Autumn 2017 Newsletter – First half of term

Posted: 10th September 2017

Autumn 2017 Newsletter – First half of term

Welcome to the start of this academic year.  We all hope you had a wonderful summer and would like to thank the children who were with us last term for the lovely gifts and messages of appreciation which we received before the holidays began.

We are really pleased to welcome many new families whose children will be joining us over the coming weeks: Alexander, Arlo, Benjamin, Brooke, Camilla, Farren, Felix, George B, George L, Harriet, Harrison, Imogen, Joanna, Kyra, Leo, Mabel, Max, Olivia, Rafferty and Toby. We are confident our older children will introduce them to the delights of the nursery and Autumn Woods once forest school outings begin later in September.

For those of you who are new, our current staff are Sue Bartrum (SENCO assistant and Early Years Practitioner), Lara Butler (Forest School and Early Years Practitioner), Kate Dean (nursery manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead – DSL), Richard Dean (Forest School leader), Natasha Hayes (deputy manager, SENCO and deputy DSL), Liz Juson (administrator and Early Years Practitioner), Anna Mitchell (Early Years Practitioner), Jane Tims (arts co-ordinator and Early Years Practitioner), Yvonka Wilkinson (Forest School leader).  We also have Steph Peat who is our lunchtime supervisor.

As this is the start of the new academic year and we have twenty new children, this newsletter is very long, so apologies in advance.  However it is packed with useful information which we hope will make life nice and easy – please feel free to ask any questions!

Starting the Day

The side gate will open at 9.05am (9.00am on Monday) for all children if the weather is particularly unpleasant, we will use the front door entrance.  Staff will assist children with locating their pegs, shoe mats, changing into indoor shoes and finding their name for the registration board before Registration, which starts at 9.10am.  Whilst we understand some children may find it a bit daunting at the beginning, they soon settle into the routine and staff are always on hand to support any child who may find it difficult to separate.  If a child finds it especially hard, Kate will discuss this with you confidentially.

If you are going to be late, or your child is not going to be coming in on their allotted day, please either email or telephone the nursery (01428 658931 or on the mobile 07789 987280) before 9.30am as it is essential we know your child’s whereabouts as we have a legal duty of care.


Our children look great in their uniform and we would ask that they all arrive dressed in uniform every day.  Not only does this ensure children begin to feel part of a working team but it is a way, along with being on time, of ensuring school readiness which ultimately helps children settle at school as they will already be used to a uniform and routine.  Children should arrive dressed in their red suits when forest school sessions begin later in September a schedule will be issued separately in due course.

Going Home/Collection of Children

Due to an increasing number of children being collected by adults other than their parents we have an additional level of security which means any adult, other than parents or nominated carers, will need to provide us with a password before a child is able to leave.  An email will be circulated to all parents confirming the current password which they must then give to whoever is being sent to collect their child on any given day.  This password will be changed annually (or more often if necessary) and advised only via email.  If you have any concerns, please speak with Kate.

Child Collection Sheet

If someone, other than yourself, is coming to collect your child, even if it is another nursery parent, please make a note in the Going Home folder on the table by the gate, and please add the name and telephone number of the person collecting.  We are unable to release a child from our care without prior written notification of a change to normal collection procedures.  If you are unable to write into the book at drop off then please email the nursery on

Nursery clothing

A little reminder that children need to have appropriate clothing at nursery to make everyone’s life as comfortable as possible.  Everything your child brings in must be named including their nursery polo-shirts and jumpers, leggings or jogging bottoms, coats, their full change of clothing, water bottles, soft indoor shoes, home shoes, wellies and bag (including lunch bag where applicable). Lots to name but it does save upset to children when things go missing, and time for staff and parents searching.  If we find items unnamed we will write names in as required.

Children should wear soft shoes indoors which are left at nursery in our blue nursery plimsoll bags.  Black slip-on pumps are best – Crocs, heavy trainers, buckled shoes, open-toed sandals or flip-flops are not appropriate.  We encourage children to be as self-sufficient as possible and they swop from indoor to outdoor shoes frequently, so the easier the change the better. Wellington boots need to be available at nursery each day and, where possible, it would good if they could travel to and from nursery in their wellies.  If your child is still in nappies, or recently potty-trained, please do ensure you provide a supply nappies, wipes and nappy bags and spare pants, socks and trousers/leggings (named!).

