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Nursery News 22.2.2021

Monday, March 22, 2021

NURSERY NEWS

22nd March 2021 – Edition 220

Find out About:

A. Covid 19 update

B. Our video room tours.

C: What the children are learning about this week

 

A: Covid 19 update.

There are some documents produced by the Department for Education, at Central Government, which we, as a Nursery School MUST follow in response to Covid 19. The main document is called

 

‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’

What childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This is the document we refer to when we are informed that a pupil or staff member has tested positive for Covid 19. It lists the steps we must take, and who we must inform. The government has also produced a document that guides us through what we should do in all the stages of someone showing symptoms of, or testing positive for Covid 19.

 

‘What to do if a child or adult is displaying symptoms, or is a confirmed case, of coronavirus (COVID-19) in an early years setting’

February 2021

 

The following information (in blue type) has been copied directly from the above document. My aim is to share with parents the decision processes we have to take in school with regard to deciding who should self isolate, and for how long.

 

Child or staff members who test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

1. Contact the child or staff member who has tested positive

You need to find out if they attended your setting during the infectious period. The infectious period is 2 days before their symptoms started (or their test date if they did not show any symptoms) to at least 10 days after.

 

Confirm that they must not attend your setting for at least 10 full days from the day after the start of their symptoms or test date if they did not have any symptoms (whether this was a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test).

If they did not attend your setting during the infectious period, you do not need to take any further action.

 

2. Identify close contacts of the child or staff member who has tested positive

If they attended your setting during the infectious period, you need to identify potential contacts during this period following the guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection who do not live with the person

‘A contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 whether this was a LFD or PCR test. You can be a contact anytime from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms, and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others.

In nursery settings, a close contact is defined as : a child or staff member who has shared a room with a child or staff member who has shown symptoms or received a positive test result.

We share information about all positive cases with The Local Authority- Central Bedfordshire Council.

We have been informed that taking a Lateral Flow Test in a government test centre, by a trained individual, provides a reliable positive test result, and should be treated the same as taking a PCR test, which is sent away to a test lab.

The Local Authority also advised us that pupils and staff who have been sent home to isolate will have differing lengths of isolation periods, dependent upon when they last had contact with the confirmed positive case.

IMPORTANT…

So if you received an email informing you that your child should isolate for 10 days, the end time for this isolation will depend upon when your child last had contact with the confirmed positive case. We were advised by the Local Authority that:

All those children and staff who last attended the Catkins/Blue Group Bubble on: Tuesday 16th March should self isolate until 23:59pm on Friday 26th March, and for those staff/children that last attended the Catkins/Blue Group Bubble on Thursday 18th March they should isolate until 23:59pm on Sunday 28th March.

Unfortunately, this means that all the staff in this bubble will be isolating, so this is why the bubble had to close.

 

Moving Forward:

If anyone telephones the school office for advice, we would always advise that a child with covid symptoms:

A continuous cough, or high temperature,

Should stay at home and get a test.

If a child is attending Nursery and the staff feel that a child is exhibiting these symptoms, then the child will be safely isolated from other staff and children until a parent can collect them. This is something that we have done in the past.

The main thing is that children who are not well are not sent in to school.

We do get a number of phone calls from parents who aren’t sure what to do. I would suggest that if you are questioning your child’s health in this way then they should really stay at home.

Isolating a bubble has a big impact in the Catkins/ Blue Group bubble as so many children attend for a small number of sessions. In this particular circumstance, 27 children 5 staff and a trainee have been required to isolate.

 

B. Our video room tours.

An update:

There are now three video tours on our website. To find them, go to www.willownursery.co.uk.

Click on the ‘School Information Tab’

Then click on ‘About’

Video Tour Room 1

Video Tour Room 3

Video Tour Catkins (2 year olds) Room

My most recent slideshow, showing the space that is solely used by the two year olds. They share the link area, and the garden with the slightly older 15 hour funded children. The Catkins area is specifically set up to be safe for our youngest pupils, with toys and equipment aimed at two year olds.

