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Term 4 newsletter....




Term 4 Newsletter - May 2018

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome to all our new families. We have had lots of new faces and it's been fun getting to know you all. We look forward to many happy years together with your wee ones.

It is with a heavy heart that term 4 of each academic year brings the end of a special era for many of our children who are heading off to school this summer. This is by far the hardest time of the year for the staff in the pre-school room who have had the pleasure of watching the children grow and develop, many of them since they were babies. We know that each and every one of our children are well equipped to deal with their school lives and wish them all luck for their futures.


Rachael, our National Certificate student from Aberdeen College, is now in her final term with us. Rachael has grown lots throughout her time on the placement, and we wish her luck in her future career.

Neve, our Higher National Certificate student, joined us late in the academic year, and will also be finishing her placement. Although it has only been a short time since she has been with us, the children have enjoyed her company. Good luck to Neve too.

Lucie has now had her baby girl, called Ava Rose. She has been to visit the staff and the children, and we can't wait for her to join the nursery. 

Maria, who was a member of our relief staff, has now joined us on a full-time basis in the 2-3 room. Maria has always been a popular staff member with everyone, so it brought us joy when she decided she would like to work full time. Maria is a fully qualified Nursery Nurse.

We also have a few relief staff, most are students with an interest in education and/or care. We have a selection of student teachers, nurses and social science students.

Staff Training

Staff training is selected for staff in accordance with:

  • Staff need for core training
  • Staff identified developments
  • Staff particular interests

Staff are required to attend a minimum of 50 hours training over a 5-year period to remain registered with The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), and record this through their detailed Continuous Professional Development (CPD) files.

We look forward to receiving our new training book from Aberdeen City Council to select training for the next academic year.  

Erin and Emma are continuing their BA in Childhood Practices qualification. Emma is currently studying the Child's Environment and Erin is studying Management and Leadership.

Both Alana and Hannah are just about to embark on a six-week induction process to allow them to start their Scottish Vocational Qualification Level 3 in Social Services (Children and Young People).

Unexpected Absence

In the event of your child being absent unexpectedly from nursery, please ensure that you contact the nursery prior to the session, or at the latest 10am for morning sessions or 2pm for an afternoon session. This saves staff having to call you each day to see if your child is attending. It allows for the preparation of foods, staffing and outings.


Funding forms for the new ante pre-school and pre-school children will be distributed in the near future with guidance in the allocation of money and how to apply. Your child will be entitled to funding throughout the year in the term after their third birthday if he/she turns three years old by 28th February 2019.

Birthday Cakes

Please note that birthday cakes can be provided to the nursery but must be sealed in a shop box with the ingredients printed on it. We are encouraging healthy eating, so we would be happy to make cakes with your child and will happily celebrate their birthday in the nursery if they are in on the day of their Birthday.


This year we will be raising money for 'Befriend a Child' which is a local charity. The charities motto is 'turn a frown upside down'. They support school-aged children from 4 years – 16 years old who have come from troubled and disadvantaged backgrounds in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. The charity develops opportunities for children who are affected by certain circumstances to have escapism and create childhood memories. There website is www.befriendachild.org.uk .

We have already had a breakfast morning and staff have been having a 'dress down' day on the last Friday of each month, already raising over £100 for our chosen charity.

There are plenty more events to come so that we can keep adding to the total.

I (Claire) will be walking the kilt walk on 3rd June in aid of Befriend a Child. Please feel free to donate/sponsor at the nursery or through the link on the face book page. It's a massive 26 miles so please give generously and don't be surprised on the Monday when I am unable to tackle the stairs!!


Please make sure your child has weather appropriate clothing at all times. All children should have indoor and outdoor shoes. Clothing should be clearly named to ensure items are always returned to their rightful owners.

Children should all be provided with sun hats. These should be clearly labelled and can be left at the nursery for ease.

All children wear sun cream whilst outdoors during the hot summer months. The nursery provides factor 50 Nivea, children's sun cream. If you do not wish your child to wear this sun cream, then we request that you provide a satisfactory cream to the nursery. The cream should be at least factor 50 and should not contain nuts. Children without permission and/or cream will not be permitted to take part in outdoor play on sunny days.


Keep an eye on our Facebook page for all up to date information, including menus, daily activities, 'show and tell' dates and much more.  You can find us at Summers St Swithin.

Development Plans

Plan 1

This is the last term of focusing on the development of the Interactive Learning Diary (ILD). We are pleased with the progress, adding daily activities, so all parents can see what their child has done throughout the day. This still requires development, and we aim to improve the system to ensure the management team have time to approve the daily activity each day. This will be agreed with the team at the staff meeting that is scheduled for this month.

