Nursery News 7th November 2022


7th November 2022 – Edition 277

Find out About

1. School Photographer

2.  Moving Forward, Considering Covid…

3.End of Summer Term 2023

4.Volunteering as a Parent Helper in Nursery.

5.Walk in the Dark.

6. Local Visits

7. Central Bedfordshire Local Authority Childcare Sufficiency Survey

8. What are the children learning about this week?


  1. School Photographer.

Our school photographer was here last week on Wednesday 2nd November and Thursday 3rd November. Victoria Mitchell is a very talented photographer. She usually manages to get some wonderful images of even the most reluctant children. We had some very productive sessions. I have asked how long will it take for photo’s to arrive. Victoria says that she should have the proofs back to school in about a weeks time, then parents have about a week to make their orders, if they wish to do so, and the completed prints should be returned after one further week, so all in all, the entire process should take around three weeks.

2. Moving Forward, Considering Covid….

Covid -19 has had a major impact in all our lives in the past two years. At this time last year I was about to tell all our parents about all the Open School Activities we were planning. At the same time, the Omicron variant was becoming the dominant Covid strain. We then experienced our worst two months at Willow with regard to staff absence due to Covid 19. We were unable to invite parents to come into school at all last year.

So, this year we are keen to offer a normal programme of activities. We have Open School Activities in each term that we invite parents to. We also organise a range of activities for the children, such as our Local Visit which will be happening next week.

I do not like outlining details of any activities and then finding ourselves having to cancel an activity. We do not want to let any child or parent down. All of these things that we plan can only go ahead if we have the sufficient adults to supervise them.

We still do not know quite how Covid will affect us all this winter, or further into next year. I do not like to plan too far ahead with schedules and dates for parents in case our plans change.

However, after sending out my newsletter last week which had information on regarding the Christmas parties, one of our pupils’ parents contacted the school and asked if there would be any other days in our year when the school would close early or be partially open so please see the next point….

3.End of Summer Term 2023

There is just one other day where we do something very special for the children and that is the very last day of Summer term. On this day school is closed to all the Little Nursery Children. We have a special Leavers Event for all those children leaving us from Big Nursery and going on to Primary Schools. We plan to hold our Leavers event on Friday 21st July 2023 from 8:50am to 11:50am. This event is for all Big Nursery children regardless of your child’s normal attendance pattern. Further information will be given near the time.

4.Volunteering as a Parent Helper In Nursery

During Covid we were unable to routinely have parents in to school. This is something we really missed because each year we always encourage parents to volunteer to help us in school. I haven’t written to parents regarding parent helpers since November 2019, which seems such a long time ago.

Becoming a parent helper isn’t possible for all parents. We know a number of you are working parents and so are very busy. A good number of parents have younger children to look after too, so are unable to commit to help.

However, we, as a school really value the help if parents can contribute their time.

We find help most useful when parents can make a regular commitment each week to help out for a morning or afternoon session. Some parents offer a few hours of their time every week, some parents offer time every other week. If you become a regular parent helper we allocate you to one of our team members who you will work with each time you come in. In this way staff can plan activities for you to become involved with, from arts and crafts, -little ‘makes’, which children love, to playing table top maths or language games, exploring construction toys, playing in the sand or water trays with the children.

Adult time can make a huge difference to a child’s education. Our staff’s first priority is to maintain safe and stimulating environments. At the beginning of the school year it is very difficult for them to focus on sustained interactions with small groups of children at the activities I have outlined above. Staff really appreciate the help of Parent Volunteers as it means we can offer wider Adult led or Adult supported opportunities in each play space.

So what can the volunteering opportunity offer you?

  • We are a friendly team. You might like to come and spend a few hours working with other adults.
  • Come in to school, and find out what your child experiences day to day.
  • Maybe take your first steps towards being an Early Years Practitioner. See how rewarding the job really is!
  • Spend some time with our wonderful pupils. They just love to chat with new adults and share what they have been doing.

Please do not feel you are too shy, or that perhaps your English Language skills are not strong. We would encourage you to come forward and give it a try.

If you think you might be interested please mention this to your child’s keyworker, or to any of the staff.

Miss Gaffney is our Parent Volunteer co-ordinator. She will then get in touch with you and invite you to a meeting with other interested parents.


5. Walk in the Dark. A reminder….

Miss Howe is organising a ‘Walk in the dark’, an activity for children and their parents to attend together, after school, on Thursday 17th November at 5:00pm. If you plan to come, please send an email to Mrs Selth entitled ‘Walk in the dark’ detailing your child’s name and how many adults and children will be coming, so we can buy enough food….


6.Local Visits

Going out of school on a small trip or visit provides the children with good learning opportunities. Miss Howe and Mrs Patterson spent an afternoon planning these short trips. Staff will explore the area finding talking points to discuss with the children. A change of environment can create lots of opportunities to share ideas These trips have been rigorously risk assessed and a Senior member of staff will accompany the children at all times.

Big Nursery Children will be going out of school in very small groups (maximum of 8 children) during week beginning Monday 14th November to explore their Local environment, from Goldstone Crescent to the post box at the junction of Wilbury Drive and Ridgeway Avenue. Staff to child ratio will be 1 adult to every 2 children.


7. Central Bedfordshire Local Authority Childcare Sufficiency Survey

I have recently taken part in a childcare sufficiency survey with the Local Authority.


Central Bedfordshire Council have also been promoting an online survey about childcare to local parents, carers and guardians. This survey is not focused on individual provisions – it seeks to find out from parents how they feel about their broad childcare options across the Local Authority area.


The survey is open until Friday 11th November, if you would like to share your views please follow the link below:


8. What are the children learning about this week?

The theme in Little Nursery is fireworks

In Room three, the children will be beginning to recognise the letters in their name. Miss Gaffney will show the children their names and how to write each letter. She will support the children in trying to copy the letters in their name onto paper squares. Together they will order the letters in their name and create named firework pictures.

In the link, Mrs. Watson will be using lots of bright coloured paint and salad spinners to produce artwork. The children will talk about the effects of spinning paper quickly to mix paint and create beautiful paintings.

Outside, Mrs. Brinkley will be making firework streamers using coloured crepe paper and lollipop sticks. She will talk to the children about any fireworks they may have seen over the weekend and the noises they may have made.

In Catkins, Miss Tyler will be using scratch paper and wooden sticks to design vibrant pictures that look like fireworks displays. Miss Tyler will talk to the children about the sights and sounds of the fireworks and any experiences that the children may have had over the weekend.

The theme in big nursery is colour and light

In room one, Miss Howe will be sharing the story of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see? with the children. She will teach the children that print has meaning, using the words and pictures in the book to tell the story.

Mrs. Cashmore will be playing ‘Doodlebugs’ with the children. ‘Doodlebugs’ is a colour and picture matching game which teaches the children to recognise and match colours and pictures. In the game the children should take turns to choose a card that matches the card on the table, they can match by colour or picture or both.

In room two, Mrs. Patterson will be decorating large Elmer the elephant pictures using coloured paper and glue. The children will scrunch up the paper and glue each piece into a square on Elmer’s body. Mrs. Patterson will also supply the children with lots of loose parts to use at the playdough table, this is to encourage free, imaginative play and allow them to be as creative as possible.

Outside, Miss Skai will have road signs out to teach the children about stopping, getting ready and moving around on bikes. She will encourage children to be mindful of others as they cycle and move safely around the playground. Miss Skai will have some leaf templates and wool for the children to wrap around the templates. This will build on the fine motor skills of the children as they hold the templates and wrap the wool neatly around their leaves.