Nursery News 18th September 2023


18th September 2023 – Edition 306

Find out About:


B: Newsletters

C: School Term Dates

D: Labelling belongings

E. Booking forms and payments.

F: A Good Start

G. What are the children learning about this week?



Hello Everyone!

Welcome back to those families who were with us last term. We are very lucky to have such helpful and sensible children in our school. Even with just a six week break we notice the children have developed greatly in that time.

A warm ‘Hello’ is extended to all our new families. We are still having a few tears, as children are learning to spend some time away from their parents, perhaps for the very first time. So far, we have been very impressed with the children’s behaviours and attitudes, so ‘Thankyou’ to all parents for the support you are giving to your children to make their transition into Nursery successful.


B: Newsletters

I (Mrs Davies) write a weekly Newsletter to parents to help keep parents up to date with everything going on in Nursery. This weekly newsletter will be emailed to all families on Mondays.

Copies of this newsletter will also be placed on our website in our ‘Latest News’ section. Previous Newsletters are also available within the latest news section, should you need to search back for some information.

Please do read the weekly newsletter as we share important dates, including parent consultations, open school events etc


C: School Term Dates

The Local Authority, Central Bedfordshire, publishes details of term dates and school holidays on their website:

Type: ‘School term and holiday dates in Central Bedfordshire’ into your search engine to find the correct page.

We are a Local Authority School, and as such we follow the Local Authority term dates.

However, for the academic year 2023-2024 the Local Authority set 4 training days when the school is closed for staff training. The school was advised to choose a 5th training day on a day of our choice. We have planned our 5th training day to be on Monday 8th July 2024.

We have put Willow Nursery School dates for the 2023-2024 academic year on our website on the ‘Calendar’ tab.

This 2023-24 academic calendar is titled as ‘Final’ on the Central Beds Website. These dates are now fixed.

Be aware that sometimes the Local Authority adjusts school holiday dates. I would recommend you check the holiday dates on their website before booking a holiday.

I have looked on the Central Bedfordshire website today. They have published dates for academic year 2024-2025. The academic calendar for 2024-2025 does not show when schools are closed for 5 training days. Also, this 2024-2025 academic calendar does not have ‘Final’ in its title, so it is subject to change.


D: Labelling belongings

Label all lunchboxes clearly with your child’s name, on the top, so staff can see the name when the box is on the trolley. Label all drinks bottles and containers.

Label all coats and shoes, and any other items that children can take off-cardigans/jumpers/ fleeces. It is much easier to return items to owners when things are labelled.


E: Booking Forms and Payments.

Most children in Big Nursery have funded 15 or 30 hour places. These families do not have to make payments.                                                                                                         A small amount of families (who are not entitled to ‘30 hours funding for working families’) choose to pay for wraparound care to increase their child’s attendance pattern from 15 hours to 30 hours per week.  The charge for this is £75 per week.

Most parents of children in little Nursery have to pay for their child’s sessions. A three hour session costs £18.                                                                                      A small amount of families are entitled to ‘free funding for two year olds’, generally where families are in receipt of certain benefits, or meet other criteria prescribed by the government.

We ask parents to make electronic payments to pay for their child’s sessions. Parents may choose to pay for their sessions weekly, monthly, half termly or termly. We try to be flexible to enable parents to pay in a way that suits their household budgeting. Every time an electronic payment is made, parents MUST submit a completed paper booking form. Parents must add their child’s name, circle the sessions they are paying for, add the total cost of sessions and sign the booking sheet, before handing the booking form to office staff. Staff can then process the booking forms and payments, then receipts can be issued to parents.                                                                                          Booking forms are available from the Office staff: Mrs Barber or Mrs Selth. Generally, these ladies will be outside at the beginning and end of sessions (where possible!) with a blue folder which contains Booking Forms. They will be looking to offer parents the correct forms, please just ask them. If you require any help with the forms, please just ask, we are very happy to help.


F. A Good Start!

What has happened so far?….

We have enrolled all our new starters into Big Nursery. We have had 11 families join this year group that are new to the school. There are 57 children who are Big Nursery Pupils. We are getting to know everyone, trying to settle everyone in, and helping children to learn the daily routines that enable the nursery to run smoothly.

What happens next?………….

Little Nursery continues to add new pupils this week. We add a maximum of four new children to each session, to enable staff to give their keyworker children their full attention. This means that it will take us at least two more weeks to induct the 33  new Little Nursery children.

I do have lots of information to share in these newsletters, but I will not share too much until everyone is enrolled in school.

We are so enjoying meeting all our pupils and getting to know them, and hopefully, over time we will get to know all their parents too.


G. What are the children learning about this week?

This week the staff will focus on helping the children settle into nursery.

In Little Nursery, the children will have a range of books available to read and look at. They will be shown how to look at the books carefully and encouraged to turn the pages for themselves. There will be set areas for the children to snuggle down and listen to lots of different stories with staff and friends.

The children will be exploring natural resources outside in the garden. They will be supported in investigating different items in the tough tray such as leaves, logs and sand. They will be encouraged to look around the garden to see how many exciting insects and creatures they can find.

In the Link (small classroom area for creative play), there will be the opportunity for the children to engage in messy play, there will be paint, pens and water out for the children to choose from. Children will be urged to wear aprons for messy play but can get a little dirty, please don’t put your children in their best clothes.

Book work will continue in the garden as the children will have some books that they can read in a den that they will help to construct. Children will be given the freedom to choose which books they want to take into their den and read.

Staff will also focus on staying safe outside, listening to the school rules and taking turns with toys.

In Big Nursery….

In Room 1, the staff will be focused on teaching the everyone how to access different resources and how to tidy up their toys when they have finished playing.

In Room 2, children will be taught the six steps of painting. They will be shown how to mix their paint with water to the correct consistency and then how to wash their own utensils when their paintings are complete.

The main objective throughout Nursery is to help the children settle in to nursery life and to help them build relationships with their key workers.