Nursery News 26th September 2022


26th September 2021 – Edition 272


Find out About:

A: Big Nursery and Little Nursery.

B. No changes to sessions for children attending Big Nursery

C. Applying for Primary School.

D. Parent consultations for Big Nursery

E. What are the children learning about this week?

F. Lunchtime in Big Nursery


A. Big Nursery and Little Nursery

We have everyone here now, well almost, we are just waiting for a few more two year olds to start in the coming weeks. I can now begin explaining things about Nursery to all parents.

There were some government requirements we had to follow in order to keep children safe during the Covid pandemic. One requirement was to keep different year groups in separate bubbles. We found some real positives in the practice of keeping year groups separate, so this is something that the staff chose to continue with.

We needed to find language that everybody could understand when describing particular groups of children/ physical areas of the building.

We decided to use terms that the children can understand.

Big Nursery is for the children in their final academic year at Nursery. So, current Big Nursery children are Mrs Patterson’s Green Group, Miss Skai’s Red group, Miss Howe’s and Mrs Cashmore’s Yellow Group. All the children in Big Nursery are entitled to 15 hours Universal funding because they are 3 or 4 years old. Some are entitled to 30 hours funding if both parents are working.

Big Nursery children all queue outside the school on the pavement between the front gate and the school car park. All these children will leave Willow Nursery School in July 2023 to join their chosen Primary School in September 2023. The physical areas of school used for this age group are Room’s 1, 2 and 5 and part of the outside area.

No additional children will be added to Big Nursery once the year begins. Big Nursery becomes very settled and we can really move the children forward as the year progresses.

Little Nursery is for all the children younger than the Big Nursery children. The children in Little Nursery will leave Willow Nursery School in July 2024, or for the very youngest two year olds, July 2025. At the moment all the children in Little Nursery are Catkins age children. Children who are Catkins age are not yet entitled to the universal 15/30 hour funding that children receive in the term after they turn 3 years old. The oldest children in Little Nursery turn 3 years old in September 2022.

Some Catkins age children are entitled to 15 hours funding for two year olds. Parents entitled to this funding are usually informed by the Local Authority- Central Beds Council. (This funding is based on parents with a low income or in receipt of certain benefits).

Little Nursery will have additional children added to it as the year goes along.

Little Nursery children who turn 3 years old between the 1st September 2022 and 31st December 2022 will be entitled to Universal 15 hours or 30 hours funding in January 2023. They will stay in little Nursery until July 2023 In January 2023 they will cease to be known as Catkins children, and will become known as Blue Group. Blue Group’s Keyworkers will be Miss Gaffney and Mrs Watson. Some children from our waitlist who are Blue Group age will join Little Nursery in January too.

Little Nursery children who turn 3 years old between the 1st January 2023 and the 31st March 2023 will be entitled to universal 15 hours funding or 30 hours funding after the Easter Break from the 17th April 2023. They will stay in Little Nursery until July 2023. In April 2023 they will cease to be known as Catkins children, and will become known as Orange Group. Orange Group’s Keyworker will be Mrs Brinkley. Some children from our waitlist who are Orange Group age will join Little Nursery in April too.

Little Nursery children who turn 3 years old after 1st April 2023 will remain as Catkins age children for the entire academic year from September 2022 to July 2023.


B. No changes to sessions for children attending Big Nursery.

We have had a few enquiries from families in September regarding having additional sessions either now or perhaps in January. When I make offers to families I try to offer a choice of 15 or 30 hours to as many families as possible. When you make your choice of sessions, I add this to a big timetable. I then ensure we have enough staff on duty to meet ofsted adult to child ratio’s in every session. We cap the number of children in lunch due to the space we have available. Within two weeks of the start of term I begin looking at the next intake of children, and these will join Little Nursery in January.

At this time, we are unable to offer any additional sessions in Big Nursery. If we decide to offer additional spaces in January, I will let you know through the newsletter.


C. Applying for Primary School.

Apply for a lower or primary school place in Central Bedfordshire

When to apply for starting school in 2023

Children born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019 are due to start school in September 2023.

You need to apply before 15 January 2023, even if your child already attends a nursery or pre-school on the school site.

How to apply

· if Central Bedfordshire is your council, you need to apply through them

· if Central Bedfordshire is not your council, you’ll need to apply through your home Local Authority.

You will need to look on your Local Authority Council’s website for further information on how to apply.

This applies to all children in Big Nursery.

Hadrian Academy has organised some visit days to their Early Years Foundation Stage. Please see the flyer attached for more information.


D. Parent consultations for Big Nursery

We plan to offer Parent Consultations to parents of children in Big Nursery during the week beginning 10/10/22. These consultations are offered to talk about how your child is settling in to Big Nursery. They are not compulsory, but if you would like an appointment please arrange this with your child’s keyworker when they are outside before morning sessions.

These consultations will be on the telephone, will last 5 mins and will be at the following times:

Monday 10th October Miss Howe’s Yellow Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultation between 3:15pm and 4:20pm

Tuesday 11th October Mrs Patterson’s Green Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 3:15pm and 4:20pm

Wednesday 12th October Miss Skai’s Red Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 3:15pm and 4:20pm

Thursday 13th October Mrs Cashmore’s Yellow Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 3:15pm and 4:20pm

Parent Consultations for Catkins children will follow later in the term: more details will follow nearer the time.


