Nursery News 12th July 2021


12th July 2021 – Edition 232

Find out About:

  1. Very few tissues left in school.
  2. End of Term arrangements July 2021
  3. Leavers Day –Thursday 22nd July- 8:50am-11:50am
  4. Review of the year- Results.


1.Very few tissues left in school.

We have very few tissues left in school. We still have lots of runny noses!. If you could spare a box of tissues for the children to use in our classrooms we would be very grateful.


2. End of Term arrangements July 2021

The last day of term in July 2021 for all children will be Wednesday 21st July.

This day will run as a normal Wednesday. Timings of the day will be the same as all Wednesdays.


3.Leavers Day –Thursday 22nd July- 8:50am-11:50am

On Thursday 22nd July school will open only for the Main Nursery children that are leaving us. The session will be from 8:50 am to 11:50am. All Main Nursery leavers are invited to attend this session, regardless of your child’s normal attendance days. As children are attending for the morning only, no child will require a packed lunch. Children will require their water bottles. Children should arrive at 8:50 am and wait outside as usual.

We have consulted the children about what activities they would like to plan for their last day and this is what they have come up with:

Children may dress up if they want to. Children may come to school in a dressing up outfit if they wish. There should be no pressure on anyone to buy an outfit. I am aware that due to covid-19 children have not attended parties so may not have any dressing up clothes or special party clothes. Normal Nursery clothes are absolutely fine too.

We have arranged for children to:

  • Make party hats, Ice Cakes and eat them, Have Ice Pops and Ice Cream,
  • Play with Trains, Dinosaurs, Transformers, Toy Spiders, The inflatable fish,
  • Have songs and music, musical instruments, Dancing,
  • Watch a Frozen DVD,
  • Play parachute and Ring games.


At 10:30 am all children will sit down together for a picnic time in the garden. Staff will provide the snacks the children requested: Jam sandwiches, crisps, pizza, party rings, gingerbread men, jammy dodger biscuits, fruit,

The morning will finish with a group time for each colour group, where all children will receive a certificate praising their individual skills and/or qualities.

11:50am Going Home Time- Parents to collect children from the front gate. Children will be dismissed in the regular way, with Green group first, followed by Red group then Yellow group.


D.Review of the year- Results

I had two parents respond to my request to review the school year and to share their thoughts about things we do well and things we can improve. So thank you to those parents for taking the time to reply.

The children were very happy to tell me their views. I have collated their responses to the 5 questions I asked them. I have added the children’s views to the end of the newsletter. Some responses may make you smile.

Response to parents:

My first question to parents was what do we do well? I’m pleased to say both parents recognised the quality of teaching and the variety of activities that children are involved with is a strength.

One said “We are very impressed with the quality of teaching at Willow, our daughter always comes out having had a great day at the nursery (even if she doesn’t tell us what she has done). I think the effort you all put into the different themes of teaching each week shows the dedication you all put into providing a great experience for all the children”.

The other commented: “I feel that Willow always strive to ensure all children enjoy their time at nursery. I also feel that the children have lots of fun and do great activities throughout the day and it’s great to see the photo’s coming home especially with the chicks and most recently the Giant snails, this was a great thing for the children to experience.”

My next question: Is there anything we can do to improve? especially with regard to involving parents more after the Covid restrictions are removed.

One said: An area we feel the school could improve which is also an area of how the school can include parents more would be how information is passed onto parents about the child’s learning. I’m aware in non covid times parents would be allowed to come inside and look at their child’s folder to follow their progression but due to covid this hasn’t happened and I think other than a newsletter each week not much is passed back to parents.  At the moment we have to wait for a consultation phone call every few months. I’m aware other schools/ nurseries use online platforms parents can log into which shows what has occurred during the school day and includes photos of the learning that’s occurred. I think something like this would be a good way to involve/ include parents more.”

I am considering ways in which the school can become more open to parents in September. We have a very full structured program of open activities that we usually roll out across the year. I hope that early in the next academic year I will publish all those activities in a timetable so parents can see what we aim to achieve across the year.

Parent consultations are offered termly, more often than that, and I know the staff will say that they would not have enough significant information to update parents with. We try to choose times for consultations that coincide with when staff have updated notes on children’s progress and had time to analyse how individuals and groups of children are progressing. All staff are required to be on duty during the school working day to maintain ratio’s, but we will always try to make time for parents to talk to keyworkers if there is something important parents wish to discuss, but for this to happen cover has to be found for the classroom to cover the Keyworkers responsibilities.

Online platforms: This is something we have considered in the past. We have decided to continue using paper copies, to record observations, collect work samples and to add photographs, creating a year book. An online platform would be too time consuming for staff to manage. For example Miss Howe has 22 children that she is keyworker for. Some are part time, so she usually has 17 children in at any one time. If Miss Howe spent 2 minutes per child uploading information that would take at least 34 minutes per day of uploading photo’s etc. We have a lot of children on our registers, we just would not have the time to do this well. I would also be afraid that parents would look daily at the online journal and would be disappointed if there was no update available about their child.

