Summers Nursery - February 2019
Term 3 Newsletter
As always, we have had lots of new families to get to know this term. It has been a real pleasure getting to know you all so far. We are looking forward to continued happy relationships throughout your time at Summers.
We want to take this time to thank you for your generosity and the gifts staff received at Christmas time, they are greatly appreciated.
We were really sorry to see Nikki Nicol of the 2-3 room leave us at the end of last term. Nikki accepted a job in a local authority nursery.
We are delighted to say that Joanne Noble has taken the role of 2-3 Room Leader, and started with us on Monday the 11th February. Joanne has worked at our sister nursery, Wee Rascals for the past 6 years in the 0-2 room and has been in childcare for 8 years. Joanne gained her SVQ Level 3 in Childcare in February 2014, so brings vast knowledge and experience with her to Inverurie. We are sure that you will all join us in wishing Joanne every success in her new role as 2-3 Room Leader.
Gemma Kynoch joined the 0-2 room team on Monday the 28th January and will be working all day Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Gemma has transferred from a relief position in our Aberdeen nurseries to a permanent job here at Inverurie.
Shirley Meldrum has joined the team as a relief member of staff. Shirley has a part time job at an after school club and has vast experience in childcare, previously having been a childminder and working in various breakfast and after school clubs.
Ashleigh, Joy, Amanda and Rosie continue to work towards their SVQ level 3 qualification. Ashleigh has one final piece to submit, so well done Ashleigh!
I have embarked on a BA in Childhood Practices at Aberdeen University this semester, and am working on the Study Skills unit, due to be submitted next month.
Over the next term, some staff are booked onto various courses, including Observation Writing, Food Hygiene and Dealing with Challenging behaviours.
Charity of the Year 2018
We are delighted to announce that we raised a fantastic £3,324.15 last year for our yearly charity, 'Befriend a Child', which supports disadvantaged and troubled school age children (aged 4-16) in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
Collectively, Summers Nurseries as a whole raised a massive £11356.09, plus a further £1006 was raised from our Victoria Street nursery and donated through Kiltwalk to the charity. Thank you all so much for your support and attendance at events such as our Sports Day, Coffee Morning, and participating in bake sales, PJ days, breakfast mornings and various others.
For 2019, we will be supporting the 'Friends of the Special Nursery', a charity of Aberdeen maternity Hospital's Neo-Natal unit for sick and premature babies in the Grampian region, as well as the islands of Shetland and Orkney.
Thank you so much to everyone who completed our annual questionnaire. Out of all the questionnaires returned, 96% of you said that the overall quality of service was either Excellent or Very Good. Out of that 96%, 69% said Excellent, 27% said Very Good, and 4% said Good.
As always, we received many complimentary comments, and any developmental areas will be displayed on the 'you say, we did board' in the hallway.
Some comments included were;-
"Very happy with everything so far. It is wonderful not having to worry about my son whilst I am at work."
"Our son enjoys his time at nursery and is developing well in a supportive and stimulating environment."
"My boy thoroughly enjoys his time at nursery. It is great to see how he comes on with his development and see his progress on the ILD."
"The staff are competent, approachable and provide excellent care al all times. Thank you all for all your hard work and constant care you provide."
Trips & Visits
The pre-school room have had weekly visits from Abricabeats on a Thursday afternoon during Term 3, and the children have also been enjoying their weekly visits to the Green next to Strathburn School.
After the 3-5 children's visit to sing Christmas Carols at Pleyfauld Sheltered Housing for the elderly, we decided to create a "Pen Pal" system with the residents. This involves sending drawings from the children, as well as writing to the residents, and receiving letters in return. It would also include some more trips to visit the residents to sing songs, play games etc. We feel that by having an intergenerational ongoing project with the local sheltered housing residents, that it would result in extremely positive outcomes for both the children at the nursery and also the residents. We can also talk to the children about emotions such as empathy, respect and showing compassion for others and relate this to the GIRFEC Health and Wellbeing wheel. Some of the children visited the residents at the beginning of the year and enjoyed art and craft activities whilst there.
The 2-3 room children had their imaginations stretched during a trip to Playtown on Friday the 14th December, where children were engaged in lots of role play.
The ante pre-school children went on a very exciting trip to visit Santa in his Grotto at BA Stores on Tuesday the 4th December, and the pre-school children thoroughly enjoyed a trip to see Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at HMT on Wednesday the 5th December.
