7/9/20 – 23/10/20
2/11/20 – 18/12/20
4/1/21 – 12/2/21
19/4/21 – 28/5/21 + 3/5/21 Bank Holiday
7/6/21 – 16/7/21
7/9/20 – 23/10/20
2/11/20 – 18/12/20
4/1/21 – 12/2/21
19/4/21 – 28/5/21 + 3/5/21 Bank Holiday
7/6/21 – 16/7/21
Chair – Barbara Garwood
Treasurer – Merryn MacPherson
Secretary – (Catherine McNeil)
Jane Cooper – Nominated Person for Ofsted
Custodian Trustees (not part of the committee)
You will find the minutes from last years meeting on the double black doors in the playground along with more information about being part of the committee.
Thank You for your ongoing support
Jane & Rebecca
Thought I would write to you all with a brief catch up on how things are going at present.
I hope that you are keeping safe and well and are coping with this continued Lockdown for you and your family. Whilst it does feel like being been in an endless dark tunnel it appears that there may be a slight glimmer of light beginning to break through, but that should be treated with great caution so as not to put it out again in our haste to return to ‘normal’. What will ‘normal’ feel like for us all?
When we are able to re-open Pre-School there will inevitably need to be additional measures maintained so we can continue to protect children, families and staff from any resurgence of this Covid-19 disease. I will contact you at that point to confirm what these additional measures will be. In spite of this we will look forward to welcoming you and your children back so we can support each other to re-build lives and plan for children’s futures wherever this may be.
It has been really lovely to see photos on facebook of what you have all been up to and how you have been spending time playing and learning at home. Please keep posting.
On my next visit to the Pre-School I may take some photos of the setting that will help children to be reminded of the rooms and equipment that is still there waiting for their return. It is a really eery place without the voices and laughter of children.
Tomorrow night would have been our planned Parents Evening where you could have met to chat with your child’s key person about your child’s progress and shared ways to support learning at home. If we go back to work before the summer we will plan another date to do this with you.
All the staff have been furloughed apart from myself so that I can keep things ticking over. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are getting on. Drop me an email as I’m working from home and am in touch with my colleagues who are eager to hear what you are up to.
Take Care & Keep Safe
Pre-School finally closed on Friday 27th March until further notice. We would love to think we will be back before the summer even if only for a short while.
As soon as we have a date for re-opening I will inform you by email and facebook.
While we find ourselves living through strange times I hope you are all adapting to being together as a family and finding things to do that occupy and engage you all. I know my garden is looking much neater and I’ve eventually started to repaint an old shed.
Please don’t let the situation get you down and if you need any inspiration for things to do with the tiddlers then take a peek at our facebook page for ideas that we are posting each day at present ( we will take a break from this over the Easter hols). You can also use it to share with the staff team and other families what you have been up to with your children. We have all really enjoyed seeing the pictures of children, please keep this up for us.
The staff team appear to be coping well and are in regular touch with each other including a video call on Friday evenings with a quiz theme this week – think that could be mayhem!!! They have been very busy writing reports on children and catching up on some online training as well as carrying out virtual audits of resources and some research on practices.
Looking ahead to September and 2021, I would like you to think about sessions you want to book for your child. Send these to me in an email please. This may seem a long way ahead but I feel we need to continue to plan for the future.
Children who are moving on to school – Could you let me know which school they have been offered a place at once you have received this notification for the Local Authority.
Please look after one another
We have had a very small number of parents inform us that they are classed as critical workers. Therefore we will be looking at keeping the pre-school open to support these families until the Easter break on Tuesday and Thursday only between 9.00am and 3.00pm. Please be aware that the number of children coming in is going to be very small, possibly between 2 & 5 children so pre-school will be very different for them.
If you are a critical worker and require childcare on these sessions you must contact pre-school by email to confirm which days you need. These sessions are NOT open to others who are NOT critical workers.
We can only offer this while we have staff who remain healthy and can continue to work.
Most of our staff are now working from home or are on reduced hours.
Just a few of messages to pass on to you all
Looking ahead we have planned the Children’s Christmas Party for Thursday 19th December and their Concert for Wednesday 18th December. More details to follow but please put these dates in your diary.
Term Dates for the coming year:-
Sept 4th —— Oct 25th
Nov 4th ——- Dec 20th
Jan 6th ——– Feb 14th
Feb 24th ——- April 3rd
April 20th —— May 22nd
June 1st —— July 21st
Please note that Friday 8th May is a Bank Holiday and Pre-School will be closed.
