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Term 2 Newsletter

St Swithin Street Term 2 Newsletter – November 2019  

Dear Parents/Carers

It seems hard to believe, but that’s another term flown in. Welcome to all our new families who have joined us this term.

It’s that time again for all the Christmas planning, so keep an eye on all the significant dates for your diary through face book. All are listed on this newsletter so please screenshot or retain the back page.


We have some changes to our team this term. Karina has now taken over as Room Leader in the 3-5 room whilst Erin is on maternity leave, and Shannon has been in her position as Trainee Room Leader in the 0-2 Room since September. Both our new senior members have had a significant impact on the team.

Jude Jessop has joined the 3-5 room on a term time only contract and her part time hours are proving invaluable to the rest of the team.

Erin gave birth to lovely wee baby girl called Elsie in September and both have been regular visitors to the nursery.

Staff Training

The studying for St Swithin Street has continued as the girls work through their level two’s in Autism. Both Sarah and I have completed the level two in Children and Young People’s mental Health through West College Scotland.

Leah Burt and Jodie Niddrie are both steadily working through Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level three in Social Services (Children and Young People) with Cairn Training.

Emma, Erin and I are continuing our studies through Aberdeen University. Erin and Emma are at different stages of their BA in Childhood Practice, and I am taking part in a MEd in Education (Early Years).

All staff have continued their professional development through our mentoring system which was introduced last academic year as part of our improvement plans. Staff are taking part in a large variety of partnerships, including Leadership, Schemas and Creativity.


We have continued to support Friends of the Neo-natal unit this term and will do so for the remainder of 2019. We have had another successful term with our amazing Halloween Extravaganza where we raised a massive £366.77. Thank you to all who managed to attend.

The St Swithin Street nursery alone has raised over £2500 so far, but we just want a little more ……. Our last push consists of a bacon roll morning on Thursday the 5th of December, as well as a great Summers Bake Off, where four selected teams will take part in baking, with items able to be purchased by parents throughout the W/C starting the 9th December. Parents will be asked to rank the baking so we can finally agree which one of us is Best Baker! We also have two hampers to raffle off! One is full of lovely Christmas treats and the other has lots of smellies for an indulgent Christmas break.

Check out the charity we are supporting this year at http://www.specialnursery.org/

Development Plans

Our new annual development plans have now been finalised and displayed in the front vestibule. Please feel free to contribute anything you wish to the plans.

Plan 1

Plan 1 focuses on Leadership and Management. The reason we chose this was due to our new senior team. We are keen to ensure that the management of the nursery continues to be a strong factor by ensuring we have continued shared visions and values. We are keen to share our leadership skills throughout the team, ensuring that everyone is recognised, valued and has the confidence to take ownership of a variety of areas throughout the nursery. As a team we are enthusiastic to reward achievements and evolve collectively.

Plan 2   

Our second plan is based on ensuring that learning is personalised to individual children. We want to continue our work on the ILD’s (Interactive Learning Diaries) to ensure that we celebrate processes of learning that children go through, as well as the achievement itself.


Please could I remind parents that the payment date changes monthly. The payment date is always stated on the bottom of the invoice. Please remember that vouchers may also take up to 5 working days to process through your voucher company and therefore payment should be made in time for these to clear.

Sibling Places

Please be reminded that if you have had a baby or are expecting another, spaces should be booked in advance. We cannot always accommodate siblings when it’s left too late. We understand the importance of family and love to have all the little ones join us, but we can book up quickly, so it’s important to get in fast.

Policies of the term

Our policies for Term 2 are:-

  • Food and Nutrition
  • Child Lifting
  • Whistle Blowing and
  • Conduct for Visiting Professionals

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

Trips and Visits

We had a fabulous trip to the fire station this term. The 3-5 children learnt about safety, as well as having great fun exploring the equipment, particularly the hose. While we were at the station, there were a couple of call outs and the children were swept up in the excitement of watching the men prepare themselves, as well as watching the lights on the fire engine as they fled to the scene.

Angela from Abricabeats has been visiting the 3-5 room every Tuesday this term. The children are pleased to have her back and are enjoying taking part in the dance and drama class. They are building their confidence skills throughout the class as they take part in creatively performing in front of one another. It really is great fun and the children never tire of it.

The 3-5 room are continuing their trips to the wee green space and the care home, alternating their visits fortnightly. The two experiences offer very different things for the children, one allowing them to run and explore freely, the other offering more opportunity for structured activities in a caring and calm environment. During the month of December, there will not be a rota for wee green space due to the busy time of year. We still plan on visiting the wee green space, but we need flexibility to allow for all the other activities that are taking place in December.