We have been working on three development plans for 2018/2019. These are displayed in the front hallway.
Plan 1- increase the children's involvement in the ILD process, involving them in their observations and recording comments from the children about their learning. We have also been auditing our loose parts, offering more open- ended play with various items on offer.
Plan 2- continuing our work with shemas, involving the parents, as well as encouraging them to use the ILD, and put in their own observations.
Plan 3 – develop observation writing skills.
There have been lots of calendar dominated activities this term, including learning about Christmas, St Andrews Day, Robert Burns and of course Valentine's day will be coming up.
The 0-2 children enjoyed using the paint and utensils to make snowy pictures during a Christmas topic, exploring the shaving foam with their hands, using the Christmas themed stampers and decorating our Christmas tree. The children all thoroughly enjoyed the Christmas party and meeting Santa. We hope you all loved your cards, gifts, and calendars that the children lovingly made for you.
Coming back at the beginning of the term, the children moved onto a Jungle topic following a child's interest in a jungle animal themed book. The children explored the jungle animals in the imaginative play tray and enjoyed taking in their jungle animal toys from home for 'show and tell' to share with their peers. They participated in various animal arts and crafts, including creating lion masks, painting and collaging a tree to put coloured-in monkeys onto, and using the playdough with the jungle animal cutters. The children developed their spatial awareness and gross motor skills, moving like jungle animals to the music whilst dancing, wearing their lion masks.
The children have recently moved onto a Transport topic.
The 2-3 children made various art and crafts activities in relation to Christmas during December and were busy making their cards, gifts and calendars. A trip to Playtown was also extremely popular!
During this term, the children have been learning about "Keeping Healthy." This has involved discussing various healthy foods and keeping active. The staff spoke to the children about our 5 a day, and the children used various art materials and methods to create a display of fruit and vegetables! The children discussed the different food groups and went on to learn about keeping active and taking part in races and physical activities indoors and out. The 2's room thoroughly enjoyed the topic and learnt about different ways to move their bodies in the process.
We have very recently moved onto a "Dinosaur" topic. To date, the children have drawn dinosaur pictures and transformed their role play area into a "Dino jungle." Dinosaur shaped shortbread went down a treat after the children helped prepare the mixture and learnt about measuring and used mathematical languages in the process. The staff have planned a 'Dino teeth' counting activity, making 'Dino' eggs and digging for fossils!
The 3-5 children thoroughly enjoyed a month of Christmas activities in December, practising and performing their Nativity, which I am sure you all agree they did spectacularly at!
Returning from the holidays, the children took a vote and the majority of them wanted to learn about fairy tales, which proved very popular! The children used their imaginations to write their own fairy tale as a group, and used the "Bookmaker" app on the I-pad to create this. They made character masks to re-enact different fairy tales, and made a giant troll using various art and craft materials.
As the topic came to an end, the children wanted to learn about people who help us, after discussing the princes and knights who are always heroes. This way we can learn about real life heroes. If anyone is in a profession where they help people and would like to come in to make a small talk, can they please let us know, it would be much appreciated. We already have a fire engine visit lined up!
Could I remind all parents that it is essential that they put their child's full name as a reference on any voucher that is paid to the nursery. This is the only key piece of information we require on the voucher. We do not require you to put Summers Nursery, invoice number, parents name or any other piece of information on the reference. Due to the ever-increasing number of vouchers coming in from parents in 5 nurseries, we are still finding it difficult to match vouchers to certain families due to not being able to identify the voucher, so it is important that you change any existing vouchers to contain this information, thank you. Please also cancel any siblings that have left off your voucher.
We do however realise that the government vouchers seem to be a bit problematic regarding the reference system, and we will have to try and work around this.
Tax Free Chidcare/Payments
In April 2017, the UK Government launched its tax free Childcare Scheme, which will replace existing voucher schemes. This closed in April 2018, although existing membership can continue forwards from this cut-off date. Information is available to parents at the following websites.
This is now set up for parents to use, so when signing up, ensure that you choose the Summers Victoria Street account.
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, all of our staff finish work at 6.00pm.
Policies of the term
Our policies of the term this term are; 5, 8 and 10
- Equal Opportunities
- Dealing with challenging behaviours
- Child Protection
Policies are displayed in the hallway for parents to view.
Dates for your Diary
Thursday 7th March – World Book day Dress up/take book to nursery
Saturday 20th April – Annual Coffee Morning