Term 3 Newsletter – February 2019
Welcome back after a well-deserved Christmas break, and a massive welcome to all our new families, too. We look forward to getting to know everyone.
I would like to thank all the parents who generously gave myself and my team gifts before the holidays. Rest assured that all chocolates, wine and scented goodies got put to good use.
Since our last newsletter, Hazel has left the nursery to take up the role as Room Leader in our Wee Rascals Too nursery in Kintore. Hazel has endured extensive daily traveling over her time in Aberdeen and when the opportunity arose to continue working for Summers in the same role at a different site, it was just too good an opportunity to resist. It has allowed for Faye to return to the nursery as Room Leader of the 3-5 room. As you all know, Faye has been an existing staff member for many years.
Zara Weatherby (0-2 room) will be leaving the nursery on February on the 22nd of February to pursue a career with another private nursery in a senior position.
We wish all the staff who have changed roles the best of luck for the future.
Karina has now successfully completed the Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) level 3 Social Services (Children and Young People). Well done Karina! Megan is continuing to study the same course and is close to completion. Each girl was nominated as one of 12 candidates by Cairn, the training provider, in recognition of working exceedingly hard to achieve their qualification.
All senior staff have now completed the mentor/ mentee badge as part of the development plan.
Training has been applied for through Aberdeen City council, and we have successfully secured two spaces for Outdoor Play for 2-3's.
We have planned Infection Control and First Aid training for this term.
We are so proud to announce that we have now finished raising money for 'Befriend a Child', which helps troubled and disadvantaged children, aged 4-16, in Aberdeen an Aberdeenshire, raising a total of £2259.68. Summers Nurseries raised a massive £11356.09, as well as a further £1006 that Victoria Street raised, and was donated to the charity through Kiltwalk. This is the most we have ever given to one charity and it is all thanks to you guys. The staff give up valuable time to plan and organise events, but it only works because the parents participate.
We have decided to support 'Friends of the Special Nursery' for 2019, a charity of Aberdeen maternity hospital's neo-natal unit for sick and premature babies in the Grampian region, as well as the islands of Shetland and Orkney. Visit their website at http://www.specialnursery.org/
Policies of the term
- Policies of the term are:
- Policy 10 – Child Protection and
- Policy 17 – Food Safety Management
These policies are displayed on the notice board in the front hall for parents.
Stay and Play
We will be holding our Stay and Play appointments on week commencing 25th March. Parents will be invited to join their children in the room for an hour so they can enjoy a little part of nursery life with their little ones. A detailed letter with times will be distributed.
We have set up three development plans for 2018-19 which are displayed on the notice boards throughout the nursery, but mainly in the hallway, half way up the stairs.
We have completed the Scottish, Social Services Council (SSSC) badges on mentoring and have created contracts for staff. At our staff meeting we have also looked at each other's strengths and weaknesses to agree who we may like to be mentored by and what skills we should obtain from them.
The schema display is complete at the front door for parents to view. We are referring to schemas through face book and observations to explain a variety of learning experiences.
Plan three continues to focus on Heuristic play as we continue to introduce more real- life equipment into the children's play. With real life equipment, children tend to show more imaginative skills. It also allows children to express themselves with equipment that does not necessarily have a purpose, for example, what is a sieve? it can be used to drain water, but can also be used for transporting goods from one place to another, or with enough imagination can be used as a hat.
Summers Nurseries are now signed up to receive Tax Free Childcare Vouchers, so when looking, please select Summers Nursery at Victoria Street as provider.
Could I remind all parents that it is essential that they put their child's full name as a reference on any voucher that is paid to the nursery. This is the only key piece of information we require on the voucher. We do not require you to put Summers Nursery, invoice number, parents name or any other piece of information on the reference. Due to the ever-increasing vouchers coming in from parents in 5 nurseries, we are still finding it difficult to match vouchers to certain families due to not being able to identify the voucher, so it is important that you change any existing vouchers to contain this information, thank you. Please also cancel any siblings that have left the nursery off your voucher.
We do however realise that the government vouchers seem to be a bit problematic regarding the reference system, and we are trying to work around this.
Curriculum for Excellence Evening
We are holding a Curriculum for Excellence evening on Monday 4th March at 6:15pm. This is an opportunity for parents to see how the curriculum is delivered in the 3-5 room. We will also be touching on funding, however at this stage we have not been informed by Aberdeen City Council how much funding there will be for 2019/2020.
We have re-done the menus this week as part of our improvement suggested by parents on the questionnaires. We have added some new food, including homemade lasagne, haggis, fajitas and much more. These menus are displayed throughout, as always. Have a look on face book to see some of the wonderful ideas that were contributed by the 3-5 children.
We are happy to have Angela from Abricabeats returning to the 3-5 this term on a Tuesday at 3:00pm. We alternate the sessions Angela attends each term to ensure all our children in the 3-5 room get a chance to experience the dance and drama she has on offer. We all love Angela's visits, developing the children's confidence, stimulation and fun throughout the session.
We are continuing to enjoy our visits to the Wee Green Space. It allows for the use of great imagination and team work. The children really enjoy using branches to pull each other up the big slope, working together as successful individuals.
