We're off out to explore... | Portsmouth High School

We’re off out to explore…

Hickory Dickory Dock, the nursery rhyme adored by countless generations of children, came to life in the Junior School grounds when Pre-School went on a number hunt as part of their morning literacy and mathematics lessons.

Beautifully carved wooden numbers, created by Pre-School teacher Mrs Dempster, had been “lost” in the garden and Pre-School were tasked to go on a hunt and find them. Armed with binoculars and wellington boots, the children set enthusiastically to work. Under bushes, in piles of leaves, behind stones – there was no shortage of places to look. Eventually all twelve numbers were found and a large clock created in the dell area where everyone took a turn to tell the time aided by a very helpful mouse running up and down the clock.

This term, through exploring nursery rhymes in Pre-School, teachers have been encouraging the development of early reading skills. Research shows that young children who learn nursery rhymes by heart develop skills that enable them to become better readers and spellers in future years.

Mrs Dempster said ‘Nursery rhymes offer an early introduction to phonics and rhythm in language, as well as

incorporating sophisticated literacy tools, such as alliteration. Rhymes often use numbers, which builds early mathematical ability too.’

‘By experimenting with different words that make similar rhyming sounds, the children can find their own fun words to swap. This always makes them laugh and they become more engaged. Additionally, this helps to build confidence with communication, through joining in with repeated refrains and actions. It also develops social skills and vocabulary.’

‘This term we have focused on a variety of nursery rhymes, including Hickory Dickory, 10 Green Bottles, 1 2 Buckle My Shoe and Humpty Dumpty, incorporating various fun activities surrounding these. We get outside into the grounds as much as we can and there is always time for the children to explore the great outdoors in connection with their classroom activities.’

Visit the Pre-School on our Explorers’ Open Morning on Saturday 10 March and find out more about opportunities for your daughter.