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Term 3 newsletter

Term 3 Newsletter - February 2018

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome to all the new families who have joined Summers over the last term. We are really enjoying getting to know you all.

We would like to thank all the parents and children who brought in gifts for staff before Christmas. We were overwhelmed by your generosity.

We are looking forward to another busy year and wish you all a Happy New Year.


Rachael, our National Certificate student from Aberdeen College has continued to attend the nursery on a weekly basis. She is based in the Pre-school room, and plans and observes on a weekly basis as part of her training.

We are sad to have said goodbye to Zoe recently. Zoe is looking to pursue her dream job of becoming a nurse, so we wish her all the best with her future.

Jelena has also decided to leave us, as she has decided to take a career break and spend some more time with her family. She will be moving further away from the city centre which would prove challenging to get here.

We wish both the girls the best of luck for their futures. We hope both stay in touch.   

Lucie has left to go on her maternity leave. We can't wait to meet the wee one. We will keep you all updated.

Julie-Anne has increased her hours, and is now working full time to cover Lucie.  

Hannah Baker, Judith Thomson and Stephanie Norval will all soon be joining our team. All staff are coming with a variety of experience and qualifications. Standards of applicants were really high so we are confident the girls all have lots to offer the nursery.

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 have been attending regular training and more courses are due in the coming weeks, some of which are:

  • First Aid
  • Infection Control
  • Food Hygiene  
  • Challenging Gender Stereotypes 
  • Skills Workshop: Play games – Think Fit
  • Observing Schemas in Children's Play


Training is selected for staff in accordance with:

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

Erin is continuing to study for her BA in Childhood Practices with Aberdeen University. She has moved onto the topic of leadership and management in the nursery setting.

Emma Johnstone from the 2-3 room has now embarked on her BA in Childhood Practices. We wish Emma all the best and will make an effort to provide her with any help and support she might require. 

Staff are required to attend a maximum 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.

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.


If your child is in his/ her pre-school year, or is 3 years old before 28th February 2018 then you have an entitlement to funding on the term after his/her third birthday. Please see myself or Erin for further information if required.

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.


St Swithin Street final total came to £1050.81 for Barnardo's this year, and the  grand total for all Summers Nurseries was £8064.74. This has been our most successful fund raising year so far and has inspired staff for the next year. All staff, parents and children who attended events, including sports day, the fun day and donated throughout the year are responsible for the success, so well done everyone!

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 effected by certain circumstances to have escapism and childhood memories. There website is www.befriendachild.org.uk

On Tuesday 27th February we are have a takeaway breakfast for parents. There will be bacon and sausage rolls available, as well as a vegetarian option, and coffee and tea. Drinks will be £1 and rolls are £1.50. Increase your popularity in the office as well as giving to charity by pre-ordering for your colleagues. All proceeds will go to our charity of the year.

Staff also had a Come as you Please day on Friday 26th January to kick off our fundraising.

As always, we will be having our annual sports day, as well as another weekend event, which are currently in discussion about.

We are going to be selling a "Marie's Cook Book", so we have asked Marie to document all recipes used at the nursery, and children are about to start adding their own pictures and opinions etc. We will be selling this in the near future.


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.

World Book Day

We are celebrating World book day by inviting parents to read stories in their mother tongue Wednesday-Friday on the week of 26th February. Parents are asked to complete the form they have been given to confirm if they would like to attend and/or if they would like to read.

Introducing literacy at a young age has proven to arm children with many life skills. It helps develop all cognitive skills and gives children an understanding that literacy has a meaning, for example reading maps and finding out facts. Books are also fun and provide a time for children and adults to spend quality time together. 


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

We are really pleased that with after a second push, all parents have now signed up to use the ILD.

We have been allowing the Preschool children more time to help add observations and select their observations to show to their peers. We are encouraging more parents to add observations from home so that we can show them in class. We have developed a sheet to allow us to check that there is a daily activity logged every day so parents can talk to their children about what they have been doing that day.

Plan two

We are continuing to work towards our development plans and there has been a super effort from staff. Each room has created two learning bags for outdoor use that the children can play with. This has stimulated great interests in the gardens such as bug hunts, role play, literacy skills and numeracy skills. There are more natural resources in the garden, and we are still looking for more materials, so if you have any pipes or spare materials at home, please feel free to bring them in.

Some of the children's feedback from the new resources in the garden include;

'I like to play with the pretend food and make meals for the ladies'

 'We found bugs using the tick list, we couldn't find the bees.'

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.


Information will be displayed on the front door advising parents of actual confirmed/suspected infectious illness if present in the nursery. Please inform us of any illness your child has, and follow the required exclusion.

Trip and Visits

Angela from Abricabeats continues to attend every week. She currently comes on a Wednesday morning. Angela encourages creativity through dance and drama. By choosing a Star of the Week, children have a sense of achievement and also inclusion. Some children can be shy and reluctant to start with, but most work hard to become Angela's star.

