Summers Nurseries

Where Little Dreams Start

St Swithin Street Notice Board

St Swithin Street - Term 1 Newsletter 2019

Term 1 Newsletter – September 2019

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome to everyone who has joined us since the previous newsletter in May. We are about to embark on another busy academic year with lots of learning and fun ahead of us.


Erin has now left us to start her maternity leave. Erin is due baby Horne on September 20th. We will keep you all informed of any news. Remember you can buy a baby prediction card from the baby room for £2 if you want to take part, all in aid of our charity of the year.

Clare Morrice and Wendy Shaw are leaving to open their own nursery in Maud. We wish Wendy and Clare all the best with their new project.

Shannon Gallacher and Karina Stebnovska are joining our team to cover the senior positions. Both girls have a good knowledge of child care and both are fully qualified. Karina will join the 3-5 room and Shannon the 0-2 room. Both staff are coming from our Victoria street nursery, so are already valued members of staff at Summers.

We have also employed Kelly Bodley since the last newsletter. Kelly is settling well in to the babies, and she has quickly become part of the team. Judith Jessop has also joined the team. Judith has a wealth of experience with all ages of children, spending most of her career so far working as a pupil Support Assistant at local schools. She has joined the pre-school team on a part time basis.

Staff Training

Staff at St Swithin Street have been studying through West College Scotland, studying either Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CASC) level two in Autism, or level two in Children and Young People’s Mental Health.

Judith Thomson is finalising herScottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level three in Social Services (Children and Young People) and both Leah Burt and Jodie Niddrie have just begun theirs.

Emma is now starting her second year at university, continuing her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Childhood Practice. Emma is currently learning about Child Development, focusing heavily on speech and language.

I have just started back at university to study an MEd in Education (Early Years). My first project is about enhanced practice in early years education.

All our staff undergo a full day training course in Paediatric First Aid, which is also repeated every three years. We have also created a risk assessment which specifically focuses on choking, created using the National Day Nursery Association guidelines, which we will go through at our 3 monthly full staff meetings. These sessions will include the use of our new baby Anne, a paediatric baby doll and St Johns Ambulance Services tutorials.


We are continuing to support the Friends of the Neo Natal unit as our charity of the year. This is 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 Orkney and Shetland. In June we held our Tipsy Tea party and we managed to raise a massive £937.87. Thanks to everyone who attended and all the generous donations on and before the big day itself.

Lots of people turned up to a super-hot Sports day this year. There was plenty of fun had by all and I think it must have been the most dramatic Fathers race ever! On the day we raised £211.53 and the sponsor forms pulled in a grand total of £530.

Feedback from Sports day included all excellent and very good gradings, with suggestions including different foods and stalls for the future. We are also very aware that our lovely home bakes had melted in the heat of the sun and this may need re-addressing in the future.

We our holding our Halloween Extravaganza on October 26th. All family and friends are invited to the event which is being held at the nursery from 11am-1pm. There will be spooky fun for everyone. Tickets are £5 per family and this includes a scary lucky dip on arrival.

Check out the charity we are supporting this year at

Parents Evening

Thanks to the parents who attended our annual Parents Evening in June. The majority of parents agreed that the evening was excellent or very good. Most commented on how they enjoyed getting a little more time to discuss their child with their specific key worker.

Development Plans

Our development plans are now complete for 2018-19 and we are currently self- assessing to decide what we would like to work on for 2019-20. We have our first Quality Assurance visit on October 23rd from our Development Officer provided by Aberdeen City Council and the plans will be put in place by that point.

Any parental contribution as always would be greatly received.


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 to continue seeing their siblings throughout the day, but we can book up really quickly so it’s important to get in fast.

Policies of the term

Our policies for Term 1 are:-

  • Open Access to Information
  • Confidentiality and
  • Health and Safety

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

Trips and Visits

Eve from Abricabeats will be attending on a Wednesday morning this term to teach our children dance and drama. Eve encourages imagination and creativity whilst developing gross motor skills.

We are continuing our trips to the wee green space and the care home, alternating our 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.

The 2-3 room visited play town in Inverurie this term. Play town offers different role play experiences that the staff and children enjoy together, from a variety of pretend shops to a construction site. The play town has been well thought out by people who show a good understanding of children’s needs. I would highly recommend this for a rainy day. There is also plenty of fancy cakes for the mums and dads to enjoy.

Pre-school visited Dundee Science centre this term. It gave us lots of opportunities to explore many different activities. There were interactive displays, including lighting, sounds, electricity and much more. We enjoyed a lovely packed lunch and a super long bus journey home with lots of sleepy children.

This term we are planning a trip to the fire station. Erin planned this for us in light of one her childhood memories. We can’t wait to go! A detailed letter will follow to parents of children who will be in on the day of the trip.


Due to the high number of parents wishing newsletters to be sent via e mail, we have decided to use e mail to send out all newsletters. There will still however be a few copies available in print for you take away if you so wish, located in the front vestibule, thanks.

Learning Experiences

As always, it has been a busy old term. We did some work on going off to school before our big kids left, preparing them as fully as possible for the transition. We have had a fantastic summer where we enjoyed lots of outdoor play and walks around our local community.

The summer months always encourages the children to explore the environment. We have discovered lots of changes this year and have enjoyed studying life cycles.

