Latest News

Nursery News 25th January 2021

Monday, January 25, 2021


25th January 2021 – Edition 213

Find out About:

A: Closure Processes, Methods of Communication

B. .Covid updates.

C. Catkins Children Parent Consultations.

D. Mrs Flynn is leaving.


A: Closure Processes, Methods of Communication

We have certain procedures to follow when we are informed that a pupil or member of staff receives a positive Covid 19 test result. We have to inform the Department for Education and Public Health England. They then email model letters out to us, to send to staff and parents. These model letters have to be checked and rewritten to suit our schools situation. There will always be one letter that we send to everyone to let them know that there has been Covid case in school. Last time there was also a second letter that we had to send to parents of children who had been a close contact of the confirmed case, advising parents their child should self-isolate. This process took two hours to complete, from receiving the phone call from the parent to sending the emails out.

Our quickest way of communicating to all parents is to send out a Groupcall text message. These messages are emergency alerts. The system is designed to send short messages. We may, in future, alert parents to positive covid situations using the Groupcall Alert. In all situations we would then send out the Department for Education letters by email, and then an update newsletter with an explanation of dates the positive covid case(s) attended.


B. Covid updates.

The new Covid variant is reported to be more transmissible. We have seen a rise in the number of families who are calling us to say that a parent has been a confirmed Covid case. I have decided to reduce as much risk of transmission as possible. We have seen how disruptive a single confirmed pupil covid case can be. We are trying very hard to ensure classroom staff have contact with only one bubble.

We have two staff teams school, one team working with the Main Nursery Bubble and one team working with the Catkins/Blue Group Bubble.

Mrs Davies and Miss Howe are trying to have no contact with each other, and managing one bubble each, so that in future, should one bubble close, there should be a manager available to stay in school and open for the other bubble. This plan will be compromised should any staff member have to be at home for any reason.

I am also trying to keep office staff away from all children and parents. So please be patient with us if you arrive late in the morning, when all keyworker staff are inside with their group. If a member of staff is looking reluctant to come close to your child it’s probably because they are working with the other bubble, or in the case of office staff, no bubble at all!

We can try our best.


C. Catkins Children- Parent Consultations (via telephone).

Each term we offer the opportunity for all parents to have a parent consultation with your child’s keyworker to share information about your child’s progress. We have a number of children not attending Catkins at the moment due to parental choice. These consultations will be scheduled for parents of Catkins children who are currently attending Nursery. These telephone consultations will take place on Friday 12th February, between 1:00pm and 2:30pm. One of the Catkins keyworkers, Mrs Brinkley, Miss Tyler or Mrs McGrath will call you at some time this week to arrange an appointment.

If Covid impacts upon these arrangements in any way, we will reschedule the appointments for a different day.

All 3+ Nursery age children (this includes blue group too) will have their parent consultations during week beginning 22nd February. We will announce booking arrangements for these consultations next week.


D. Mrs Flynn is leaving.

Mrs Flynn is leaving Willow to pursue a career opportunity within her family’s business. So, we are saying goodbye to her this week, as her last day will be on Friday 29th January. Mrs Flynn has been in post as School Secretary, for the past 4 years or so, and during that time has worked hard to help run a busy school office and help parents with any school related problems and queries. Her cheerful personality will be missed as she always does everything with a smile.

Nursery News 15th January 2021

Friday, January 15, 2021


15th January 2021 – Edition 212


Find out About:

A: Willow Nursery School is closed.

B. .Why the school is closed.

C. What if I have paid fees for Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th of January?

D. Letting us know if your child receives a positive test result whilst we are closed.


A: Willow Nursery School is closed.

The school is closed. We plan to reopen on Wednesday 20th January. Any updates will be posted on our website: Please look there for most up to date information.


B. Why the school is closed:

We have had one confirmed case of Covid 19. It is a pupil in the Main Nursery Bubble. Please understand we have to maintain confidentiality, and so cannot reveal the name of any confirmed cases. The child first began to show symptoms on Saturday 10th January. We received confirmation of a positive test result on Friday 15th January.

As a school we have a duty to contact the Department for Education/ Public Health England for advice.

We had to work out which children had shared a classroom with the confirmed case, when they were last in, and these children would have to self isolate for 10 days.

If your child was in on Thursday 7th January or Friday 8th January, and was in the Main Nursery Bubble, then your child should isolate for 10 days from Saturday 10th January (when the confirmed case had their first symptoms), until Tuesday 19th January.

Children who attended on 7th and 8th of January in the Catkins/Blue group Bubble, do not need to isolate, as they had no contact with the confirmed case. Normally they would be able to continue to attend school.

We have had to close the school, because 10 of our 14 staff had contact with the confirmed case, and therefore need to isolate.

We sent two letters out earlier today from Public Health England. One letter was sent to the parents of all children, to alert them to the fact that we have had a single

confirmed case of Covid 19.

A second letter was sent out to the parents of all the children considered to be a close contact of the confirmed case, advising that their child would need to isolate.