The Ofsted guidance regarding recording information about children’s progress has recently been updated to say that staff should not be recording lots of data about children, that assessment should not take staff away from actually working with the children. This is something I strongly agree with. Our staff create stimulating work environments, and challenge the children, by using language to intervene in the children’s learning, to stretch them, to get them to reflect on what they are doing and enabling them to move onto their next step in their learning.

Getting the balance right, on how staff use their time, is constantly being reviewed, to enable the staff to be as effective as possible. We are putting ‘involving parents’ very high on our agenda for the next academic year. We have a school development plan, where we identify four areas to focus on improving in the next academic year, usually based upon areas identified by staff/ governors/ parents / children/ data in our end of year review.

We know young children rarely share what they have been doing at school, and we do want parents to feel fully informed about their child’s developments and achievement. We will look to find the right balance.

Both parents that gave feed back both mentioned the organisation of drop off and collection time. I have been asked about what will happen in September when the majority of Covid Restrictions have been dropped.

Before Covid, all the main nursery children arrived between 8:45am and 9:05am with their parents, came right into their classroom, took off coats , hung up bags, stored lunch boxes, then went off to choose tasks. I can say, that all staff were tied up with parents and children until at least 9:25am, and teaching would not start until after then.

At that time children were spread across two cloakrooms. With the covid restrictions we had to cut the school space into two spaces to keep year groups apart. This is not something we would ever have chosen to do. However, there have been a number of benefits to how we have been organised for the past year. During the staff review the one thing that staff did not want to let go off is how we manage the children’s arrival and departure. We have one cloakroom for all 50 main nursery children attending on any one day. We could not accept all 50 main nursery families into one cloakroom area all at once. I have spent time giving consideration to this question already. I can say that within two minutes of coming through the door Green Group are already sitting down with their teacher having register time and beginning their learning. Staff find this time invaluable with their Keyworker children. They feel that they really know all the children that they care for really well.  We find that there are less tears. Children have settled much quicker this year. The staff are doing a lot of organisation for the children and families, for example our going home routines begin at 2:30pm. Children wash hands, gather their belongings, put their coats and bags on and are then ready to leave. We match children to parents on the way out. This is the quickest way we can dismiss so many children. At going home time at 2:50, we generally can empty the school in 6 mins. If parents were to come in, we would still have children in the classrooms as late as 3:10pm. Staff have timetabled meetings, assessment and record keeping to do after school from 3pm until 4pm.

We really want to keep our arrival and departure organisation the same. The two parents who responded to my questions both had differing concerns about drop off and collection, which I think is worth sharing for discussion: There is a dilemma. Parent 1 needs to drop off very swiftly. They have to take an older child to a primary school which is not in the close vicinity to Willow. This parent needs drop off and collection to be as swift as possible.

Parent 2 would like the Keyworker at the gate to share some information about their child on a daily basis, just a couple of sentences.

These needs are both reasonable, but they actually conflict. Helping Parent 1 means we have to go as swiftly as possible, passing children to parents as quickly as possible. To meet Parent 2’s needs we would have to slow everything down. If Keyworkers were to give all 50 main nursery parents just 20 seconds each to talk about their child’s day at the gate would mean that the time taken to empty school would be increased by 16 minutes.

The staff can go as quickly, or slowly as the parents need, but for the parents as a ‘group’ it is evident that no one approach will meet everyone’s needs. So again we have to try to achieve a balance that works.

We do accept that some of our parents cannot be in two places at once, and we try to help parents to find a suitable arrangement that will work for them, and support the needs of their family, but families must remember our staff are needed to support their keyworker children from the time the first keyworker child arrives right up to the last keyworker child going home. I am around, and usually available at these times, but it is my job to move the lunch box trolleys around, and ensure all bump notes are photocopied and distributed to the correct keyworker, in order to give to the correct  parent.



Willow Nursery School- Children’s Evaluation.

1.   What do you like to do at Nursery?

Have a tea party, Do Puzzles, Do football

Play with toys

Go on bikes. I like to play with Fire engines.

Play with X and X.

Play with Cars,play with bikes.

Play with X

I like playing with X and the things she plans for us to do.

Learning and playing

Play outside

I like going outside and when it’s a little day.

I like dinosaurs

Playing and Unicorns

Painting and water

Playing cars


Cars, Lego, Crystals, Drawing

I like the slide, I like the monkey bars, I like hanging off the Monkey bars. I like playing with my friends. I like drawing.


Nursery Rhymes, Nursery toys, playing with toys.

Be happy Play with babies in the home corner I like the slide, painting.

Playing on the slide Balancing

Play on the slide

Play with my friend X I like playing with X

Like playing with the special tray. I like the jewels. Like playing on the slide- Like the teachers. Like playing with friends.

