Newsletter September 2021
Welcome back to Pre-school after the summer break. I would like to welcome James, Coral, Franklin and Eliza to our setting.
Focus for this half term: We will be sharing lots of traditional tales with the children and basing lots of learning around these stories. We will start with Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff, making bridges for the goats with our big blocks and paper plate bears of different sizes. We will also look at stories that are adaptations of the originals, this week The Three Bears by Cecil Kim. Other stories we will look at are The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Gingerbread Man. I will continue to send the planning out to you all via email and this gives you an outline of the sort of activities your child might take part in during the week. We are aware, however, that young children’s learning is often driven by their own interests so our plans are always flexible.
Fizzy Totz: Our Fizzy Totz sessions will restart on Wednesday 8th September. If your child is in on a Wednesday morning can you please ensure they are wearing footwear that is appropriate to run and jump in!
Library books: We will be resuming our book library this term so each week your child will be able to choose a book from our newly stocked library to bring home to share with you. They will also bring home a book log for you to sign and comment in when you have finished the book. There are also happy and sad faces for your child to colour/circle to indicate whether they enjoyed it or not.
New EYFS: The EYFS curriculum has been updated from this September and so when you view your child’s observations on Tapestry some of the statements from the curriculum that they are matched with may look a little different. Though much of the curriculum is very much the same with the same 7 areas of learning, there is now much more emphasis on language and literacy as well as the concept of number in maths and other smaller changes throughout the EYFS. The Developmental Matters age bands have been reduced from six to 3; birth to three, 3 to 4 and children in reception. This means we can use our professional judgement to track children’s progress based on our knowledge and experience rather than using tight and fairly rigid age bands. Our setting has had to make no major changes as much of what we do already fits in well with the new curriculum but as we become more familiar with it we will purchase resources and take part in staff training to help in its implementation.
Covid 19 Updates: As we move into stage 4 of the level of restrictions there are still constant updates for educational settings to be guided by and these continue to change regularly. However, we are going to resume normal opening times so Pre-school will open at 9 am and finish at 3pm but you will still have the option to drop off until 9.20 and pick up from 2.45. Morning sessions will end at 12 rather than 11.50. We will continue to use the Stapleton Road gate as our only access and our gate onto the school grounds will continue to be locked so as not to interfere with the school access systems. I would ask that you still use the one way system- up the steps and down the ramp at drop off. As our cloakroom area is small I am still going to ask you to drop your child off at the door to Pre-school and this then prevents lots of congestion and close contact. Most of the children are used to this routine and hopefully if things settle down in regards to the levels of covid in the community we will be able to welcome you back into the setting before long. However, if you wish to speak to myself or your child’s key person privately we would be more than happy to meet you in the setting. The wearing of masks is now only advisory. We are now going to resume providing snacks for the children so no need to pack any for them. We will still be doing enhanced cleaning and children will be asked to wash their hands on entry and when they come in from playing outside as well as before eating and of course after using the toilet!
If we get a confirmed case of covid in the setting we will not need to close but you will be informed by email with more information and additional precautions that we have to put in place will include the compulsory wearing of masks again at drop off and pick up. If we get more than one case of covid then we will take advice from Public Health England and the local authority on the next steps. Track and Trace are now going to take on the job of contacting close contacts of positive cases within educational settings so you may also hear from them.
The precautions regarding illness are going to remain the same. If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus- usually cold like in children but also can be just an upset stomach, then please keep them home for 48 hours to see how they go. If they are still poorly after this time then please get them a PCR test before returning them to the setting. If a member of your household tests positive for covid your child will need to take a PCR test before returning to the setting please.
Next Steps: In a couple of weeks’ time, when the children have settled into or back into the pre-school routine, I will be sending out letters with a short form asking for your input into their next steps. We like to know what your child is interested in and enjoys at home and if there is anything specific you would like us to help your child with in Pre-school.
Family tree: We are once again renewing our family tree display in Pre-school which has photographs of each child and their families and pets. The children really enjoy looking at this display and finding themselves so if you could all please bring some photographs in? Up to 4 would be fine. It also helps us as we use it to recognise extended family if they collect your child
and seeing the photographs can be comfort if your child is a little unsettled initially.
Weather: If the weather turns cooler and wetter could you all ensure that your child brings a named waterproof coat to Pre-school as we try to play out in all weathers. On the other hand if the sun decides to shine in September could you then ensure that your child wears sun cream.
Caroline Bickerton Pre-school Manager