Over the summer the management team have looked at our visions for the next 12 months at Pre-School and one of these is to teach the children about becoming more environmentally friendly and how to recycle products. One way of doing this is through the children’s lunch clubs, so you will notice that we are sending home any packaging etc. that cannot be recycled. We will talk with the children about these products and the symbols to look for to identify recyclable products. Can you please support this at home by considering what you send to Pre-School and help us to reduce the amount of plastic waste we dispose of.
At some point in the near future Fiona P is going to start a composting system so we will place all small fruit & veg leftovers into this, though probably not banana skins as these take years to break down.
We also have a new bin that separates recyclable waste etc. so will be introducing the children to doing this as well.
We will be introducing more ideas going forwards.
The new security system on the gate is still to be fitted, so we will let you know when this happens if there are any changes for you to know about.
You may have noticed that the rooms have undergone a thorough clean and decoration over the summer break. Thank You to Mr & Mrs Uche for the cleaning donation and to past parent Rory who organised the decorators for us. The staff team have worked incredibly hard to try and get the setting back in a functional state in time for the children’s return though there are still some jobs to be completed that we will get round to in the next few weeks.
Safeguarding your children is of paramount importance to us but to be able to do this we all need to work together and one way we can do this is by not allowing strangers or unknown people onto the premises. Therefore we must ask that you DO NOT open the gate to any adult that does not have the gate code or is not familiar to you without speaking to a member of the staff team. It is essential that you All and any others who bring or collect on your behalf support us with this.
Outdoor Learning is now going to take place every Wednesday morning for all 3 & 4 year olds from 18th September. There will be a letter and permission form in your child’s tray that you need to complete and return. There are some changes to the kit list for children’s clothing that you need to be aware of. If you have any questions regarding outdoor learning please speak with Jo or Jane at Pre-School.
Labels, Labels, Labels. Can we remind you how important it is that you label your child’s clothing and bags clearly. Lunch bags and changing bags should be labelled on the outside to make them clearly identifiable.
We are looking for the following items, if you have them could you please speak with Jane or Jo asap:-
Not the best of weather today for a Bank Holiday so I hope you are able to keep your tiddlers entertained with activities.
There are a few pieces of news that I wanted to email out to you so we are ready for the summer term starting back on 3rd June until 19th July.
Firstly I will start with mentioning the Activity Morning at The Hideaway. What a glorious morning we had with the weather, the company and the brilliant activities for you and your children. We had in excess of 90 bodies that formed crocodile trail down to The Hideaway which was an incredible response from our families. The morning organised by Fiona and Louise with the support of the staff team was able to showcase some of the activities the children participate in during their outdoor learning sessions and we hope you find creepy crawlies using your Bug House very soon. Let us know if you have any thoughts on this session please.
Thank You to Carly Fitzhugh who brought Arthur the lamb to see the children and also for the tomato plants and hanging basket she donated. Meeting and feeding the lamb was a wonderful experience for the children (and staff). Carly gave us all lots of information on her work as a farmer and how she looks after her animals.
Each year the committee has to review fees and charges for sessions and consumables at the Pre-School. This year there will be an increase to fees from September and an increase for consumables from the start of the Summer term. This small increase of 10p for consumables will make a contribution towards both the children’s snack as well as stationary and craft supplies. Each year we have an increase in the cost of resources for the children’s craft work and the printing of photos etc. for their Learning Journeys so have needed to make this increase to support these costs. If you have any issues with making this additional contribution please speak with a member of the Pre-School’s Committee, Jane or Jo. Thank You.
The Leavers Concert this year has been organised for Thursday July 18th at 2.45pm. We are planning to hold this down at The Hideaway (weather permitting). This will give us more space for everyone who wants to come along and join us. If we are able to use the Hideaway it will mean that All families can join us if they chose to do so. You will need to bring your own deck chair or blanket to sit on. More information will follow nearer the time.
There will also be a Leavers Party on Tuesday 16th July from 3 -4pm. More details to follow but please put this date in your diary if your child leaves this summer to move on to School.
The Spring Fayre held at Pre-School on 19th May has raised a whoppping £350.00. Thank You to Fiona and the Fund Raising Team for all your hard work and to other parents and staff who helped out. Thank You to all those who came along and gave their support it really is appreciated. With some of the money we have been able to purchase some new sun parasols and a new base.
