Can I welcome you all back after what I hope was an enjoyable holiday? A somewhat belated Happy New Year to you all!
We have a busy term ahead of us. The children are already enjoying some “wintry” activities, feeding the birds and looking for the bulbs emerging in the garden. A few new families will be joining us this week – we hope you all enjoy the time you spend with us.
As some of you will be aware, we are now able to offer a longer day to more children. Please talk to room staff to discuss your child’s individual needs, and remember to keep us posted on any allergies or dietary requirements for lunches.
The photographer will be making her annual visit to take class photos on Wednesday 6th February. Individual and family photos will be taken later in the year.
All preschool children should now be registered for school. Staff are currently in the process of checking this with you. If you are unsure whether your child will be ready to move on to school in August, please discuss your concerns with a member of staff. Applications for an extra nursery year should be completed by 31st March.
Thanks to everyone who turned up to support our Nativity at the end of last term. We really enjoyed putting it on, and hope watching it was equally enjoyable. Our Christmas party, too, was very successful, and many thanks to those of you who supported our Grand Jar Sale, and raffle.
Would you like to develop your cooking skills? Dr Bells will be running cooking classes in the nursery on Tuesday afternoons from 22nd January. Free childcare is available, and there will be a free recipe book, and free food to take home. Please let a member of staff know if you are interested in attending. Among the many other activities Dr Bells will be offering in the centre next door to the nursery are: Bookbug sessions, Baby Peep, an Active Mums group and a Raising Children with Confidence course. Please see the attached leaflet for more details.
Our next parent and child bike ride to Pilrig Park will take place on 31st January, leaving at 9am. We will hope for some good weather!
We are keen to have your ideas on any activities for parent/carers you would like to see in the nursery. Please speak to a member of staff if you have any suggestions, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the week beginning 21st January, we will be celebrating the birthday of our national poet, Robert Burns, (Burns Day is 25th January) with our exploration of Scottish culture through music, rhymes, arts and crafts and, of course, food!
Following on from that we will celebrate Chinese New Year, which this year falls on 5th February.
After the February break, we will have our annual celebration of diversity, our International Festival, when we would like to invite any interested parents/carers from countries other than Scotland to come and show us a little of their culture – either by reading a story in their own language, by making something for snack, or showing us some artefacts from their community. Please let us know if you would like to take part. We feel very privileged in having families from so many different cultures in our nursery – it’s a great way for children and staff to learn about the world.
Parent/carer consultations for our younger children – those not in their preschool year – will be held during the week beginning Monday 25th March. Your child’s key worker will speak to you to arrange an appointment. Please take this chance to come along and discuss your child’s progress with staff and share with us their progress at home.
As you all know, we had a nasty outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease last term. We seem to be clear of it now, but it would be a good idea to remain on the lookout for symptoms. We also had several cases of headlice, so please continue to check your child’s head regularly, and treat any signs promptly. Pharmacy staff can advise you on the current recommended treatments.
Finally, can I remind you that it is council policy that children suffering from sickness and/or diarrhoea must not return to nursery until they have been clear of symptoms for 48 hours. This is to protect other children, and prevent any major epidemic.
Our learning update this month is for those families who don’t have English as their first language. It offers some tips on helping your child’s language development, and stresses the importance of talking to your child in your mother tongue.
Some holiday dates
|February week||All break||Friday, 8th February|
|All return||Monday, 18th February|
|Easter holidays||Last day of term||Friday 5th April|
|Children return||Tuesday 23rd April|
|May Day holiday||Nursery closed||Monday, 6th May|
|Inservice (staff only)||Tuesday 7th May|
|Children return||Wednesday, 8th May|
|Victoria Day holiday||Nursery closed||Monday 20th May|
Top tips for children growing up with more than one language
- Talk to your child in your mother tongue. You need to speak to him/her in the language you are most confident in.
- Your child’s first language provides the best foundation for developing reasoning skills and learning new concepts.
- Most children don’t get confused by hearing more than one language.
- Bilingualism offers advantages for children’s development in attention and listening skills, reading and language learning.
- Bilingual children typically start talking a bit later than other children. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
- It is important that children hear any language they are learning in a natural environment.
- When children are learning more than one language, they may use words from both languages in the same sentence. This is normal. They will gradually learn to separate the two languages.
- Letting your child hear English from an early age will help them when they start nursery. You don’t need to teach it. They will hear English in the community, from television and radio.
- Some bilingual children go through a silent period when they are first settling in to a new environment such as nursery. Language usually emerges as confidence and skill improves.