The Rocking Horse is an Ofsted Outstanding, privately owned and family run, registered children’s day nursery located in a quiet residential street in Finchley Central, London. The nursery is within walking distance of the beautiful grounds of Avenue House, Victoria Park and Finchley Central underground station.
"The Rocking Horse is the Mary Poppins of the nursery world - practically perfect in every way!"Parent
"Amazing nursery-brilliant teachers, lovely setting, our daughter loves it here!"Parent
"The staff are the best, so caring and genuine."Parent
"I'm sure you've heard it many times before but after being shown round by the lovely Beth, seeing how impeccably clean it was, and most importantly how very happy and relaxed the children all are, I wanted to let you know what a special place The Rocking Horse is - especially compared to all of the other nurseries I have seen. "Prospective Parent
"After visiting, we knew Rocking Horse was was simply brilliant. We visited many other nurseries, serving only to confirm that Rocking Horse is the only place we see our child."
Weekly News - Monday 22nd January 2018 Read More
19 Jan 2018
Background of Sleep How do you feel when you haven't had enough sleep or your bedtime routine has been disrupted? Grumpy, irritable, unable to concentrate? How about when this continues over several consecutive nights of poor-quality sleep? Anxious, frustrated, possibly even out of control and angry? Our modern lifestyles and 24/7 pressure have resulted in many of us being sleep deprived. In a new book The Science of Sleep (2017), Wallace Mendelson suggests: "Many of us live in a state of partial sleep deprivation. This leads to deficits in our ability to learn, drive safely, and for our bodies to chemically process food or fight infection." This argument is supported by Clifford Saper, Professor of Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, who says: "The most common misconception is that people think that they do not have to follow the rules of biology and can just eat, drink, sleep, play or work whenever they want." So what might this growing bank of scientific research and our heightened awareness of the importance of healthy sleep patterns mean for children, parents and early years educators? Children are certainly no different than adults. In fact, every living creature is physically healthier and more responsive when adequate sleep is consistently maintained. In the early weeks and months of life, sleep is the primary activity of the brain. The sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm, is regulated by the impact of light and dark. These rhythms take time to establish and result in the irregular sleep patterns of newborn babies. The rhythm begins to develop at about six weeks, and by three to six months most infants have a more regular sleep-wake cycle. As children grow, they develop two alternating types or states of sleep known as: Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) or "quiet" sleep. During the deep states of NREM sleep, blood supply to the muscles is increased, energy is restored, tissue growth and repair occur, and important hormones are released for growth and development. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) or "active" sleep is often associated with dreaming, indicates a deeper and more restorative level of sleep and is thought to assist in brain development, especially early in life. Newborns and young children typically spend about twice as much time as adults in REM sleep. Interestingly, the neurological barrier that inhibits muscles in the legs and arms from contracting during REM sleep and prevents people from "acting out" their dreams is also not fully developed in newborns. Without full inhibition, brain activity associated with REM sleep can result in dramatic twitches and movements of a child's limbs. Some of these are strong enough to wake them from sleep. Only during the second six months of life does the system develop sufficiently to inhibit dramatic body movements during REM sleep. In babies, sleep cycles, composed of REM and NREM sleep, last for about 50 minutes with babies spending approximately 50 percent of their time in each of these states. By about six months of age, REM sleep comprises about 30 percent of sleep. As children reach preschool age, the sleep cycle extends to every 90 minutes. (2017 Sleep Foundation) Interesting facts from the American National Sleep Foundation: By the age of two, most children have spent more time asleep than awake Overall, a child will spend 40 percent of his or her childhood asleep. Sleep is especially important for all children as it directly impacts mental, emotional and physical development. Understanding sleep patterns Babies Babies have what is called 'polyphasic' sleep, in multiple stretches over the day. They often take several months after birth to establish regular sleep and napping routines. However, by around 9 months of age approximately 60% of children will take one nap in the morning and another in the afternoon, and over 70% of children will sleep through the night. Often those we think of as "good sleepers", who appear to sleep through the full night, are actually effective "self-soothers", who go back to sleep by themselves after stirring or brief awakenings. Such children are already establishing an early ability to self-regulate, an indicator of secure emotional attachment and an increasing core sense of safety. Others, referred to as "signallers", will alert carers to their wakefulness with a cry, and may need rocking or nursing back to sleep. These babies may need support to gradually learn to get back to sleep by themselves through self-soothing. Pre-schoolers Pre-school children typically need at least 11 to 12 hours of sleep every 24 hours. Most will go to bed between 7 and 9pm, and will wake between 6:30 and 8am. Daytime naps can continue as a regular feature of the pre-schooler's