Bright Sparks Newsletter June 2018
Dates for your diary
· Stay and Play session
How often do you ask your child “What have you been doing today?” only to be told “playing” or “can’t remember”? To give you an insight into a nursery session we are having another stay and play morning on Wednesday 13th June. Parents / carers are welcome to join their child and see what we do. The best time to join us is between 9 and 10 when the children are involved in a variety of activities but if you wish to stay longer you are welcome to do so. Due to space restrictions we can only invite one adult per child and unfortunately we can’t allow siblings to attend. We look forward to seeing you then.
· Open week
We are holding another open week when we invite you to come and view your child’s individual assessment records. This will be the week beginning Monday 25th June. Records will be available at the start of every session that week so you can choose a session that is convenient for you. If your child is leaving nursery this term you will be given your child’s records to keep so you may prefer to wait and look at them then – although of course you are welcome to come in during open week as well if you wish.
· End of term arrangements
The summer term ends on Thursday 19th July for all children except our pre-school leavers. On Friday 20th July we are having a party for all our school leavers (further details below) but there will be no nursery sessions that day.
· Leavers’ party
We are having a party for our pre-school leavers on Friday 20th July. This will be held in nursery from 9 – 11.30am. There is no afternoon session that day. Parents are welcome to join us at 11am when the children will give a short informal concert of some of their favourite songs. We are no longer able to use nursery funding to cover the costs of the party so there will be a charge of £5 per child which can be paid at any time. If your child does not usually attend on a Friday morning you can swap a session that week or pay for an additional session. Please let us know what you wish to do.
2018 – 19 term dates
Autumn term Monday 03.09.18 – Friday 21.12.18 Half term week beginning 22.10,18
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 later
We have just set up a facebook page for nursery. We will post pictures of some of our activities and information about what’s happening 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.
If any parent who pays fees monthly, half termly or termly 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.
September sessions have now been allocated and details will be given to you at nursery. If you wish to change or add any sessions please let us know immediately as this may affect staffing. All session requests are subject to availability.
If any parent expects to be eligible for 30 hours funding from September you can apply for a code at any time in readiness. We must have codes before the end of term in order to have the funding in place for September. If you already have a code please remember to renew it before September so that you do not fall out of eligibility. If you have any problems or queries please ask and we will do our best to help.
Further details can be found at www.gateshead.gov.uk/30hourschildcare or at
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 with more children now staying and do not have time to prepare 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 keep a book of photographs showing some of our nursery activities and the children love to look at it and talk about what they did. The book is available at any time for parents to look at and we add to it regularly as new things happen.
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.
· If you have any wellies or all-in-one wetsuits that you have finished with we would love to have them, especially smaller sizes for our sunshine room.
· We are running out of spare socks at nursery so if you have any you are finished with we would be grateful for them.