Nursery News 23.11.20


 23rd November 2020 – Edition 207

Find out About:

A: Covid 19-Impact on our forward planning:

    Pupil Numbers Jan 2021 and April 2021.

B. Hats and Gloves

C. School Photographer

D Job Vacancy- Part time School Secretary.

E. What the children are learning this week.

F. Catkins Parent Consultations.

G. Hadrian Academy Flier


A: Covid 19-Impact on our forward planning:

    Pupil Numbers Jan 2021 and April 2021.

Main Nursery

I have found that in the past few weeks I have had a number of requests from parents in Main Nursery about increasing their child’s sessions. I have tried to fulfil as many requests as possible.

There are 52 children who are Main Nursery age and there are a variety of attendance patterns. Planning for September 2020 was difficult because of the pandemic. Most offer letters were sent out before the pandemic arrived.

We are currently operating with 52 spaces in the morning and 32 in the afternoon.

I am worrying about the implications of staff shortages due to the pandemic. I have had a full time member of staff off at home for the last two weeks, because her young child’s school bubble was closed. Both I -Mrs Davies, and Miss Howe have children and we could very easily end up in the same position.

Willow Nursery School can only open if Miss Howe or myself are on the premises.

We are more vulnerable than most schools to staff shortages causing us a problem because we have strict adult to child ratios which must be adhered to at all times laid down by ofsted.

I am concerned that if I over commit to the number of children we can care for in the afternoon, then I am increasing the likelihood that the school would have to close if we had a staff shortage.

So please bear with us. The virus is expected to be at is worse between now and April. I do not want to raise the pupil numbers we are caring for in the Main Nursery during this uncertain time. We may consider offering more spaces to parents for the Summer term, but this will require some additional staffing to be put in to place. I am aware that there are a few parents who would like some full days for their child that are not available at the moment. The majority of Yellow group were only offered morning spaces, I know some of you would perhaps like lunch and full days for your child in the Summer Term to get them ready for school in September. It is something we will revisit as the rest of the academic year unfolds.                                                              So, to summarise, there are no further additional lunch or afternoon sessions available in the Main Nursery until April 2021.

Catkins Class

For January 2021 we have some spaces available if any Catkins parents wish to take up additional sessions. Some parents have already spoken to me and I have made a note of what you are looking for and I will get back to you this week. We will have additional spaces available on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday MORNINGS. Please contact us this week if you would like an additional morning space for January 2021.

On the 1st December I will release any remaining spaces to be made available to families on our waiting list.


B. Hats and Gloves.

It is becoming very cold now in the garden at school. In the past we have had a big box full of spare gloves and hats that the children can use in the garden. Due to Covid-19 we are unable to allow children to share clothing. Please consider providing gloves for your children, some children had very cold hands when playing outside with me last week.

I would suggest buying the most inexpensive gloves you can find, just in case they get lost.  Put your child’s name /initials on the tag inside, and we will do our best to send them home each day with the correct owner.


C. Job Vacancy- School Secretary -Part time.

Mrs Flynn is moving on in January to a new position. So we are looking for a new School Secretary.                                                                                                                    Please see the advert on the following page for details of the job.                                                      If interested please contact the school office and we will email you an application pack containing the following:

  • A copy of the advertisement
  • A person specification for the post of school secretary
  • A job description for the post of school secretary
  • An application form.

Or we can arrange for you to pick up a paper copy of the application pack.


LOCATION: School Name: Willow Nursery School
Address: Goldstone Crescent, Dunstable LU5 4QU
Telephone Number: 01582662600
E-mail address:

School Secretary

To start as soon as possible.

HOURS: 14 hours per week, spread over three days

Monday 8:15am to 3:15pm (with 30 min lunch break)

Wednesday 9:00am to 11:30am

Friday 8:15am to 1:15pm

Term time only.




Grade/Level: 3
Minimum and Maximum range: Pts. 5-7

( £10.01 to £10.41 per hour)

rate subject to confirmation from Payroll provider










We are looking for an experienced office administrator, with at least 3 years office experience. Some experience of working in a school office is preferred.


  For further details and an application pack please contact …….


Contact Name: Mrs Cathy Shambrook
Tel: 01582 662600.


CLOSING DATE: Friday 27th November 2020


INTERVIEW DATE: To be confirmed



D. School Photographer

I have not heard from the school photographer yet.


E. What the children are learning this week.

Catkins will be focussing on the theme of ‘Colour and Light’. We have a dark tent that we can use in the classroom. We have a big cube frame that we cover with a fitted thick black cotton tent. It is dark inside when the entrance flap is closed. We let the children explore inside with torches, toys that light up, a light table and translucent plastic shapes, both 2D and 3D.

They will be reading a book together, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?’ which is all about different coloured animals, by Eric Carle, the author of the Hungry Caterpillar. Children will represent animals from the story by making collage pictures. Other art activities include making stained glass window pictures using coloured cellophane, making binoculars and exploring colour mixing with paint.


Main Nursery will be learning about electricity. We have some science kits which the children can use to make basic circuits. Using batteries, little bulbs and other components joined with crocodile clips and wires, to make a bulb light or to make a buzzer sound. We talk about electrical items we use in the home. We have an excellent game on the interactive screen where the children have to teach an alien how to use electrical products. The children have to remember to switch the equipment on and then press appropriate buttons and switches to make it work, for example controlling a television, a cooker, a blender etc. In room 2 children will use box modelling materials to represent electrical items, making irons, toasters, microwave ovens. Children will be painting drippy pictures using pipettes. Outside Miss Howe will be organising running games. She will have a bowling alley where children have to keep score by making marks on a tally chart.


F. Catkins Parent Consultations.

We would like to offer all Catkins parents a parent consultation for their child. As parents are unable to come into school at the moment due to the Covid pandemic, we are following government guidelines and offering parent consultations on the telephone. Parents will have the opportunity to have a 5 minute phone consultation with their child’s keyworker.

We ask you to telephone the school office to make an appointment for your child.

Staff with have a list of times available. You may select an available time. Staff will ask you for some details: your name, your childs name, and the phone number you would like us to call you on for the consultation.

We have only one phone line at school so the consultations will be at the following times:




Consultations for Miss Tyler’s Keyworker children.

Appointments available: Monday 30th November: 3:00pm to 3:30pm


Consultations for Miss Gaffney’s Keyworker children.

Appointments available: Tuesday 1st December: 3:20pm to 3:50pm


Consultations for Mrs Brinkley’s Keyworker children.

Appointments available: Wednesday 2nd December 2:40pm to 3:50pm


Consultations for Mrs McGrath’s Keyworker children.

Appointments available: Thursday 3rd December 1:30pm to 2:00pm


Appointment dates and times have to be fitted around individual staff availability in Catkins class.


G. Hadrian Academy Flier.

Please see below a poster from Hadrian Academy regarding starting school in Reception Class in September 2021.

Please remember for children born between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017 are due to start school in September 2021. You must apply for a school place through your home Local Authority. You need to apply before 15th January 2021