Nursery News 25th September 2023


25th September 2023 – Edition 307

Find out About:

A. Progress so far….

B. Keeping Children Safe.

C. Milk and Fruit time.

D. Can you help with some Tissues?

E. A Display of Family Photographs

F. Early Years Pupil Premium

G. What are the children learning about this week?


A. Progress so far….

Things are going well. The new children are really enjoying exploring the school. This generally means that every piece of play equipment is taken out of the drawers, and explored on the floor. The entire school floor is covered in toys! The staff are very patient. They begin by teaching the children where all the toys and equipment can be found, and where they should be returned to. Staff are getting to know the children, playing with them, talking to them, sharing stories with them, and generally encouraging them to feel happy in school. When children feel secure and have good well-being, they will begin to learn.


So this week a few basics to help with the running of school:

B. 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 in to 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.


C. Milk and Fruit time.

The government provides all children at Nursery with a carton of milk. However, this year in Big Nursery we have a child who is very allergic to milk. We carry out rigorous risk assessments in these situations. So this year, to keep this child safe, we have decided not to give Big Nursery children milk at snack time.

Children in Little Nursery will receive milk at snack time.

We aim to provide all children with a fruit snack

We ask all parents to donate some fruit, so we can share these at the snack table. We ask parents to donate a bag of fruit such as apples, satsumas or bananas, for all the children to share.  If every parent was to donate a small bag of fruit every half term, we will have lots to share.


D. Can you help with some Tissues?

Sometimes we ask parents for some specific donations that help our school. During Covid, 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. As a staff we 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. We have a tissue bin in each classroom, stored near to tissues for the children to use. So, I am asking if all parents could help us by donating a box of tissues for the children to use, to help keep everyone healthy.


E. A Display of Family Photographs

We have themes that we work on with the children. We begin with learning about something all the children can be familiar with their family. The staff will be working with the children on various activities and talking to them about their families. To help the children understand we would ask if you could send in a family photo that they can share with everyone. The staff would also like to include these photo’s as part of a display. So, if you would like to send in a photo of your child and their family, please do so during this week (25/09/23) 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 displays down later in the year.


F. 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 £350, or 62p 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.


G. What are the children learning about this week?

Little Nursery

In Catkins, the children will be learning about cleaning and tidying away their toys after use. They will begin to learn that when they hear the ‘tidy up song’, it is time to clear the toys away. Staff in Catkins will remind children to pick their toys up when they have finished with them.

Outside, the children will see the adults tidying up and sweeping the garden, they can join in with this by using smaller brooms to clear away some leaves. As they work, the staff will talk about why the leaves have fallen from the trees.

The children in little nursery will also focus on keeping their area clean and tidy. Staff will explain that we must take care of our toys, so when we finish playing, we should tidy up. The adults will explain that if we keep our classroom tidy, it will be a safe place for us to be. Lots of praise will be given to the children as they work together as a team to tidy their area.

Big Nursery

In Room 1, there will be a focus on loose parts play. This means there will be a variety of smaller objects for the children to explore and arrange however they would like. These will be set out with purpose but the children can change this and expand their play and the adults will follow their lead. There will also be an area for some Duplo that the children can build and create with, the adult will follow the interests of the children as they play and use lots of language to describe what they are building.

In Room 2, the easels will be set up to allow the children to paint in a different style. They will be shown how to hold their paintbrushes effectively and make marks on their paper. The children will be shown where they should put their finished art work for it to dry and be taken home. Staff will talk to the children about their creations and the colours that they are using, this will help expand their language skills and build their confidence when talking to new people.

Outside, the children will learn how to play safely in the sandpit and when using the wooden equipment. They will be encouraged to include other children in with their activities as they play and explore the playground equipment. Throughout the week, adults will model inclusive behaviour by inviting others to join in with games and activities, they will use lots of positive language such as ‘kind hands’ and ‘let’s play together’.