Welcome to our Winter Newsletter everyone.
We have had another few busy months with a lot of our rooms being decorated and our teams working hard to provide fresh, new stimulating environments for your children to enjoy.
We also enjoyed a lovely parents evening. Thank you to all who attended and supported the team. A very big thank you to Katie who really did a brilliant welcome to Preschool talk.
Our cake sale for Macmillan raised £86:32. Thank you to all of you who supported us and what lovely cakes the whole team baked to support this.
As we start to approach the Christmas season at The Court House, we would like to say just how much we are looking forward to having a very different Christmas. We are not having a Christmas Play this year in Preschool as we feel you have lots and lots of years to attend Christmas plays. What we do want to do as a team is to bring it back to ‘Family’ so every room will be having a stay and play session that hopefully you will be able to come and enjoy with us all.
We have lots and lots of fun activities planned over Christmas. Please add all the dates to your diaries while you read this newsletter, so you do not miss out on all the fun.
We would like to thank you all for your continued support.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Christmas Family Stay and Play – RPS & PS – Christmas Activities 2-4pm (This will include a snack) – Monday, 9th December
Christmas Family Stay and Play – Twos Room – Christmas Activities 2:30-4:30pm (This will include a snack) – Wednesday, 11th December
Christmas Family Stay and Play – Baby Room – Christmas Activities 2:30-4:30pm (This will include a snack) – Thursday, 12th December
Christmas Party – Baby Room & Twos – 10:00am-12:00pm, RPS and PS 11:00am – 1:00pm (with a very special visitor during the parties!) – Friday, 20th December
Christmas Lunch – Children and staff only – Monday, 23rd December
Christmas Eve – We will be open 7:30am – 3:00pm only. PJ day, Christmas Activities and Christmas Film
1. That we will not be taking any extra bookings on Christmas Eve as we try to give as many staff who travel home for Christmas the time to do so to enjoy their family time.
2. Nursery reopens 2nd January 2020
UPDATE FROM SAFFIA
As I hope you have been hearing, our focus this autumn has been on looking in depth at our commitment to environmental sustainability and what else we can do to reduce our impact. We have been looking at how we can reduce our use of single-use plastic across Bristol Childcare and have been reflecting on our use of nappy sacks and aim to stop using them. This is a two-part process:
1. We have changed the company we use for nappy disposal. We are now using Green Bottoms who incinerate nappies to create energy and we will be sent an audit for this. You can find out more on their website http://greenbottoms.co.uk/. Our aim is to empty our nappy bins in the rooms more frequently rather than using individual nappy sacks to reduce unpleasant smells in the room!
2. We would rather not have to use nappy sacks for wet clothes when a child has been changed. We would like to ask you to keep a plastic bag in your child’s bag, or on their peg, that we can use to put wet clothes in. This can be dried and used over again. Another option is to buy a wet bag. These are bags that can be washed and are therefore suitable for dirty washable nappies as well. If you are interested in this, we have teamed up with Baba and Boo and can offer a code – BCCWB15. This will give you 15% off just the wetbags – https://www. babaandboo.com/collections/nappy-storage-bags
We are also working with Bristol Nappy Library to develop a programme to train staff about washable nappies so that they then have information that they can share with you. Our Priory babyroom team have already been trained and we will be offering a weekend pack of a range of cloth nappies that you can borrow to try out. There will also be offer codes for nappies should you wish to buy them. We can support you in using washable nappies for your child if this is what you would like to do. Please discuss with your babyroom manager if you are interested in finding out more. You can find out more about Bristol Cloth Nappy Library offers – https://www.facebook.com/BristolClothNappyLibrary/
For those who would like to find out more about the environmental impact of washable nappies versus disposable nappies, there is an excellent article at this link – https://www.babaandboo.com/blogs/news/reusable-versus-disposable-nappies-the-real-story-of-their-environmental-impact
On Thursday 17 October we celebrated #NurseryPractitionerDay. This is a day for us all to think about the amazing work that nursery staff do through the care and love they show the children every day.
We thanked all our staff for their hard work and commitment with a few little treats.
In October we welcomed Anna Ephgrave to our Cascade Training session. Anna talked to us about “planning in the moment” with children. This is our pedagogy – how we teach children. We provide a stimulating environment and resources and allow the children to explore what they are interested in at that time. Staff then support the children by responding to them with role modelling and suggestions or facilitating with extra equipment.
