Oct 26, 2021

Dover October News: Stickmen, Baking and Bonfires

The Old Station Nursery Group - Creating Brighter Futures Together

Welcome to our October newsletter! What a busy month we’ve had, and with Autumn upon us we can now start looking forward to our celebrations, including the Christmas festivities.

October news

During October our Babychoos engaged in a variety of baking experiences, allowing them to develop their mathematical skills. They have been encouraged to pour and mix ingredients together creating shapes and filling them with a selection of tasty fillings. We extended this activity by allowing the children to try the food they made. This developed their own likes and dislikes for food enabling them to engage in sensory exploration.

Babychoos have also been discovering seasonal changes that occur in Autumn by exploring the garden and collecting leaves. They sang the song of the month “Leaves are falling” to encourage speech and literacy development. We extended this activity with a walk to our local park. We collected leaves and sticks so our Babychoos could create leaf printings. This supported mark making skills as well as self-expression and sensory exploration.

Book of the Month – Our book of the month is “Stickman” to encourage our children’s language development and to extend their interest in natural objects found in our Autumnal environment.

Song of the Month – “Bonfire Night” Celebrating the month of fireworks and bonfires. 

Our Caterpillars and Butterflies have enjoyed experimenting with our new dentistry resources which encouraged them to discuss the importance of oral hygiene.  They have been taking part in group story time, looking at books about dentists and brushing teeth. Our children showed great interest in using our teeth and toothbrush resources. From this, they have practiced listening and reading skills as well as focused attention at group times and new vocabulary such as “teeth, brush, healthy” and “Dentist”. To extend this activity our children have been making use of our home corner to role play healthy eating at mealtimes.

We a have also explored different textures and sensory experiences. Our children practiced mark making in foam. We extended this activity by adding different textured items such as paintbrushes and sponges and our children were encouraged to experiment with their mark making skills and increase their confidence in using a variety of tools as well learning new vocabulary by describing what they touch “soft, squishy and rough”.

Book of the Month – Our book of the month is ‘The Gruffalo’ to encourage our children to listen to this via an audio object.

Song of the Month – “Rainbow Song” Celebrating the month of fireworks and all the different colours.

What’s coming up next month

We will be celebrating the winter months focusing on our Festive period. This will include Christmas jumper month, Christmas dinner, party and craft week.

Other important information

A big congratulations to Dawn Foster who accepted the position of Deputy Manager of Dover Choochoos. She will be a great support to the setting and will be developing her role with Hayley’s guidance.

Dani Jarrett has now been promoted to Deputy Babychoos leader and will be working alongside Rebecca to support the staff and children within the room.

Thank you to all parents that took part in our meetings throughout the month. This was brought forward earlier than expected due to the new changes in our EYFS. The children’s progression and development are vital at Choochoos and with your input alongside this, enables the children to naturally meet their next steps achieving better outcomes for all. Your children’s evaluations and next steps will be available to read on the EYlog system throughout November.

Choochoos Autumn/Winter menus began 11 October 2021. Thank you to our children, staff and parents/carers for your suggestions. Please tell us via email your child’s feedback. Thank you.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and safety for all, our parents meetings will take place for your child during October/November, via zoom or telephone. It is very important for you to participate to help towards reviewing and creating next steps for your child, looking at your child’s achievements and progress.

In preparation for this meeting, please have a look at your child’s eyLog and add any information about your child, to help towards this. Please add photographs along with any written information about what your child has been doing within home life, their interests and their development. Please consider in preparation any updates for your child personal information or needs, e.g. care plans, medical needs, personal details, etc. We look forward to the meeting.

This is a very exciting time for children leaving us to go to school in September 2022.

Choochoos has a very robust transition process, which includes discussions with your children, role play and seeking advice from schools on what they would like us to be doing to help with the transition process. To help your child(ren) to prepare for school we will be planning school transition activities, e.g. including in our role play, social and school stories, songs, school photos books and more. Please do come and see your child’s key person if you would like some ideas for activities that you could be doing at home.

Kent County Council have released the application process and dates, which I have shared below and can be accessed on their website here.

  • Applications for transfer to primary school for reception year September 2022 will open on Friday 5 November 2021 and close at midnight on Monday 17 January 2022.
  • For more information about open days, visit the school’s website or contact the school
  • Summer born children – If your child was born between 1 April and 31 August and you want them to defer starting school until the next academic year, email primaryadmissions@kent.gov.uk for more information.
  • Special educational needs and disabilities children – Most children with special educational needs and disabilities can attend mainstream schools, whether or not they have an EHCP.
  • Some schools may need you to complete an additional form called a Supplementary Information Form (SIF). You can collect the form from the school.
  • Applications will be processed between 17 January and 19 April 2022.
  • If you apply online you will be emailed on 19 April 2022 after 4pm to tell you which school you have been offered. Exact time you will receive your email can not be guaranteed, this will depend on your email service provider. Offer emails will be sent to the email address provided on your application.
  • You can also log in from 5pm on 19 April 2022 to view your offer.
  • For advice call 03000 41 21 21 or email kentonlineadmissions@kent.gov.uk.

We are starting to review and update our policies and procedures. Over time, we will be sharing these with you. Paper copies are stored in our lobby area or you can a request a paper copy. Please ask the team if you have any questions or queries about the policies and procedures.

A small reminder of our Christmas closure dates:

Last open day: Friday 17 December 2021.

Closed: Monday 20 December 2021.

Reopens: Tuesday 4 January 2022.

We hope that everyone has settled into the new term well. It is a delight to see so many happy faces around nursery! We would be thrilled if you could leave us a review on Daynurseries, Google or Facebook. To leave a review on Daynurseries click here.

Did you know that we have a refer a friend scheme? When you refer a friend to join the nursery, we will thank you with a £100 credit on your next invoice. Ask your Nursery Manager for more details.

Thank you as always for your continued support.

Home activity

If you are looking for something to do at home this weekend or over the coming months, why not give our activity at home a go! Be aware that some activities or ideas may need to be adapted to suit your child’s age and development.

Paint with your hands and feet


  • Get a long roll of lining paper, old wall paper or material.
  • Choose what colours to use to decorate with.
  • Then use your hands and feet to decorate the paper.
  • Display the artwork in your windows for people to see.

What will your child be learning?

  • Independence, creativity and choice.
  • Mark making using their body.
  • Sensory experience of paint on their body.
  • Colours.
  • Shapes and size.
  • Developing gross motor skills.
  • New vocabulary, e.g. big, small, red, blue, green, feet, hand, etc.
  • Give meaning to marks they make.

Hayley Simpson, Nursery Manager

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