Forest School

Outings will begin in earnest once all the new children have settled, initially to either re-acquaint the older children or introduce our new children to the environment. 


As part of our safeguarding policy we are unable to allow the use of mobile phones by either staff, volunteers, visitors or parents when with the children.  If you are here and need to make or take a call, please do so either in the kitchen or outside the front of the building.  When we host special events such as the nativity or sports day, we ask you not to post photos with children other than your own on Facebook and other social media. If you are staying as a parent helper there is a box in the kitchen to store your mobile phone.

Parents Information Evening Tuesday 3 October from 7.45pm

All parents and carers, both old and new, are invited to attend from 7.45pm for welcome drinks followed by a brief AGM from 8.00pm after which there will be a presentation on the main activities of the nursery, forest school, parental involvement and Tapestry, plus you will have the opportunity to hear from Bollie, who runs the Playball sessions, and Miss Maureen, who works with our older children on Mondays introducing them to music and movement.  A signing up sheet will be available in reception at collection time, so please add your names so that we can gain an idea of numbers. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible, as it will also be an opportunity for parents to meet each other. 


The children will have many opportunities to join in with art and craft activities, with lots of work being available to take home on a daily basis which you will find laid out in the reception area. However, at certain times of the year we involve the children in special projects which will be sent home at the end of the term, so you may, therefore, hear that your child has done a piece of artwork but cannot bring it home straight away. 

Library Books

Over the coming weeks the children will be invited to look through our library to select a book to take home and read with family or friends at leisure.  These will be in a named, nursery book bag and are to be returned once read to be replaced with a new one when your child is ready. There is no rush but we can only issue replacements on the return of the last one issued.  The book bag is to be returned when your child leaves nursery, but is yours to keep whilst they remain with us. As a rule of thumb, a weekly change-over is best to keep both your child, and you, interested in the book.  Our vast collection of books is rotated in line with our focus of interest and the seasons. 


As a precaution against choking, please can you ensure foods are cut into small pieces.  It may seem a fiddly job, but it is essential for the safety of the children.  Items such as cocktail sausages, cherry tomatoes, grapes, olives etc., must be cut in half lengthways (or smaller), to make it easier for your children to bite into.  Please also note that we adhere to a strict no-nut policy.  The children are monitored during all meal times, but your help with this will assist staff, and children alike. Thanks. 

Supermarket vouchers

Thank you to everyone who collected vouchers for us last term.  The equipment has arrived and is being enjoyed:  lots of new balls for the green, a till and scales for the home corner and a lovely new chopping board for preparing snack!

Advance notice

Nativity Play Wednesday 13th December 10.30am

We know this does seem a long way off, but it is a highlight of your child’s time with us and we hope you would like to put this into your diary now to avoid missing out!  Family, friends and carers are all welcome to attend this lovely event in the church followed by a gathering back in the village hall.  A full dress rehearsal is planned for the day before from 9.30am, all children and costumes will need to be brought in by 9.05am on the 12th further details will be distributed nearer the time.

Policies and Procedures

These are important documents and are available to be read when you wish to do so.  The folder is available every day for you to review.

Please note, in line with our safeguarding policy, staff may not be friends on social media with parents/carers of children registered at nursery.  Please don’t be offended if a member of staff has to de-friend or decline an invitation, they are merely following the rules of the nursery. Also, a quick reminder that if you take photos of your child at nursery, eg at one of our events, these are for your personal use only.  If you post on your Facebook, or other social media sites, please do not include images of other children.  We know all this seems formal, but we must abide by rules which are put in place to protect us all.

Using the Loos

A polite request that if your child uses the toilet before registration, please can you ensure that the seat is wiped dry and the toilet is flushed as this is how we like to start the day and keep it that way throughout the session! Many thanks.

Fabulous Me vouchers, special family events etc.

Fabulous Me vouchers are available on the table by the gate do fill one in for your child to celebrate something they have done at home, however big or small, and these will be included in their profiles. Also, if you have a special, or family event, please bring in some photos for us to share at circle time.


You should all have received your autumn term invoice at the end of last term. These are due for payment by Friday 15th September. If you have any queries, please speak to Kate in confidence.

