Nursery News 20.9.2021


20th September 2021 – Edition 235


Find out About:

A: Keeping Children Safe.

B. Milk and Fruit time.

C. Can you help with some Tissues?

D. Early Years Pupil Premium

E. Progress so far….

F. ‘All About Me Week’.


A. Keeping Children Safe.

Parents entrust their children into our care. There are rigorous procedures in place outlined by the government to keep all children safe from harm. I think it is important to let you know about some of the procedures that may affect you and your family whilst being part of our School Community, and I will try to explain the reasons for having these procedures.


We need to know where children are if they are absent from school. If for any reason you decide to keep your child at home, on a day when your child should be at school please telephone in to school as soon as possible and let us know. When registers are completed at the beginning of the session we have to put codes in the registers regarding the reasons for a child’s absence. If we do not hear from you, you will receive a call from one of the office staff or the headteacher asking about the whereabouts of your child.

If you know in advance that you will be absent, for example for a medical appointment, please let staff know and the appropriate code can be entered in the register.

If you plan to go on holiday in term time, please fill in a holiday form (available from the office staff) which again will let us know the dates that you will be absent. Unexplained absences have to be followed up. If a child is absent for any length of time and we have not heard from their parents as to the reasons for their absence, the child become a ‘Missing Child’. In this circumstance we are compelled to contact the Police and Social Care.


We need to record all injuries. If your child has a fall or receives a bump in school that we are aware of, we will fill in an accident letter to tell you about the incident. This letter will be passed on to you outside, by a member of staff. There is another copy kept in school.

Please inform your child’s Keyworker if your child comes into school with an existing injury that has occurred outside of school time. Staff must make a note of any existing injuries a child has. Our children at Willow are young. They are sometimes unable to tell us how they have hurt themselves. Please tell us if you know of any marks/cuts etc as it will save staff trying to work out what has happened.


Teach your child to use the toilet. Guidelines say that we should offer as little assistance in the bathroom as possible. With the three and four year old Nursery children we prefer to give children verbal assistance from outside their cubicle, only offering physical assistance if absolutely necessary. If an adult is needed to help a child in the bathroom another member of staff will always be aware, and support if necessary.


B. Milk and Fruit time.

The government provides all children at Nursery with a carton of milk. We ask all parents to donate fruit or vegetables, so we can share these at the snack table alongside the milk we provide. We ask parents to donate a bag of fruit such as apples, satsumas, pears or bananas, or vegetables such as peppers or carrot sticks. If every parent was to donate a bag of fruit every half term we will have lots to share.


C. Can you help with some Tissues?

Sometimes we ask parents for some specific donations that help our school. During Covid, in the last academic year, we were asked to provide ‘Tissue Stations’ in every classroom and to teach the children about the importance of using tissues hygienically to blow their nose. We have a tissue bin in each classroom, stored near to tissues and hand sanitiser and posters reminding children to ‘catch it, kill it, bin it!’ Most formal covid requirements imposed upon schools last year have been removed. As a staff we have discussed which elements of the previous Covid requirements we would like to continue with. We think that the hygienic use of tissues, combined with frequent handwashing helps maintain a cleaner, healthier school environment. Last academic year, whilst trying to protect our staff and pupils from the spread of Covid, we saw much lower incidences of general colds and sickness bugs. We also did not see any cases of chickenpox last year, which is unusual, as chickenpox does usually pass around most of the children at some point in the year.

So, I am asking if all parents could donate a box of tissues for the children to use, to help keep everyone healthy.


D. Early Years Pupil Premium

What is Early Years Pupil Premium?

This information has been taken from Central Bedfordshire’s Website.

The Early Years Pupil Premium (EYPP) is designed to narrow the attainment gap between young children from low-income families and their peers by improving the facilities, equipment and learning experiences to benefit the growth and development of eligible children.

All children aged 3 and 4 who meet the eligibility criteria will benefit from the funding. It will be paid to early years providers on an hourly rate basis, linked to claimed hours for eligible children. The annual value for a 15 hour place over a full year will be just over £300, or 53p per hour.

Any provider registered to offer funded early years places will receive the EYPP if they have entitled children. All parents will be asked to supply details to allow a check to be run by the local authority, eligible parents will trigger a payment direct to the childcare setting.


