Term Dates
Pre-School will finish for the summer break on Tuesday 19th July
It will restart on Monday 5th September 2022.

Good morning,
Staff & children are really busy at pre-school during this term with lots happening. 
Following on from the Community Scarecrow event we are joining in the Ockbrook in Bloom celebrations. The topic we have been given for this is Save Our Hedgehogs. We have introduced some planting to the fencing and have some artwork being prepared to support this theme. The planters & plants have all been donated by the staff team so a Big Thank You to them for this.

Thank You to Laura who has taken the lead in organising these events for us.

We have our sports event next week and a leavers concert later in the term.
Staff will be writing assessment reports at the end of this term and there will be a significant number of new children inductions taking place as well.

Sport Event
Jayne has asked that children and families attending the sports event can come along prepared for the mornings activities. We have 30 children & 36 adults attending.
Hopefully the weather is going to be kind to us and fingers crossed the sun will shine.

  • If it is sunny children must come with sun cream already applied
  • They will need a clearly labelled sun hat or waterproof jacket if its damp
  • Additional children and parents who are coming to join us on the day should meet us at the cricket ground at the Bakehouse Lane entrance. Do not come to pre-school.
  • This is a mobile event so no chairs are supplied. If you need to bring a chair please do so but you will be moving round the activities with the children
  • Weather permitting car parking will be available on the cricket field however if it has been wet in previous days you may need to use the back of the Queens Head car park. Please don’t park on Bakehouse Lane.
  • Cameras & photos – You can only take photos of your own child unless you have personally asked another child’s parent if you can include them in your picture. Do not take photos of children other than this.
  • We will be providing a drink & snack for the children but unfortunately don’t have facilities to provide for the adults so you may want to bring your own drink.
  • We are planning on the event lasting around 1-1 1/2  hours
  • Please bring your flat shoes/trainers to fully embrace the event!!!

We have recently received income from Amazon Smile £5.51 & easyfundraising £84.46. Big Thank You to everyone who has signed up to these. If you haven’t already done so please give it consideration and help the pre-school to raise funds when you shop without it costing you a penny.

Intergenerational Sessions have started again this week. 6 children & 2 staff visited the residents at Willowcroft Care Home in Spondon where they spent an hour enjoying colouring, completing jigsaws, playing balloon games & singing songs. The residents were really quite emotional at spending time with these young children and the care home staff were extremely appreciative that we had make this contact with them. These outings continue to be supported by funding from the OckAsh charity group. We have just 2 more visits planned for this term as long as everything goes to plan. Well done to Jayne who has worked hard to get this back up and running again.

The pre-school had a gazebo at the recent Jubilee Event on the cricket field. Hopefully you managed to Hook a Duck or participate in one of the other activities there. Thank You to the parents & supporters who made this event happen. I think they would have appreciated the help of a few more parents during the afternoon so that the load was spread. However if you didn’t manage to volunteer at this event there will be opportunity to join in at the Summer Fayre in July. We do all this for the benefit of your pre-school child so they can have quality and plentiful resources that are used in their play & learning in an environment that is safe, warm and taught by a qualified and highly skilled staff team.

Sessions for September & 2023 are filling up with some sessions already being at capacity. Please let us know if your child won’t be requiring their sessions next year as we have a waiting list already in operation for those days.
If you are looking to use any of our wrap around sessions please get these booked asap.

Wish List
We are out of play sand at present so if anyone is able to donate a bag for the children to play in we would be very grateful.

Thank You

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Newsletter Easter 2022

The government has set out its plans for ‘living with Covid’ ahead of guidance changes due to come into effect on Friday.
As of 1 April 2022:

  • Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature will be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. Government guidance will state that “they can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend”.
  • People with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including Covid-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell, will be advised to try stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.
  • Anyone with a positive Covid-19 test result will be advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious (although it should be noted that free testing for the general public will end on this date as well).

We shall be working with direct regard for this guidance and therefore any child who appears as unwell and has a temperature will be sent home and asked not to return until they are well enough to be here. As there is not going to be any testing going forwards we must continue to protect each other and avoid the risk of spreading infection throughout the setting.