We are looking at planning our trips for the Preschool and Toddler room shortly, so you will receive information on this soon. We always change the days of trips and outings every term so every child can have the opportunity to go on at least one trip. Trips and s are professionally planned to minimise risk. Children gain lots of vital experiences going on trips, including understanding their local community, traveling safely on a bus and much more.

Wee Green Spaces is still a weekly event, it's still increasingly popular! Children love the freedom of exploring the area, as well as doing activities with natural materials. The hot chocolate is also popular of course! Outdoor play is imperative for children. We have been encouraged to develop a variety of outdoor play activities, including numeracy and literacy, and as stated in the Nursery World magazine, the Scottish Government are recognising the importance of outdoor play, stating " It is imperative that the outdoor environment remains a place of relative freedom – to explore, contemplate, cogitate, express and engage if/when desired – and that the learning which emerges from these experiences has parity of value and status with more formal activities."

Nursery World, April 2017.

Learning Experiences

We have been enjoying lots of winter play this term, learning lots about the changes in our environment. We have also celebrated Robert Burns by trying some Haggis, Neaps and Tatties.

0-2 room

Since returning back from the Christmas break, the babies have been focusing on their fine motor skills through children's choice of art work. The children have had lots of opportunities to be creative and select a variety of materials to practice gluing and painting.

We have been taking part in play with plastic and wooden blocks, as well as doing simple peg puzzles.

Children have enjoyed lots of lovely stories, including "Buster's Zoo" by Rod Campbell and "That's not my Panda" which is an Usborne, touchy, feely book.

Children enjoy daily stories as part of a group and on a one to one basis. These are vital to encourage social skills, posture and of course vocabulary.

The outdoor exploration bags have proved very popular with the babies, especially the kitchen bag, where a lot of roleplay has been taking place. We have also enjoyed splashing in muddy puddles in the garden. Outdoor play helps the babies develop their gross motor skills, as well as giving them daily access to fresh air. Fresh air is required for a healthy lifestyle.

There is a new learning wall displayed within the Baby room which will be showing all of the current topics and learning that is available to the children. The staff have shown a lot of interest in this and will be happy to show you the wall if you would like to see how it works. This wall is a display for parents also, to see what opportunities there are for learning within the room.

2-3 room

The Toddler room have been very busy since returning from Christmas and have been busy looking at winter. We have created a mind map with the children, with ideas they had for the winter season. The most popular winter animals were penguins and polar bears, and we learned some interesting facts about them. The children particularly liked hearing that penguins eat fish and slide on their tummies.

We discussed what clothes we wear in winter…,  and what a great time we had exploring some of the ice in the garden! We left shaped tubs outside and the water inside froze into different shapes. We were able to stand on them with the staff holding us tight to see just how slippy ice can be. We could see through them and one even had a leaf fall into the water before it froze, which was quite amazing.

The current topic being explored in the Toddler room is Dinosaurs. The children have been showing a lot of interest in the dinosaur books. The firm favourite is 'Harry and his bucket full of dinosaurs.' We have been practicing some of the dinosaurs' names and looked at how big they are compared to us. We were using some mathematics by measuring ourselves on the wall to see how big we are.

3-5 room

Preschool had a very busy festive period with trips, nativities and parties, and lots of fun was had by all. The nativity was a great show and there were lots of positive comments made from both children and the staff. A lot of work goes into this each year so it really is good to hear such positive feedback.

The children went to perform at sheltered housing this year. It was amazing, watching both generations communicating with each other, and both parties benefited from the trip, particularly when the biscuits came out!

We have been discussing lots about winter and how the weather is so changeable. The children discuss this each day at calendar time and generate lots of interesting conversations about the weather. We have been using the iPads to research temperatures. Calendar time in the Preschool room is a good opportunity for the children to learn their days, months and take part in a group time. It is also used to improve mathematics. Children recognise written numbers and also count the days of the month.

The children have voted for their topic this term, with some children suggesting what they would like to learn about, and then we cast a vote, with the 'sports topic' winning the most votes. This provided the children with the opportunity to use maths and comparison through everyday activities, and when children have helped choose the topic, they tend to remain more interested.

We have been concentrating a lot on basketball, as the children were interested in learning some rules and playing it in the garden using the hula hoops. The hoops are improving hand eye coordination as well as gross motor skills.

We have started visiting our 'Wee Green Space' again after the break and it has been proving very popular and I am sure you have all received some very muddy clothes! Please remember to provide your child with weather appropriate clothing at all times.

Some of the children have been discussing Robert Burns day, so we have been creating our own tartan, practicing our cutting skills and designing our own tartan.

Kind regards

Claire Drennan

Nursery Manager

01224 209966




St Swithin St News

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Term 4 3-5 News
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