Posted on: 6th December 2023

Welcome back form the October half-term and Feast celebrations.

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

Field mice room: Pre-school children

The topic is –Special times! Week 1 –Light up the sky , week 2 – Diwali, week 3 – Special days, week 4 – Hanukkah, week 5 – Christmas advent, week 6 – Christmas story 7 – Christmas.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development: Feelings will be discussed – our feelings for our friends and how we look after our friends. The children will talk about how to stay safe on Bonfire night and what does our family do on this night. The week beginning 13th November the children will be asked to bring in a photo of themselves at a special time such as a wedding, birthday, christening…During Hanukkah they will look at coloured and scented candles and talk about other special times when candles are used. During the Christmas weeks the children will explore the feelings of anticipation, wonder and families as well as thinking of others and the joy of giving and receiving presents. Turn taking games will be played to help the children understand the concept of losing out and not always winning.

Communication & Language: After bonfire night the noises the fireworks make will be described and descriptions given of what they look like. The story of Meg and Mog will be read, the spells chanted, and the story of Rama and Sita will be retold using puppets. Invitations for special times will be written by the children and menus for the Christmas Party. The sounds of the weeks will be C K E H R M D

Physical Development: Whilst listening to Indian music the children will concentrate on motion and stillness. Whilst using the trikes they will navigate obstacles travel in different ways from one place to another as well as joining in with ‘sticky kids’. To hone their fine motor skills the children will use the tongs to move small items such as pom- poms from one container to another and manipulate clay when making their diva lamps.

Literacy: Stories such as Meg and Mog, Rama and Sita and the Christmas story will be read. The children will look at the books seeing where the text is on the page, how English print is read left to right and top to bottom. The children will be shown how sentences start with a capital letter and finish with a full stop. The idea of a word will be explained and it will be pointed out how some words are longer than others and how there is always a space before and after a word.

Maths: Rangoli patterns will be looked at for their symmetry, colours and shapes. Advent calendars will be available with a door opened daily by the children. Shorter/longer, thinner/thicker will be discussed when sorting the candles during Hanukkah. Whilst playing games the children will be asked to count the spots on the dice and begin to recognise the patterns.

UTW: Through different media the children will explore the changes of materials such as what happens to clay as it is manipulated and then left in the air, what happens to candles when lit and then what occurs when the hot wax is put into cold water. Discussions will be held around how candles at one time were the only source of lighting in a home and what would it have been like to live then. Animal habitats will be looked at and how animals keep warm in the winter – especially if they live in the snow.

Expressive arts and design: Using different materials and media firework pictures will be created recreating the fireworks the children may have seen. Diva lamps will be made as well as birthday cards and collages using different media. Nativity rehearsals will begin.

Free play: Within the water tray there will be glitter, clear bowls, bottles and coloured water. Ice cubes and balloons will be added as well as whisks, spoons and bubbles. The sand tray will have dry sand with containers of all sizes and shapes, scales and compare containers. The wet sand will be for mark making, and then shells, pebbles…will be added.


Rising threes:

The topic is Percy the park keeper!

PSED: The children will talk about being kind to others and create thank you cards to hand out to the community. Seashells and stones will be painted and displayed in the community for the kindness challenge and Christmas wishes. Christmas cards will be made to send to a friend or neighbour.

C&L: Percy the park keeper books will be read and discussions about looking after animals and their needs will be held. Children in Need will be talked about and the needs of others compared to ours. The children will also look at the story of Rama and Sita and make Diwali lamps.

Lit: The signs of winter will be looked at thorough books and the landscape, invitations made for the café, letters for Santa written and sent and Christmas cards created. Many opportunities will be provided for the children to mark make and hone their pencil control.

Physical: A new wake and shake activity will be introduced and a burpee challenge taken on for Children in Need. Games will be introduced to promote gross physical movement. For fine motor skills the children will thread beads, decorate the Christmas tree and make reindeer food bags using spoons for pouring and measuring.

Maths: A fizzing cauldron will be created using baking soda and food colouring. ‘Hedgehog’ playdough will be in the tuff tray for the children to count the prickles, matching and number activities played as well as experiments held with oil and water.

UTW: The role play area will resembles Percy’s park and the children will look after all of his animals. How other countries celebrate Christmas will be looked at alongside our remembrance day and Children in Need.

