Nursery News 13th March 2023


13th March 2023 – Edition 291

Find out About

A. Availability of sessions.

B. A reminder to renew 30 hour codes

C. Reviewing our fees, for September 2023.

D. Phonics program: Slithery Snakes!

E. What the children are learning about this week?


 A. Availability of sessions.

We have had a number of phone calls this week regarding the availability of additional sessions. Throughout the year, I work on admissions. A pattern has developed, and I work on each intake in turn.

We try to enrol children at the beginning of each term, to keep our paperwork, and classroom environments consistent.

When children become 3+ age (the term after they turn 3) they are all entitled to 15 hours funding and some are entitled to 30 hours funding. There is a cap on the total number of children we can have in Nursery due to our floorspace. We also have to maintain adult to child ratio’s. I have been recently working on the age group that are turning three years old between January and March. These children will begin their 3+ sessions in April in Little Nursery. I make offers to parents, and ask them to decide from a choice of attendance patterns. Planning for April 3+ intake, I had room for a total of 12 full time spaces. With our attendance patterns being offered around 15 hour or 30 hour attendance, this means I could offer between 12 and 24 places depending upon parental choice of sessions. I have recently filled all the sessions, first from children already attending Little Nursery, then filling the remaining spaces from our waitlist. I’m pleased to say this group is full. (We had to turn down 6 families from our waitlist)

Our January 3+ intake, Blue Group is similarly full.

I have had a number of parents in Little Nursery ask if they can increase their 15 hours by adding an additional half day on a Wednesday, to bring Wednesday up to a full day. Unfortunately this is not possible as we are full.

I will now begin working on the September 3+ intake. These are children who will turn 3 years old between April and August 2023. Most of the children of this age in Little Nursery have already completed paperwork, and made choices for September 2023.

We have five children of this age, who joined Little Nursery in January, who will be given paperwork this week for parents to make their choice of attendance patterns for September 2023. I would ask this paperwork to be returned by 23rd March.

I will then look at the waitlist, and begin to make offers to children from our waitlist, filling the classlists until we have filled the year group. Again, depending upon parental choice of 15 or 30 hours, we can accommodate 50 to 100 pupils.

What about Little 2 year olds –Catkins Class, in the Summer term? At the moment we have not made any decisions about additional spaces for the Summer Term.

I would say that it is very unlikely that we would enrol any new children into Catkins Class in the Summer term.

Our next enrolment point into our 2 year old class would be September 2023.

If we have any spaces available for Catkins class in the Summer Term, it is likely that we will offer additional spaces to those children that already attend, because the number of available spaces will be so small.

Any availability of additional spaces will be advised through this newsletter, but will not happen until April. We may choose to offer no additional spaces.


B. A reminder to renew 30 hour codes

Parents who are entitled to 30 hours free funded Nursery hours must ensure a valid code is in place by 31st March 2023 if they wish to have 30 hours funding for the summer term 2023.  Codes need to be renewed approximately every three months. The government does usually send out reminder emails directly to parents. Do check your Junk Mail or Spam folders, as sometimes the reminder can end up there.

If the code is not valid your child will not get the funding from the government, and would have to fall back to 15 hours attendance or choose to pay for the additional 15 hours.


C Reviewing our fees, for September 2023.

We have not increased our fees to parents since 2016.

I have chosen not to increase fees during all this time, in order to keep our fees as low as possible. However, our costs are escalating. I have discussed this with our Governors. We are planning to increase our fees for September 2023.

We receive our yearly budget from the Local Authority on the 31st March 2023. We are unable to plan our budget forecast until we hear from the Local Authority.

We will be mindful that all families are under increasing financial pressure, and our fees charged are to meet costs. We do not aim to make profit.


D. Phonics program: Slithery Snakes!

Phonics began last week in Big Nursery. Your child will have made a sock Snake hand puppet, which they will have hopefully brought home. We try to make our sessions interactive and playful. Children will remember the ‘SSSSSS’ sound if they have fun playing with their snake, making a ‘SSSSS’ sound. Adding a movement to the sound does help children to recall it at a later date. Spend just a few minutes each week going over the sounds at home. Each letter sound will come home on a Jolly phonics page, which allows the child to colour in a picture associated with the sound, has some dotted practice letter shapes to write over, and has a little picture at the side of the page to show how the movement should be made that supports the memory of this phonic sound. If you build up your child’s letter knowledge, week by week, adding new letters to the already familiar letters, they will progress with their phonic knowledge.

Give this a go. This will REALLY help your child to learn their phonic sounds which will in turn help them to read and write!

Look out for some ‘Ants on my arm’….. this week.



E. What the children are learning about this week?

The theme in Little Nursery is Hospitals.

Mrs. McGrath will set up a hospital role play for the children in Catkins, she will provide hospital beds, bandages and dressing up clothes for the children to use as they play. She will also set up a Peppa Pig small world hospital for the children to use and expand their imaginative play.

In the link, Mrs. Brinkley will be focusing on literacy with the children. She will be supporting them as they begin to make marks on paper and write their initials. She will support the children with holding their pencils effectively and model how to write different letters.

In Room 3, Mrs. Watson will also have a hospital role play area set up and she will model lots of language for the children. As the children play, Mrs. Watson will talk to them about various medical professionals that they might meet and their job roles, encouraging children to take an interest in different occupations.

Miss Gaffney will be outside with the children where they will be building up their physical skills. Miss Gaffney will be playing action songs for the children to dance along to and she will encourage them to try hopping, skipping and jumping as they move.

The theme in Big Nursery is the Three little pigs.

In Room 1, Miss Skai will be completing a shared read of The Three Little Pigs with the children. After they have read their books with Miss Skai, the children will cut, stick and sequence images onto paper to create their very own story books.

In Room 2, Miss Howe will be showing the children how to mix ingredients to create beautiful, shiny paintings. She will show the children how to mix icing sugar with water and drizzle it on paper, then using pipettes they will drip paint onto the icing sugar. The children can then bring their artwork home and tell you all about it.

Mrs. Cashmore will set up a tough tray with all the materials that the Three Little Pigs used to build their own houses. She will provide small world figures to allow the children the opportunity to discuss the story of The Three Little Pigs and begin to have extended conversations together.

Mrs. Patterson will be outside playing What’s The Time Mr. Wolf? With the children. She will also provide materials for the children to build three houses just like the Three Little Pigs in the story. Mrs. Patterson will use these teaching opportunities to extend ideas that the children have and model lots of different vocabulary for them.