane in July and you are encouraged to bring your extended family with you.