Newsletter September 2015

St Paul’s Pre-School Newsletter September 2015


Dear parents,

Welcome back to a new school year and beginning of our Autumn term. We hope you had a lovely summer and would like to thank those of you who attended our summer party and graduation day. We thank you for the gifts, food donations and for making the day so wonderful for the children. Also a big welcome to our new starters & their families. We hope that our small Pre-School will provide you and your child with the education and care you need this coming year.

As Autumn brings inter-changeable weather, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the children will be making the most of our varied outdoor play facilities everyday so please ensure they have suitable outdoor clothing i.e. coats, hats, gloves, scarves, sun hats, shoes and suitable fitting wellington boots; clearly marked with your child’s name. It would be helpful if you could practise with your child, putting on shoes/wellies, coats, scarves etc. Think about the shoes/coats/wellingtons you buy for Pre-School, i.e. are they easy for your child to put on? Do they allow them to run, jump and climb comfortably?

Please let your child be responsible for their own belongings when coming into Pre-School we appreciate that our younger children and new starters will need your support to know where things go (but this does not mean you have to put everything away for them) i.e. If you put their drink in the drink holder will they know where to find it? We would also like to remind you of the importance of self registration in the morning. Please support your child in finding their own name card, help them to recognise their picture and the first letter of their name with younger children – moving on to the whole name including surname with our older children.

We will continue to open our doors at 9am; and would appreciate your prompt arrival where possible (we are aware some parents have siblings to drop off and completely understand this is sometimes unavoidable).

Please continue to use out ‘WOW’ cards on our parents board in the entrance area. We have so enjoyed reading about the achievements your child is making so far at home and would appreciate your involvement in building up a more comprehensive picture of your child.

We do not have a formal P.E lesson at Pre-School but we do encourage all our children to take part in dancing and ring games, outside play and fine motor activities that support pre-writing such as ‘Doh Disco’. We also provide a rainbow of fruits for snack time to ensure that all children have the opportunity to have a healthy snack and taste many different fruits and vegetables, seeds and pulses (I.e. Houmous).

This term we will be continuing to develop our Chatter Group we successfully piloted last term. It provides a chance for children to develop key social skills and communication skills through fun small group activities.

This terms teachers will by Jo and Judy. We will contine to be supported by Rachel for children with additional needs as well as continuing her work for Derbyshire County Council as specialist support. We hope that Vikki and Heather will be about for emergency staff cover and we continue to have our wonderful team of volunteers this term; Chris, Di, Alison, Anna and Elaine as well as a new student due to start from Derby College. All volunteers must be experienced, suitably trained, provide references and have a DBS check before working with our children.

This term we are having to cut down one and a half days (Monday and Wednesday afternoons), as we are extremely quiet and cannot justify opening full time. We expect this to be just a temporary measure and will be taking a wait list for these days and open as soon as feasibly possible. We are not alone in being quiet this term as other settings in the City are also quieter and September is traditionally a quiet month. We hope that all parents understand and see this as a positive move with smaller class sizes being an advantage; giving your child additional one to one sessions with experienced, highly qualified adults.

We continue to ask parents who can afford to contribute £2 per week to our extra activities such as snack, outings and visits from outside activities at Pre-School.

Could you please ensure that your child brings a water bottle every day, filled with water only please. Our snack times are held around 10am and 2 pm and is an important part of our curriculum which help our children to learn about the importance of eating healthy food and drinking regularly, as well as giving your child the opportunity to socialise with their peers.

Our Topic for this term is ‘All About Me’. We will begin with a booklet for both parent and teacher to fill out in Pre-School with your child and for you to fill out at home too. Please can you bring this booklet back to Pre-School every time your child is in so we can continue to use this vital tool. Alongside the booklets we will be focusing on a book. The Sunshine group which is our younger story group will continue to explore ‘MR. TUMBLE’ and look at one book for the half term. The Rainbow group will focus on a selection of Eric Carle texts starting with ‘LOVE’.