We would still love to see more parental input. Let us know what your children have been achieving at the weekend.

Plan two

Our new outdoor learning bags are still proving popular. Our children enjoy a variety of resources during outdoor play daily, play that encourages imagination and creativity.

We have now prepared the ground for some summer planting in our planting area. Children will be planning what is going in through mind maps, created after research.

Tax Free Childcare

Summers Nurseries are now signed up to receive Tax Free Childcare Vouchers, so when looking, please select Summers Nursery at Victoria Street as provider, as we share an account.

www.childcarechoices.gov.uk  www.childcarevouchers.co.uk/Documents/CCV_whatshappening_2017.pdf

Change of Personal Details

Please remember to keep your child's details up to date, including change of address, phone numbers, medical details etc. Forms are available in the office if you need to make a change. We will continue to update details biannually.


Please note NHS Grampian has changed their exclusion policy for conjunctivitis to fit in line with national policy. There is no longer exclusion for conjunctivitis unless the nursery has an increased number of cases, and in those circumstances, exclusion may then be required.

Please note there is no change in the use of antibiotics, so if a child receives antibiotic drops, they would still be expected to remain at home for the first 24 hours.

The front door gives information to parents regarding specific illness if present in the nursery. Parents should inform us of any confirmed/suspected contagious illness their child has, and follow the required exclusion.

Policies of the term

Our policies for Term 4 are:-

-      Policy 8 – Dealing with Challenging Behaviour

-      Policy 16 – Baby Feeding

-      Policy 31 - Starting Nursery and Room Transition


Policies are displayed at the front door for parents to view.

Late Collection

Unfortunately, we are having some children not being collected in the evening until past our closing time which is 6.00pm. Whilst we understand that this may happen from time to time with a good reason, repetitive lateness is not acceptable, as all our staff finish work at 6.00pm. Our handbook states the following for late collections which will incur the following charges:- if you are 5 minutes late, then there will be a late payment charge of £20, and thereafter £10 for every 5 minutes after that.

Trips and Visits

We are delighted to announce that Angela form Abricabeats has just won the Raring to Go award for Best Baby and Toddler class in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. A huge congratulations to Angela for her award winning class!  Angela is coming on a Tuesday this term. We change Angela's day each term to allow all 3-5 children a chance to experience Angela's well-developed dance and drama lesson.

The pre-school visited Satrosphere on the 29th March. They learn all about the digestive system during a show called 'The Perfect Poo', with several of the children getting the chance to volunteer throughout the process. The children then enjoyed a short show all about science.

We visited Hoodles in Oldmeldrum with the two-year-old children on Thursday 3rd May. We all had a fabulous time. The staff and children explored the soft play centre, and the most popular activity had to be the large slide. Look out on the ILD for all the pictures being added. Children enjoyed some sandwiches for lunch in the party room before heading back on the bus. All elements of any trip are a massive adventure for the children involved. For some children, getting on the bus is the most exciting part. All the way, we identified different animals, transport types and houses whilst enjoying a sing a long!

We are currently planning our summer trip for the pre-school children and will keep you informed once it's finalised.

Learning Experiences

As always, this term we have enjoyed many calendar dominated events through art and craft activities, including Mother's Day, Valentines, Shrove Tuesday and Easter. Children also decorated their eggs at home to enter the Easter competition, congratulations to all our winners!

Each room has also focused on a variety of activities which are developing the children's all-round development: 

0-2 room

We finished off our large wall display which included lots of farm animals. The children loved using the small world farmyard, where they were able to make all the sounds of the familiar animals they have been learning about. There were a wide variety of skills used throughout making the display, which encouraged gluing and sticking. The children also used lots of new textures, and a huge variety of painting resources.

The children decorated their own pancakes for snack time. This encourages spreading skills and also provides great satisfaction when eating something they had made. This theme carried on with a food tasting activity, as it is important that children have involvement and interest in healthy eating from a young age, to encourage a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives.

The next topic we embarked on was weather, which was really handy, with lots of unexpected snow on the horizon. We collected lots of snow from the garden, playing in some, and we also watched how it melted. This is the introduction of simple science at a very early stage. We also had time to put on our wellie boots and splash in the puddles, helping to develop our gross motor skills.

Another board has been created for parents to view, with rain clouds, sunshine and even a great big collage umbrella.

The children have taken great pleasure with the Peppa Pig stories and our new Invy Wincy spider book. The Incy Wincy spider book has signs to be held up, which helps the children remain engaged and involved throughout. Story telling encourages improved vocabulary, posture, listening skills, patience, sharing skills and much more.  Early story telling can spark a keen interest in literacy that can be used for both pleasure and learning throughout one's life.