Easter Holidays – Pre-School finishes on Friday 8th April for 2 weeks and returns on Monday 25th. We wish you all a lovely Easter weekend and hope the weather is kind to us all.

You are now able to book a F2F session with your child’s key person at the start or end of a session during the 2 weeks starting 3/5 & 9/5. This is in place of a Parent’s Evening/Consultation. Its  an opportunity for you to share in your child’s progress and development both at pre-school and at home. Just ask a staff member at collection time and we will work out a convenient time for you and the appropriate staff member. If you are not able to make these times please let us know so we can arrange to send you a written update.

Staff changes
Keeley left the team a couple of weeks ago to move onto working in a Local Authority nursery. We waved her goodbye and wished her much luck in her new role.
We have been successful in recruiting 2 new staff members who have joined our team over the last 2 weeks. Laura & Chloe both have experience with young children either in a working role or as mums themselves. They are presently going through their inductions and finding out about the pre-school and our children. As you begin to see them around the pre-school please have a chat with them. At some point they will also become key persons to children and will introduce themselves to you if this is your child. We look forward to working with them and embracing their new ideas and the skills they have.
Fiona has recently requested to take a temporary reduction in hours and step back from her role as a Deputy Manager. This will come into effect after Easter. We will let you know when she resumes her hours and role.

Next Term will see our Sports Event and Leavers transitions and Concert. Watch out for these dates and further details as they become more apparent.

Please let us know once you have been informed which school your child has been offered a place at for September so we can communicate with these schools and make transition arrangements with them.

Wish List Donations – BIG Thank You to everyone who has made donations from this list. These all help to keep our spiralling costs down.

30 hour codes – Have you checked that yours is still valid? Today is the last date for you to do this or to make a new application. If these go into the ‘grace period’ you will lose this additional funding.

Thank You

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News Extra March 22

Ofsted News
After a long wait I am delighted to be able to share with you that our inspection report has now gone live. We want to celebrate with you all that the inspector awarded the pre-school a Good rating after what was a long & rigorous day for the staff on duty.

We have just 1 action that we need to work on and already have plans in place to bring this inline with their expectations.

If you want to have a read of the report you can find a hard copy at pre-school or google ‘Ofsted find a report’ and type in the pre-school’s name and it will come up. Alternatively you can follow this link https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/provider/16/206845

Fund raising – The recent Nature Hunt has raised £976 for the pre-school. BIG Thank You to everyone who took part in this and contributing to its success. Its great to see that families have ventured out during the cold & wet to look for all these items that hopefully lead to some discussions and questioning by children as they sought to find them.

Security – Can we again remind you to make sure that you only open the gate for yourself and to be mindful that No other children leave with you. Always check you only have the child you are collecting and that the gate is closed as you leave.
Please make sure you pass this message on to anyone else who comes to collect your child on your behalf.

Thank You

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Preschool News – Spring 22

Term Dates

10th January —– 18th February
28th February —- 8th April
25th April ———- 27th May
6th June ———– 19th July

May 2nd is a Bank holiday and 6th June is a Platinum Jubilee lieu day therefore pre-school will be closed.

Road works will be commencing nearby on Tuesday 15th March, due to be completed by Friday 18th March. There will be temporary traffic lights during this period on Flood Street. These may cause  a delay in your journey and will limit parking on this road. i would suggest that if you aren’t able to walk to pre-school that you park to the back of Queens Head car park, with due care not to block their customer parking

I have been carrying out an overhaul of our Mail Chimp services last week as we had a number of email addresses bouncing. I am hoping we have corrected this now.

Facebook – Don’t forget we use a closed facebook page to share photos and messages of pre-school activities. This is for parents only so if you aren’t already on this and would like to be, send a friend request and we will sort this for you.

Take care

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Newsletter Spring Term 2

Term Dates

10th January —- 18th February
28th February —- 8th April
25th April ———- 27th May
6th June ———– 19th July

May 2nd is a Bank holiday and June 6th is a lieu day for the Queens Jubilee. Pre-school will be closed on these 2 days.