C: What the children are learning about this week

This week we are exploring the theme of Easter. We explore the religious side of the Christian Easter celebration. We retell the Easter story, explaining to children that this is a story that some families believe to be true. We also look at the ideas of ‘New Life’ that Easter brings, considering that this is the time of year when lambs are born on farms.

Nursery News 15.3.2021

Monday, March 15, 2021

NURSERY NEWS

15th March 2021 – Edition 219

 

Find out About:

A. The MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccine.

B. Our Caretaker is retiring!

C. Our video room tours.

D: What the children are learning about this week

 

A: The MMR (Measles Mumps and Rubella) vaccine.

Are your family up to date with the MMR vaccine?

Most of us know that measles can make children very poorly, but did you know that measles can also lead to life threatening complications if you are not vaccinated. Central Bedfordshire Council, in collaboration with Public Health, are encouraging parents and carers to find out if their family are fully protected against measles. It’s difficult to know which services are available during the current pandemic, but parents can be confident that the MMR vaccination is not affected by Covid. If a child is due to have their vaccination, or has missed one, they are available through your GP.

 

How many doses of the vaccination do children need to be fully protected?

The MMR vaccine is given in two doses, the first dose of the vaccine is at 1 year of age with the second being given at 3 years and four months. If you’re older children have missed their second, don’t panic! They can be vaccinated and protected. Get in touch with your GP to find out how.

 

Missed a vaccination?

If a child has missed a vaccination, don’t worry, you can contact your GP to arrange a new appointment during the Covid pandemic. A catch-up vaccine is also available.

For further information on the MMR vaccine, get in touch with your local GP or visit the NHS website.

 

B. Our Caretaker is retiring!

Mr Wilbourne, our caretaker is retiring at Easter. We are looking for a new Caretaker. We are advertising the position on the ‘Academy for Central Bedfordshire’ Jobs website, where local schools advertise current job vacancies. So, please spread the word to family and friends, as we need to find someone able to keep our school clean and safe.

The application pack is available on our school website.

 

School Caretaker/Cleaner/Handy Person

Job Title: School Caretaker/Cleaner/Handy Person

School Name: Willow Nursery School

Location: Goldstone Crescent, Dunstable, LU5 4QU

Salary Range: NJC level 2, scale 4-6 £9.81-£10.21 per hour term time

position pays between 45.2 weeks per year to 46.4 weeks per year dependent on number of

years of service within the local authority.

Hours: 20 hours per week split shift. 4 Hours per day, term time only

(to include unlocking the school by 7.30am and locking the school in the evening)

Suggested hours 6am-7.30am, 3.30pm-6pm (can be negotiated)

Contract Type: Permanent. To begin as soon as possible!

Closing Date: Wed 24th March 2021

Interview Date: Week beg Tue 6th April 2021

We are looking for a hardworking, flexible, self-motivated person to be our school

caretaker/cleaner/handy person due to the retirement of our current caretaker.

Main Purpose of role:

· To carry out general maintenance and minor repairs

· To clean the school daily

· To unlock and secure the school on a daily basis

· To carry out regular tests for water temperature and fire alarm systems

· To be the main key holder

 

We are a dedicated and committed team of early year’s specialists who are passionate about what we

do. We aim to give our children the very best care and education in a positive, clean, fun environment. If

you take pride in your work and you want to be part of something ‘Outstanding’, then please apply.

This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and

expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will have to meet

the requirements of the Person Specification in order to be offered the post. DBS Disclosure at

Enhanced Level and a qualification check are required for this post

How to apply:

For further details and an application pack, please visit the school website at: www.willownursery.co.uk, and click on school information – vacancies. We will accept electronic or paper applications. Electronic applications to be sent to the email address below. Paper copies to be sent to Willow Nursery School, Goldstone Crescent, Dunstable, Beds, LU5 4QU. Or contact: Name: Trina Evans Tel: 01582 662600 Email: office@willownursery.co.uk

 

C. Our video room tours.

An update:

There are now two video tours on our website. To find them, go to www.willownursery.co.uk.