day and may decrease in frequency by age three, although some children may continue to benefit from a nap up to the age of five. As pre-schoolers become mobile and language skills develop, they become more capable of resisting bedtime and expressing fear or separation anxiety, with about 20% still waking at least once during the night. At this stage of development, paying attention to and reinforcing consistent bedtime routines and behaviours can really help parents to manage sleep patterns successfully. Night time fears are also common in pre-schoolers and in extreme cases may present as sleepwalking and sleep terrors. Common indicators of insufficient sleep in pre-schoolers are that the child: may be difficult to rouse in the morning has trouble staying awake during the day (falls asleep at nursery, school or other inappropriate times) sleeps more than two hours longer on weekends or holidays than on weekdays displays decreased ability to cope with stress (may seem excessively irritable, moody or easily upset) presents with increased behaviour problems including lack of age-appropriate focus and concentration demonstrates fluctuating activity levels (hyperactivity/drowsiness) Sleep hygiene habits to share with parents While the word "hygiene" conjures up images of washing and teeth-brushing , sleep hygiene is different. It refers to the habits that parents can put into place to optimize children's sleep. Here are ten recommendable sleep hygiene habits: *Persist with a regular, consistent sleep schedule – setting a clear bedtime and wake time. *Create a recognised bedtime routine, doing the same things in the same way every night. For example: quiet time, dimming lighting, sharing stories. *Ensure the bedtime routine is something to look forward to and is enjoyable for both parent and child. *Let children go to bed awake so they learn to sooth themselves and go to sleep independently. Make the sleeping environment a pleasant one – pay attention to temperature, noise and lighting. *Avoid late afternoon naps which may interfere with getting to sleep at night *A favourite cuddly toy or blanket can often help encourage a sense of security and encourage self-soothing. Too many toys in a child's cot or bed can lead to over-stimulation or overheating. *Growing research shows that the light from a television screen (or computer monitor) can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Melatonin is an important component of sleep-wake cycles. Ensure that any electronic devices (iPads, computers, televisions are switched off, rather than left on 'standby'. In standby mode, electronic devices continue to emit the 'waves' that keep children's brains on 'mild alert' and prevent fully restful sleep. Better still that they are absent from bedrooms!) *Reduce stress before bedtime. Another hormone that plays a role in sleep is cortisol, also known as the "stress hormone." When cortisol levels are high, a child's body won't be able to shut down and go to sleep. They may feel unsafe and at worst fearful. Simple bedtime stories, even for the very youngest children and babies can create a relaxed and soothing pre-sleep atmosphere. *Carers should pay attention to their own need for sleep. Sleep deprived parents and carers may not feel relaxed enough to model calming sleep-inducing behaviours. Behavioural sleep disorders Parasomnia is the term given to unusual behaviours that occur during sleep. For young children, the most common are disorders of partial arousal or wakefulness which happen in the transitions out of deep sleep. These include confusional arousals, sleepwalking and sleep terrors. Confusional arousals These are very common in pre-schoolers and involve noisy and inconsolable thrashing or crying. A child is unlikely to wake fully and will usually return to sleep fairly quickly. Sleepwalking This is more common in older children and adults. Events can be as simple as getting out of bed to completing complex tasks like making a snack, or even moving furniture. Sleep terrors As their name suggests, sleep terrors involve the appearance of absolute fear (sweating, eyes dilated, racing heartbeat), often accompanied by real distress. Some children even bolt out of bed. Although they are upsetting to witness, children are mostly unaware that anything has happened when they wake up. Nightmares Unlike sleep terrors, nightmares are disturbing dreams that wake the child and leave them with vivid memories. This makes them reluctant to go back to sleep. Nightmares occur during REM sleep. Most children experience at least one nightmare, and one in four may have repeated scary dreams over a few months. Sleep tight – the power of the lullaby Let's not forget the power of the lullaby, also known as the cradle song. Lullabies are found in many countries of the world and have been around since ancient times as a means of soothing a child to sleep with simple and often repetitive language. The benefits of the lullaby extend beyond bedtime and should not be underestimated. Lullabies help to: *soothe and comfort *develop communication and language skills *support attachment and healthy bonding relationships *help children to focus and give attention *model emotional security and empathy *modulate children's arousal and help to regulate behaviour *help children to relax and experience joy References: https://www.parentingscience.com https://sleepfoundation.org www.babycenter.com https://www.webmd.com http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk https://www.essentialparent.com Useful books for educators and parents Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems : New, Revised, and Expanded Edition (2006) by Dr. Richard Ferber, Publisher: Fireside. Sleeping Through the Night, Revised Edition: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep (2005) by Dr. Jodi A. Mindell (Recommended by the National Sleep Foundation), Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers. Why We Sleep, the New Science of Sleep and Dreams (2017) by Matthew Walker, Publisher: Simon and Schuster The Science of Sleep – What it is, How it works and Why it Matters (2017) by Wallace Mendelson, Publisher: University of Chicago Press Sue Egersdorff and Pam Mundy are co-directors of International Early Years (IEY), a social enterprise organisation providing support and challenge for early childhood care and education leaders and organisations in the UK and internationally. As authors, speakers and consultants, Sue and Pam bring a wealth of high level strategic and operational experience from their previous and present roles to inform current practice and future development of "everything Early Years". Read More