Forest School
Practicing being independent is a skill that children need to have as they grow and develop. When dressing for Forest School it would be extremely helpful if your child’s clothing was sent in a way that made it easy for them to put on. Staff have noticed that some clothing is inside out and children cannot manage their independence due to this. We would encourage you to put your child’s bag together with them so they can see what their clothes look like on that day. As ever we would ask that all items are clearly labelled with their name.

Thank You to you all for continuing to
at the gate on arrival prior to touching the code pad and gate handle. Our staff and children still remain at risk and we therefore need to maintain our additional risk assessments to protect them.

Mobile phones – Quick reminder that the pre-school is a mobile phone free zone, even on the playground. If you get a call please take this off the pre-school grounds if you really need to answer it at that time.

Face 2 Face meetings with parents will be available weeks beginning 28th March & 4th April. We will send more details on how to book your slot after half term.

The children are doing super well at managing their own lunch boxes and are learning about healthy eating during these times. Thank you for your support in not sending sweeties, chocolates and other foods high in sugars. Thank you to those of you sending in cheese cubes as part of the end of lunch routine.

In our last newsletter we asked if any of you would like to help the pre-school children to make a scarecrow for the Ockbrook in Bloom Scarecrow Festival in June. We haven’t as yet had anyone come forward so if you would like to do this please contact me for more information.
They are also holding an Easter Bonnet parade if any of you want to take part in this at Easter time.

We are responsible for passing on information on any child or staff member who has a confirmed case of Covid to PHE and Ofsted. Please let us know if your chid has a confirmed case so we can meet this requirement.
The children have written their own rules for pre-school and we thought it might be useful that you know what these were so you can support them both at home and whilst on the pre-school premises.

  • Tidy up our toys
  • At pre-school we use walking feet inside
  • We keep our hands and feet to ourselves
  • Quiet voices inside
  • Be gentle with the toys

These are the children’s own words so may not be absolutely correct in their composition. We have given the children ‘a voice’.

Thank You

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Newsletter Spring 1, Jan 20th 22

Term Dates
January 10th —– February 18th
February 28th —- April 8th
April 25th ———- May 27th
June 7th ———– July 19th

May 2nd is a Bank holiday & June 6th is a lieu day for the Queen’s Platinum anniversary. Pre-School will be closed on these days.

Welcome back to pre-school after the Christmas & New Year break. Thank You to everyone who sent cards and gifts for the staff; these are greatly appreciated and anything sweet & edible will be consumed over the next few weeks by us all.

Please can I remind you to advise us of any changes that need to be amended in your child’s personal details, including house moves, contact names and changes in phone numbers. It is essential that we keep these up to date.

BIG Thank You to one of our dads, Gary Posiak, who has come to our rescue twice recently as we had a water leak on our water heater and then to replace a light fitting after an old one burnt out.
Any help like this is greatly appreciated and welcomed. Let us know if you have skills or qualifications that you would be prepared to offer to help us out as necessary.

Scarecrow Festival June 2nd and 3rd 2022. This event is being organised by Ockbrook/Borrowash in Bloom. We have been asked if we would like to enter this. Would you like to take a lead on this for the pre-school, designing, making, installing & disposing of afterwards? Contact Jane if you are interested in doing this.

We recently applied for and were awarded a Grant form Erewash Community Grants towards our Forest School equipment. We received just half of the amount applied for so have reduced our shopping accordingly. With the £240 we have so far purchased a new trolley for transporting everything, 2 new tarpaulins & ropes and are looking to buy a bow saw.
If you know of any grants we could apply for please let us know.

Our weekly adult guided activities include:
Daily well-being sessions after lunch, these include a peer on peer massage, yoga, Makaton story telling & colouring to music plus 1 other.
Regular Wednesday mornings are Forest School & Thursdays its Mini Movers.
Throughout the week we also have Little Rescuers just started and a Mini Bakers as well as woodwork, potion making and cookery which move round in rotation.
We have started to make links with another older persons home in Spondon so we can grow our Intergenerational work again.

