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Newsletter week commencing 11th January.

Well – what a week!
We are still processing the “lockdown” situation but to be honest, once we returned on Tuesday after the announcement, (and having felt so confused and compromised) we just got on with it and, more beautifully, so did the children.
Amidst all of this madness the children are still playing and learning and laughing and it is so refreshing. We are obviously doing our utmost to be as vigilant and careful as possible and are still washing and sanitising and cleaning and repeating this process over and over and over….. you get the gist.
We have attached the new risk assessment which has been amended since our reopening in September and then again in November. We have taken back some of the initial lockdown statements to reduce transmission, so as from MONDAY 11TH JANUARY we will not be taking any children who are attending more than one setting. The only caveats will be if a child has a child minder who is taking no other children, so becomes extended childcare. This is the case with Grand Parents or family members too in the extended support bubble. The logic is that we are trying to minimalise transmission as we have to protect our families and community too.
Can I just reiterate that we respect everyone’s choice about staying away or attending? We do ask you to let us know your plans for the half term as we will have to organise our staffing. Please could you let us know if you would prefer your child to stay away until after half term by SUNDAY 10 TH JANUARY. At present we are minus Nicola and the team are very happy to cover to keep her and her family safe, but obviously if we have fewer children we will not need the staff allocation for ratios and this would save us money in these rather tight times. However, if you have not attended nor signed your Declaration Form for funding (FEET, 3 and 4-year-old), by TUESDAY 12TH JANUARY, we cannot guarantee your place for the rest of the term. Oh honestly, this bureaucracy and paper chasing is doing my head in!!! Just when we thought everything was going so smoothly! We had a hint of smugness that we were doing so well and everyone was happy. I don’t mean to get political but Boris really ruined my party!!! Oh by the by, my Christmas jumper arrived on 1 January so I wore it to Nursery yesterday! It was meant for the Christmas Party.
So, on a lovely note of the week as it was for the most important beings: the little ones. It has been great fun with our Harbin Ice and Snow Festival theme. We are using relevant themes for planning, so we were looking at festivals around the world. The likelihood of them being celebrated is remote, but it reminds us there is a beautiful world out there and it lends itself to expanding your children’s knowledge and vocabulary. We were also very scientific as we had cars frozen in paint they had mixed (another great experiment, watching as powder paint colours mix) and we used pipettes to watch the effect of warm water on ice and then we got down to business with mallets and wrenches and blocks and spanners to break up the ice and then use the cars to mark make on paper. It has been really popular and there are so many learning opportunities.
We have also been making snow globes (last of the glitter) and we really did have a flurry on Tuesday momentarily, before the sleet set in! The children can look at quantities of water, pour into vessels and then independently choose their contents. We obviously help with the tightening of jars!!!
The temperature outside has lent itself to our theme and we have been able to explore ice, how it freezes, how solid and yet beautiful it is.  It is interesting looking at our breath as we breathe out in this cold weather. There is always so much to learn from being outside.
The tessellating shapes have also been really popular. I could sit doing them all day. The children have to choose the appropriate shape (which lends itself to mathematical debates!) and colour and then fit it on the template, without moving the others. It’s interesting to observe their age and stage as some can identify the appropriate shape but cannot place it correctly: it may be upside down (more prepositional vocabulary and instruction). I love the way that children will often gravitate towards an adult at an activity and it is so interesting to be able to teach them through this “work” or play.
So, next week we will be looking at the International Kite Festival in India. Let’s hope it’s windy!
Have a wonderful weekend.
All love
Jacquie, Katie, Mark, Nicola, Juliette and Naomi

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