Term 3 Newsletter – February 2020
As always, we wish a warm welcome to all the new families joining us for 2020. I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for being so welcoming since my arrival. It has been a real pleasure getting to know you and your children. I look forward to building my relationships with you throughout my journey as manager. If there is anyone I have not yet had the pleasure to meet, then please feel free to pop your head into the office or grab me if I am passing.
As most of you are already aware, Rosie is expecting her first baby in May 2020, and will be planning to go on maternity leave at some point in April. We will keep you posted with her replacement details as soon as we know.
Georgia, our new relief girl will be increasing her hours to spend more time in the 3-5 room.
Caroline, Gemma, Sarah, Amanda and Adele continue to work towards their SVQ Level 3.
Melanie and Lauren have both been accepted for their Level 4 – they are just filling out paperwork and waiting for a start date.
Other staff training recently has included learning about Health and Social Care Standards.
Charity of the Year 2019
Thank you for your continued generosity during the charity events of the past year. As you are all aware, we chose to support the 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. www.specialnursery.org
We would like to say that we managed to raise a whopping £5642.01. This also includes £1595.54 raised from some of our staff doing the Aberdeen Kiltwalk. Summers Nursery collectively raised an incredible £23,225.34. Many thanks again to everyone who contributed to our yearly charity.
For 2020, we have decided to support Charlie House, which is a local children's charity supporting babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions in the North East of Scotland.
Trips & Visits
The pre-school room will continue to experience weekly visits from Angela from Abricabeats on a Friday afternoon during Term 3.
The children have also been enjoying their weekly visits to the Wee Green Space which is situated next to Strathburn School, as well as their monthly visits to the local Care Home.
The 0-2 children continue to enjoy their walks, exploring the local community, and not letting the cold weather stop them. Unfortunately, our 2 triple buggies decided to break on the same day, so we decided to order a quad this time round which is a different make. It is taking a rather long time to arrive, so we have now borrowed a triple buggy from out Kintore nursery, so along with a double buggy we already have, we are able to get the children out for walks until the new quad arrives. It is expected to be here within the next 2 weeks. We also look forward to the days getting nicer to enjoy some time at the park.
The 2-3 children enjoyed going to Hoodles in Oldmeldrum on Wednesday the 11th of December to have a play, as well as see a special visitor (SANTA) who read them a story and even gave a little surprise to take home.
The Pre-school children had a great time at the theatre in Aberdeen, watching a performance of Cinderella on Tuesday the 10th of December, oh yes they did!!
The Ante Pre-school children visited Tick Tock play on Thursday 5th of December to see Santa's grotto and participate in some Christmas craft with him, which they all thoroughly enjoyed.
Please see dates for the diary for details of upcoming trips and events.
We are still working towards our Improvement plans August 2019 – August 2020. Our new Improvements plans are to –
- Develop the garden using loose parts and natural materials to provide lots of heuristic and open-ended play opportunities.
- Develop staff knowledge and continue to attend training courses provided and read up on new documentation
Thank you to all the parents who took the time to complete out yearly questionnaire. We will be evaluating and implementing any changes through our on going Improvement plans. 57% of you thought that the overall quality of service your child receives was Excellent and 43% rated it as Very Good. Many thanks for the comments we received, some of which included:-
"We are very happy with all aspects of our child's care at nursery and appreciate the efforts of all the staff in making it such a positive experience for her. Thank you."
"ILD is very good and informative. Very happy with transition from home to nursery and my child seems to enjoy going to nursery making it easier for us as a family."
"My son is happy and contented attending nursery and I have no concerns about his time at Summers. He is well cared for in a nurturing and loving environment".
"The team at Summers are fantastic, they are so enthusiastic, welcoming and supportive. My child loves going there and I know he feels welcome. The team go above and beyond for events for the children and to raise money for their chosen charity. It is a fantastic nursery".
Thank you so much for all that you do. My daughter enjoys nursery and always chats about the teachers. I feel confident that she has the best possible care and I'm very thankful for that. We feel very welcomed, valued and included in the nursery. We love Summers.
Policies of the term
Our policies of the term this term are; 8, 10 & 34
- 8 – Dealing with challenging Behaviour
- 10 – Child Protection
- 34 - Staff Holiday Policy
Policies are displayed in the hallway for parents to view.
Room activities and learning
The 0-2 room spent a lot of time getting creative on the run up to Christmas. I hope you all agree that their calendars, gifts and cards were beautifully made. We think you'll all agree that their robin pictures were beautifully made.
The children used good listening skills when following the actions to the Santa shark song and they made their own lolly pop snowflakes with glitter and sequences. The children also helped make playdough, with opportunities to weight and measure. They then had the choice to choose what resources/materials they added to it once it was made.
There were foot print reindeers made out of salt dough, and once dried, everyone painted them. Food tasting was also on the agenda, with the children tasting mince pies, cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets, crisps and cheese.