Click on the ‘School Information Tab’

Then click on ‘About’

Video Tour Room 1

A room used by the Main Nursery Children (All the children that will leave us in July 2021) All Main Nursery children head here first thing in the morning to hang up their coats. They then have their register taken with their Keyworker. Yellow Group have their register time here with Miss Howe. Main Nursery children are then able to have free flow play inside and outside for most of the day. Main Nursery Children use the space in Room 1, Room 2, Room 5 and Outside.

 

Video Tour Room 3

A room used by the 3+ age group of children who joined us in January 2021, and the 3+ group who will join us in April 2021. These children are those who are entiltled to the universal 15 hours of funded education, who will leave us in July 2022.

This is the room where Blue and Orange group head to first thing in the morning to hang up their coats. They have their register taken here with their Keyworker.

There is a smaller room which links Room 3 to Catkins class, so we call this room ‘The Link’. The Link is used by both Catkins Class and Blue and Orange groups. It is a messy play area, where water play and art activities take place. The Link is included in the Video Tour Room 3.

Blue and Orange group use the space in Room 3, the Link and Outside.

Next Video Tour:

To begin with, I am trying to produce one Video Tour for each age group, so my next will be for Catkins Class.

I will then go back and complete Room 2, Room 5 and Outside, in coming weeks.

 

D: What the children are learning about this week

It is so nice to have most of the children in now, since the wider reopening of schools. I will try to give information every week about the themes children will be particularly learning about. We make a plan for the whole year, looking at themes in a particular order, so the children’s experiences build on prior knowledge.

Main Nursery have covered learning all about themselves, their family and people who help us. We now spend quite a few weeks looking at favourite Fairy Tales to stimulate their learning. In the last few weeks we have covered ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and this week we will be moving onto the ‘Three Little Pigs’. The texts in these stories are very repetitive, and they help children to grow in confidence when beginning to read. They may not be able to read words, but, from memory, they would be able to join in with the repeated refrains in the story, that would go along with the illustrations. In this way, children begin to feel that they are reading the book. With each book we look at connected themes. With the Three little Pigs we look at the theme of building, and the use of materials. We look at the power of the wind, which is quite timely with all this windy weather we have been having. The children chose to explore making kites at the end of last week. So we had lots of kite flying in the garden, with strings and kites getting tangled together. We had crying when kites blew off strings. We had lots of discussion about how we could repair the kites and to think of strategies to improve them.

 

Blue Group and Catkins, will be having a hospital role play area. We have a small bed, bandages, medical tools, a light box with real x rays to look at and lots of resources to stimulate talking, reading and writing. Adults will join the children in role play. Adults will model being a doctor, nurse, patient and receptionist. They will encourage children to try out different roles. Adults will use correct language for the medical tools for the children to hear whilst they are playing. Adults will model how to create story scenarios within the role play.

We will be reading Dr Maisy- A Maisy Mouse story book. It is a very basic story that introduces medical characters. Children will represent x-ray images, making cotton bud collages on black paper to represent bones. This should begin a discussion about their skeleton.

Nursery News 8th March 2021

Monday, March 8, 2021

NURSERY NEWS

8th March 2021 – Edition 218

 

Find out About:

A: The Wider Reopening of Schools.

B. Jolly phonics

C. Video Tours.

 

A: The Wider Reopening of Schools.

Today we see the wider reopening of schools. We knew that many of our pupils who have been at home for the past 9 weeks were likely to return when our local Primary Schools re-opened. We are very pleased to see that most children have returned. The children are very aware of who has been missing from their colour groups and it is lovely to see the children welcoming their friends back enthusiastically. They settle down to play together really quickly.

We have had two blue group children start today who were due to start in January, and we are very pleased to meet them. As I am writing this, they are busy exploring their play space, one is playing in the water tray and the other has ventured out into the garden.

It is very pleasing to hear the children’s voices, all busy creating play with each other.

