Newsletter – Summer term 2024 (first half term).

Posted on: 25th June 2024

Welcome back form the half term.

Holiday forms have already been sent out for the May half term and summer club. 

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 LindaLindsey, Louise or Debbie.

Field mice room: Pre-school children

The topic is –growth. Week 1 –butterflies , week 2  seeds/plants, week 3 – tadpoles, week 4 –eggs, week 5  out for a walk, week 6 – The Little Red Hen.

Personal, Social & Emotional DevelopmentWhen the caterpillars arrive the children will study them, watching as they become bigger and bigger and record their growth in their journals. Again, we will incubate and hatch some baby chicks – hoping for less cockerels this year! The children will be discussing the wonder of growing your own food, showing consideration for the natural world, sharing, taking turns and helping each other.

Communication & Language: The story sack of ‘The hungry caterpillar’ will be shared and read giving the children the opportunity to take part and act out the story. The role play area will be set up to represent a garden centre and games such as I spy….played. Who is hiding in the egg? will be played with clues given to the children toguess who is hiding…bird/snake/cow. Simon says will be played where the children will be encouraged to wriggle like a tadpole, grow slowly like a plant. When the book ‘Rosie’s walk’ is read the children will look at prepositions such as under/over/around and re-enact the story when out in the garden.

The children will be learning their songs for the Minack performance.

The sounds for the term will be X Y Qu and then revisiting all the other letters.

Physical DevelopmentUsing gross motor skills, the children will explore different ways of moving; curling up like a caterpillar, stretching like a plant growing towards the sun, floating around like a butterfly. Obstacle courses will be put together in the garden to encourage the children to travel over, under, through and around the obstacles. 

Literacy: Reference books will be looked at to find out about tadpoles and frogs and then an information book will be created. The Ugly duckling book will be shared and then sequenced as well as the stories of Rosie’s walk, Jasper’s beanstalk, The hungry caterpillar and The Tiny Seed. 

Maths: Symmetrical patterned butterflies will be created and displayed. Songs such as 5 little speckled frogs and 5 little ducks will be sung. Number games will be played and different activities involving numbers will be explored.  

UTW: The children will be observing the changes of their caterpillars and then releasing their butterfly into the garden. We have 10 bantam eggs in the incubator and the children are waiting for day 21 (12th May) when the chicks will hopefully hatch. The children will then care for the chicks until they are old enough to enter the coop with our hens. Broad beans will be placed in clear pots with paper towels to allow the children to observe the root growth and these will then be planted in the poly tunnel. The butterflies and frogs will be released into their natural environment. 

Expressive arts and design: The mixing of colours will be explored and then used to create butterfly pictures. Life cycles of the caterpillar, tadpole and chick will be studied through the media of books, photos, puzzles and observations. On their walk the children will look and discover what lives in a wall, hedges….They will also be performing at The Minack theatre to an audience. 

Rising threes:

The topic is Growth.

PSED – the colour monster book will continue to be shared helping the children identify their emotions and helping them manage them and a display created by the children to reflect this. The children will go on a walk and discuss the changes they can see as well as bringing in a teddy from home for a Picnic.

C&L – The stories of; The hungry caterpillar and Jack and the beanstalk will be explored with the children encouraged to retell the story with props and puppets. Vocabulary such as cocoon, chrysalis, metamorphous will be introduced. They will be encouraged to talk about the teddy they have brought in from home and what makes it special.    

PD – A new wake and shake song will be learnt for the term with the children joining in with the actions and movements. Toilet training will be encouraged and parents’ leads followed.

Literacy – The children will focus on the letters of their names and activities participated in to encourage them to begin forming the letters of their name. 

Maths  As the caterpillars emerge into butterflies the children will count them before releasing them into the garden. Seeds will be planted and their growth recorded on charts the children will create. Shapes and numbers will be looked for on a walk the children will participate in.  

UTW – The life cycle of the caterpillar will be discussed as well as Earth day raising the awareness of the environment. Edible flowers and seeds will be sourced and tried by the children and practitioners. 

EA&D – Using finger paints the children will create a caterpillar growth chart, with paper Mache each child will make a cocoon. Sunflowers will be planted and pots individually painted by the children for their seed.  

Dormouse room:

Exploring nature with our senses.

Each area of learning will be tailored to the age and stage of development of each individual child.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development:

Simple songs incorporating parts of the body will be sung, the sense of touch will be explored with massage, listening to the environment whilst lying in the garden and the children will explore how everyone is different. Whilst in the environment the children will explore how insects live and how they would feel in a different scenario, encouragement will be given to the children to help them notice the differences between the insects they find and an insect themed treasure basket will be made. 

