Welcome to the April edition of the Sunhill Berkhamsted Newsletter. We would like to extend a warm welcome to all of our families who have joined us recently.
Thank you so much for your patience and understanding at drop-off and pick-up times. Whilst we try our best to ensure waiting times are kept to a minimum, I know you appreciate that whilst staff are outside giving feedback to other parents, it requires the rest of the staff team to continue to care for the remaining children indoors.
Following our yearly, unannounced visit from Environmental Health, we are delighted to be able to confirm that we have maintained the highest possible rating of 5!
April has been a particularly busy month for us but we have still found time to celebrate Easter, Ramadan, and St George’s Day across the nursery. All of these events were fantastic learning opportunities for the children as they participated in a range of activities surrounding the specific event.
The Twinkle Stars have welcomed a number of new friends this month. The children are forming strong relationships with the team and each other, and are having lots of fun exploring their new environment. The soft play in the garden is proving a firm favourite!
Throughout the month, the children in Twinkle Stars noticed that we have a family of robins who like to come and see what exciting things are happening in the garden. As the children were so fascinated by the robins, the team extended their learning by making a tasty treat for the birds, to encourage them to keep coming back to visit.
As the children made the bird cakes, the team were able to support their language acquisition as they talked about how to make the bird food cakes as well as the ingredients they were using. This activity was also extended to include mathematical concepts as the children weighed out ingredients, deciding if they needed to add more.
During April, the children in Sunbeams have been showing a particular interest in construction and messy play. The team combined these interests and the children made their own ‘cement’ to create structures with the building blocks. It was wonderful to see the collaboration between different groups of children as they supported each other to create their architectural masterpieces. We then took the construction to another level as the children created their own obstacle course in the garden. It was wonderful to see the children challenge themselves, and the sense of satisfaction when they got to the other end of the course.
This month, the children in Comets have been intrigued by the change of seasons, so they have been learning about life cycles, with a particular focus on butterflies. The children created a habitat for the caterpillars so that they can watch them transform. As well as embracing a love of wildlife, this has allowed the team to introduce new language into the children’s vocabulary, such as Chrysalis, Cocoon and Pupa. They are very excited to see how the caterpillars are transforming.
The mud kitchen is always a favourite activity when the children are in the garden, so apologies for the strain on your washing machines!
Throughout April, the children in Planets have taken advantage of the lovely weather to engage in some large, outdoor, turn taking games. The giant Ludo set has been a particular favourite as the children enjoyed the friendly competition. Activities such as this play a significant role in preparing the children for school. Inevitably there are some ‘discussions’ through the games but conflict resolution and collaboration are skills that children of this age are beginning to understand (with lots of support and guidance) and this will certainly help support their transition.
The children in Planets have also been fascinated by the caterpillars and are constantly talking about what the next stage of their development will be.
What’s coming up next month
As a nursery, we will be celebrating African World Heritage Day on the 5th of May, Eid on the 13th and 14th May, and World Bee Day on the 20th of May. The children will participate in a number of activities to support their learning of these events.
May’s Colour Week will take place from the week commending the 17th May. The colours will be yellow and black in homage to the bees! As always, there will be fun, colour focused activities throughout the week and if your child would like to dress in yellow and/or black they are very welcome to! I have yet to tell them but there will be an inter room dressing up competition for staff on the Thursday, so please don’t ‘bee’ alarmed if you arrive at nursery to be greeted by an oversized furry pollinator or two!
We would love to take part in any festivals or celebrations that are special to your family, so please do share these with your child’s key worker.
Other important information
We will be refreshing the resources in the garden, to help it recover from a very wet and muddy winter. We will keep you posted on this.
There have been several staff training events that have taken place this month, these included: a refresher Designated Safeguarding Lead for senior management and a number of staff have also taken part in child protection awareness training. A significant number of staff have also attended Anti-Racism, Early Educator Awareness training this month.
Please can we remind parents that sun cream needs to be applied before children come into nursery, however, we are happy to reapply cream throughout the day which you will need to supply.
Thank you to those parents who have already notified us of school allocations and leave dates. If you have not yet confirmed your school place, or are unsure of your subsequent leave date, please could you confirm in writing (email) as soon as you are able.
As a reminder for those with children on term time only contracts that the May half term is a little later than usual this year and is the week commending Monday the 31st May.
We will be starting to post social media content on The Old Station Nursery Group’s social media channels at the start of May. We encourage you to also follow their social media channels to keep up to date with all of our latest news and insights into nursery life. Follow the group pages by clicking here for Facebook, here for Instagram, here for Twitter and here for LinkedIn.
As always, thank you so much for your continued support – we make a great team!
Jan Weall, Nursery Manager