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Newsletter

WEE RASCALS


SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER TERM 1


Dear Parents/Carers,


Summer is almost over, but this year we really can't complain about the weather! It's been fantastic and we have absolutely loved all the outside time we managed to get. If only we were so lucky every year! I will be keeping my fingers crossed that our winter isn't too bad. 


Staff


Cheeky Monkeys

We are delighted towelcome Fiona Campbell on board as Room Leader in the Cheeky Monkey room. Fiona started with us on the 30th August so I'm sure most of you have met her now. Fiona comes with nine years of experience in childcare, with the past four years in a senior role. Fiona will be in every day with the exception of a Wednesday.


Busy Bees

We have welcomed Megan and Lauren into the Busy Bee room since our last newsletter and I'm sure you will agree the girls are settling in very well. At present, Lauren works a Monday and Tuesday full day, with Megan working Tue-Friday full days.


Charity

Many thanks for your support during our recent Breakfast morning. We raised a fantastic £120.95. We will aim to hold another breakfast morning later in the year to support our Charity of the Year 2018 which is 'Befriend a Child'. They are a local charity who support disadvantaged and troubled children aged 4-16 in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. You can find out more information about them at www.befriendachild.org.uk

The staff have also been participating in a monthly dress down day to raise money for our charity and in the last 2 months we have raised £41.

Please keep an eye out for future fundraising events!


Dates for your Diary

We are in the process of organising our main charity event. We are planning on holding a quiz night at Kintore Hall on Saturday 20th October. The evening will start at 7pm. We would love as many of you to come along bringing family and friends to make up some teams! We will also have some music to dance to after. More detailed information will be put out in a letter as soon as we finalise everything with Kintore Hall, so please save the date!!


Week beginning 17th September- Stay and play week starts this week. I have received your slips back and slots will be allocated ASAP.


Thursday 8th November- Tempest Photography will be returning to Wee Rascals again. Permission slips and time slots for those that don't attend on a Thursday will be given out nearer the time. These photos make a fab Christmas present and cost nothing for them to be taken! You just pay for what you want – it's a no obligation photo!


Thursday 6th December- Our pre-school Christmas Panto has been booked! All children in their final year at Wee Rascals will be invited along to the Panto in Aberdeen, which is Snow White this year. We will be leaving nursery at 12.30pm and be back for 5pm. A letter seeking permission and with more info will be handed out nearer the time.


Wednesday 19th December- All children will be invited to our Christmas Party, so keep a look out for your invite nearer the time also.


We have yet to confirm a date and place for our Busy Bees Nativity, however we hope this will take place on Thursday 13th or Friday 14th December at the Kintore Church. As soon as this has been arranged we will let you now all information required.


The nursery will close on Friday 21st December 2018 at 6pm for the Christmas break and re open on Monday 7th January 2019.


Little Bunnies

This term has seen the Little Bunnies cover a number of topics, the first being 'Under the sea', where the children helped make their own number legged octopus and used it daily to begin reciting numbers. They also helped decorate a big shark's mouth out of cardboard which was used for throwing the bean bags/balls into, as part of next steps. The children used the magnetic toys to make a fishing rod and used their aim and concentration skills to pick up the coloured fish with the magnet. Various arts and craft were done, such as paper plate jelly fish, hand print starfish and crabs. In the messy tray we had sand and sea shells, water and sea creatures, hair gel and shaving foam. The children were interested in holding the shells up to their ears to listen for the sea.


We went on to 'In the garden' as our next topic. This saw the children make their own bird feeders which were hung in the garden. We also made our own plant pots using old milk cartons, planted seeds in them, and hung them up on the fence outside. We made scoops from the milk cartons and the children used them to add the compost to the plant pots. Each child planted cress in their own yoghurt pot. We had pretend worms made from cooked spaghetti, as well as frog spawn made from water beads. We then made our own lily pads and added our little plastic frogs to the frog spawn. This developed the children's counting and science skills to see how many would fit on the lily pads before sinking.


