Nursery News 9th October 2023


9th October 2023 – Edition 309

Find out About:

A.  Important dates

B. Parent Consultations

C. Forest School Program

D. Willow Lending Library.

E. What are the children learning about this week?


 A. Important dates

It is time to give parents an overview of the term, as most families are now enrolled and attending in Big Nursery and Little Nursery.

The school year has three terms, Autumn, Spring and Summer. Each term has a Half Term break in the middle of the term. So dates for this term are:

Mon 23rd October 2023 to Fri 27th October 2023: Autumn Half term – School Closed

Mon 30th October 2023 –Teacher training day- School Closed.

Tuesday 19th December 2023 Last normal school day of the Autumn Term.

Wednesday 20th December 2023 School open for Christmas Parties only                            (As a guide: Last year Little Nursery Party 9:00am to 10:00am Big Nursery Party 11:15am to 1:00pm, but this may change slightly when we begin planning for this year)

Thursday 4th January 2024 First day of Spring Term- School open.

We have some other notable dates to share with you. Further information will be included in these newsletters nearer to the time, regarding each event.

Wednesday 1st November and Thursday 2nd November-School Photographer to visit.

Thursday 16th November 5pm- Open School Event ‘Walk In the Dark’.

Friday 17th November ‘Children in Need Day’ We make a collection for this charity.

Wednesday 22nd November Open School Event Big Nursery Blue Group –Parents to watch Basic Skills Literacy Session.

Week beginning Monday 4th December Open School Event: Parents invited in to watch their child’s Music Session.


 B. Parent Consultations

We aim to offer all parents the opportunity to have a Parent Consultation with their child’s keyworker once per term

Little Nursery will be having their Parent Consultations during week beginning Monday 16th October, 2023.

These consultations are offered to talk about how your child is settling in. 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, or after afternoon sessions.

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

Monday 16th October Mrs Brinkley’s Red Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 3:15pm and 3:45pm

Tuesday 17th October Miss Gaffney’s Green Group Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 3:15pm and 3:45pm

Catkins Class within Little Nursery:

Tuesday 17th October Mrs Cashmore’s Little Nursery Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 12:30pm and 1:00pm

Wednesday 18th October Mrs Field’s Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 12:30pm and 1:00pm

Thursday 19th October Mrs McGrath’s Consultations, 5 minute telephone consultations between 12:30pm and 1:00pm

Big Nursery will be having their Parent Consultations during week beginning Monday 6th November, 2023 Big Nursery Keyworkers will be available to make appointments after the Half Term break.


C. Forest School Program

Mrs Brinkley has started teaching our Forest School program to Big Nursery Orange Group. I just wanted to tell you a little about Forest School at Willow.


Mrs Brinkley spent a year studying to become a Level 3 Forest School Practitioner. In order to support her work in school, all other school staff studied to become Level 1 Forest School Practitioners.


What is a Forest School? -this is a quote which outlines what a Forest School is and the ethos of them:

‘An inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment’ (Forest School (England) network 2002)


Whilst we have some trees and shrubs, we acknowledge that we do not have a ‘Forest’, but Forest School teaching and learning is all about participating in activities in the outdoors, learning new skills, building strong relationships and thinking creatively. Mrs Brinkley has planned 7 activity sessions that Big Nursery children will take part in during their final year at nursery. Mrs Brinkley will work with a small group once a week for 7 weeks. We aim to have worked with Blue, Orange and Yellow group children by Easter 2024.


So, for your information, these are the seven activities the children will be participating in:


1.Fairy/ Gnome Dens. Children will use natural materials that they find in the garden to build a small den for an imaginary fairy or gnome.


  1. Making Fairies or small people. Children will be shown how to make a fairy using twigs and clay. Children will be encouraged to make their own character, using their imagination to add hair, wings or other accessories.


3.Larger Dens. Working as part of a small group children will build a den from tarpaulins and ropes. Children will then join Mrs Brinkley inside the den for a story together.


