Wee Rascals Too - Term 3 – February 2020
Welcome back to a new year at Wee Rascals Too. I hope you all had a lovely break. On behalf of the team and myself, I would like to thank you for your kindness and generosity shown at the end of term, the staff room resembled a Chocolate Factory! We were all very grateful once again.
I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new families to Wee Rascals Too. We hope you have settled in well to the nursery routine.
2019 saw us raise a phenomenal amount for Friends of the Special Nursery in Aberdeen. This charity supports families of babies born prematurely or sick in the Grampian region, as well as the islands of Shetland and Orkney. Our grand total was a fantastic £4213.54, which also included £821.25 raised from some us doing an 8 mile walk. Overall, the 5 Summers Nurseries raised a staggering £23,361.59.
Our 2020 Charity of the year is Charlie House. Charlie House is a local children's charity which supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions in North East Scotland. For more information on Charlie House please see https://www.charliehouse.org.uk/
We will keep you updated with our fundraising plans for 2020!
Emma Wright continues to study for her SVQ 3.
Jorja Cameron has began studying for her SVQ 3.
I recently attended GIRFEC training surrounding the Child's Rights, Engagement and Participation. I have also attended a NSPCC Child Protection full day training course.
Hazel has signed up to attend 'Unlocking the Learning in Block Play' which she will attend later this month.
Angela from Abricabeats has been coming to the Busy Bee room on a Monday at 1.00pm this term.
The Busy Bees have begun a new partnerership with Provest Lawrence Court, which is a sheltered housing complex for elderly people in Kintore. The children had their first visit there earlier this term and got on brilliantly. There are lots of opportunities to chat with the residents and share experiences. Hazel is working closely with the staff at Provest Lawrence Court to secure dates and activities for the children to enjoy. We have found that implementing intergenerational practice has been a huge success and the children look forward to their next visit.If you want more information on the benefits of merging the generations, please have a look at:-
We are continuing with the 'Wee Green Space' for the children in the Busy Bee room. This is an area in Gauchill Woods. There is a rota in place so every child will have a chance to experience this. The children and staff take a kit bag with them, including tarpolin, digging tools, rope and den building equipment. The feedback so far has been positive, with children using their imaginative skills to describe the animals who may live in the woods, and the adventures they could have. It is an excellent tool for building team work and practical skills, as well as promoting healthy living through outdoor play.
The groups will be the same for both the Wee Green Space and the Care Home visits. You should have received a copy of both rotas via email. Please let me know if this is not the case.
Last term, the Cheeky Monkeys and Ante Pre-school Busy Bees had a great afternoon at Ythanbank Reindeer Centre. The children got to see the Reindeer in their natural habitat and were full of stories about Santa's helpers when they returned.
The Pre-schoolers went to His Majestys Theatre to see Cinderella. We were really proud of the children and how well they behaved. A fantastic afternoon was had by all!
Since our last newsletter, The Little Bunnies have covered a variety of topics. At the end of last term, they began learning about colours. The staff created coloured pasta for the children to explore in the messy tray. This sparked the children's curiosity and allowed them to explore different textures. The children took part in painting with coloured ice cubes, and had great fun watching and feeling the ice melt. Some of the older children were able to comment that it felt cold.
Using different coloured blocks, the children developed their ability to balance objects by stacking the blocks on top of each other. The Little Bunnies then went on to learn about Christmas and New Year. They took part in a huge variety of different Christmas crafts, exploring and choosing materials, and developing their grasping skills when picking up small items to craft with.
In the role play corner, the children enjoyed cooking Christmas 'dinner' for each other and they took turns to be served, and they also cooked and served the 'dinner'.
At the end of term, the Little Bunnies had great fun at their Christmas Party, where they were able to dance with Angela from Abricabeats and each child received a present from our special guest, Santa!
After the break, the children had a week of learning about New Year. They practiced pre- numeracy skills by doing a group New Year countdown and painting pictures of fireworks.
After showing a keen interest in our story CD about the sea, the Little Bunnies went on to learn about Under the Sea. They have had great fun developing their investigation skills in the water tray with the different sea animals. They marvelled as staff blew bubbles and used the bubble machine to create an under water feel in the Little Bunnies room, trying their best to catch the floating bubbles. Some of you may have noticed the new Under the Sea wall display, which features lots of the children's creations, including fish, a mermaid and some familiar looking star fish!
This week, the Little Bunnies have moved on to learning about the Farm, after singing lots of verses of Old MacDonald had a Farm.
Please familiarise yourself with the mindmap on the Little Bunnies door, which welcomes your suggestions for future topics!
The Cheeky Monkeys have been busy this term covering a wide variety of topics. They ended last term by learning about Christmas. The children were encouraged to make their own festive playdough, before creating Christmas shapes. They made their own illustrated Santa letters, and there was the opportunity to use the Christmas jumper collaging station.
