28th October 2019
A warm welcome back after what I hope was an enjoyable October break. Autumn has definitely arrived now, and the children are enjoying exploring the changes in the natural environment.
Activities for children
On Thursday 31st October, we will be celebrating Hallowe’en with apple dooking, party food, pumpkin lanterns and Hallowe’en songs and stories. Children will be encouraged to dress up if they wish, but we would ask that they do not bring masks into nursery as some children find them disturbing. If they have a pumpkin or turnip lantern they could bring along for the day to decorate the nursery, that would be great.
Celebration of Festivals
Last week, we celebrated Diwali, with sweets, crafts, lights and displays. Celebrating the festivals of all our families is a really important part of our curriculum, but we are very aware that we are not the experts! So, if you can help – either by offering suggestions, practical support or information – we would be delighted.
Are there festivals we are not celebrating?
Are there foods, arts/crafts, stories which we could share with the children around your festivals?
Could you help us celebrate your festivals in nursery by cooking some food, or sharing a story?
Please let us know what you think, either by talking to a member of staff, or emailing me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parental consultations for preschool children, i.e. those eligible for school in August next year, will take place during the week beginning Monday 4th November. Please take this chance to come along and discuss your child’s progress with staff. Speak to your child’s key worker to arrange a time.
All families with children eligible for school next August should have received information about registration. Registration week this year is 4th – 8th November. On Wednesday 30th October, local schools will be having an open day, when you will be able to go along to the school, meet staff and see round the building. Opening times for this day vary between schools, so it would be a good idea to phone the school first to find out when it will be open. For those making an out-of catchment placing request, online forms will be available on the council website. The council is advising that all children are registered at their catchment school during registration week, whether or not parents intend to send them there. So even if you are planning to defer your child’s school entry for a year, or make an out-of-catchment request, please register him/her at your catchment school. Requests for deferrals should be made by the end of March.
We are currently hosting a number of students from various colleges and universities. Redwana (Room 2) is an EYP student from Edinburgh College. We will also be joined in November by Megan, a student nurse, and, on Thursdays, by Eilidh and Denise, two speech and language therapy students. A very warm welcome to all of you – we hope you enjoy your time with us.
Can I ask that you don’t put any food (e.g. sweets or crisps) in children’s bags or coat pockets and leave them on their pegs? We have several children with a wide range of allergies in nursery, and we need to be able to ensure that they don’t have unsupervised access to food. We have had recent instances of children going into their bag, taking out sweets, and attempting to share them out with their friends. It’s best to take any food away with you, but if you need to leave something, please give it to a member of staff.
On the subject of food, we have noticed some children arriving in nursery with baked goods/snacks as they haven’t had time for breakfast at home. We know how difficult it can be to get children ready and out of the door in the morning, so please, if you are concerned that your child has not eaten, speak to a member of staff and we will gladly provide toast or some other healthy alternative. As you can imagine, cakes or sweets can cause disputes between children and are best kept for home treats.
Christmas is always great fun in nursery – it’s one of the real perks of our job that we get to share the children’s excitement.
We’d like to consult parents/carers about your ideas for Christmas events. Are there traditions from your own culture you would like to share, or have you seen some ideas online or in other settings that you think might work here? Please come along, have a cuppa, and let us know your thoughts on Wed 6th November at 1.30pm.
There are some Christmas events in the diary already, of course.
The Christmas party will take place on the morning of Thursday 19th December, from 9.30 – 11.40am. Children should only attend nursery for the party time on that day. The playrooms have to be cleared for the party and concert, and then set up again for the following morning.
Parent/carers are invited to come along at 11am to hear the children sing, then share in the excitement of Santa’s visit. We will be asking for a contribution of £3 towards the present each child will receive.
Term will end at 11.40am on Friday 20th December. There will be no afternoon session on that day.
Our Nursery Nativity, which has been such a success over the past few years, will be on Tuesday 17th December, 9.30am. More details nearer the time.
Personalised Santa plates will be on sale again in December. If you would like your child to have their own named plate for Santa’s mince pie and the reindeer’s carrots on Christmas Eve, put your order in to staff in early December.
Some dates for your diary
Tuesday 17th December Nativity
Thursday 19th December Christmas party – nursery open am only
Friday 20th December Term ends at 11.40am
Thursday 9th January Children return
Finally, our learning update this month is about how parent/carers can support children’s learning. Often parents don’t realise how many simple things they can do at home to give children the skills they need to reach their potential. One of these is to teach children nursery rhymes. 18th– 22nd November is National Nursery Rhyme Week and we will be hosting an informal coffee afternoon on Thursday 21st November to celebrate. More information nearer the time.
As ever, can I remind you to always close and latch the nursery gate, even if there are no children in the playground, and to make sure that the front door closes behind you when you leave. We have been promised a new front door before Christmas!
With best wishes
You can make the difference!
Research shows that parents/carers are their child’s most important educators.
Between birth and five years of age, a child’s brain goes from a quarter the size of an adult’s brain to 90%.
During this time, the difference YOU can make to your child’s development is truly remarkable……..and it’s not hard!
Here are a few tips…….
- Learn some nursery rhymes
Research has shown that children who know 8 nursery rhymes at age 4 are usually among the best readers in their class at age 8.
Nursery rhymes boost vocabulary and language development
They help children develop literacy skills
They provide a fun way to support early numeracy skills
They help children’s social, physical and emotional development
Download the Bookbug App on your phone if you want to learn some new nursery rhymes – it’s free!
- Share Stories
Young children whose parents/carers read them five books a day enter nursery having heard 1.4 million more words that children never read to.
Children who are read to regularly are much more likely to pick up reading skills in school quickly and easily. Reading with your child regularly will improve their life chances in the future.
Where can you get books/stories?
Use our bedtime stories library in nursery – you can borrow books as often as you like.
Borrow our storysacks
Join the local library – it’s free
Make looking at books, magazines, comics or newspapers part of your daily routine. Your child will copy you!
- Finally, talk to your child as you go about your daily life.
Switch off the TV, your phone, the iPad and spend time in conversation. Your child’s communication
and language skills will benefit hugely.
|Friday 6th December||St Nicholas’s Day|
|Friday 13th December||Grand Jar Sale|
|Tuesday 17th December||Nativity|
|Thursday 19th December||Christmas Party. Children attend 9.30-11.30am only|
|Friday 20th December||End of term. Children finish at 11.40am|
|Thursday 9th January||Children return to nursery|