Nursery News 12.10.2020


12th October 2020 – Edition 203

Find out About:

A: Catkins Refunds due to Lockdown March 2020.

B. Parent Consultations.

C. Catkins spaces

D. What the children are learning this week.


A: Catkins Refunds Due to Lockdown March 2020

Catkins class closed during the Summer term 2020 due to the covid pandemic. Any parent who had paid fees for the summer term was sent a refund cheque through the post. Some of these cheques have not yet been cashed. Please, if you have one of these cheques present it to your bank as soon as possible. Generally, banks will only cash cheques within six months of the issue date.


B. Parent Consultations.

We offer parent consultations once a term to all children in the 3+ age group.

As parents are unable to come into school at the moment due to the covid pandemic, we are following government guidelines and offering parent consultations on the telephone. Parents will have the opportunity to have a 5 minute phone consultation with their child’s keyworker.

We ask you to telephone the school office to make an appointment for your child.

Staff with have a list of times available. You may select an available time. Staff will ask you for some details: your name, your childs name, and the phone number you would like us to call you on for the consultation.

We have only one phone line at school so the consultations will be at the following times:

Green Group, Speaking with Mrs Patterson.

Tuesday 3rd November 2020. Appointments available from 3:00pm to 5:10pm

Red Group, Speaking with Miss Skai

Wednesday 4th November. Appointments available from 3:00pm to 5:10pm

Yellow Group, Speaking with Miss Howe.

Thursday 5th November. Appointments available from 3:00pm to 5:15pm


C. Catkins Spaces.

We still have some morning spaces available in Catkins. At the moment we still have morning spaces available on Wednesdays Thursdays and Fridays. Get in touch with the office if your child attends Catkins and you would like an additional session.

Encourage friends and family to call if they are thinking of enrolling their two year old in a setting, we’d love to see some new faces.


D. What the children are learning this week.

We use our newsletter to share information about what the children are learning at school. We do this so you can take an interest in current topics and maybe support this learning at home.

This week though, I’d like to talk about the whole class grouptimes that we are teaching at the moment.

In the Main Nursery, (Green Red and Yellow Groups) we plan to teach the children five grouptimes across the week. Children attend in different patterns: some do 5 mornings, some do 2 ½ days M-W, some do 2 ½ days W-F and some do 5 full days. We arrange children into groups across the week to ensure they all experience the 5 different grouptimes.

Children have free choice to move around the school both inside and outside during the majority of the session time. In the morning we stop and come together at 11:00am and split children into 3 groups for grouptime. Grouptime is 25 minutes long. These are our current groups.

Music- The children will experience 10 music sessions that are carefully planned to build on what they have learnt in previous sessions. The staff had training from the De Capo music organisation. We use De Capo materials , music, songs, picture cards, beat cards, etc. to teach children through singing, movement, using instruments and playing rhythm games.

Oxford Reading Tree- Oxford University Press publish a reading scheme to help early reading. We have a set of picture cards to introduce the main characters in the storybooks. The children discuss the detail in the pictures. The staff tell a story about each picture. Staff write a caption under the pictures for the children and staff to read together. We have some whole class size books for early readers which the staff read with the children. (We have a number of Oxford Reading Tree books in our library that the children can re-visit by themselves.)

Theraplay Sunshine circles- sunshine circles are planned activities to encourage children to listen carefully, take turns and join in with co-operative activities. These activities help children’s wellbeing.

Big Books- We have a good selection of children’s storybooks (such as The Hungry Caterpillar and Elmer the Elephant) that are big enough for the whole class to share at the same time. Staff read the stories to the children, discuss the text, look at the pictures, and play some rhyming games with the children.

Listening with Lola- Lola is a little soft toy Leopard. Each week Lola introduces a new listening game.

Catkins also have a grouptime at the end of each morning session. However, the attention span in Catkins class is much shorter, and we aim for grouptime to last for about 8-10 minutes. Some children are not ready for grouptime when they first begin in Catkins. This is fine, these children stay with play with staff in the main classroom. So in Catkins the grouptime sessions are:

Lola – Lola first appears in Catkins, with some very simple listening activities.

Lift off to language- A program of activities to encourage Two year olds to become more confident using language. The sessions are planned to give all children the opportunity to speak and be listened to.

Signing- We teach the children some basic sign language, so they can make their needs known if they are reluctant to speak. The signs we teach cover words to make their basic needs known such as being hungry or thirsty. We also teach signs for emotions so that they can express their feelings, such as feeling happy or sad. We teach the program using a scheme developed by Luton Council. There are books and stories which involve two little characters, and we have two soft rag dolls representing the characters, that the children meet at storytime.

Music time: Children learn nursery rhymes and songs, they play along with basic instruments such as shakers and bells, and they dance to different kinds of music.