Our trips this term include a visit to the pantomime to see Cinderella for all the pre-school children on Wednesday the 4th December, and Tick Tock activity play centre for the 2’s room and Ante Pre-school children on  Monday the 2nd of December, for children who attend nursery that day.


Learning Experiences

Term one proved to be as busy as ever. We have seen many seasonal changes that have been explored in a variety of ways. We have also joined in with cultural and moral celebrations including Halloween, Guy Fawkes, Remembrance Day and Children in Need.

0-2 room

The babies have enjoyed lots of arts and crafts as they have learnt about Autumn. We had little sensory bags made up that we could see into, which were full of leaves and bits of bark. The children could explore the colours and noises without getting too messy, and they have also used leaves to paint with, as well as pine cones.

Music times have been fun, as we have been participating in several musical activities, using both ‘shop’ bought and other homemade instruments. We had bottles full of hard spaghetti and lentils for the louder sounds and those filled with water for those who like quieter sounds. There has been lots of singing and dancing as well. The children have danced along to music which has encouraged their gross motor development.

The staff have made some traditional nursery rhyme books that the children really enjoy going through. They recognise the familiar picture to instigate the song. The children are all developing the skill of being able to follow the actions to the songs. This develops focus and concentration whilst giving some excellent quality time to develop language.

At the moment, we have two firm favourite story books. Firstly. the stories of Topsy and Tim have been popular. The children in the story go on several adventures, including camping and flying in aeroplanes. Children are starting to point out fine details in the stories, promoting their language and their understanding of the world around them. Secondly, ‘Give Me a Hug’ by Gillian Harker is about two little mice, one of whom needs lots of hugs from the mummy. The children love hearing the story, and we are beginning to install a good level of empathy from the children by reading stories such as these.

The children managed to create some wonderful hand printed poppies which are displayed on the wall.

Please take a minute to have a look at the children’s new learning wall that is displayed in the room. It has lots of relevant information about Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC) and the Pre-birth to Three curriculum. This will help you understand the learning experiences we are taking part in throughout each topic.

We will be enjoying lots of Christmas activities throughout the coming term.

2-3 room

As we approached Autumn, the children really enjoyed taking part in a Dinosaur topic. Dinosaurs have always been a favourite, and the learning throughout the topic is invaluable.

The children were able to identify lots of different types of dinosaurs. As a class, we took a vote to see which was our favourite dinosaur, which was the Triceratops. With this information the children created a graph, which allows them to develop their understanding of maths, showing we can use numbers to collate and display relevant information.

Children enjoyed creating pictures using the plastic dinosaurs to make prints, and this allowed us to look at all the primary colours, as well as discover new colours  we can make through mixing them together.

Emma found lots of matching games online, one where we had to match the dinosaurs exactly and another where we matched the patterned egg to the pattern on the dinosaur.  Matching activities develop observational skills, colour skills, problem solving skills and much more. Your child could even try some at home when matching up the clean socks. How many were there left that were odd??

Maria made us the most wonderful imaginary Dinosaur World using an old carboard box. She added stones, flour, sand, leaves and much more. The children participated in some fantastic imaginative play throughout the time the Dinosaur World was out.  

We went on to study Autumn, and the children enjoyed exploring hedgehogs and squirrels through a variety of cutting, sticking, painting and collaging activities. We explored all the things we could do with pine cones, and then we used them to make patterns in the play dough. We also used them for painting at the easel and the children really enjoyed burying them and then digging them back out of the sand tray.

We had some spooky play throughout Halloween. We mixed up some ‘Spookotions’ in the water tray with foam and food colouring, and the children made their own brooms after reading the Room on the Broom story which had been taken in for a story on Sharing Day. The brooms really encouraged imaginative play, and the children used the fancy-dress costumes and set ‘spells’ on each other.

Our current topic is weather, but of course we will obviously be focussing on Christmas as well. 

3-5 room

We have learnt a great deal about Autumn this term, exploring the colours and textures of the leaves in a diversity of different arts and crafts, including collage, pen drawings and paints used in a variety of ways.

We learnt about squirrels, when they like to sleep, what they like to eat and much more. Our own wee green space is a space that has been specified for helping to save the red squirrels. Although we haven’t seen any red ones yet, we have been assured, they are there. We have certainly seen some grey ones. The children made footprint squirrels which was great fun, exploring the texture of the paints on their toes. This also allowed for some mathematical language to be used. We were able to see the size differences in all our feet.

