Nursery News 16th October 2023


16th October 2023 – Edition 310

Find out About:

A. Important dates, a reminder

B. Parent Consultations, this week.

C. Mrs Field is leaving.

D. Local Area Walk.

E. Would you be interested in becoming a School Governor?

F. What are the children learning about this week?


A. Important dates, a reminder.

Mon 23rd October 2023 to Fri 27th October 2023: Autumn Half term – School Closed

Mon 30th October 2023 –Teacher training day- School Closed.

Wednesday 1st November and Thursday 2nd November-School Photographer to visit.


B. Parent Consultations, this week.

Little Nursery are having their Parent Consultations this week. These consultations are on the telephone, are 5 minutes in length and are scheduled for the following times:

Monday 16th October Mrs Brinkley’s Red Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 3:15pm and 3:45pm

Tuesday 17th October Miss Gaffney’s Green Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 3:15pm and 3:45pm

Catkins Class within Little Nursery:

Tuesday 17th October Mrs Cashmore’s Little Nursery Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 12:30pm and 1:00pm

Wednesday 18th October Mrs Field’s Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 12:30pm and 1:00pm

Thursday 19th October Mrs McGrath’s Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 12:30pm and 1:00pm

Big Nursery will be having their Parent Consultations during week beginning Monday 6th November, 2023 Big Nursery Keyworkers will be available to make appointments after the Half Term break.


C. Mrs Field is leaving.

Mrs Field joined the staff team at Willow in April 2021, initially to cover for when a part time Catkins staff member was on Maternity leave. Mrs Field fitted in really well, and with subsequent changes to staffing levels, we were able to employ her long term, but still only for part time hours.

Mrs Field is at a stage where she would like to work full time. I am not able to offer her full time hours – we do not have the demand for afternoon spaces at the moment to necessitate additional staff in the afternoon session. Mrs Field has been looking for a full time position in local schools.

Mrs Field has accepted a full time position at The Vale Academy, so she will not be going very far away!

We will miss her from the team as she has a lovely manner with the younger children and is a very conscientious practitioner. Mrs Field’s last day will be Friday 3rd November 2023. I hope you will join the staff in wishing her well in her new adventure.

All Mrs Field’s Keyworker children will all be transferred to the care of Mrs Watson, a Level 3 Teaching Assistant who is part of the current Catkins Class team. Mrs Watson has also worked here since 2021 and is an experienced team member.

Mrs Field and Mrs Watson will work closely together, to ensure a smooth Keyworker handover for your child.  Mrs Field will be available for Parent Consultations on Wednesday this week, so this would be a good opportunity for you to hear from her how your child has settled in, before she leaves Willow.


D. Local Area Walk.

Going out of school on a small trip or visit provides the children with good learning opportunities. Miss Howe and Mrs Patterson have spent an afternoon planning a Local Area Walk, a very short trip just outside of school to look at the local environment. A change of environment can create lots of opportunities to share ideas

Big Nursery Blue Group children will be going out of school in very small groups (maximum of 8 children) during this week (week beginning Monday 16th October) to explore the area, from Goldstone Crescent to the post box at the junction of Wilbury Drive and Ridgeway Avenue.

These trips have been rigorously risk assessed and a Senior member of staff will accompany the children at all times.  Staff to child ratio will be 1 adult to every 2 children.

Other Big Nursery children will have the same opportunity to have a Local Area Walk later in the school year when they are a little older.


E. Would you be interested in becoming a School Governor?

Willow Nursery is a Maintained Nursery School, and is managed like other Government Maintained Schools.

As part of our structure we have a governing body, made up of volunteers, that come together to help the Headteacher to manage the school effectively. As part of our governing body we have two Parent Governors. Parent governors play a vital role on governing bodies, holding the unique position of having a parental viewpoint of the school. Through the children, they have a first hand experience of the delivery of the curriculum, and how the school is perceived from the ‘consumers’ point of view. This enables parent governors to bring a different perspective to the strategic management of the school.

More specifically governors:

  • help the school with it’s strategy
  • hold the headteacher to account for the school’s performance
  • makes sure the school budget is properly managed

What commitment to Parent Governors have to make at Willow?

We ask that governors are available to meet for three governors meetings per year, one in each term. We generally meet at 4:15pm, sometimes we meet face to face, sometimes online and currently due to everyone’s commitments, we operate a blended approach with some people meeting us here at school face to face, and others joining us online. Meetings usually last 60-90 minutes.

We ask all governors to visit the school once a year during the daytime to carry out a short governor visit, so they can see how the school is operating, within an area they are interested in.

You do not need any particular experience, we just ask that you are interested in the development of your child’s school.

So if you think this is something you might be interested in, have a chat with me, Mrs Davies and we can take it from there.


E. What are the children learning about this week?

In Catkins, the children will be having fun building ramps and tracks for different vehicles to race around. The children’s gross motor skills will be built upon as they move and rearrange their tracks. Continuing with the transport theme in the link area, the children will be using cotton buds to paint different modes of transport. This strengthens their fine motor skills as they have to hold their cotton buds effectively.

Outside, the theme will be very sensory with coloured rice and pumpkins for the children to explore. The adult will model putting their hands inside the pumpkins and pulling out the seeds and fibres. If the children are unsure at first they have the option of using spoons and other utensils.

In Room 3, the children will be learning nursery rhymes. They will have a variety of nursery rhymes attached to a magnetic board and will choose which one they would like to sing. Then the adult will prompt the children to choose a musical instrument and play their instrument as they sing.

When the children are outside in Big and Little Nursery, they will be learning all about Autumn. There will be some pumpkins for them to explore in the mud kitchen, adults will talk to the children about the different textures on the inside and outside and urge the children to get ‘hands on’ in their exploration.

Inside the nursery, the children will be learning about who is who. They will focus on mark making in Room 1 and the adults will provide some tick sheets with pictures of all staff. The children will be moving around the entire nursery, looking for staff and they will put a tick on their sheet each time they spot a different member of staff.

In Room 2, the children will be painting portraits of staff members of their choice. They will choose who they would like to paint a picture of and discuss their choices with the adults. Children will be encouraged to use lots of language as they work.