From here, we will develop and extend in response to the children’s interests and learning needs, which will include the seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum with a key focus on the three core areas of Learning and Development for our younger children and a wide emphasis on the four specific areas for our older children, as outlined below.

The Three Core Areas:

Communication and Language Development Physical Development Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Listening and Attention



Moving and Handling

Health and Self Care

Self Confidence & Self Awareness

Managing Feelings and Behaviour

Managing Relationships


The Four Specific Areas

Literacy Mathematics Understanding the World Expressive Arts and Design



Shape, Space and Measure

People & Communities

The World



Art & Design

Letters and Sounds: This half term, most children will be working on Phase 1 of letters and sounds we will be exploring rhymes, creating a beat and for those ready to move onto Phase 2 recognising ‘S A T P I N’.

We will be sending jolly phonic prompt sheets home over the coming months or they are available online.

We will all be learning about the importance of giving to others and we will learn the harvest song in preparation for our Harvest Festival on 20th September at 10am in St Paul’s Church. Please come along and bring friends and family to support this important festival and watch your children singing a simple harvest song. We will also be visited by Sundar and Sarah Pinninty who will be talking about the Home of Hope Orphanage that Jo and family visited and helped open in January 2013. We will be collecting donations for their shoe box appeal if you wish to donate pens, toothbrushes, small toys this would be very much appreciated.

As usual if you have any photos of family events, can help us celebrate any family festivals (a focus for next half term Nov-Dec) or would like to come in and share a book with some of our Pre-School children do speak to one of us.


  • Please continue to read stories with your child, thinking about how the story is structured? is it a story or a information book? – try to read a variety of books.
  • We will continue to practice SATPIN letters at Pre-School. Can you continue to look for these in books, on road signs etc?
  • Encourage your child to practice using their fingers in pincer activities such as play-dough, threading games, jigsaw puzzles.
  • Play counting games and sing counting songs with your child.
  • Encourage your child to grow in independence when using the toilet.
  • Encourage your child to eat a healthy diet.

We are still looking for parents who would be willing to come in and talk to our children maybe you have a friendly pet they could meet?.. do an interesting jobs? you can show pictures of or bring props for or have a talent like juggling or playing an instrument. Our children love things like this and it would be a valuable experience for them. Please speak Jo or Judy if you are interested.

We do realise how busy many of you are, but we would ask that you take the time to read our newsletters and also any letters that may be in your child’s post tray in order that you do not miss out on any events in out Pre-School calendar. Upcoming events are our disco, Harvest Festival and our Christmas trip.

We hope you find this newsletter useful. We know that your children do not always want to tell you what they have been doing at school but rest assured they have been busy learning whilst having fun! As always, we are available for a chat any day after school if you wish to speak to us.

Once again thanks for your contributions and valuable support.

We would like to announce that we were voted:


by our parents last term – something that we are extremely proud of.

Term Dates:

Tuesday 17th September – Autumn Term 1 Starts

Sunday 20th September – Harvest Celebration (10am St Paul’s Church)

Monday 28th September – Committee Meeting and Parents Information Evening

Friday 16th October – Disco

Friday 23rd October – Break up half term

Tuesday 3rd November – return to Pre-School Autumn Term 2

7th– 11th December Christmas Activity week

8th December – Christmas Trip

Tuesday 15th December – Christmas Singalong

Thursday 17th December – break up Christmas holidays

Monday 4th January – Spring Term 1 starts

Friday 12th February – break up half term

Tuesday 23rd February – back to Pre-School Spring Term 2

Spring Trip – to be confirmed

Thursday March 24th – break up Easter

Tuesday 12th April – back to Pre-School Summer Term 1

Friday 27th May – Break up half term

Monday 6th June – back to Pre-School Summer Term 2

Summer Trip to be confirmed

Thursday 21st July – Graduation and Party Day.