Nursery News 18th March 2024


18th March 2024 – Edition 328

Find out About

A. Term dates. Last day of Spring Term Thursday 28th March. School Re-opens Monday 15th April 2024 for the Summer Term.

B. Willow Nursery School Academic Calendar 2024-2025 is now available on our website.

C. An Open School Event: Big Nursery ‘Phonics’.

D. What the children are learning about this week?


A. Term dates. Last day of Spring Term Thursday 28th March. School Re-opens Monday 15th April 2024 for the Summer term.

The last day of term for all children is Thursday 28th March. The Nursery is open for normal hours on this day.  School re-opens for the Summer Term on Monday 15th April.


B. Willow Nursery School Academic Calendar 2024-2025 is now available on our website:

If parents look on our website  and click on the calendar tab, you will be able to see  our academic calendar for 2024-2025.

As a school, we always follow the calendar that Central Bedfordshire Local Authority suggests, however this year each school was required to select their own 5 training days.

(Training days are when schools are closed to pupils, to allow teachers and support staff to receive training.)

Therefore, please be aware that Willow’s training days may be different to other schools in the local area.


C. An Open School Event. Big Nursery ‘Phonics’.

Miss Howe would like to invite all parents of Big Nursery Children to come in and watch your child take part in their phonics session, during week beginning Monday 15th April. Sessions run at three different times throughout the week. The school office will send emails to parents this week, inviting parents to attend on a particular day and time (wk beginning 15th April), as groups are based on your child’s attendance days and not their Keyworker groups. Sessions last around 30 minutes.

We try to offer a variety of Open School Activities both during the school day and in the early evening, hoping that parents might be able to attend some of them. We understand parents have different family and work commitments, so we do not expect all parents to attend. It is just another option….


What are the children are learning about this week?

The theme this week is ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’

In Catkins, the children will be listening to the story of We’re Going On A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen throughout the week. They will also be taking a look at some colour matching skills, where they can post different coloured balls into pockets, pots and boxes. Staff will help the children name the colours as the children play.

In the Link, the children will be making binoculars and creating simple maps. The children will include simple representations of each area that the characters from our story visit as they go ‘on a bear hunt’. Staff will retell the story to the children as they work.

Outside, the staff will create an area for the children to collect and transport balls. There will be guttering slopes set up for the children to roll balls down and into trays, as well as buckets for them to practice throwing and posting balls towards targets. Moving the balls around the garden will support the children with their gross motor skills.

In Room 3, the children will have a small world story area set up where they can begin to retell the bear hunt story. There will be characters and scenes from the book for the children to use as they play. Staff will model language from the story to extend the children’s vocabulary and encourage them to join in with repeated refrains. (Repeated refrains are the sentences that are repeated over and over again in stories. The repeated refrains in this book include: ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ and ‘We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, oh no, we’ve got to go through it.)

In Room 2, the children will have story scenes and characters set up in the builder’s tray so that they can retell the ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt’ book through play. Staff will work with children to help them recall key scenes from the book and they will emphasise phonics letters and sounds that we have been learning. Children will begin to recognise that words such as ‘swishy’, ‘swashy’ and ‘scared’ all begin with the letter ‘s’.

In Room 1, the children will make very detailed sensory maps that retrace the steps taken by the characters from the story. They will be encouraged to talk about what they can remember from the story and what the different scenes might have felt like to walk through. Staff will use descriptive language as they talk to the children.

Outside, the children will look for scenes from the story that will be placed around the garden. The children will take staff around the garden on the lookout for some bears. As the children hunt for bears, they will be encouraged to retell the story through song and actions.

On Wednesday, Mrs Patterson will take over Room 2 completely, and create a wonderful large scale sensory bear hunt trail for all of the children to take part in. Small groups of children will get to walk through sensory scenes that include, grass, water, mud, trees and snow until they reach a cave. They might even find a bear at the end of the trail!