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Friday 27th January 2017

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome to the first pre-school newsletter of 2017 and a belated Happy New Year to you all.  The children have settled back into the routine of pre-school really well and we would like to welcome the children and families that have joined us this term.  We look forward to supporting you and your child through their pre-school years.  Could we please ask the new children to bring in a photo of their family and/or pets to put on our display at pre-school. This will provide comfort to the children and a sense of belonging knowing they can show us who their family and pets are.  The children really enjoy sharing the photos and are proud to tell us about their families.

A message from the Manager regarding the recent Ofsted Inspection    Our Ofsted inspection report has recently been issued to all parents and our overall rating is not what we were aiming for or in my opinion deserved.  I would like to reassure all parents the action required by Ofsted and stated in the report has already been rectified and all that is necessary and appropriate has been put in place.  There are many, many positives and strengths stated in the Ofsted report and I feel the overall Ofsted judgement does not reflect how we are as a setting.  However, it is heartwarming to hear the positive feedback from parents and carers who have been so supportive of myself and the staff throughout this time.  You have been so positive and complimentary of the care, learning and development that the children receive from all at the pre-school.  So I would like to thank you all for your continued support.

Also, I would like to formally thank the staff, the chair of the committee and the committee members themselves who felt demoralised at the overall Ofsted rating, however have continued to work together and do what they do best, to care for the children and to put the children and the families first.  I, for one, am looking forward to the next Ofsted Inspection, not something you’d hear often I know, but I am determined that we will achieve the Ofsted rating that we as a setting strive to achieve and deserve.  Myself and the committee will be holding a meeting to discuss the recent Ofsted inspection on Wednesday 1st February 2017 at 7.00pm at the pre-school and all parents and carers are welcome to join us. It would be nice to see as many of you there as possible.  Many thanks.

Outdoor play     Some parents have asked how the garden is set up during the day and how long children get to play outside.  You may be aware we share the building and grounds with the Air Training Cadets and therefore are unable to leave any of the resources out in the main part of the garden overnight and must pack away each day.  We set up the garden when all the children have been marked into the register at around 9.15am each morning.  We do not set the garden up prior to the children coming into pre-school due to safety reasons.  This being that if the garden resources are set up when the children are lining up ready to come into pre-school we are concerned this may entice them towards the bottom of the garden by the main gate which is left open prior to 9.00am.  There are photos on display on the board at the main door to show the garden set up in all its glory during the day for the children to enjoy.

Nursery Education Grant forms     Please come into pre-school and sign the Nursery Education Grant forms for this term if you have not already done so.  Please see Jo or Claire. Thank you.

Experiences for your children       This term we have many exciting and interesting activities planned for the children.  During the past few weeks we have already had visits from the Librarians of Kingswood Library who read books to the children and we are currently issuing book packs to the children that are due to attend school in September 2017.  The children really enjoyed listening to the stories and joining in with the songs and stories.

We have also had a music and movement session when the children tried different instruments and sang songs.  This was led by one of the pre-school mum’s who is a qualified music therapist.  The children, and staff, absolutely loved this session and we would like to say a big thank you to the parent who made this such a fun time for the children.

ZooLab have also recently visited and brought in animals for the children to learn about and touch.  This included Tango the snake, Frankie the mouse and Milo the millipede.  The children were so gentle with the animals and asked lots of questions.  Jessica the ZooLab ranger was very complimentary on how well behaved and curious the children were, well done to all the children.  We are looking to book ZooLab again in the near future to enable other children to experience this wonderful time.  Photos of these experiences are displayed on the board at the main door for you to have a look at and they will shortly be added to the pre-school webpage and facebook page.

Throughout the term we are exploring many themes and introducing new activities for the children in addition to the continuous provision.  These include food tasting and learning about Chinese New Year, beginning our Gardening Club, National Bird Watch Week, Valentines Day Arts and Crafts and visit from the vets.  Further details will be sent throughout the term.

Dates for your diary:

Last day of term 3 – Friday 10th February 2017

First day of term 4 – Monday 20th February 2017

Last day of term 4 – Friday 7th April 2017

First day of term 5 – Monday 24th April 2017