EA&D: The children will create a Percy the park keeper autumn display which will then become a winter display with snow – this will be created using the children’s hand prints for the animals and trees. Salt dough reindeer will be made alongside poppies and leaf pictures.


Dormouse room:

Expressive art and design – Halloween, Diwali, Bonfire night and Christmas!!

The children will:

Make Halloween cats/bats/spiders and pumpkins

Make Diwali lamps form clay and decorate

Create firework pictures using brightly coloured paint and glitter

Using shaving foam with paint and glitter encourage the children to use their fingers to create fireworks

Make Indian themed Christmas tree decorations for the tree festival at the chapel

Dance around the room to Christmas music

Help to decorate the Christmas tree in the room

Sing Christmas songs using bells and other instruments

Make Christmas crafts to take home – cards and tree decorations



Our next trustees meeting is being held on Thursday 16th November at 4 pm. 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.

If any parents have changed their address or phone number 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 need 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…


The library has been a big hit with the children and it is lovely seeing them eagerly arriving on a Thursday morning wanting to change their books. Please see Debbie if you wish to change the books on another day for any reason. We are aware there are lots of children who do not come in on a Thursday therefore please see Debbie to become part of this great initiative. The books are being well looked after we appreciate this hugely – additionally we hope it will teach the children to respect and look after nursery’s other books as well as their own books.

I have the second part of my course for this initiative next week and would like to take some feedback with me. If anyone has any photos and comments they are willing to share could you please email me @ I would be very grateful!


If your child is with Lindsey in the Rising 3 area and they turn 3 before Christmas they will be eligible for 15 universal hours of 3yr funding from the beginning of the Spring term. 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. This needs to be completed before the end of term for the code to be validated to start in January.

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 and 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: The portal for school places will close on January 15th 2024. Apply online @ 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 are 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.

Christmas Party:

Provisionally this will be Tuesday 19th December 12.30-2pm – we are waiting to see if Father Christmas is able to visit. Once we have heard we can confirm this date and time. All children are welcome but if they do not normally attend on this day they will require an adult to attend with them  – please see Debbie. Brambles will provide the food and we will ask for a parental contribution of £1.00 per child towards the cost.



We have been lucky to secure a morning at the Minack theatre on Thursday 23rd November at 10am. We will be leaving nursery at 9.20 am by mini bus. If your child does not normally attend please see Debbie if you would like to join us.

The children will be joining a professionally led drama workshop in conjunction with Made Arts. The workshop will last for 90 mins and the children (and adults) will require warm and waterproof clothes. (If too wet it will take place inside).

The Minack Magic Movement tour will explore the theater with plenty of interaction, play and storytelling. Additionally there will be time for games and noise!!

Birthday pictures:

Please send in a picture of your child celebrating a birthday for the week beginning 13th November. Thank you to parents for the pictures we have already received.


We will shortly be rehearsing for our annual nativity production. This will be held in the town hall on Tuesday 12th December at 10 am. The dress rehearsal will be Monday 11th December at 10 am. (MORE DETAILS WILL FOLLOW NEARER THE TIME).

As soon as we have decided on which role your child will be playing we will send out a letter which will include their words and havethe song words attached. We do have several costumes here at Brambles so please see Debbie before purchasing one.

Friday 17th:

Tempest photographers are in all day if you need to send in a change of clothes (as some children may be dressed as a book character) we can change the children’s clothes. If you would like a slot please speak to Debbie – this is for children who do not normally attend on a Friday. Family slots are available during the afternoon – again please see Debbie. Children already in attendance will have their photo automatically taken during the morning. Parents are then given a ‘proof’ photo which you can order if you wish. There is no obligation to buy the photos.

Children in Need day – we have lots of merchandise on display if anyone requires ‘Pudsey or Blush ears’ or a Pudsey or Blush teddy’. The children are encouraged to dress as their favourite book character.

Christmas Lunch:

Our Christmas lunch will be Wednesday 13th December. If your child normally has a packed lunch but would like to join us for a Christmas lunch instead please see Debbie. Hot lunch is £2.00 and a pudding is 50p.


Term dates:

30th October – 19th December

Spring term starts on the 4th January.