Children’s reports were written just before Christmas and should now have been shared with you by key persons. These will have informed you of your child’s progress and development during the Autumn term. Have a word with your child’s key person if you’ve not yet seen this.

We are working on a new format for carrying out statutory Two Year Assessments so that these can be completed in collaboration with parents. If your child is around 2 1/2  years of age we may ask you to help us trial this. If so we will send out an invitation and will ask you for feedback to help us develop this reporting.

Holidays and planned absences require a form to be completed for our records. Please ask for this if you know your child is going to be absent from pre-school.

Reduction in Covid precautions. This is a swiftly moving topic in the news at present and we have struggled to maintain our written risk assessments with these constant changes. In general we continue to follow the Government advice and will notify you of any major changes to our practice. We are still required to deep clean and carry out extra cleaning on toys and resources. We will continue to rotate our toys and resources each day. The children will continue to enter by the toilet door and wash their hands and will exit by the double doors.

We still ask that you wear a facemask if you wish to come into the setting and sanitise your hands at the gate before entering.

It is important that we continue to protect our staff team as if we get Covid within the team we may well have to close for a period whilst they are self-isolating.

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Christmas Update

Just a quick update on our Christmas activities.

Wednesday 15th December is party day. We have lots of extra children booked in to do 11-1 for the party. Please bring them along in their party clothes. For the children here for Forest School please send the usual weather clothing for Forest School and party clothes can be changed into on their return. We are putting on a party lunch so please don’t send a lunch box on this day.

Thursday 16th December is our Concert in the morning. All the children will take part in this and any of you whose children are coming in as extras, could you be here by 11.00 so they can be part of the group as they prepare themselves please.
The organisers have requested the children wear something Christmassy – jumper, diddy boppers, Santa hat etc.

Christmas fund raiser is on the 16th as well. There will be goodies for sale and a raffle will be drawn. You can purchase tickets before this on the playground each morning. See the letter sent out via your child’s tray for more details.

The children have all made a gift for you to purchase and we will start selling these from Monday. Please ask a staff member if you want to purchase you child’s OWN handmade Santa Key which is magic and only works on Christmas Eve so he can come and deliver gifts to your house. They will be £2 each and cash payment will be accepted.

Other news-
We made £82.50 from the Bags2school collection Thank You.

There are still some wish list items left if you are able to offer to donate to the pre-school.

If your child is due to start full time school next September you need to make an application to the Local Authority, not the school, by January 15th 2022. There is a poster on the kitchen door at pre-school if you need details of how to do this.

Thank You

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Newsletter Autumn 2021 – December 1st

Term Dates
Finish date 17th December
10th January ——– 18th February
28th February ————– 8th April
25th April ——————– 27th May
7th June ——————— 19th July

May 2nd is a Bank Holiday & 6th June is an additional day granted in lieu of the Queens Platinum Anniversary Day & Pre-School will be closed.
Please make a note of these dates and pass them on to others who support your childcare arrangements.
Thank You
Good morning
What a difference a week makes and I don’t just mean the weather….
In just a few days the pre-school is looking shiny and glittery with all the Christmas decorations the children have helped to put up with their teachers.

Firstly I would like to say Thank You to those of you who have been supplying the staff with yummy cakes and biscuits recently. We have some very clever bakers amongst our parents.

Earlier this morning I worked with the children and staff as they got ready for their Forest School session. We have children at 2, 3 & 4 years of age who confidently dress themselves ready for their morning at The Hideaway. The majority of these children are really quite independent in sorting their own bags, clothes, wellies etc. The only time they hit a problem is when they can’t locate something in their bag and we have to hunt for it. Be proud of your children and please don’t underestimate their ability to be independent in their personal care.
We do go out in all weathers and will only cancel if this is assessed as too high a risk for them to be out. We will let you know if we need to cancel a session. You can help your child by making sure they are kitted out for the weather as this makes their session even more enjoyable if they’re not worried about being cold, wet or even too hot.

Christmas Party – Wednesday 15th December. Its going to be a fun time with a visit from Santa Claus. Please return the slip we sent out last week to let us know that you want your child to join us on that day.

