Posted on: 6th December 2023

Welcome back form the summer holidays – we all hope you have had a good summer and if you went camping or on holiday didn’t have too much rain!! Judging by our weather so far September is looking to be a warmer month!

Below is the topic each room is exploring this half-term and the exciting activities your child/ren may be involved in. If you feel you can help in any way towards the topic/activities please see Linda, Lindsey, Louise or Debbie.

Holiday club forms are attached to the end of the newsletter.

Field mice room: Pre-school children

The topic is – All around us! Week 1 –settling in , week 2 – our playroom, week 3 – around my home, week 4 – out on a walk, week 5 – around our area, week 6 – Bear hunt and week 7 – Harvest time.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development: The children will be settling into their new area, bonding with their peers and practitioners and getting to know their new key person. They will learn the golden rules and boundaries of their room and become familiar with the new routines. Books such as ‘Helping’ by Shirley Hughes will be looked at and the children encouraged to help and be kind to each other. If there are any keen gardeners (any grandparents?) who would like to come in and work with the children please let us know as they will be working on environments especially in the back garden. Harvest will be prepared for with the story of ‘The little red hen’ and the children will taste and try different breads.

Communication & Language: Phonic lessons will be started where initially they will look at their names and as the weeks progress the letters; SATPIN will be studied and activities centred around them. Sound bags will be made when reading ‘Going on a bear hunt’ and other stories to match characters and items such as; bear, dog, grass…The children will be encouraged to write ‘shopping lists’ for the ‘Little red hen’ and labels for the room.

Physical Development: Gross motor skills will be utilised when playing on the wheeled toys and navigating the road and signs outside. Obstacle courses will be created to re-enact ‘Going on a bear hunt’. They children will travel around the room and garden responding to signals from practitioners and use the apparatus to move under, over, through, around…..Fine motor skills will be required for using the scissors, threading activities, preparing fruit and kneading bread dough.

Literacy: The Gingerbread man and Enormous turnip stories will be read, re-enacted, written about and gingerbread men made.

Maths: Sorting and counting activities will be available, number lines consisting of houses constructed, shapes observed through the environment and ingredients weighed out for Gingerbread men. Number songs and rhymes will be learnt and sung with the children counting 1-10 and down from 10-1.

UTW: Different types of houses/homes will be looked at and the children will be asked for a picture of their house so they can compare who lives in a bungalow, flat, detached house, terraced house…..When out on our walk the children will be encouraged to look at different houses and identify one which looks like theirs. Animal habitats will be discussed and looked for whilst on our walk – rivers, nests….

Expressive arts and design: Self –portraits will be painted and displayed for the children to look at and learn who their peers are. Autumn paint colours will be explored and autumnal pictures created using them. Using a piece of chalk the children will be encouraged to take it for a walk and create patterns on the floor.

Free play: Within the water tray there will be bubbles with warm water, coloured water with clear containers, different sized containers, lux flakes with sponges and whisks, floating letters and funnels and pots. The sand tray will have wet sand with moulds and rakes for patterns, used to make walls with the bricks and trowels, small world creatures and habitats made using twigs and leaves and dry sand with sieves and sand wheels.


Rising threes:

The topic is All about me!

PSED: Family photos will be asked for so the children can share them with each other and talk about their families. The ‘Colour Monster’ story will be read, emotions discussed and games played around emotion/feelings.

C&L: The children will spend this half of the term getting to learn who their peers are as well as establishing relationships with their new practitioners. They will discuss their feelings, learn the ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ songs and talk about their own self-care.

Lit: At registration, the children will be encouraged to recognise their name and there will be many opportunities to mark make. The story for the first half of the term will be ‘Funny Bones’.

Physical: Different ways of moving their bodies will be explored, daily ‘wake and shake’ sessions and focus given to learning how to put on their coat and shoes.

Maths: The children will be asked what number house they live at as well as looking for numbers when out and about in their environments. Different shapes will be used to make houses and measuring activities provided such as recipes.

UTW: The role play area will become a doctors surgery, the skeleton will be looked at through pictures and puzzles and the names of some bones learnt through song.

EA&D: Using clay the children will create a self-portrait, using paint a family portrait, a skeleton picture using straws and bake gingerbread men.


Dormouse room:

Dormice Room Autumn Term 2023: Part 1

Topic: Nursery Rhymes:  Old Macdonald Farm

Down in the jungle

The wheels on the bus

Heads shoulders knees and toes.

We would like to say a big welcome to all the children in the Dormice Room. We are all looking forward to the term ahead. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be focusing on putting foundations and bonds in place with all practitioners and we will be letting all parents know whom your child’s key person will be.

We will be covering the 7 areas of learning and our topic of ‘Nursery Rhymes’ will be linked to all of those areas.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development: Our main focus will be to settle all the children returning or joining us for the first time. This will allow the staff and children to have time to get to know each other and for staff to become accustomed to their personal routines and interests.

Communication & Language: We will be focusing on singing the above-mentioned rhymes, using actions, props and stories to reinforce our songs. If the children come home, singing please sing with them at meal times, play times or bath time. When singing Head shoulders knees and toes you can reinforce the words by pointing to those body parts.

Physical Development: We will be using many different musical instruments and music will be played while we are moving our bodies around in different ways such as moving our arms up and down or side to side for the wheels on the bus.

Literacy: We will be looking, sharing and reading books relating to farm animals, safari/jungle animals, vehicles and body parts/books about us. We will use props and actions so the children can become involved and join in with familiar words and pictures.