18 Jan 2018
Weekly News - Monday 15th January 2018 Important Notice: Please remember that doors and gates MUST be closed securely at all times even when using your finger print. Hummingbirds We are having fun with containers, boxes and bags , opening and closing , in and out, exploring shape and size. We will also have support from Kim from Barnet healthy schools looking at all the wonderful active games we can play and do at this young age . Kingfishers I went to the animal fair, the birds and beasts were there....... We are having fun with animals, big and small , farm and wild. We will make homes, dens and enjoy painting and exploring footprints and textures of their coats Quetzals We are continuing with our round the world adventure. This week we will look at the beauty of France. We will learn some French words and phrases, you can help us at home too. We will have some baguettes for snack and make some French toast - yummy . Toucans We will continue with our prehistoric adventures. We will have a herbivore picnic. We will go on another dinosaur hunt for George. We will make our own dinosaur fossils with clay and dinosaur nests with shredded wheat. We will make our own 'saurus' with our hands. Lot's of stories , songs and stomping to the dinosaur beat. Macaws Our' Library lion' story will continue allowing us to explore different types of books. What information can we find in a dictionary , an encyclopedia , a thesaurus, poetry, newspaper, computer... etc. We will look at different print styles and size. We will visit the library on Wednesday. Please show children books you have at home. Quotes of the week: Beth was wearing a red/blue check dress and Maya H said to her, "Why are you wearing the same dress you wore on Scottish Day?" Luz has been away in South America for her holidays and brought back some coffee bean bracelets for some of the staff. Genevieve saw that Beth was wearing one and ran up to her in the garden and said, "Beth, can I sniff your bracelet?" Beth asked her what it smelt of and she replied "Coffee!" Genevieve was talking to Luz, ' I saw the weather cas this morning and it will rain in the morning but it will be sunny in the afternoon . It will be 9 degrees . They made a dinosaur in Toucans , Sharon came in and said , 'Wow look at that helicopter!' Isaac said , ' No, it's a giraffe!' Second Hand Uniform Sale 16th January During the Hummingbirds, Kingfishers and Quetzals Parents Evening on 16th January we will also be holding a second hand uniform sale in the Library. Feel free to pop in and purchase a few extra items if needed! All proceeds will go to the NSPCC. Bringing in food: We have children in the nursery with lots of different allergies, intolerances and dietary requirements- please do not let your child bring in any food as the children love to share. We do not want any of the children ingesting something which could cause them harm. If you come in with food staff will ask you to either take it with you or throw it away. Sickness Reminders If your child has vomited or suffered from a case of diarrhoea then they are not allowed to come to Nursery for 48 hours after their last bout of sickness. If they have needed Calpol or Nurofen before Nursery because they have a temperature then they should not be brought in as they are unwell. If your child has an unexplained rash please get it checked by a doctor and inform us- depending on what it is we may need to inform parents and do a deep clean to avoid it spreading. You are not permitted to bring in Calpol for your child to have during the day- if they need it they should be at home. If your child has been prescribed antibiotics we can only administer them after 48 hours to ensure that they will not have an allergic reaction to the medicine. If the medicine does not have a prescription label with their name on the original box then we will not administer it. This is for the well-being of your child as well as to prevent the spread of infection to other children and vulnerable adults. We expect you to be honest with us about the health of your children and not put others at risk. Dates for the Diary: *Tuesday 16th January Quetzals, Kingfishers and Hummingbirds Parents Evening 6:45-9:00pm. Please keep your previously booked appointment times- speak to your class teachers if not possible. *Monday 22nd January- celebrating World Religion Day. If you'd like to speak to your child's class or share a story please speak to the class teachers. *Tuesday 13th February- Shrove Tuesday, Pancake making and flipping fun! *Wednesday 14th February- Valentine's Day. Please dress in pink/red or wear hearts. *Friday 16th February- Chinese New Year, Year of the dog. Please dress in Chinese costumes. Copyright © 2018 THE ROCKING HORSE NURSERY, All rights reserved. www.therockinghorse-nursery.co.uk Our mailing address is: THE ROCKING HORSE NURSERY 5 VICTORIA AVENUE London, Eng N3 1BD United Kingdom Read More
12 Jan 2018
The Prime Minister will set out a 25-year plan on the environment this week, including making more shops charge for plastic bags https://news.sky.com/story/theresa-may-plans-to-extend-plastic-bag-charge-and-end-throwaway-culture-11201978 Read More
10 Jan 2018