Helper Rota

Many thanks to those of you who helped us out in the summer term. As we have so many new starters joining us this month, we will not be issuing a rota until after half term, to allow for settling in.  We will issue a rota from Monday 30th October and would welcome you all to sign up as any assistance is gratefully received and the children love having their parents, or grandparents etc, coming in to see the nursery in action!

Book/Gift People

Occasionally you will notice a selection of gifts and books in the reception area.  The nursery receives a percentage from orders to spend how we like, so if you would like to order anything, please complete the details on the order forms provided and place your cash or cheque in the envelope and your order will be available on the date stated on the form.  Unfortunately, we are unable to fulfil orders if the money has not been left in the envelope.

French Club

Every Monday afternoon after October half term, from 1.15pm-2pm your child can have fun learning French in the familiar setting of the OJ room, above Grayswood Nursery.  LCF – Le Club des Coccinelles offers fun, French classes for ALL nursery children with little or no language experience for just £5 per 45minute sessions plus membership fee.  This cost entitles the children to a French CD Song book, French pictionary and sticker handbook and access to over 400 activities online through the BABELZONE interactive website.  For more information, contact Nicola Martin, email: or mobile: 07957 640 034. (If your child attends nursery on a Monday afternoon we are happy to deliver them upstairs for the session. However, this is an extra-curricular activity and only those opting for the lessons are taken to the session.)


Monday 4th September: First day of Autumn term

Tuesday 3rd October: Parents and carers info evening/AGM – Village Hall 7.30 – 9.00pm

Mon 23rd to Friday 27th October: Half Term

Tuesday 12th December:  9.30am – Dress Rehearsal for Nativity Play (all children)

Wednesday 13th December: 10.30am – Nativity Play in church

Friday 15th December: Christmas Party for all children from 9.30am and last day of term

Thursday 4th January 2018: First day of Spring term

Friday 9th February: Pancake Party

Monday 12th to Friday 16th Feb: Half Term

Thursday 29th March: Spring Hat Parade and last day of spring term 


Session Times

Monday 9.00am – 2.45pm (Pre-School children only)

(Autumn term option to finish at 1pm)

Tuesday – Friday 9.05am – 12.35pm

Tuesday and Thursday afternoons sessions end at 2.45pm

Contact Details

Village Hall telephone number: 01428 658931

Nursery mobile number: 07789 987280

Nursery e-mail:

Nursery web-site: 


There are currently nine members of staff at the nursery.  Miss Maureen visits on Mondays for music and movement and Bollie visits on Tuesdays for Playball sessions.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Sue Bartrum Sue Bartrum Kate Dean Lara Butler Lara Butler
Lara Butler Kate Dean Richard Dean Kate Dean Kate Dean
Kate Dean Richard Dean Liz Juson Richard Dean Richard Dean
Richard Dean Natasha Hayes Jane Tims Natasha Hayes Natasha Hayes
Natasha Hayes Liz Juson Anna Mitchell  Steph Peat
Jane Tims Jane Tims Yvonka Wilkinson
Yvonka Wilkinson Steph Peat
Steph Peat

Committee Members

This years committee members are currently:

Chair – Philippa Hawkins,  Secretary – Charlotte Brown,  Treasurer – Sarah Canning

The committee work very hard to run events and fundraising activities on behalf of the nursery so please do help them out with this valuable task. 

Finally, a few reminders: 


with your own child’s name

(not as strange as it sounds if children are using a previous nursery childs hand-ons). 

The Nursery is not the place for poorly children. If your child has been sick or had an upset tummy they must remain away from nursery for a minimum of 48 hours and not return until they have had a normal (for them) stool. As a general rule, children taking antibiotics should not be at nursery. Please ask us if you are unsure when your child should return to nursery after an illness.

Please keep us informed of your current contact details particularly mobile numbers. It is essential that whilst your child is at nursery someone is available to collect them in the event of an emergency. Please ensure if you are unavailable someone else is able to be contacted and collect your child.

The children are not able to play with their own toys at nursery.  Soothers/comforters ie soft toys and muslins may be kept in the basket by the door, or preferably in their bags. Dummies are not allowed in nursery under any circumstances.  Please do not let your children wear jewellery to nursery or bring small toys etc. As a guide children should not bring to nursery items which could fit inside a traditional 35mm film container.

Thanks for reading!!

“The nursery has excellent resources, which enable children to have a wide choice and continual opportunities for outdoor play.”

Ofsted Report2010