E. What are the children learning about this week?

The theme throughout nursery this week is ‘All about me’.

In Catkins, the children will be looking at pictures of themselves and people that are special to them. The children will talk to staff about who they can see in their pictures and what is happening. Children will then be provided with face templates and can draw pictures of themselves using mirrors and appropriate colours.

In room 3, Mrs. Brinkley will be sharing the story of ‘My Day’ with the children. The story is all about routines and what happens in a typical day. Mrs. Brinkley will then talk to the children about their own daily routines and who helps them through their daily tasks.

In the link, Miss Gaffney will be looking at personal pictures brought in by the children, she will model lots of descriptive language for the children and encourage them to talk about what they can see in their picture.

Outside, Mrs. Watson will be looking for pictures of people, that are hidden around the garden. When the children spot all of the pictures, they will try to talk about the similarities and differences that they can see between themselves and the people in the pictures. Mrs. Watson will use descriptive language to talk about the pictures and praise the children for joining in with her discussion.

The theme in big nursery this week is ‘All about me’.

In room 1, Mrs. Patterson will be looking at family pictures that the children have brought in. she will ask the children to share their memories and talk about what is happening in the picture. Mrs. Patterson will support the children with language If they are unable to express themselves or are too shy. Celebrating the similarities and differences between the children will help them to establish a sense of self and pride.

In room 2, Miss Skai will have the easels set up for the children to use. They will be painting self-portraits using mirrors to help them remember details such as hair and

eye colour. Miss Skai will ask the children to think about details when they are painting, including hair type and any prominent features.

Outside, Miss Howe and Mrs. Cashmore will be teaching the children about the importance of sharing and taking care of nursery resources. They will explain to the children that it is important to share and take turns, but that it is equally important to respect our equipment and replace it after use.


F. Lunchtime in Big Nursery

Lunchtime at Willow is a busy part of the school day. Assisting up to 36 children aged 3-4 years to eat a packed lunch is quite a challenging task. I (Mrs Davies) choose to lead the lunchtime session myself, to ensure the 30 minutes or so for lunch runs as smoothly as possible.

The purpose of this letter is to:

· Remind you to label lunchboxes, drinks bottles and food containers with your child’s name

· Inform you about how lunchtime is organised in Big Nursery.

· Suggest contents of an appropriate lunch.

· Ask you to consider Health and Safety of foods provided.

Organisation We ask that lunchboxes are placed on the lunchbox trolleys at the front gate when your child first arrives at Nursery. All children need access to drinking water throughout the day. All children will need to bring their own drinking bottle to school, filled with clean water each day. This bottle should be labelled with your child’s name. Their drinking bottle should be placed in the boxes on the top shelf of the lunchbox trolley. Children will be able to access their water bottle throughout the day. Children will only have access to the food in their lunchbox at lunchtime.

At lunchtime we rearrange Room 2 and Room 5 to provide seating for 36 children. At the end of morning all children staying for lunch are invited to use the toilet, then wash their hands. Children then sit at a table for 6 children. One adult supports two tables. Children then collect their lunchbox and their drinks bottle from the trolleys. They are asked to open the lunchbox themselves, take out the contents and return the lunchbox to the trolley. Staff then assist children to open their packaging and ensure all children have a drink. We encourage children to eat their lunches, preferably savoury foods first. At the end of lunch, children are asked to dispose of their own rubbish, pack their own lunchboxes with any food to return home, used spoons and empty tubs and then place them back on the trolley. Drinks bottles are returned to the boxes on the top shelf of the lunchbox trolley, ready for the afternoon session. Please name all containers.

Suggested contents of an appropriate lunch. You know your child best. Whilst as a school we encourage all parents to provide a Healthy Diet for your children, we do understand young children can be fussy about what they choose to eat. We are not ‘food police’, and we accept that you provide a lunch suitable for your child. Here are some suggestions of what you might like to put in your child’s lunchbox: Savoury ideas: A small sandwich- For most children one slice of bread is enough. Some cheese.

Savoury crackers, cocktail sausages, chicken nuggets, carrot sticks. Sweet ideas: A yogurt. A jelly. A piece of fruit. A small cake or biscuit. Malt loaf. Please, No Sweets!

Parents may choose to provide an additional drink, such as a carton of fruit juice, in your child’s lunchbox for them to consume with their lunch (nothing fizzy please). Please provide a spoon if your child needs one. This list is not meant to be prescriptive, there are lots of other ideas parents have, but please remember not to send in too much food. It is better to send in a small amount of food that you expect your child to finish, rather than providing lots of items from your child to choose from. Three or four items of food are generally enough for most children.

Health and Safety of foods provided. Please consider the size of individual pieces of food. Grapes must be cut lengthways as these are a choking hazard. Consider the size of other foods- Cherry tomatoes can be large too. Do not provide any foods containing nuts or nut products. We have a child with a nut allergy who stays for lunch. So please be careful as some chocolate spreads contain nuts,or European style chocolate biscuits contain hazlenuts in their chocolate coating or wafer filling.