Last term, the pre-school children enjoyed a trip to the pantomime to see Snow White at the theatre, and the ante pre-school children delighted in a trip to visit Santa at BA Stores. Both were successful outings.
As the 3-5 room parents are aware, we plan on visiting a care home on a fortnightly basis once all relevant risk assessments from both sides are complete. Children and the elderly have proven to have a massive impact on each other's lives, through sharing experiences. We plan to provide experiences that the children and residents can take part in together, for example singing, arts and crafts and story times.
The pre-school room are going bowling on the 25th of March. Children included will receive a letter with details. We alternate trip days to ensure all children get the opportunity to attend.
As always, our themes can be dominated by our annual calendar. We have enjoyed lots of Christmas activities. Not only did we create many arts and crafts, but the older children enjoyed learning the Christmas story which focused on the story of Jesus. Throughout the whole term, we had a jam- packed calendar of events for both children and parents. Children loved performing their Nativity play for the parents at Queens Cross church. The experience it provides for children is invaluable, with children growing in confidence and knowledge.
The babies have enjoyed participating in lots of dancing. We have made great use of the baby shark CD, due to the request of the babies. Much to the staff's delight, the song can often remain on repeat. Dance encourages the development of gross motor skills, as well as really developing the children's social skills. They like to hold hands together and dance in a group. In the current weather, outdoor play is restricted to twice daily and therefore it is vital to encourage physical exercise in other ways.
We have enjoyed learning about animals this term, as well as being partial to play with the jungle animals, which have included activities such as painting foot prints and colouring in animals with a variety of materials. We have also loved reading the book, 'Farm 123' by Rod Campbell. This book has encouraged simple counting skills, the introduction of number recognition, as well as animal recognition.
The children have been developing their fine motor skills through simple brush painting. We created some melted snowmen, and also some wonderful Valentine gifts.
We are continuing to use the peg puzzles to encourage perseverance and problem-solving skills. Also encouraging these skills is our amazing sensory board, which includes items such as a bell, a sanding block, a chain, padlock and key, and many other materials that encourage curiosity.
We are currently learning about sensory exploration. Through next steps, it was identified that children would benefit from more play with different materials. Take a look at the learning wall to see all the things we have been exploring, including playdough with pasta, paints with shaving foam, sand with feathers, and much more. We are also enjoying play with our new cleaning set.
Thank you to all the parents who contributed with their ideas for the display boards. We have received lots of great ideas, including Space, and Dinosaurs. Take a good look around at pick up and drop off to see all our great new arts created!
We learnt about winter this term, with children creating a mind map with the assistance of the staff telling us what they already know about winter. Responses included "We wear scarves and gloves", "It's cold", "Santa", and much more.
Throughout the winter project, we have encouraged the children's independence by allowing them to dress up in the cosy clothing. Independence is a vital skill at two years old, and many are now preparing themselves for outdoor play.
We have been taking part in jigsaws, and many of the children are moving on from peg puzzles at the moment, showing great skills in fitting the pieces together, with many children working together to get the job done.
As always, the story corner has been very popular. The children use books throughout the day, both at their own leisure and during structured times. Story time provides a calming experience, as well as an introduction to literacy. Favourite stories this term have included "Little Monster book of Number", "Waiting for Baby" and "No bed without Ted".
This term we have been learning about music and we are planning a topic on Shapes and Colours.
This term we got a new representative from the NHS toothonology scheme, and therefore enjoyed a project all about the dentist. Children have shown a great deal of interest throughout the project, which has developed all areas of their learning experiences. We played the dentist game, which for many, was the initial introduction to simple addition and subtraction, as they had to add and lose teeth.
The children created a mind map, letting us all know what they now know about the dentist. Comments included "I know we have to brush our teeth in little circles", "You go to the Dentist seat" and "The mirror gets put in people's mouths".
The children also evaluated the topic by saying what they enjoyed, such as "Brushing the printed teeth" and "I liked making my own teeth out of playdough".
We are currently waiting for a visit from the toothonology lady who usually likes to observe tooth brushing and tell us a little story.
We welcomed William's mum in for a couple of Gaelic workshops. We got to sing songs in Gaelic and we also learnt all the primary colours. The kangaroo song has proven to be very popular and now we know how to sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" in Gaelic. It was great to be introduced to a different language, gaining a little knowledge of different cultures throughout the world, and in particular our own traditional Scottish language.
Children were also able to take part in a little Doric poetry for Burns Day.
We would like to thank William's mum for attending, and we encourage any other parents who have different skills to come and pass them on to the children.
The children have continued to enjoy talking about bugs. We made a small bug home in the tough spot, and we used moss, logs, stones and other natural materials. The children were asked to think about the thoughts and feelings of the pretend bugs that would be living in our natural environment, whilst considering what they need to survive. The activity and the play with the materials afterwards encouraged curiosity.
The children have enjoyed learning about Valentines day through arts and crafts. We are also learning about weather.
Tel: 01224 628862
Dates for Diary
Curriculum for Excellence Evening – 4th March
Pre-school trip – Monday 25th March
Stay and Play – W/C 25th March