Eligibility criteria

Children will be eligible if:

· they are 3 or 4 years old and receiving government-funded Free Entitlement in any OFSTED registered childcare provider and their parents are in receipt of one or more of the benefits used to access eligibility for free school meals

· parents receive Universal Credit

· parents receive Income Support

· parents receive Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

· parents receive Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

· parents receive support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

· parents receive the guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

· parents receive Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)

· parents receive Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credits

or if they have been:

· looked after by the local authority for at least one day

· have been adopted from care in the local authority

· have left care through special guardianship; and subject to a child arrangement order setting out with whom the child is to live (formerly known as residence orders) in Central Bedfordshire

If any parent has considered the eligibility criteria and believes their child is eligible please telephone or email the school office and together we can make a claim.


E. Progress so far….

All 3 and 4 year olds are now attending Nursery. All 54 children have enrolled. It is amazing the progress the children have made in the past week. At the beginning of last week I walked into Room 1 to work with the children after lunch, and the children were having a great time. Children were exploring all the toys and equipment. I could hardly see the floor! Every drawer of equipment had been accessed, tipped onto the floor, played with for a bit then left behind. We had dinosaurs, trains, dressing up clothes, magnetic numbers, the entire contents of the home corner, puzzles, duplo, dolls house furniture, binoculars and magnifying glasses strewn all around the room. I encouraged the children to help me tidy up, and we had a tidy room back after around 45 minutes! We have been steadily explaining to children that they can choose whatever they like to play with, but they should tidy up after themselves. This is an important lesson to learn and we will help the children with this. As time goes on we hope the children learn to independently look after the toys and equipment, enabling us, the staff to spend more time playing and learning with them, rather than tidying up after them!


‘Lunch’ with 40 children has been interesting. There are four staff on duty working directly with the children at lunchtime. So that means that 1 member of staff is generally looking after 10 children. We have a variety of levels of self care that the children present with. Our most able children collect their own lunch box and water bottle from the lunch trolley and unpack it onto the table. Staff then help them to open their wrapped food and storage tubs. The children get on eating their lunch, with little support needed from the adults. They put their rubbish in the bin, they pack their lunchboxes away, returning them to the correct lunch box trolley and go to the bathroom to wash their hands.

At the other end of the scale, we have children who require a lot more support… Some children struggle to sit at the table without getting down to wander off. Some children have difficulty not touching other children’s food. Some children have difficulty deciding to eat. Some children require prompting to take every bite of their sandwich. Some children wet themselves as they sit down to lunch, after just being asked to use the toilet. Some children tell us they dislike the food their parents have given them. (Which we can never quite believe!). Many children expect 1:1 attention as they are not used to being part of a larger group.

Our challenge is to help and support all these brand new children, for them to gain a good level of self care and independence during lunchtime. We have seen progress in the last week. We are getting to know the individual children, working out how to seat the children into table groups to maintain an ordered dining area. We give as much support to individual children as we can but we cannot give everyone’s child 1:1 support.

We are already realising that we have some wonderful little characters emerging in this year group. We are looking forward to the journey with them in the coming academic year. The children have so many skills to learn, but they are making a good start.


F. ‘All About Me Week’.

The week beginning 27/09/21 is ‘All About Me’ week. We have weekly themes that we work on with the children. We begin with learning about something all the children can be familiar with and contribute to discussions about. This work will be happening with the older children in Nursery, which we will refer to as ‘Big Nursery’ in these newsletters. (that is Mrs Pattersons Blue Group, Miss Skai’s Orange Group and Miss Howe and Mrs Cashmore’ Yellow Group.) The adults will be working with the children on various activities and talking to them about their own life stories and family history. To help the children understand we would ask if you could send in a family photo that they can share with everyone. Mrs Patterson would also like to include these photo’s as part of a display. So, if you would like to send in a photo, please do so during this week (20/09/21) or at the beginning of next week. Please hand your photo to your child’s keyworker, so we can keep them safe. Please write your child’s name on the back of the photo, and if possible the names of other family members shown in the photograph. We will then be able to return the photos to you when we take our display down later in the year.