 

It will be busier outside school now. Please do your best to be on time and we can keep our systems running smoothly.

Be kind to each other and help to keep all our children safe.

There will be additional cars passing our school now that the Vale Academy and Hadrian Academy are fully opened. Please take care.

 

 

B:Jolly phonics

For those children that have just returned:

We began teaching the children one phonic sound per week from the 1st February. So far we have taught the sounds s,a,t and i. Please click on the attachment sent with this newsletter to access the Jolly Phonics sound sheets for the sounds s,a,t,i.

 

click here for ‘s’

 

Click here for ‘a’

 

Click here for ‘t’

 

Click here for ‘i’

 

We sent out detailed information regarding our phonics program in the Nursery News Edition 214 1st February. This is still accessible on our website.

 

C. Video Tours

Government advice is that parents should drop children at the school gate. Whilst this system is operating well I am aware that the number of parents who have not seen inside our school is growing with each new intake of children. In pre-Covid times I would personally show parents around our school, and answer any questions

parents may have. In this way I was able to meet most families before enrolment, and I was able to find out what was important for each family, and what they wanted for their child during their time at Willow.

 

The government recommends that we keep parents in touch with what is going on in school by electronic means. As a school we have always protected our pupils by choosing not to publish images of our pupils on our website.

 

I have decided to try and make some slide show/ video room tours to show the interior of the school. I have produced a video tour of Room 1, a room used by the Main Nursery children.

My aim is to produce a video tour of each teaching area at Willow and publish them on our website, and / or add them to our newsletter.

 

Whilst I have the skills to produce these slide shows etc, as a staff we are not very ‘Tech-y’ so please bear with us. We hope to get our first room tour on our website today, if not we will have to get some help from our ICT Technical support service that we buy into, so there could be some delay.

 

If I can get this system working I hope to show regular slideshows of all the work going on in school. So fingers crossed….

Nursery News 1st March 2021

Monday, March 1, 2021

NURSERY NEWS

1st March 2021 – Edition 217

Find out About:

A: Dunstable Locality Children’s Centre

 

A: Dunstable Locality Children’s Centre.

It is difficult, as a parent, to make connections with other parents at the moment due to the pandemic. We know traditional Parent and Baby Groups are not operating as they normally would. Often having a chat with other parents can help parents feel less isolated.

 

The Central Bedfordshire Council organises services for children and families at their children’s centres.

Dunstable has two Children’s Centres:

1. Westfield road, Dunstable LU6 1DW Telephone: 0300 300 8106

2. Oakwood Avenue, Dunstable LU5 4AS Telephone 0300 300 8104

 

The Children’s Centres usually run lots of face to face sessions, but during the pandemic they have moved to offering online sessions.

The Children’s Centre co-ordinator has asked us to share the Children’s Centre Virtual Timetable with all our parents.

(Please see the attached PDF document for the full timetable.)

 

Here are some of the sessions that the Children’s Centre are running virtually which are suited for preschool aged children:

 

Chattertots – For support in speech and language.

 

SEND coffee morning- A support group for parents with children with additional needs to get support and advice from our Children’s Centre SEND professionals.

 

Bookstart Story and Rhyme – Is a 3 week course for families to attend and will receive a free Bookstart pack once the course is completed.

 

Time for Two’s- A 5 week course for two year olds which supports their development. They will receive an activity pack, delivered each week to use in the session.

 

Parent Puzzle- A parenting course for families to attend.

 

Also there are other sessions that parents may find helpful, an Antenatal support group, a 3x 1 hour post natal course, or just a weekly coffee morning session on a Friday.

If you are interested in ‘virtually’ attending any of these sessions, give the centres a call, or look on Facebook: Dunstable Locality Children’s Centre

 

For the timetable, please click here

Nursery News 22.2.21

Monday, February 22, 2021

NURSERY NEWS

22nd February 2021 – Edition 216

Find out About:

A: Planning for Summer Term.

B. Parent Consultations: (Reminder)

C. Job vacancy: Level 3 Early Years Practitioner

 

A: Planning for Summer Term.