Anna talked to us about “level 5 involvement” from the Leuven scales – this happens when children are most engaged, usually on activities they have selected themselves, and is when most learning happens. Anna reminded us that children are learning all the time – when singing with their friends, when moving water around the mud kitchen with a ladle, when driving a toy car round and round in a circle. We adults can’t always understand a child’s purpose, but they always have one. Please talk to your child’s key person if you’d like to find out more about this approach.
Please join us in making another tiny difference and trying to keep all we can from landfill.
We are now collecting old pens for recycling. There is a box in each nursery. We will be taking them to Rymans in Clifton where they are being collected as part of the Terracycle scheme.
Thank you to all the parents who came to parents evening in October. There was a wonderful buzz around nursery as practitioners shared information with families. Katie did an excellent presentation to parents, helping them under stand expectations in the pre-school room and how we support children to be ready for school. If you were unable to attend and would like to find out more, please speak to Katie .
As many of you know each year, we support our local Salvation Army with their Christmas Present appeal which aims to bring joy to lives of people who would otherwise have little or nothing under the tree on Christmas morning. They work closely with social services and other agencies to provide gifts to children and their families. They also provide food hampers to ensure the whole family has an enjoyable Christmas.
During Christmas last year we helped support, with the amazing gifts you all brought in, over 500 families over Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
We will have a tree up in the entrance hall from Monday 18th November where you can collect your paper angel. This will have a child’s age on for you to buy a brand-new unwrapped gift. Last date for any gift to be under the tree will be Friday 6th December.
Thank you in advance to you all for supporting us with this.
In August we spent lots of time in the garden looking at what we were providing the children. We created a big digging area where the children look for creepy crawlies such as woodlice and ants. We also made a stage using a pallet when the children stand on and perform to the other children and cars driving past, they also use this space to watch ambulances whizz past. Using clip boards we created a mark making station which has a variety of tools for them to use.
In September we spent lots of time focusing on the theme of mini beasts as this was a big interest for all the children. We looked for snails in the garden, made wiggly worm pictures using spaghetti and looked at some honeycomb that had been brought in. Some of the children asked where the different body parts of the mini beasts were such as the head and legs.
In October we have been focusing on being messy and creative. All the children love to get messy in different ways whether it is with water, mud or paint, they really enjoy exploring through different senses. Being messy and creative allows the children to learn in different ways and when the adults join in it is even better!
The twos have had a very busy morning helping to dig up and clean off the potatoes that we planted in the garden. They all worked together and started to talk about what we could put with the potatoes when we cook them. All children showed level five engagement and involvement with this activity. We cannot wait to plant more fruit and vegetables in the new year!
PRE SCHOOL NEWS
Preschool has had a big room change where areas are available for children to oversee their own learning experiences and lead practitioners to explore the children’s interests. A construction area has been made where the children can play with screws, foam bricks and natural resources for them to create with. The area has pictures of famous buildings and sculptures from around the world for the children to try and recreate.
The children in preschool are now able to decide what they want to explore throughout the day by resources being readily available. The children decided to play with the cinnamon playdough and natural resources such as flowers, pinecones, shells and fragment plants. Some children made a forest and others said they made autumn.
In rising pre-school, we took a little trip to the shops where we picked up different ingredients, so we were able to make our own cakes in nursery. The children loved being involved and having the responsibility of carrying their own shopping bags and handing over the money to the staff in the store.
Pre School – How do we show that we care for each other?
This Autuum we have been discussing how we show that we care. I explained to the children that everybody has feelings, and everybody feels the same way as others at some point.
We used a book called Understand & Care and discussed how we can look at how others may be feeling and reflect on when we may have felt the same, so we can understand and care for that person in that moment. I gave the children some examples of this at nursery.
I questioned the children what they should do if they saw a child sitting alone and looking sad. The children gave lovely thoughts on what we could say to that child which I scribed on the board.
As we were playing in the garden, I could hear lots of children implementing what we had discusses into their play, with lots of children using the words “are you ok? “ and “how are you feeling”
Super job preschool you are all so kind.
Macmillan Cake Sale
All three of our day nurseries took part in a Macmillan cake sale in October and raised a fantastic amount of money with Bristol Childcare topping up all three totals. We are proud to be able to donate to this wonderful charity £281.32.
Cakes were both donated and made by the parents and staff members of all nurseries.