  1. Clay Faces. Children will mould a flat circular clay shape onto a tree trunk. Children will then add natural objects to the clay to create a face. Children will be shown how to make marks in the clay using sticks found in the garden. Children will compare their own features with those of their friends. Children will discuss similarities and differences.


5.Bug Hunt. Children will look around the garden areas, trying to find bugs to put into their bug collecting pot. They will tip their collections out onto a white paper surface, then use a magnifying glass to look carefully at the bugs. We will be teaching them about being careful with the wildlife and to look after nature.


  1. Mud Kitchens, Mud Potions and Mixtures. Children will be provided with pots and spoons. They will have the opportunity to mix soil with sand and water to make liquid mud. Children will then be able to add leaves and grass, and anything else that they find in the garden, into their mixture.


  1. Making Woodland Medals. Children will be shown how to use a hand drill to drill a hole in a small disc of wood in order to make a medal. Children will decorate their medals using felt tip pens


Mrs Brinkley’s Thoughts….

I am really excited to be now teaching our children ‘The Forest School Way’. The children are enjoying the new experience and their ideas are extending learning further. Forest School learning has so many benefits to the child’s learning and covers all areas to support the overall well being of the children.     

Welcome to Forest School learning Willow!




D. Willow Lending Library.

Miss Howe has been working hard to create ‘Willow Lending Library’ which will begin operating this week……

Willow Lending Library


Welcome to Willow outdoor lending library. We are open every day from 8.15-8.45am and from 3.00pm-3.30pm.

Please choose 1-2 books with your child and write the names of the books under your child’s name in their colour group folder before taking them home to read together.

You can change the books as frequently as you wish.

Please look after our books.

*Please ensure that you have left the library area at 8.45am prompt before children start to enter the school gates in the morning. THANKYOU J


Top Tips for Reading with your child

  • Let your child choose what they would like to read.
  • Make sure there are no distractions.
  • Sit close together. Encourage your child to hold the book and turn the pages too.
  • Look at the pictures. Talk about what can be seen on the page.
  • Ask questions and talk about the book. Give your child time to talk.
  • Have fun – there is no right or wrong way to share a story.

Free tips and advice in more than 20 languages on ‘sharing books with young children’ can be found at:!?q=&sortOption=AtoZ&pageNo=1


E. What are the children learning about this week?

What are the children learning about this week?

In Catkins, the children will be learning about Autumn. Children will work with staff in the link to create hedgehog collages using natural resources. Staff will show the children how to use PVA glue to attach sticks to a hedgehog template to represent their prickles, they will talk to the children about what hedgehogs look like and where hedgehogs may be seen in the wild.

The adults will also show the children how to create pictures from leaf rubbings. They will model how to use their crayons and leaves to create unique leaf pictures which can be showcased on the wall. This will provide staff with the opportunity to talk to the children about their work and instil a sense of pride.

Outside, the tuff tray will be filled with conkers, leaves and twigs. The children will be prompted to add more resources as they find them in the garden. There will also be some trucks and diggers available for the children to transport the conkers around the garden.

In Room 3, children will be playing a hedgehog board game. The focus of the game is to roll the dice and count the number of spots. They will then pick up a matching amount of spikes to add to the hedgehog. Children will be supported with counting out objects and understanding amounts.

In Room 1, there will be a literacy focus and the children will be taking part in some shared reads. They will sit with an adult and small group of children to read ‘Happy Birthday Maisy’ and afterwards, the children can colour in a picture of a character from the story.

In Room 2, the children will have the chance to paint Maisy characters using an easel. They will be prompted to really look at some character features on laminated pictures for reference and to work hard to represent these characters with paint.

The water tray in room two will be full of conkers and many different containers. The children can use these containers and conkers to explore volume as they play and move them from one pot to another.

Outside, the children have enjoyed building and transporting bulky items so this week they will be able to use crates, wooden blocks and tarpaulin to build dens. They will be shown how to transport large items safely and build sensibly.

The mud kitchen will be open for the children to explore and get really involved in messy play. Please remember that although we have aprons for the children to use in the mud kitchen, they can still get very mucky outside!