Christmas Concert – We are still planning on going ahead with this unless guidance directs us to cancel. If you want to come along and see the children sing their lovely Christmas songs then return the slip sent out last week to reserve a place.
Louise & Kayleigh have asked that the children wear something Christmassy like a Christmas jumper or hat or some diddy boppers for this occasion.
You will need to wear a face mask throughout your time inside the setting and we will be ventilating the rooms so you may want to wear your coat. Numbers are limited to 1 per family.

The post box is outside if your child want to send Christmas cards to their friends. This will be emptied each morning and final postings will be 14th December.

We are struggling a bit at present with some of our toys and resources becoming damaged. We are working with the children to teach them about respect for our property and would encourage you to talk with them at home about how to care for things. We are not in a financial position to keep replacing things as they become damaged and need to be disposed of.
We are working with the children on identifying their ‘rules’ whilst at pre-school and will share this with you when its complete so you can chat with them at home about this.
Can we ask that when you are in the playground at drop off and collection that you don’t allow children to get out our toys and that you keep an eye on what your little one is up to so they are kept safe.

We are going to introduce weekly ‘Ways to Support Your Child’ ideas through our facebook page and would encourage you to have a go at some of these ideas. If your not a facebook user please have a chat with a member of staff who can update you with the activity for that week.
We also use facebook to show our letter & sound of the week, so again please ask about this.

During this term we have raised £185.28 from the Smartie tubes and the money left over from the Halloween Party, £29, was donated to the pre-school funds as the 3 staff who organised this event did so voluntarily.
Bags2school is on Monday 6th December and we are hoping this will be an even bigger event than last year. Don’t forget you still have time for a clear out over the weekend and can drop off your bags of unwanted clothes, shoes and handbags at pre-school from 8.30am on Monday.

The end of term sees a member of staff leaving us to move on to a new project. Kayleigh has been with us for 2 years and has been a valued member of the team. Kayleigh is very creative and has supported us greatly with her artistic skills and as a leader in the Mini Movers team. She is popular with the children and I’m sure will be missed.
Obviously this will mean some children will have a new key person who will contact you to introduce themselves in the New Year.

Now we are In December I will wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Thank You

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Newsletter Autumn 2021

Welcome back to Autumn term as we lead up to Christmas with lots of celebrations and festivals to be investigated over the next 7 weeks. In early years its known as the glitter season and is a favourite of some of our staff team……
Term Dates
1st November ——– 17th December
10th January ———- 18th February
28th February ——–  8th April
25th April ————–  27th May
6th June —————  19th July

Be A Smartie – We hope your child enjoyed emptying their smartie tube!!!. Thank You to those who have already returned their filled Smartie tube. This has already raised over £100 which will nearly cover the cost of having the gas boiler serviced this year. If you haven’t sent yours in yet there is still time to do this. If you’ve lost the tube don’t worry we have accepted electronic payments and envelopes instead.

Bags2school – please continue to put aside any unwanted clothing, shoes and bags ready for our collection later this month. More details to follow nearer the time.

We have just applied to Erewash Community Grants for money towards some additional Forest School resources, fingers crossed they are able to consider us for this.

Extended Entitlement Funding – If you are using this, can I remind you to re-validate your code when HMRC sends you that message; if you let it go into the ‘grace period’ you will lose that funding for the following term. We would then need to issue an invoice for sessions or you will be at risk of losing those sessions as we cannot keep them available for you without income from them.

Funding forms for newly funded children are going out this week. Please complete the information and return by 19th November.

Nuts – Can I once again remind you that at present we have a No Nuts policy due to having a child with a severe allergy to nuts. Please do not send in nuts or foods that contain nuts including nut butter, nutella, snack bars, chicken satay, etc. We do need your support on this in order to protect children effectively.

Session availability – a number of our sessions are now at capacity. If you are looking to add sessions or make any changes you will need to speak with Jane to find out what we have available. This includes children who may soon be entitled to funded hours. Don’t delay or you could miss out.