As the children showed a great interest in the last topic, we then moved onto 'Minibeasts' for the next one. We did a bug hunt out in the garden, and used our bug hotel to search for bugs with the magnifying glasses. Children also developed their physical skills by jumping like grass hoppers. We painted stones as lady birds, and everyone helped make playdough, which then led to the children constructing spiders with pipe cleaners used as the legs. In the messy tray, we had sawdust, mud, water, sand, leaves and twigs.


We then moved onto 'Space' as our next topic. We created our own space station using a tent with a black bed sheet over it. Inside we had glow in the dark stars and torches, and the children participated in a space rock activity with tin foil balls, using tongs to pick up the 'space rocks'. The children made their own space rockets using various cut out shapes, helping their shape recognition along the way. The boys and girls made their own hand print aliens and added googly eyes, and in the messy tray there was black glittery water, cotton wool, as well as slimy hair gel.


As the children really enjoyed the tent being up, we then changed it into the 'Circus', where we attached colourful ribbon to make stripes along the point. We hung shiny ribbon from the roof and made our own bunting to hang using painted triangles. The children crawled through the hoops, and threw the coloured hoops on to the self made poles. We also took the balance beam through from the Busy Bees, allowing the children to practice their balancing skills. We made our own circus hats and had a popcorn party. The children used their co-ordination skills to scoop the popcorn up and into their bags with the spoons.


Our next topic was 'At the zoo', which involved counting activities, as well as animal recognition and  matching. We did animal yoga, where the children rolled the self- made dice and then the children acted out the animal it landed on.  The children worked on their hand eye co-ordination when putting cheerios onto pipe cleaners to resemble a giraffe's neck, as well as enjoying the experience of playing with the animals in the tough spot, using the wooden blocks to build a zoo along with loose parts.


We moved onto 'At the beach' next, where the children used shaving foam to make their own pretend ice cream cones. We held a 'shorts and shades' party, which the children really enjoyed. We created a mini beach in the tough spot, having one full of sand and the other full of water. The children had their shoes and socks off and stood/sat in the sand tray and had their beach towels at the ready. They enjoyed role play when they applied their own sun cream to the dolls. For art and craft there was sand art starfish, hand print crabs, as well as a 'stick and glue' beach balls and ice cream cones.


Cheeky Monkeys

We covered 'Under the sea', where the children participated in a sea food tasting activity - tasting crab, salmon, prawn and tuna, expressing their likes and dislikes along the way, as well as informing the children where fish come from. We played a game of 'shark toss', where the children showed off their throwing skills by throwing the balls into the sharks mouth, which was made out of cardboard boxes. We did a counting activity where the children counted the octopus' legs. Throughout the topic we had the sea life tent out within the room, which gave the children great role play opportunities.


We then moved onto 'Pirates', where the children developed their listening skills and followed instructions when playing 'Captains Orders' - a game in which they needed to listen to each order and do the movements asked, which includes jumping, balancing, stretching and running. The children 'walked the plank', where the ladies built their very own plank out of the large wooden blocks. We also did a number treasure hunt, where the children learnt about number recognition, as well as matching the golden stones to the correct numbers between 1 - 10.


Our next topic was 'Nursery rhymes'. The children focused on 15 different nursery rhymes throughout this topic, learning new words and new actions. For 'Old Macdonald', the children discussed the various animals that live on a farm and used the puppets to discover their different sounds.

For 'Little Bo Peep', the children practiced their colour recognition, matching the sheep to the correct colour trail. We learnt primary, secondary and neutral colours.

Lastly, we did a topic on 'Fairytales', where the children made their own shape castles, learning about the different shapes, as well as being creative whilst sticking and gluing. We learnt about Goldilocks, and the children enjoyed mixing up different amounts of porridge oats, and feeling the textures. We practiced our tripod grasp when drawing fairy tale pictures.

The Cheeky Monkeys enjoyed an energetic trip to Hoodles for their summer trip. Lots of fun was had by all!

Busy Bees

Since last term, we have covered 'At the farm'. We created our own farm in the small world tray using sawdust for the animals bedding, lentils, tissue paper, farm animals, as well as tractors and diggers. We developed more knowledge about the different animals you get on a farm and the children had engaged in acting out some animal role play. We made a picture chart with what the various animals give us, but the highlight was definitely getting a visit from one of the children's Grandad, who came along with a tractor for the children to look at and sit inside.


