Newsletter – Spring Term 2024 – 1st half term

Posted on: 5th February 2024

Welcome back form the Christmas holidays – we hope everyone had a welcome break and the children received all the presents they asked Santa for!

Holiday forms have already been sent out for the February and Easter holiday clubs.

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.

Field mice room: Pre-school children

The topic isPeople who help us! Week 1 –Police , week 2 Police, week 3 – Vets, week 4 – Vets, week 5 Fire station, week 6Fire station.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development: The children will work as part of a team taking turns and sharing fairly whilst understanding the need to agree values and codes of behaviour within groups of people for them to work harmoniously. The children will be encouraged to offer ideas and work together to set up the vet’s surgery, fire station….

Communication & Language: Many stories will be shared and read with the children centred on ‘people who help us’ as well as visits by a vet, coastguards, nurse and a visit to the local fire station.

The sounds of the weeks will be D G O U L.

Physical Development: During role play the children will be provided with hoses, ladders and obstacles to enhance their play. They will be encouraged to move their bodies to music, move in different ways to mimic animal movements and move around obstacles using prepositional language to support their understanding of; over/under/through/around….

Literacy: Stories and books depicting the care of animals will be provided alongside opportunities for the children to write letters, draw animals and designing thank you cards for our visitors this term.

Maths: The number 9 will be looked at and how many times it is used to call the emergency services. It will be role played with the children to demonstrate calling 999. Number lines will be constructed, shapes provided for the children to construct their own fire engine and matching games will be played.

UTW: The word ‘uniform’ will be introduced and discussed and the children asked to describe uniforms worn by people who help us – and why we wear uniforms. The children will be encouraged to bring in photos of their pets to display in the vets. When talking about animals’ environments soil, twigs, leaves, straw, sawdust will be provided for the children to create homes for the small world animals.

Expressive arts and design: Using different media the children will create their own animals and these will be displayed for everyone to see. The tune of Here we go round the mulberry bush will be used to sing We are the emergency services, services, services…..The children will be encouraged to make/design badges, walkie-talkies, hats….to use during role play.

Free play: Within the water tray there will be boats and assorted water wheels, fishing games, bubbles, dolls, sponges and equipment for pouring. The sand tray will have dry sand with wheeled toys, jugs and sieves whilst the wet sand will be for imprinting shapes, spades and moulds and then dinosaurs and twigs/pebbles ….will be added.

Rising threes:

The topic is The three little pigs.

PSED – The children will be supported as they settle back into nursery routine after the Christmas holiday and the new children as they discover new areas, routines, practitioners and children. Emotions and managing them will be looked at and the children encouraged to look at the colour monster board. Working together and sharing will be encouraged.

C&L – The Three Little Pigs book will be shared and the children encouraged to make up their own story. A feely box will be made, an object from the story placed inside and the children encouraged to guess what it is. Potty training will be discussed and the children who are just starting this will be encouraged to use the potty/toilet and to ask for the toilet when needed.

PD – A new wake and shake song will be introduced and the children encouraged to join in and take part and games such as ‘what’s the time Mr Wolf?’ will be played. Story stones will be set up in the garden for the children to be able to make up their own story.

Literacy – The letters A B C D and E will be focused on with the children mark making the letter of the week in different media. When making cards they will be encouraged to ‘write’ their names inside.

Maths Questions will be asked about size ‘why are the pigs little?’ ‘is the wolf bigger?’. The number 3 will be mentioned when counting the pigs, the different materials and their houses.

UTW – How do/where do pigs live in real life? The big garden bird watch will be joined with the children looking and counting the birds in our garden. Celebrations around the world will be looked at and Chinese New Year celebrated.

EA&D – A house of straw, sticks and bricks will be made as well as 3 little pigs and a wolf. During the Chinese New Year a dragon will be constructed.

Dormouse room:

Environmental Planning W/B 08.01.2024

Personal, Social & Emotional Development:

Welcoming back all of our current and any new children within the dormice room. For those new children for the first few weeks, we will be supporting them into their new nursery routine and getting to know the staff and their peers. In the room there will be a variety of familiar toys to the children which will help to provide comfort in wanting to explore the room.

Communication & Language:

We will be using language all the time as we explore, play and look at books whilst building & making relationships between staff and peers. We will encourage the children to use sounds and language when they

are communicating with us.

Physical Development:

We will be looking at ways we can all move around when we are out in the garden or when we are inside playing. Encouraging the children to try new things such as climbing up on the climbing frame and using the ride on cars in garden. Alongside this we will be dancing and wriggling around to songs and music.


In the book corner, we will have a variety of books, which we will share together or independently. We be looking at the author Eric Carle’s’ book ‘Brown bear, brown bear’ as this is a real favourite of the children’s.


Using different construction materials to build towers to encourage use of number language – focusing on numbers 1-5.

Knowledge and Understanding of the World:

Treasure baskets which are full of loose natural objects such as wooden curtain rings, tubes, boxes, pieces of material, small brushes and sponges will be available. They provide opportunities for the children to explore and make connections as they play with this open ended activity.

Expressive Art and Design:

Areas will be set up for free mark making with crayons, pens and paint. Using these pictures, we will turn them into the animals from the book ‘brown bear, brown bear’ to go on the wall as part of our display board.


Our next trustees meeting is being held on Thursday 1st February at 1.30 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…


We are having to replace the roof this year and we hope the roofing contractors will be able to complete the work without Brambles closing. It may mean the children will not have access to all the gardens when the scaffolding is up and the roofers are working. It is the pitch and flat roof at the back of the nursery and should not affect the entrance. As soon as we have a start date we will let all parents know and if there will be a change to our operations.


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.


If your child is with Lindsey in the Rising 3 area and they turn 3 before April they will be eligible for 15 universal hours of 3 yr funding from the beginning of the Summer term. Debbie will hand out EY2 forms just before Easter 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 re-validate your details. Please be aware this email can go into your junk mail! If the code is not re-validated 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 the term for the code to be validated.

Funding for all 2 year old children (if eligible) begins in April and parents will need to go to to check. If your child turns two by the 31.03.2024 you may be eligible for the new 15 hours of funding being introduced by the Government. If you are eligible, please see Debbie who will have the necessary forms to fill out.

Many parents will also be eligible for ‘Child-free 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 preschool 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.


Please can all preschool children bring or send in a picture of themselves with their pet. If they have no pet but a grandparent does a photo with them would be fine.

Rising 3’s:

Please could all rising 3’s bring in a drink bottle, which can be left at nursery. These will be filled with cold water for the children to access throughout the day.

Term dates:

04.01.2024 to 28.03.2024

February half term 12th -16th February

Easter holidays 2nd – 20th April

Bank holidays Friday 30th March and Monday 1st April

Summer term starts on the 15th April.

Thank you.