To finish of the year in style, all the children had the opportunity to join in with the Christmas party, where they danced to the music, played party games, had party food for snack and got a surprise visitor at the end.
The New Year welcomed a new topic which was 'Shapes, Colours and Numbers'. Children had opportunities to paint with different shaped blocks, as well as finding colourful objects hidden in porridge oats. One of the ladies took in the Twister game, giving the children the opportunity to develop their gross motor skills. We also had different coloured days, having red water, red toys out to play, red paint and pens at craft time and so on. Our window is decorated with beautiful colourful shaped bunting, allowing discussion on colours and shapes daily.
Our latest topic is 'The Jungle'. If you have any ideas or suggestions regarding activities for this topic, please see the girls.
Since the last newsletter, the 2-3 room have been very busy! They covered Halloween which was a firm favourite within the room. There was a variety of messy play, and lots of art and craft activities throughout, as you can imagine! The children have the experience to create their own take on what they are designing when using the art and craft materials. There was slime in the messy tray, with colourful spiders hidden in amongst it. This sparked conversation regarding colour recognition and numbers, as they counted how many they found. The children helped carve a pumpkin for the class, showing good turn taking skills, as well as following instructions.
After Halloween came Bonfire Night, with the children discussing all the colours they see within a fire and fireworks as part of a group discussion. They all wanted to make their own colourful firework pictures using forks to print with, and they also spoke about going to see fireworks with their families.
The run up to Christmas is always a big one within the nursery. There was lots of talk about Santa on the countdown to the big day. A few of the children began wearing their Christmas jumpers to get into the spirit, and from this they then discussed Rudolph and his role, and the children made their own reindeer pictures using hand prints.
We transformed the house corner into Santa's grotto and the children learnt how to wrap presents to go under the tree. They learnt that the Elves help make the presents, so they had the opportunity to use the real tools from the big room. They used the saw to help saw the wooden rods, showing the girls how patient they were. This also helped them understand the importance of being safe with tools.
Some of the boys and girls enjoyed a trip to Hoodles on the bus, and they met Santa who read them a story.
Our Christmas party was great fun, where the children danced the afternoon away, and of course enjoyed party food for snack time. Angela from Abricabeats came along and gave the children music and movement time.
The children made lots of decorations to decorate the room as well as a cards to go home for Christmas.
The 2-3's started 2020 off with 'On the farm'. This topic has allowed the children to speak about the various farm animals and the noises they make. Also, what transport you can find on a farm. Most children said you get cows on a farm, so as an activity, the children acted out 'milking'' a cow…using a rubber glove filled with milk, and the ladies added holes to the finger tips of the glove to allow the milk to flow when squeezed. The boys and girls found this highly amusing, with some saying that milk comes from Mummy and Daddy's fridge. We drew around one of the children to create a farmer, and the children decorated him, and we then put him up on the wall.
This week, we have moved onto 'Letters'. If there are any ideas or suggested activities you would like to give the girls, then please feel free. They appreciate your input.
Firstly, I would like to thank all of the boys and girls for their huge involvement in our nativity practice, and what a success the nativity was!. As you will all agree, the kids did a fantastic job! Also, we were all pleased with their excellent behaviour when out in the community, going for their trips to the panto, Tick Tock Play and the Christmas parties.
When starting the new year, the children took part in a topic vote, which resulted in the most votes for 'Shapes, Colours and Numbers'. This topic has resulted in many rich learning opportunities which include activities with 3D shapes, secondary colours, colour mixing and learning larger numbers.
We have been on number hunts, made 3D models with clay, and used fruit to create different shapes. I am sure most of you will have seen our lovely, bright, hand print rainbow wall display. All the children participated in this activity using their favourite colours on their hands. We also used various fruits to make a colourful rainbow for snack.
We continued these tasks when down at the Wee Green Space, by collecting twigs and making numbers out of them.
We will continue to have our weekly visits to our Wee Green Space, learning more and more about the outdoors. Lauren and Krista are going to be attending another outdoor learning training session led by Juliet Robertson which we hope to take back to the room and put into practice.
We will also continue our monthly visits to the care home, exchanging stories and building relationships with the elderly. We always take along some activities that both children and the older residents all enjoy doing together.
Show and Tell happens on a weekly basis and the dates can be found on the front door as you come in. We think that this helps to build children's confidence as well as their vocabulary when speaking in front a group.
The majority of parents have requested that they would like the newsletter to be e mailed to them which we are now doing. We will also be printing off a small number of copies for parents to take away also. The printed copies will be located in the front hallway for parents, thank you.
Important Dates for your Diary:
- Saturday 28th March 2020 – Annual Coffee Morning at Summers Nursery
- Tuesday 9th June 2020 – Parent's Evening
- Saturday 20th June 2020 – Sports Day
- Week Commencing 7th September 2020 – Stay & Play week