0-2 room

The babies have enjoyed creating a variety of wall displays all about nursery rhymes. We made a display about the Wheels on the Bus and everyone got their photo taken to sit on the bus display, too. The children helped sponge paint the big red bus, which helped them to learn about colour and improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. We went for plenty of walks to look for buses, too. This was very exciting as we loved the noises the big buses made and some of us even recognised some of the numbers on the front of the bus.

This led us onto learn about other forms of transport. We enjoyed playing with the cars, expanding our imagination. The children even made a bus out of a cardboard box that they pretended to drive around in, as well as using the small world vehicles to drive through playdough, exploring the different textures and patterns that each vehicle left.

We moved on to Row, Row, Row your Boat which encourages cooperative play in children as they hold hands to take part in the song. The children are all very good at singing the song which improves their language skills, but of course the loudest bit is the scream when the crocodile comes along, which causes great hilarity. We made a boat from a cardboard box with some oars. Children were very serious about rowing their boats, showing a great deal of gross motor control.

We have enjoyed lots of lovely stories this term, but a firm favourite is called “A Quiet Night In” by Jill Murphy which is probably not an unfamiliar story to many parents out there. The two parent elephants send the kids to bed so they can have a nice evening together. The children find it really funny and like when the children elephants eat all the lovely food. Children like hearing familiar stories, and repeating the same ones allows them to interact with the story, as they know what’s coming next. It improves their memory skills and allows them to become fully emerged in the story.

We are currently learning about Under the Sea. Please feel free to have a look at the wall displays and the floor books, there are lots of funny pictures of the children creating lots of mess!

2-3 room

The 2’s have taken part in a project all about bees. We looked at the colours of bees, developing colour knowledge, but also the patterns of bees and the honey combs created by bees. We learnt that bees make honey and so we therefore explored the taste and texture of honey.

This made us think about where other foods come from, as we explored a variety of farm animals. We even made our own butter out of full fat cream. It was really hard work to get the butter to churn and everyone had to give the box a good hard shake. It is an important life skill to have an understanding of where foods come from.

We went on to learn about Under the Sea, where we created a huge variety of different creatures using paints, glue, collage, tissue paper, glitters, cheerios and much more. All of these activities encourage the children to be creative and imaginative, as well as helping to improve fine motor skills, pincer grip and hand-eye coordination. When taking part in fun, exciting activities, children develop their concentration abilities, too. Have a look at the Under the Sea wall display and see if you can find your child’s work. Children love having their works displayed, which gives them a real sense of pride and achievement.

We enjoyed playing the Under the Sea matching game at group times. There was a board with a picture of the animal and we had to try and find the card to match. This activity also helps to encourage the children to share.

We have made some props for story and song times. We made Five little Men in Flying Saucers to encourage participation throughout these group activities. Each time a little man flies away, the children will count the remainder with a simple introduction to addition and subtraction as well as general counting skills.

We have just started learning about autumn.

3-5 room

We started learning all about weather this term, with some astonishing learning taking place. We investigated lots of different types of weather, including hail stones, where we found a short clip on You tube that told us all about it. Some examples of what the children were able to tell us included “hailstones come because it’s so cold in the clouds” and “they are little bits of ice”. Investigation is an important skill to teach a young child. The responsible use of the internet, fictional books and other media resources can provide a wealth of information, allowing us to learn that if we don’t know something, there is a way to find out.

The children explored the clouds in the garden, looking at the colours, shapes and distances. We learnt a little about shades and created our own pictures that were various shades of blues. We also learnt that there are three major categories of clouds, including low, middle and high. What category a cloud would be part of would be identified by the distance the cloud is from the earth. We were able to introduce maths to this, as children were identifying the numbers as well as mathematical language as they identified which was furthest and closest.

As part of learning about clouds, we used ‘the tell the time’ board game to look at what times the clouds were changing throughout the day. This supported the younger children in number identification and helped the older children to develop their time telling skills. Many of the older children are now showing a keen interest in this, and are starting to inform us what time it is throughout the day.

We made our very own painted thermometer alongside the use of country flags to identify the average temperatures of the different countries. The benefits of this activity were huge, as we learnt about colours and country flags, but we also started to develop an understanding that the world is a big place made up of many different things, including culture, foods, weathers etc.

As always, we have enjoyed some Show and Tell experiences. Children like to have a connection with home, and when it’s their own item, they tend to find it easier to talk about. Lots of the children who have just moved from the 2’s room have limited experience of talking in such a large group, so this helps them to develop their confidence and self-esteem.

We have been learning all about volcanoes. We all know about the heat of lava and have learnt lots about when a volcano erupts. Sarah did an experiment with us which involves a mint and a bottle of coke, and the bottle erupts, just like the volcano, spilling out lots of coke just like the lava. This was a good demonstration which allows the children to start to understand how chemicals might react with each other.

We have enjoyed having our own butterflies this term, where we were able to follow the complete life cycle, until eventually letting them free in the garden. This also helps with caring for living things.

Please take a look at the floor book which involves all of these topics, as well as lots of pictures from the science centre, even ones of us practicing our operating skills in the medical area.

We have been learning about Under the Sea, but one of the children took in a jungle book that we all enjoyed and so we are now learning about the jungle.

Kind regards
Claire Drennan
Nursery Manager - 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 contact myself or your Room Leader and I will happily provide you with one.

Important Dates for your Diary

  • 26/10/2019 – Halloween Extravaganza

Added: 07 Oct 2019 Updated: 07 Oct 2019