Clare bought us some new materials for our treasure baskets. These have proven very popular. Treasure baskets can be cheap to create in your own home, as well as promote open ended play. Children use their imagination to decide what each item should be used for. It also encourages descriptive language with lots of new textures being introduced.

We are now learning about Under the Sea and will follow on by learning about the change in our environment as the summer months begin.  

2-3 room

The Toddler room have been learning all about their bodies. They drew self portraits using a mirror with staff who guided them, trying to point out their features. The children made a mind map to see what they already knew about their own bodies. They turned out to be quite knowledgeable, and have realised that they are not quite as big as dinosaurs! By the end of the topic, we learnt so much more, including what our eyes, ears and noses are for.

As part of our body project, we created a shopping list, after which the children participated in a food tasting activity. The results of what we liked and didn't like were recorded, and are visible in the floor book.

We continue to expose children to language and literacy throughout the nursery through their time with us. Children who have a more developed vocabulary in the early stages will be more prepared to read later in life, and those who are exposed to literacy are more likely to have developed language skills.

Following this possible line of development (PLOD), we researched the size of a dinosaur's foot print. We then saw how many of our own foot prints would fit into a typical dinosaur one. The children lay inside the print, only to find out that their whole bodies actually fit in the one print. This experience offered a real depth to mathematical play, with measuring, counting and problem solving.

We also made salt dough fossils of dinosaur prints, introducing simple science as the dough starts off soft, then is cooked to harden.

We are currently looking at farm animals. The real hay in the tough spot has been very popular to have in the farm, but also very messy. We have enjoyed lots of pretend small world, imaginative play, practising the sounds of the animals, as well as getting the farmer to do all his jobs.

Our farm project coincided with the song, Old McDonald, and we are continuing to learn new songs by branching out and learning traditional nursery rhymes.

As always, there is a huge variety of new arts and crafts on the wall and all parents should be encouraged to take a look at the floor book, which details lots of learning through play.

Well done to all the parents who have taken home Rose bear. We love reading about all her adventures so far.

3-5 room

Following on from last term's topic of sports, we were nicely introduced to the winter Olympics. We had a factual book in our story corner that told us all about the sports that were available, some of the rules of the games, and the equipment required. It is good to encourage research for our pre-school children, developing the understanding that there are ways to find out new information.

Children enjoyed making their medals to represent gold, silver and bronze, showing a good understanding to the competitive side to the Olympics.

Because we were practicing lots of sports, we found out that our hearts beat faster after exercise. We did a little bit of research into this and that led into learning about our bodies.

After making a mind map about our bodies, it was clear that the children gained a fantastic amount of knowledge, including talking about oxygen, muscles and bones.

Pre-school children enjoyed drawing a self-portrait and completed these by writing some simple facts about themselves, including their name and age. When children show an interest in writing numbers and letters, this is encouraged by staff to allow for well developed pincer skills and advanced preparation for attending school.

We learnt about our feelings through making a matching and sorting game of all the different facial expressions. We also asked that everyone takes something in that makes them feel happy to 'show and tell'. There was a variety of items taken in, including toys and photos. It is fantastic for children to stand in front of their peers and talk about an item from home. Not only does it help link home and nursery life together, but allows for a feeling of importance and ownership. Children talk with pride, developing their self-confidence.

We are currently learning about animals, including sea creatures. So far, we have enjoyed lots of different arts and crafts, including foot print sharks, cling film painting, pasta life cycles and much more. Have a look at the floor book for all the learning experiences covered this term.  

Kind regards

Claire Drennan

Nursery Manager

01224 209966



Dates for your diary

Friday 1st June – Graduation Photos

Tuesday 26th June – Parents Evening

Thursday 28th - June Graduation

Saturday 7th – July - Sports Day

Pre-school trip -TBC 

Please note all dates above will be well advertised to all involved through individual letters, notices and face book posts detailing all times. 

St Swithin St News

Summer newsletter
Date posted: 27 Jul 17
3-5 room Term 3 Newsletter
Date posted: 02 Feb 16
Date posted: 15 Jan 19
Show & Tell Dates
Date posted: 03 Apr 19
Wee Green Space and Care Home Rota
Date posted: 03 Apr 19
Term 2 Newsletter
Date posted: 10 Dec 18
Policies Term 4
Date posted: 20 Jul 17
Term 4 2-3 News
Date posted: 24 May 16
Preschool Trip
Date posted: 03 Apr 19
Term 1 News
Date posted: 20 Sep 18
Photo Gallery