COP26 – As an early years provider we have the welfare of our children and the children of the future in our thoughts. In light of last weeks international conference in Glasgow on looking at climate changes in the future, we as a staff team have looked at what changes we can make towards this. The staff team have pledged to reduce plastic usage including bin bags & goods that are packaged in plastics, switch off electrical appliances (including lights) when not needed and to re-use and recycle wherever possible. We would like you to come on board with some of our ideas to secure children’s futures in years to come. We would like to ask you to ditch single use juice bottles such as Fruit Shoots and Callypo and think about if your child really needs to drink juice, purchase a drink bottle that can be refilled and used time and again with your child’s lunch; it will also save you money in the long term. Also we would encourage you not to use cling film on foods, but to consider wrapping food in foil if necessary or just simply use a ‘Tupperware’ type box instead. We are also going to be asking the parents committee to consider some changes with regard to the setting.
Let us know what changes you are pledging for the future.

Christmas Party & Concert – the party will be held at pre-school on Wednesday 15th December and the concert on Thursday 16th. We are not yet sure as to whether the concert will be virtual again this year or if we will be inviting a limited number into the setting to watch it live. We will send out more information nearer the time.

Big Thank You to everyone who is supporting all our continued risk assessments with regard to Covid. These include sanitising hands at the gate before entering, even if someone is holding the gate open for you. Wearing a face mask if you want to come inside and only 1 adult dropping off or collecting a child. No changing bags or toys from home. Remember if your child is showing any of the covid symptoms, they must not come to pre-school until you have checked them out or you isolate with them at home.

Security – We recently had a delivery man let into the setting by a parent who opened the gate for them. Please, if someone like this is at the gate let a member of staff know, don’t just let them in. We are responsible for safeguarding all our children and our policy is that no-one is allowed on to the premises unless they are known to us. Thank You for your support in this matter.

Facebook – We have 2 facebook pages. One is used by the staff and has pictures of the children shown on it each week and the other is used by the committee to advertise fund raising events etc.  If you are interested in going either of these pages just send a friend request and we will add you. The private page is available for parents only and the administrators do check that only parents are accepted onto this.

The new Wish List will be going out this week. Take a look and see if you can put your name down to donate any of these items. No sand this time!!!!  Also the Laundry rota is out each morning for you to sign up to take a bag of washing. No ironing, just a wash & dry is all thats needed. It really is important to us that we share in these tasks and work together to benefit the pre-school. HUGE Thank You to all of you who join us by helping out in these small ways. 🙂

Thank You

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October News Extra 2021

Quick reminder pre-school finishes on Friday 22nd October for half term and we are back on 1st November.

Can we encourage you to complete and return Spider Interest pictures and Focus paperwork when they are sent home for your child. The information you give us in these documents is very useful to us as we teach using children’s interests and other information about home life that is important to you and your toddler.

We have had a really good response to our Halloween Party on 29th October. There are just a couple of places left so please return your slip and payment if you want your child to join us for this.

We are still looking for the support of our parents to become Trustees and part of the Management Committee. Please consider how you can show your support for the staff, children and setting by giving a small amount of time to this role. Without these people the pre-school cannot continue to function as it is a requirement of the Charity. If your not sure what might be required of you please ask to speak with Jane. The board is outside each morning if you want to add your name.

Our first fund raising activity will becoming out at the end of the week. So please be a Smartie and join us in raising some money that will go towards the purchase of resources including play sand (£5 a bag), printing ink (£38 twice a year), loo & kitchen roll, disinfectant etc etc that we buy weekly.
We are also looking to raise money to be able to install a more permanent canopy in place of the green canvas one that has seen better days. Can you recommend anyone who can provide and fit one of these or do you know of any business who may like to sponsor this type of work. Come and have a chat if you can help us at all.

Jo & Su have just completed their Forest School portfolios and have submitted them for verification. We will look to celebrate their achievement once this has been completed. The nearest active Forest School to Ridings is in Beeston which is probably why ours is so popular that we have a waiting list for these Wednesday morning sessions.

Dont forget to give our facebook page a look over and like. If you haven’t already joined us on there please send us a friend request and see what our children get up to and pick up on snippets of information we share from other sites.

Happy half term

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