During our summer topic, we were able to get outside and do lots of activities in the fantastic weather. There were a few discussions regarding what clothes we wear, and what we need to do to keep safe, and what different places we have all been on holiday. After this, the children used the computer to compare the different countries to where we live. The boys and girls learnt about how to apply sun cream using the role play babies to practice. We made a chart with the different seasons we get and what months they are in.  We covered various physical skills, as well as numeracy and literacy.  Some of the children went on the service bus to Inverurie Garden centre to buy seeds to plant outside, and we also thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful summer trip to Haddo House.


We then moved onto looking at minibeasts, learning about all the different ones you get and where they live, as well as looking into what foods they eat and how they get their food.  The children made their own bumble bees using the counting cubes, learning to make a pattern. They did a sorting activity with 'what beasties fly' and 'what beasties can't fly'. When speaking about butterflies, the children learnt about symmetry. They counted the spots on the ladybirds and made wiggly worms using the play dough, measuring them against a ruler to see how long they each were. When out in the garden, we went on a bug hunt and used the magnifying glasses to find creatures in our bug hotel.


Abricabeats has been attending on a Tuesday at 12.30pm this term.


Parents Evening Evaluation

We had another successful Parents Evening this year. For the 9 parents who completed and returned the evaluations, 8 came back as Excellent and 1 Very Good, so thank you very much. The overall comments were that parents enjoy this time to discuss their child/rens progress and development with their key workers. We had no areas to improve and a few comments that were made were "Well ran, informative evening", "Thank you for all that you do" and "I love how it feels like a wee family at Wee Rascals and how the girls are genuinely interested in my kids – It's not just a job" ,


Sports Day Evaluation

Thank you again to everyone who came along to our annual Sports day on 30th June. It was great to see so many people and children take part in a fun filled morning.  The sun shone and this made it a lovely sociable event. From the 16 evaluations returned, 13 graded us Excellent, 2 Very Good and 1 Good, so thank you for your feedback, it is much appreciated. Parental comments were : "Kids and adults enjoyed the day, it was really well organized and it was evident the children had been practicing the races", "The staff kept the races going so children didn't loose interest", "It was great to get the children together out of nursery. The races were well chosen for the age ranges and it was well organized" and "I liked that for young ones there was no 1st, 2nd or 3rd etc" and "Good on you all for once again giving up your Saturday morning for the children".

We will review any ideas from both parents and staff which will continue to improve our successful Sports day for next year. Many thanks for your support in this event which the children thoroughly enjoy.


Eco Schools

Our most recent Eco Schools meeting was held on Wednesday 22nd August.  Our new focus points are 'Global citizenship' and 'Waste'. Going forward we aim to develop our knowledge of the world around us. To try and develop our knowledge on the point 'Global Citizenship', we have also introduced a food waste bin which will be used for specific foods that can then be used for putting into our new compostor. If you have any suggestions to help us develop our focus points please see one of the girls on our Eco Schools committee – Joanne Noble, Becca Smith, Alice Berry and Megan Flann.


Policies of the Term

Each term, the nursery focuses on certain policies. Policies this term are:-


14. Infection Control

25. Additional Support Needs

32. Room Management, Staffing and Record keeping


You will find a copy of these policies on the parent's notice board by the main hall. Parents are welcome to read our policy folder at any time.


Tax Free Voucher/Payments

In April 2017, the UK Government launched its tax free Childcare Scheme which replaces existing voucher schemes. This closed to new entrants in April 2018, although existing membership can continue forwards from this cut-off date. Information can be read at the following sites:-


www.childcarechoices.gov.uk

www.childcarevouchers.co.uk/Documents/CCV_whatshappening_2017pdf


Please remember that all payments made direct to Summers Nursery bank account should be referenced with the use of your child's name to ensure full, easy allocation.


Kind Regards                                                                                  


Rachael Farman

Nursery Manager

weerascals@summersnurseries.com