Mathematics: We will be using numbers 1 to 5 as we play and count animals, vehicles, people, fingers and toes.  We will be introducing language such as long, tall, short, big and small into our play – especially when we sing ‘down in the jungle’ as our themed song.

Knowledge & Understanding of the World: We will link our everyday life into our play by playing with the small world toys such as the farmyard, safari park, road map/car garage and dolls so the children can along with practitioners help make connections.

Expressive Art & Design: We will be using many different materials such as paint, gloop, shaving foam, water, flour, pasta, cereals in our play and the children will be encouraged to mark make in a variety of ways by using animals, vehicles or their own hands and feet.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to speak to any of the Dormouse staff.


We wish Myha all the best during her 2nd year at Uni and look forward to seeing her again during the holidays where she will be joining the team again for holiday club.

Jacquie has joined us this term and started working in the Fieldmouse room. She will be working with the pre-schoolers on a Tuesday and Friday morning and the rising 3’s on a Wednesday morning.

Hanri will be working on a Thursday helping in the office with admin and as she settles she will be able to help with any queries you may have.


Our next trustees meeting is being held on Thursday 21st September at 9 am. This will be @ Brambles. If any parent is interested in joining the trustees, please see Debbie.

Those unwelcome friends – HEAD LICE – are doing the rounds again so please check your child/s hair and treat accordingly. They do not like citronella or tea tree and sprays of these are available – they are a good deterrent! Long hair tied back or plaited also helps – also with the warmer weather; this will be cooler for children with long hair.

If any parents have changed their address or phone number over the summer can you please let the staff know so they can change the admission form to reflect this. If there are, any changes to pickups these will also did to be altered on the forms.

Brambles has a closed Face Book page – please send a friend request if you are not already a member. Updates are posted as necessary, photos of trips out, photos of children eating produce from the garden, lunch menus…..


Brambles is setting up their own library system to encourage a long-lasting love with books. Each book is in a labelled bag and as the system evolves puppets and props will be added for some stories. We would like to ask parents to encourage their children to look after our books and pop them back into the bag when not in use. The library will be open on a Thursday morning from 8 am – 9 am, Hanri will be in attendance to help and record any book changes. There are books for all our age ranges and we look forward to hearing all about our books from the children!


If your child has joined Lindsey in the Rising 3 area this term they will be eligible for 15 universal hours of 3yr funding from the beginning of the Spring term (or the summer term if their 3rd birthday falls between January and March 2024). Debbie will hand out EY2 forms just before Christmas and will then need to see either a passport or birth certificate to validate the children’s details. If parents both work 16 hours or more (or if you are a single parent and working 16 hours or more) you should be eligible for an extended 15 hours. Please visit website, search for 30 hour funding and complete the forms to see if you are eligible. You should then be given an 11 digit number beginning 500/501 which Debbie will need to validate on the funding portal. Once you have a code you will receive an email every 3 months where you will need to go back to the .gov website and revalidate your details. Please be aware this email can go into your junk mail! If the code is not revalidated it stops and will only reactivate when you reapply. If you have any questions please see Debbie.

Many parents will also be eligible for ‘Childfree Tax care’ with the government scheme – for children aged up to 11 years. Again this is on the government website and could help towards your childcare costs. It can be used for fees/lunches/snacks….Please look to see if you are eligible – the nursery is registered with the scheme already and you just need to add our name to your account.

School places: Parents of our pre-schoolers can now go to the government website and register their children for a school place. This will be open until January and Debbie will remind you again later in the term. You will be asked for 3 choices and it is advised you fill out all 3 boxes to ensure you are not given a school not of your choice.


The Brambles has an emergency bottle of Calpol for children who may suddenly develop a temperature, whose parents cannot collect them quickly and we feel it is required. If your child is teething or you feel requires a dose of Calpol during the day a bottle must be brought in with them. We are finding when we require ours it is empty due to parents not supplying their own. If they do require Calpol for anything other than teething, it may be they are too poorly for nursery and need to stay home.


We discourage juice at lunchtime unless there is a reason – please see Debbie if this is the case. We have a water cooler, which the children are able to freely access and water/milk is provided during snacks and lunch times.

Please cut grapes into QUARTERS – these are one of the biggest choking hazards for children.

Due to a nut allergy within the setting there is to be NO NUTS in packed lunches. We will be changing our policy to reflect this.

We promote healthy eating and would like parents to support us with this when providing packed lunches. A healthy packed lunch should contain; a sandwich/crackers/wrap, yogurt, packet of crisps, fruit and maybe one biscuit or piece of cake.  We are able to reheat food from yesterdays ‘tea’ or make beans/spaghetti on toast if you would like to provide this in a packed lunch.


Due to the hot weather can all children have a named sun hat and named bottle of sun cream, kept in their bag and hung on their pegs. A change of clothes will also be necessary as ‘water’ may feature quite a lot this month and the children love to get wet and dirty in the mud kitchen!!!

Can parents please apply sun cream before nursery; practitioners will apply as necessary through the day.

Rising 3’s:

Can parents please send in or email a family picture to



We have been lucky to secure a performance by ‘Arthur’s Club’ which is a story telling production. It will be at St Just Town Hall on Thursday 19th October – times to be confirmed. Practitioners will walk with the children in attendance from Brambles. If there are any preschool children who do not attend on a Thursday they are welcome to join us for the performance. The reception class from the primary school will also be attending.

Autumn walk:

During the week of the 9th October the preschool children will be going on a walk during the morning. If any parents are able to help please see Debbie.


Please send in or email a picture of your house for the topic this term to

Term dates:

4th September – 20th October

Half  term 23rd -27th October (please see holiday form)

30th October – 19th December

Spring term starts on the 4th January.