We are pleased to note that the Prime Minister will be making an announcement today, Monday 22nd February regarding his roadmap to end lockdown. Older children will be returning to primary/secondary schools, and we realise that some of our pupils who have been at home up to this point will begin to return over coming weeks. Whilst we are fully open for everyone, we would appreciate knowing what your plans are if you are considering returning your child to Willow. Please just give us a call/ send an email if you have decided on a return date for your child.

Children who have been at home for a while will need to re-settle to Nursery life when they return.

We still have a number of children who should have started in January, who are only just beginning to attend, or are still choosing to be at home.

Our settling in period has become prolonged across the entire term.

We will be inducting a new group of children ‘Orange Group’ who become entitled to 15 or 30 hours of funded education from the beginning of the Summer Term. We have 7 Orange Group already here in Catkins Class and 8 new pupils will join them from our waiting list.

Some Main Nursery Parents have asked for additional sessions for their child during the Summer Term. This will not be possible. At the moment, as a staff, we are still too vulnerable to being asked to self isolate. This puts a strain on our capacity. I would not want to overfill the school then make us at risk of closing due to not having enough staff to maintain staff to pupil ratio’s.

In Catkins Class, for our youngest 2 year olds, we feel unable to offer additional sessions to our children who already attend, as we still have a number of very young two year olds who need to settle in. We will however, in a few weeks’ time begin looking at a Catkins timetable for September, so we will be able to forward plan booking spaces for September. I just need to recruit a new member of the Catkins team, before being able to proceed with this. (See attached advert.)

 

 

B. Parent Consultations: (Reminder)

Reminder: Consultations for all the 3+ children will take place this week, between 3.00-5.00pm.

Yellow Group, Speaking with Miss Howe. Monday 22nd February 2021.

 

Green Group, Speaking with Mrs Patterson. Tuesday 23rd February 2021.

 

Blue Group, Speaking with Miss Gaffney Wednesday 24th February 2021,

 

Red Group, Speaking with Miss Skai Thursday 25th February 2021.

Appointments have been pre-arranged. Staff will call you at the appropriate time.

 

If Covid impacts upon these arrangements in any way, we will reschedule the appointments for the same time and day, but a week later.

 

C Job Vacancy: Level 3 Early Years Practitioner.

 

Job Vacancy- Willow Nursery School

Job Title: Level 3 Early Years Practitioner

School Name: Willow Nursery School

Location: Goldstone Crescent, Dunstable, LU5 4QU

Salary Range: NJC levels 5-6 £10.01 per hour

Hours: 8.30am – 3pm Wed-Fri, term time only.

Contract Type: Maternity Cover Fixed Term from April 2021 – end March 2022

Closing Date: Fri 5th March 2021

Interview Date: Week beg 15th March 2021

 

We are looking for a qualified level 3 early year’s practitioner to join our team looking after our youngest children in our two-year-old class.

Main Purpose of role:

· To become a key worker for a small number of two year olds.

· To observe children in their play and plan the next steps for their learning, taking into account the early year’s foundation stage curriculum.

· To work as part of a small team to maintain a child friendly and safe environment.

· To keep detailed records of children’s development.

· To liaise with parents.

· To carry out all aspects of children’s care.

 

We are a dedicated and committed team of early year’s specialists who are passionate about what we do. We aim to give our children the very best care and education in a positive, fun environment. If you want to be part of something ‘Outstanding’, then please apply. This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. The successful candidate will have to meet the requirements of the Person Specification in order to be offered the post. DBS Disclosure at Enhanced Level and a qualification check are required for this post

How to apply:

For further details and an application pack, please visit the school website at: www.willownursery.co.uk, and click on school information – vacancies. We will accept electronic or paper applications. Electronic applications to be sent to the email address below. Paper copies to be sent to Willow Nursery School, Goldstone Crescent, Dunstable, Beds, LU5 4QU. Or contact: Name: Trina Evans Tel: 01582 662600 Email: office@willownursery.co.uk