Please be aware that some parents have reported that some of these letters had been delivered to their Junk file on their email account.

The information given above in bold italics will allow you to work out for yourself if your child was a close contact of the confirmed case.


C. What if I have paid fees for Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th of January?

All fees paid will be carried forward, if your child cannot attend a session because the school is closed.


D. Letting us know if your child receives a positive test result whilst we are closed.

If any child has symptoms, then takes a covid 19 test and receives a positive test result, please inform Mrs Flynn by email at:

We would then go through this process again, advising parents if their child would need to self isolate.

If any further cases are reported, the school may stay closed for longer. Please check our website for further updates. We plan to reopen on the 20th January. If no further updates appear on our website, we will be open on the 20th January.

Please note that the school is physically closed. There will be no staff in school until the 20th January.

Nursery News 11.1.2021

Monday, January 11, 2021


11th January – Edition 211


Find out About:

A: Willow Nursery School is open.

B. .Staffing updates.

C. Our January Intake.

D. Term Dates

E. Funding forms for the Local Authority must be signed by parents.


A: Willow Nursery School is open.

I hope you all had a restful break. I know the staff used the time to rest, and ready themselves for the Spring Term.

We are open, and we are operating in the same way that we were in December.

We have an in depth document, written by the government, that Early Years settings have to follow to keep staff, pupils and parents safe in this pandemic. This document is regularly updated. Scientists from the Sage committee say that even though we have a new covid variant that seems to be very contagious, we do not need to take additional measures to keep ourselves safe, we just need to continue with the same measures that were in place, but make sure we adhere to them very well. Remembering that regular handwashing is of utmost importance, trying to stay socially distanced wherever possible, and using face coverings where social distancing is not possible.

We are still following all the important rules to keep children safe.

We are still operating two bubbles. One bubble is all the children that will leave us in July 2021, the other bubble is all the children younger than this. Children still have free flow play, both inside and outside for most of the session and come together for a group story time or activity towards the end of their session.

We understand all families have different feelings and views about whether their children should attend Nursery or not at this time. We do understand.

We also know that individual parents views may change over time, so what you choose at the moment may change in the coming weeks. That is OK too.

Almost all parents have contacted us if they have chosen to keep their child at home at the moment. We are very grateful for this information. We have made a note of what each parent has advised, so we have an overall picture.


B. Staffing Updates

Miss Howe’s daughter is in Year 4. She attends her school as a Keyworker child. Her bubble was closed from today as a child in her class tested positive for coronavirus. Miss Howe’s daughter has to isolate for 10 days. We will see Miss Howe again on Tuesday 19th January.

As a school we are very vulnerable to closure.

We have two teachers, Miss Howe and Mrs Davies. A teacher must be on duty for the school to open. Both of us have primary aged children attending school in keyworker bubbles. We could end up with both of us having to be at home looking after our own children if both their bubbles close. In this scenario our school would close.

Mrs Davies and Miss Howe both work with the Main Nursery children every day. If we had a confirmed coronavirus case in the Main Nursery, either a child or member of staff, then the entire bubble would close. If Main Nursery bubble closes for everyone to isolate for 10 days, Miss Howe and Mrs Davies would both be sent home. In this scenario our school would close.

If a child or member of staff tested positive for coronavirus in the Catkins/ Blue group bubble, the bubble would close. In this scenario the school may be able to stay open, if Mrs Davies or Miss Howe were able to remain in school to manage the Main Nursery.

The important message to note here is our day to day vulnerability. We want to continue to provide care and education for the children that do attend. Please do not send in any children who are unwell in any way. If your child is ‘under the weather’, or ‘out of sorts’ please keep them at home. If your child becomes unwell at school, we will ask you to come and collect them.

Please help us to stay open. One staff member off, things become tight. Two staff off, things become difficult. Three staff off and we face closure due to staff shortage. So as parents, please behave in a covid secure way whenever possible. Please do not bend the covid rules during your daily lives.


C. Our January Intake.

We have just admitted 11 new starters, who have just turned three. These children, along with four children already attending Nursery make up Blue Group. Blue group is based in room 3, and they are looked after by their Keyworker, Miss Gaffney.

I’d like to welcome all these new families to our school.


D.Term dates:

Spring term begins Tuesday 5th January 2021.

Half term from 15th-19th February 2021

Term ends for Easter school holidays on Friday 26th March.

The best place to look for the most up to date Term dates is on the Central Beds Website. The Local Authority have been known to move school holidays to bring them in to line with neighbouring counties. I would always suggest double checking there before booking a holiday or other important event.#


E. Funding forms for the Local Authority must be signed by parents.

All parents that claim 30 hours funding for their child must sign a parent declaration form provided by the Local Authority, every term, to enable to school to receive the additional funding for their child. The majority of our parents were approached by the office staff during the last week of December to sign their child’s declaration form.