Hulk role play. I like to eat snack.

Being Spiderman and other super heroes.

Playing with cars, Drawing,

I like the new fence, cos it’s nice and clean. I like playing with my friends. I play in the mud. Looking for stuff, bugs.

Out in the garden, going on the bikes. Messy Play tray, slide

Playing with X, cutting out things.

Play cars, play with penguins and Ice, playing with snails. Pancakes, bikes painting more pancakes

Dress up as Elsa. Lollies

Play draw, The Kitchen, Playing on Bikes

Drawing Making Bug hotels, painting

Play bikes, water tray made a flag

Play with the dinosaurs. Like having friends

Play with the crates, drawing things, playing on the bikes with X

Stamps, playing in the water, colouring, I like the screen, I like when I go outside’cos I made a flag.


2.   Is there anything you don’t like at Nursery? 

When ‘X’ pushes me.

I don’t like going outside but sometimes I do go outside. Sometimes I miss my Mum.

Books aeroplanes and helicopters.



I don’t like that there is no stories.

Sometimes I miss my Mummy.

To play outside


I don’t like my feet.


When my clothes get wet and I’m changing and changing. (water tray)

I don’t like going outside

Water tray, wet sleeves

I don’t like anyone pushing me or bullying me.


No, I like it



I don’t like it when X is mean to me

Silly words

I don’t like swords to beat me.

I don’t like the hulk.

I don’t like playing with water cos my sleeves get wet.

I like nursery

When the kids are too noisy.



Dinosaurs and cars

I don’t like playing in the water tray. I don’t like getting wet.

Children making really loud noises with the musical instruments, X running over my foot.


When X hurts me, I don’t like that,

I don’t like it when X is not my friend.



3.   Tell me something you are good at now since coming to Nursery?


Basketball, Playing football

Puzzles colouring



I’ve learnt to cut paper. I can paint.

I can ride the bicycle with two wheels.

Doing Painting

Reading and writing

I have learnt about Guinea Pigs.


Learning colours pink and purple

Playing on the bikes I ride the fastest bike in school.

Talking, riding Bikes

Playing football, I’m very good at riding the tricycle

Drawing now Listening, Making Music


Playing with toy dinosaurs, drawing pictures.

Not hurting anyone Good at eating my lunch now.


Good at getting clowns. Good at joining boxes together with sellotape Cutting out.

Painting, playing outside.

Star jumps, playing superheroes.

Having Superpowers

Running and faster running

Playing games, playing outside.

I am good at writing, I like writing words like dog. I’m good at writing numbers. Waterplay, colouring

Writing, good at riding a bike. I’m good at numbers

Listening with people, cutting and colouring

Good at being happy

On rope bridge- I can put my feet high up on the rope.

Stories but I can’t read.

Dancing Drawing

I don’t like making


Balancing on rope bridge. Can go upside down, jumping and colouring

Good painting, making hats.





4.Tell me what you have learnt in Phonics:

Reading books

I need Miss Howe to teach me phonics. If Miss Howe wasn’t here I wouldn’t learn phonics.







A, the sound




‘fffff’ action

A,p,d,r writing.

I’ve learned d,a,s,a,c,b

We make words with letters inside the pictures

T,t,t, tennis

Singing songs with Iggle Piggle

Numbers and letters

A new word. Letters

Letters, a lot of letters ‘s’ Learning


Stories about the fish says ‘fff’

I don’t know.

Hairy Bear

I don’t know.

T l a c s r o b

Use letters to read and write n p t g

To learn letters

Learning about Letters and numbers.

Letters Biff and Chip Books.


Ive learned about reading

I have learned about something but I don’t know

H p e r colouring pictures, letters help you to read and write.

Fff (does action) Letters are for reading and writing.

Im learning phonics and we play word building-BAT



5.How can we make Willow better for the new children?

Don’t know.

All be friends

Switch the toys around, change the boxes.

I don’t want dinosaurs with Playdough. I like t rex.

I don’t know.

Switch toys, presents.

Make ball pits.

To learn hymns.

Make X’s little brother good. He needs to know abcd’s


Do the same things as we do.


More cars more bikes.


More grown ups to play.

Play in the garden

More play , have lots of fun.

We can have some unicorns.

New Fishy toys for the water tray.

Coming to Nursery Makes me happy!

More toys LOL dolls and bottles.

Put a trampoline outside  Inside Room 1 a ball pit

Put some dinosaurs out because my brother likes those.

Have a party.

Playdough- I like playdough.

Hulk Toys superheroes.

Bring my home here.

A house. My home here.

New toys- Elsa toys and Anna and Olaf and Sven and Christoff.

New painting aprons.

I don’t know.

Take (Willow Nursery) to Flitwick lower school.


More painting

Get some new stuff, go to the farm, come to visit me at my home: gave address.

A party, Dancing.

Make a show.

Maybe we could be kind to them.