We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and wish you a happy and healthy new year. A very warm welcome to the new families joining us this term – we hope you and your children will be happy here. Please feel free to ask if there is anything you need to know. The best outcomes for all children are achieved when staff and parents work together and we will always do our best to help or arrange a suitable time to talk if we are all busy with the children at that point.
2018 – 19 term dates
Spring term Monday 07.01.19 – Friday 29.03.19
Half term week beginning 18.02.19
Summer term Tuesday 23.04.19 – Friday 19.07.19
Half term week beginning 27.05.19
Dates at the start and end of each term may change slightly to accommodate parties etc. Further details as they are available.
Changes for Spring term 2019
As we explained last term we are making changes to the way nursery runs from the start of this term. These are as follows;
· We are no longer operating 2 separate rooms at nursery. All children will now play and learn together, using both rooms to give additional space and flexibility. Younger children have been offered afternoon sessions when numbers are lower so that we can continue to meet their needs in a smaller group and ratios for all children at any session will still exceed those required under the EYFS.
· All children will now use the main cloakroom and entrance door, previously used by the rainbow room children.
· Staff changes; Mrs Greener and Mrs Halford both left us at Christmas and we have 2 new staff members joining us this week. Mrs Oxley has worked for us previously and will work mainly with the younger children in the afternoons. Mrs Martinez has spent time with us as a parent volunteer and will now join us for 2 days a week. We look forward to working with them and hope they will enjoy their time with us. Other staff members remain unchanged (Mrs Below, Mrs Liddle, Mrs Maddison and Mrs Surtees).
· Due to staff changes and session changes some children will now have a new keyworker and you will be informed of this next week at nursery. However all staff will continue to work with all children so this will make little difference to the children’s experience
We believe that the new arrangements will enable us to continue to offer high quality care and education to all the children and think that they will enjoy the additional space and wider range of resources now available to them. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions we are always happy to discuss these with you so please speak to a member of staff at any time.
We have a facebook page for nursery where we post pictures of some of our activities and information about what’s happening at nursery. This has proved very popular and a good way of finding out what your child has been doing at nursery! Search for Bright Sparks Nursery and look for our star logo then you can like and follow our page to keep up to date with what we do. Please share the page with any of your friends who may be interested.
Please note that all fees are payable in advance. If any parent who pays fees would prefer to pay by bank transfer, our bank details are ; Barclays, Hexham 204009, Account – Bright Sparks Nursery 60825824. Please use your child’s name as a reference.
30 hour funding codes
If your child is accessing the 30 hour funding please remember to renew your code every 3 months so that you do not lose your eligibility.
We try hard to encourage all children to bring and eat a healthy packed lunch which includes fruit or vegetables. However we are very busy at lunchtime and do not have time to prepare 15- 20 pieces of fruit! Please help us by ensuring your child’s fruit is ready for them to eat (apples chopped up, grapes and tomatoes halved, satsumas peeled etc.
We would also ask you to include fresh fruit or vegetables whenever possible as the fruit and vegetable ‘snacks’ contain high levels of sugar - in many cases more than sweets! Although these snacks may be advertised as ‘one of your 5 a day’ the manufacturing process removes much of the goodness and changes the structure of the natural sugars, making them much more damaging to teeth and less healthy.
We are all aware of the increasing issues around plastic waste and the huge environmental impact it has. We want to work to protect our planet for the children so ask all parents to consider reducing plastic waste in lunchboxes. Things you could do to help include using re-useable containers for sandwiches rather than throw-away plastic bags and avoiding single use drinks bottles. Research clearly shows that “from a safety and price perspective, tap water is better for you” so why not just re-fill that bottle from the tap rather than using a new one every day. Buying a reusable drinks container or refilling a plastic bottle will be better for the environment with no disadvantage to your child.
Our highest priority is the safety of your children and we work with parents to promote this. Please help us in the following ways;
1. If your child is absent please inform us of the reason by email or telephone on the day or verbally in advance. If your child is missing and we have not heard from you by 10am we will contact you.
2. If your child has an accident at home please inform us so we are aware of any pre-existing marks or bruises and their origin. We will inform you if your child has any accidents at nursery. If your child has a bump to their head we will inform you immediately.
Our nursery is run in accordance with the Early years foundation stage framework and our procedures reflect this. Planning and assessment are based on 7 areas of learning, with 3 being identified as prime areas (Personal, social and emotional development, communication and language, physical development) Activities will focus on these prime areas for younger children with additional areas being introduced as children are ready for a more wide ranging curriculum.