The children have gathered a great deal of information during the project. You can see the evaluation in floor book 2, page 13. Some comments include:-

“Trees are the longest living thing on earth”, “Trees get water from their roots” and “Squirrels use their tails to shade from the sun, and as an umbrella, and a parachute”

We have all thoroughly enjoyed the weather change so far. The children have spent time playing in the puddles, being creative and imaginative throughout. We did a welly boot print picture, and we gathered ‘rain’ water in a variety of different containers from the garden, and the children loved to stomp in the puddles. They have also enjoyed mixing up some mud pies in the outside kitchen.

As Halloween and Guy Fawkes approached, the children were very aware of the change in light in the world around them. We decided to do some work on senses.  The smells that children came up with as the special events were happening were fantastic. With small bites of cold, the children have described the ground as crunchy and stompy, …. and they can also smell sausages in the air!

After a simple science experiment with hot and cold water, we made a graph to show what we think would be appropriate for each activity. For example, the children were asked if the swimming pool would be hot or cold. With some varied answers to this, it was agreed that the ocean in Scotland would be very cold – 100%.

The children have all become skilled in their independence of putting on their own jackets, so the staff set a challenge to record how quickly it can be done. This allowed us to learn about collecting information, so we wrote down the time it took each person to put on their jackets. The children practised writing numbers and developed an understanding that numbers have a function.

Guy Fawkes allowed us to discuss safety. We were able to discuss the hazards of a bonfire and fireworks, and we discussed how we could stay safe. This has come at a good time, with our recent visit to the fire station, where we were taught about what kind of accidents to avoid.

Karina has visited the resource centre and has borrowed an excellent game call ‘Alphabet Soup’. The game has upper and lower-case letters that are matched to the correct tin. The children have been playing the game independently in the tuff spot but also as part of a group where the staff have been guiding them to try and think of words that start with specific letters. We have also been joining the letters up to start making short words. The children in the pre-school room are exposed to literacy and numeracy constantly throughout their environment.

We have made our own golden rules this term, and the children have ownership over the rules through having discussed what they should be and how they are going to stick to them.

We have loved the puppets that have also come from the resource centre. The children work together to create their own stories, as well as stories with their peers. They are also very keen to perform the stories in front of others, which develops their confidence in a variety of different environments.

The children spent time learning about Remembrance Day. They created poppies, they learnt a little about the World Wars, and we all respected the 11am silence on 11th of November.

We are currently enthusiastically learning our nativity which will be performed at Queens Cross Church in front of all the parents.

We will go on to enjoy lots of Christmas activities as the end of the year quickly approaches.

This is the last Newsletter of the year and therefore, although it’s still early to say this, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and as always, I’ll be excited to welcome you all back for another busy year next year.

Kind regards

Claire Drennan

Nursery Manager

stswithinstreet@summersnurseries.com       tel – 01224 209966


Be sure and keep an eye on your child’s ILD to see all the topics and specified next steps.

If you would like a hard copy of this Newsletter, please collect from the vestibule. If there are none left, please contact myself and I will happily provide you with one.

Important Dates for your Diary

  • Monday 2nd December – Trip to Tick Tock (Ante Pre-school and 2-3 Room children in on that day)
  • Wednesday 4th December – Trip to the Pantomime to see Cinderella (For Pre-school children starting school next August)
  • Thursday 5th December – Bacon Roll Morning
  • Thursday 5th December – Children will perform Christmas Carols at the care home
  • W/C Monday 9th December - Great Summers Bake Off. Cakes available all week to purchase
  • Wednesday 11th December – Christmas lunch. Wear a Christmas jumper
  • Friday 13th December – Christmas Parties
  • Wednesday 18th December –3-5’s Christmas Nativity at Queens Cross Church
  • Friday 20th December – Nursery closes at 6pm and re-opens on Monday 6th January at 7:30am

St Swithin St News

Term 4 3-5 News
Date posted: 24 May 16
Term 3 newsletter
Date posted: 22 Feb 19
Story Sharing 2-3 room
Date posted: 02 Aug 19
Summer newsletter
Date posted: 27 Jul 17
Policies of the term 3
Date posted: 16 Feb 19
Wee Green Space and Care Home Rota
Date posted: 20 Aug 19
Dates for the Diary 2019
Date posted: 03 Apr 19
Fun Day 2016
Date posted: 04 Nov 16
Preschool Trip
Date posted: 03 Apr 19
Term 2 Policies
Date posted: 01 Dec 17
Photo Gallery