In the New Year, the Cheeky Monkeys went on to learn about shapes. They took part in a shape matching activity in the tuff spot, putting small shapes into their larger partners. The children used shape flashcards in a group activity where they were able to evolve their social skills and shape knowledge. There was also opportunities to collage using colourful small shapes.
After repeatedly requesting our 'Walking through the Jungle' story CD, the Cheeky Monkeys went on to learn about the Jungle. The children worked together to paint a lion which was then displayed on the wall. The Cheeky Monkeys then went on to use the collaging materials to create a snake. Working together, the children enjoyed a group time where they made the noises of each Jungle animal. This then led on to using the small world animals in the tuff tray and role playing zoo themes.
The Cheeky Monkeys took part in a variety of experiments. They investigated different sounds and experienced both loud and quiet noises. The children took part in an experiment where they discovered what happens when you mix milk and food colouring. They made playdough, experimenting with weighing, handling and measurements. The Cheeky Monkeys then used the playdough to make a model of a volcano, before adding vinegar and bicarbonate of soda to create a volcanic eruption!
The Cheeky Monkeys are currently learning about the farm. They took part in a 'muddy' farm tuff spot, before washing the mud off from the animals in the water tray. Using lollypop sticks, the children built barns for the animals, and using gloves, the children took turns to role play milking a cow! The Cheeky Monkeys continue to learn about the farm.
Through methods of responsive planning and in the moment holistic learning, the Busy Bees have had a super term so far. They have covered many learning opportunities, including investigating their tastebuds. This started with a discussion, where, after watching a clip on the computer, one of the children was able to identify that the bumps on your tongue are called papillae. The Busy Bees took part in a taste test to determine sweet, sour and savoury flavours.
With Bonfire Night approaching, the children in the Busy Bee room made sparklers and learnt about the story of Guy Fawkes. After some of the children shared their plans to go and see the fireworks with their families, the children created a safety mindmap, detailing how to keep safe when you are outside looking at fireworks.
During a particularly cold spell, the children found some ice in the garden. This prompted discussions about how ice stays cold and the children took part in an experiment to see if the ice would stay frozen in a fridge. Hazel and the Busy Bees then worked together to record the children's findings on a chart.
The Busy Bees moved on to learning about Christmas. They reconstructed the house corner to represent Santa's workshop. They researched the
North Pole and identified where it is on the map. The Busy Bees also enjoyed playing a game of Christmas Bingo.
More recently, following a parental suggestion, the Busy Bees learnt about countries. The children learnt about various countries, and the difference between countries and continents. Using a map of the world, the Busy Bees were able to locate where we live, and where one of their classmates lived when they moved to Australia.
The Preschool children have began receiving monthly homework projects to prepare them for primary one.
Our 2019/2020 Improvement Plan is available to view in the hall. This year our main focusses are self evaluation, and zoning.
Many thanks to all of you who took the time to complete our yearly questionnaires, in which 74% of you voted that the overall quality of service was Excellent, and 26% of you voted that it was Very Good. We review these questionnaires, and areas of development are integrated through improvement plans/ discussions at staff meetings. Some of your comments included;-
"You've all made a hard settling in period as easy as possible. The quality of your care is evident in the children's love for you – they are the best judges!"
"I honestly cannot praise this nursery and the staff highly enough. My child is very happy and settled and I am 100% confident in the care my child is receiving."
"From day 1 we as a family have received a fantastic service from the nursery. Our child benefits everyday from attending."
"Cannot praise you all enough. Despite a difficult start, our son loves his nursery and we have seen him grow and develop into such a confidant, social and funny little character. We can go to work and know he is happy and safe – thank you for everything you do."
"For us, nursery is of great importance as it has the role of family, which it fulfils superbly."
Policies and Risk Assessments of the Term
Every term, we select certain policies to focus on. Our policies are available for parents to read in the front hallway. Please ask myself or the Room Leader of your child's room if you have any trouble locating them.
The policies of the term are as follows:-
- 12 – Health and Safety
- 25 – Additional Support Needs
- 30 – Child Enrolment Policy
Going forward, we will also be selecting risk assessments to focus on each month. These will be displayed alongside the termly policies.
The risk assessments of the term are as follows:-
- Building Security
- Infectious Diseases
- Dates for your diary
Our website - www.summersnurseries.com has information regarding dates, 'show and tell' etc, so please take a look at Wee Rascals Too news.
- Thursday 18th June – Parents Evening
- Friday 3rd July – Preschool Graduation
- Monday 14th – Friday 18th September – Stay & Play
We have decided to send parents newsletters by e mail now, as the majority of parents asked for it to be sent this way. There will still however be some paper copies for parents who wish one, located in the front hallway.
Tel – 01467 633994