Some parents still need to sign their child’s form. For example, some parents have decided that they want to keep their child at home, in the short term, due to isolation, shielding, or personal choice. There are outstanding forms for about 12 children. The form is required by the Local Authority to confirm your child’s eligibility, and your child’s attendance pattern at Willow Nursery School.

This form must be signed for us to eventually receive the 30 hour funding. Failure to sign will mean your child will not receive 30 hour funding. Your child will then have to drop to attend for 15 hours only.

All forms must be signed by the 22nd January.

There are 3 options open to you. Note, with the first two options we will complete the information required on the forms, and you will need only to add your signature.

1) Drop into the school between 9am and 3pm to sign your child’s form in person.

2) We can scan and email the form to you electronically, for you to then sign, scan and return back to Mrs Flynn.

3) Complete an online form downloaded directly from the Local Authority (we will provide the link to the form). In this option parents must fill in all the information required on the form themselves, and submit directly to the council ( and then please inform the school office once this has been submitted.) As yet this form is not yet available, we anticipate it will be available by Monday 18th January. ACTION REQUIRED: Please email Mrs Flynn at to inform her of your preferred choice of method of completing your child’s form

January 5th 2021 UPDATE

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Covid 19 January 5th Update




The government has said:

Early Years Settings (including nurseries and childminders) remain open.


Timings attendance patterns remain the same

Open plan organisation remains the same with free flow inside and outside.

You can decide whether to send your child or not.

You will not lose your space if you choose not to send your child during this time.

If you are choosing for your child not to return at the moment, please call or email and let us know your plans.

Telephone: 01582 662600       email:

We can understand your feelings may change over time. Schools are likely to be closed until at least 22nd February. If you wish for your child to return, please contact us the week before.



If you pay for your sessions…

In normal circumstances, sessions must be paid for in advance, and no refunds are given for child absence.

We have decided to have alternative financial arrangements for this term spring 2021 (Jan- Mar). If you choose to keep your child at home, you will NOT be charged for the allocated sessions you miss. Any fees already paid will be carried forward until your child returns.

If you wish your child to return to catkins, please remember sessions must be booked and paid for by Thursday 9.30am of the preceding school week.


As a childcare provider, we are deemed to be fully open. Therefore, we will not be providing home school learning packs.

Weekly newsletters will be sent to everyone on roll so we can keep in touch with you. Our website will be kept up to date with current announcements.

Nursery News 14.12.2020

Monday, December 14, 2020


30th November 2020 – Edition 210

Find out About:

A: Arrangements for the end of Term

B. .Christmas Party

C. Parking

D. Covid 19 reporting.


A. Arrangements for the end of term.

The last day for Catkins Class is Thursday 17th December.

The last normal school day for the Main Nursery will be Thursday 17th December.

On Friday the 18th December the school will be open for the Main Nursery Party only.

The school office will be closed on Friday 18th December. The deadline for payments for the beginning of the Spring Term will be on Thursday 17th December at 9:30am.


B. Christmas Party.

The Main Nursery Christmas Party is planned to be on Friday 18th December from 11:15am until 1:00pm. , The school will be open only for the party.

All children who attend Main Nursery are invited to attend the Christmas Party regardless of what days they usually attend.

Parents and children should arrive for 11:15, and wait outside on the pavement outside the nursery. We will follow normal routines to admit the children, with Green group coming in first followed by Red group, then Yellow group. Children will not require a water bottle or a packed lunch on this day as we will be providing refreshments. Children will not require their change of clothes bag.

Children may wear party clothes if they wish, or regular nursery clothes.

Please be prompt to collect your child at 1:00pm. We will use normal routines for departure.

Catkins Class will not miss out on the Christmas fun. They will have party food, a disco and Christmas crafts within their regular sessions every day during this last week of term.


C. Parking

It has come to my attention that one of our parents was reduced to tears last week over where she had parked her car in Goldstone Crescent. A resident came out to complain that she had parked too near to their drive. Then someone parked on the other side of the road to her, but then she got complained to for not parking with consideration and making the width of the road too narrow.

Goldstone Crescent is a small road that is used by Hadrian, Willow and Vale parents. Please be considerate of each other. Please show patience and tolerance towards each other. I’m appalled that one of our parents felt so upset.


D. Covid 19 reporting.

If your child is showing symptoms of Covid 19 and you decide to take your child for a Covid 19 test you must inform the school office.

If your child receives a positive result Covid 19 you must again report this to the school as soon as possible.

A positive test result must be reported to school so that we can inform pupils/staff of the need to self isolate after contact with a positive case.

The school office has an answering machine, so messages can be left at anytime.

During the Christmas holidays schools have a duty to engage in track and trace to protect other pupils and staff, for the first few days of the school holidays.

So, if your child receives a positive covid test result on Saturday 19th December or Sunday 20th December, please email the school : so that we can identify all those that have had contact with your child in the preceeding 48 hours, and we can contact them to inform them to isolate for 14 days.

Please keep as Covid safe as possible over the Christmas break. We look forward to seeing everyone safe and well in the New Year.