Hopefully as we return for the summer term the sun will come out and the weather warm up. If it does please remember to bring a sun hat for your child. We would recommend that you apply a once-a-day sun cream before bringing your child otherwise if you need us to reapply cream at lunch time you must complete a form for us to do this. Please note sun cream must not be left in changing bags or children’s drawers. All sun hats should be left in your child’s drawer so they are are able to access it easily when they want to go outside.
Do you have membership with the Co-Op and have a blue loyalty card? If so you could help the pre-school each time you shop for Co-Op products as long as you’ve registered your card with them and chose Ridings Pre-School as your community charity. So far this year we have received over £500 from this charity. We have another 5 months of eligibility for this scheme so please join up and help us today. Thank You.
May 21st saw a group of 6 children and 2 staff join the Coffee Club at the Queens Head for an Inter-generational Session. I have to say this was an amazing morning and the children and older generation at the club were fantastic. We have received an email from Daphne, who complimented the children on their behaviour and confidence. We look forward to a continuing our work with these ladies and building relationships that we can learn from and bring our communities together.
Over the summer we are hoping to have some maintenance work completed at Pre-School including, hopefully, a spot of decorating. During this break we are having a hand drier fitted in the bathroom in an attempt to cut down on our wonderful ‘Andrex’ children’s use of paper towels like little Labrador puppies we see in these adverts.
Tempest photographers will be in Pre-School on the morning of 6th June to take portraits of the children. If your child is not in on this session but you would like their photo taking have a word with Fiona or Jo who can book them in for you. Likewise if you have siblings who you would like including.
Lastly I would like to update you on changes within the staff team – 2 new members of staff, Lynsey and Fiona joined the team recently and are working closely with your children. Emma is unfortunately still off sick and we send her lots of love for a speedy recovery and hope she is back with us very soon, though it probably wont be until September. X
April 29th —— May 24th
June 3rd ——- July 19th
May 6th is a Bank holiday and Pre-school is closed.
Lots going on this term so make a note of all these events so you don’t miss out.
Parents Evening is on Tuesday May 14th from 6 -7.30pm. Please book an appointment using the paperwork on the cupboard in the kitchen. Come along and share in your child’s progress and achievements.
School Leavers – Please let us know asap which school your child is moving onto in September so that we can contact these schools to organise some transition opportunities. It is important to remember that this move is huge for young children and we need to work with each other to prepare them for this change and September is a long way off for these little ones.
Lunch Club – As part of our preparation for moving onto school we are giving the school leavers their own lunch box to manage at lunch club. Can you therefore consider how they can open/close and wrap/unwrap their food. Do not send cling film or plastic bags as these are a hazard to children. We continue to encourage healthy eating and ask that you don’t send sweeties, chocolate bars or fizzy drinks and do send foods that your child likes to eat.
Our Activity Morning takes place on Thursday May 23rd. You have been invited to join us for the morning to take part in lots of fun, learning activities down at The Hideaway. Please complete and return the form if you would like to come along.
Tempest Photographers are coming along on June 6th to take photographs of your children. All children here during this session will be included unless you advise us otherwise. If your child is not in but you would like them to have a photo taken please speak with Jo to organise this. In the past these photographers have taken some beautiful prints of the children that make excellent keepsakes and gifts.
Our Book Bags have shown increased use over the last term and feedback has been positive from those families who have used them. Fiona will be putting some more together for you to choose from so keep a look out for these. If you have any suggestions on topics that would be useful please let us know.
Outdoor Learning Sessions for this term are:
Please remember to bring your child along equipped with the necessary clothing as requested.
Leavers Concert takes place on July 18th at 2-45pm and all children leaving to move onto school will be able to join us for this memorable event. You will be able to request tickets nearer the time.
The Summer Fair will be on Sunday May 19th. There will be a letter requesting help and support in your child’s tray by the end of the week. Money raised form this will go towards the purchase of a new water play trough as the present one is showing stresses of use after 10 years…….
The outdoor security gate had to be repaired again at a cost of £60. Can I ask again that you DO NOT allow children to open this gate and that you are careful not to force the handle back too far. The committee are looking to replace this lock with a new security system.
September Sessions are filling up fast so if you have plans to add or swap any please speak with Jane asap to arrange this. I plan for the whole year (through to July 2020) so if you can think ahead for this period you wont miss out.
Did any of you read the recent publication on young children’s use of technological devices and guidance for the time limits recommended? Let us know if you have any thoughts on this. At pre-school children have limited access to an ipad and individuals are monitored daily for their usage.