‘Progress checks’ for 2 year old children are carried out once children have settled at nursery. Parents will be given more information about these checks when they are carried out.
One of the welfare requirements which parents need to be aware of is that mobile phones and cameras are not allowed to be used in the nursery building or grounds. This applies to parents, visitors and staff (although we will still use a nursery camera to take photos for use in nursery and for the children’s records). Please help us to protect the children in our care by complying with this requirement.
We are constantly observing the children at nursery and record our observations to help us with assessment and planning for each child. However we know that children do much of their learning at home and therefore rely on parents to help us make these records accurate. If your child does something new or different please tell us about it so it can be added to your child’s records. This is especially necessary for things we can’t observe at nursery such as your child trying a new food, sleeping in their own bed, throwing away their dummy or putting their own socks on. We would also like to hear about new interests or reactions to nursery activities and experiences. With your help we can ensure our planning meets the needs of all the children.
Further details about the EYFS are displayed on the notice boards in the cloakroom or can be found online (search EYFS and you will find several sites with more information)
We operate a scheme involving ‘Share Bear’, in order to help the children share their home experiences with us. The idea is that the children take turns to take Share Bear home with them and let him join in their normal activities that day. Parents can help their child to record these activities and the child can then share this with the other children at nursery. You do not need to write a lot – a few sentences and a picture or photograph would be lovely, just to allow your child to share their experiences with us. When your child brings Share Bear home please return him as soon as possible as there are going to be a lot of other children wanting him to visit them!!
‘Tell us about it’
We know the children love it when Share bear visits them and they are always keen to tell us what he has been doing. However we realise that many things happen when Share bear isn’t there and the children often have things to tell us then. To help children share their experiences and achievements with us at nursery we have introduced ‘tell us about it’ link sheets which you can use to tell us about a special event, trip, holiday or a new achievement. It is also a way of telling us about things your child is particularly interested in, as this can change frequently! You can add a photograph, a picture or a souvenir (such as a ticket or leaflet) together with brief details of your child's experiences. We will read the sheets to the children at group time and talk about them before adding them to a file which the children can look at and share with their friends.
We can use the information from these sheets to increase our knowledge of your child, their interests and achievements. This is especially valuable for less confident children or those with speech and language difficulties, as it gives them a starting point for sharing experiences. Also, children do much of their learning while with their parents or carer and if we can share those experiences we can plan appropriate activities for your child at nursery.
If you would like to fill in a link sheet for your child at any time please ask at nursery and we will supply one. We have also attached a copy of the sheet to this email so you can print it out if you wish. You can fill in as many as you wish during your child’s time at nursery. We can help with printing photos if necessary.
Ways you can help us
· We offer the children a selection of fruit or salad vegetables each day at snack time and would be very grateful if any parents could help by bringing one or two pieces of fruit or salad vegetables for the children to share. There is a basket on the lunchbox trolley for any contributions. Thankyou to those parents who already help us in this way.
· Any donations of regularly used consumables will be gratefully received. Suggestions are tissues, toilet rolls, liquid soap, kitchen cloths, toilet cleaner etc. If your child has a funded place at nursery perhaps you could consider popping one extra thing in your trolley at the supermarket to help us. Again thankyou very much to those who helped in this way last term – your support is much appreciated.
· Please ensure that you do not leave the nursery building (or grounds if we are outdoors) until there is a member of staff present to lock the door or gate after you. This is vital to ensure the safety of all children.
· Please inform us of any changes to the information on your child’s sheet e.g. new mobile phone numbers, emergency contact details or authorised collectors.
· In order to safeguard all children please remember that no mobile phones or cameras should be used in nursery at any time.
· We play outside every day so please make sure that your child has suitable outdoor clothing and footwear. In cold weather please send hats and gloves (mittens are much easier to manage) so your child stays warm outdoors.
· Please name your child’s sweatshirts, sandshoes and the outsides of lunchboxes.
· In order to comply with Government guidelines, we must ask you not to send your child to nursery for 48 hours after they have had sickness or diarrhoea. This will help prevent the spread of infection.
· If you have not yet brought a copy of your child’s birth certificate to nursery for us to see, please do so as soon as possible. We are now required to see proof of age for every child admitted to nursery and ask for your co-operation in this matter.