Communication & Language:

A nature table will be set up with insects, books, wood, stones, leaves, sticks, pebbles…. for the children to explore and vocabulary to be introduced. Games such as peek a book and I can hear…will be played with the children being encouraged to look for the insect they can hear. I spy with my little eye…will be played in the garden and objects will be hung on the washing line and the children will listen to the sounds they make. 

Physical Development:

Using their hands and different objects the children will form their own band and march around the garden playing softly and loudly! Sensory bags will be made for tummy time or for squishing and squeezing in their hands. Music will be played for the children to move their bodies to – copying the moves modelled by the practitioners.  


The children be added to the water tray alongside some insects for the children to explore. Different sized boxes and containers will be available for the children to build homes for the insects to osrt the insects into groups. ‘Artificial mud (cocoa and water) will be made with different lengths of pasta for the children to compare looking for the longest, shortest….Simple patterns of movement will be created when playing Simon says…

Knowledge and Understanding of the World:

The children will use a piece of cooked spaghetti to trail through the mud watching as it slips, slithers and slides around. Whilst in the garden the children will be encouraged to explore the feel of leaves, grass, flowers on their skin as well as exploring their smells. Magnifiers, nets and viewfinders will be available for them to use as they explore the garden on insect hunts.  

Expressive Art and Design:  Musical shakers will be made using different containers and fillings to create different sounds for the band. Butterfly prints will be created by the children , lolly sticks attached and then flown around the garden. A range of drawing materials will be accessible for the children to create their own drawings and support will be given to encourage the children to add more detail and complexity to their drawings. 

will be encouraged to point to different parts of their bodies during Simon Says…sensory activities will be provided for the children to take part in exploring messy materials and different textures. The children will have opportunities to draw the insects they find during their exploration of the garden and to create a book they can look at with friends. 

Mathematics: Measuring spoons and cups will 


Our next trustees meeting is being held on Monday June 10th at 1.30pm. 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…

Laura Sedgeman has left us to become a child minder. She will be sorely missed from the Rising 3 room but we all wish her the best in her new endeavour. 

We would like to welcome Carol and Jess to our team. They have joined us as apprentices and have quickly settled into our routine and formed great relationships with the children and practitioners. Carol will be working mainly in the Dormouse room and Jess will mainly be working with the Rising 3’s. 


If any parents would like to change their children’s hours and or days for the Autumn term please see Debbie before the end of June


As you are aware, the roof is in the process of being replaced – the weather has not helped with this process. We are hoping for some drier weather moving forward so they can finish and the children will be able to use all the gardens again. 

Duck race:

Our annual duck race was a huge success and we raised £734.65 (more has been donated since the FB post). Thank you to everyone who contributed to this event.

Summer raffle:

We are now selling squares for our summer raffle @ £2.00 a square. This will be drawn on Friday 19th July. The prize is located in our foyer for you to see. Please speak to Debbie or Hanri if you would like a square.


This year’s theme is ‘Underground’- we are still putting ideas in the pot therefore if any parents have an idea please let us know. All the children are invited to join us – preschool children do not need to be accompanied by a parent. Grown-ups will need to dress up as well!! More details to follow in the next newsletter. 


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. The library will be open on Monday mornings as well but if youwish to change the books on another day please see Debbie. We are aware there are many children who do not come in on a Monday or 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 September and are not in receipt of the Working Families 2 year funding they will be eligible for 15 universal hours of 3yr funding from the beginning of the Autumn term. Debbie will hand out EY2 forms just before the summer holidays 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 the term for the code to be validated. 

Funding for all 2 year olds (if eligible) began in April 2024 and parentsneed to visit the following website; to check if they are eligible. If your child turns two by the 31.08.2024 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.

From September 2024 funding for children from the age of 9 months will be coming into fruition. The funding will start the term after they turn 9 months. Please follow the link above to check if your child is eligible. This check needs to be completed before the end of August. 

Many parents will also be eligible for ‘Childfree Tax Care’ with the government scheme – for children aged up to 11 years. Again, this can be found 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.The government will put 25% of the amount you put in into your account, which you then transfer to Brambles. Please see Debbie or Hanri if you need help with this system. You can receive over £2,000 from the government towards your childcare fees using this method. 


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 caseWe 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


On Wednesday the 15th May the children will be part of The Little Sing project at The Minack. They are thoroughly enjoying Pat’s visits to Brambles to help them learn their songs.

Details are: Children to arrive at The minack @ 12.30 pm where they will be able to have their lunch and a rehearsal before the show at 1.30 pm. The performance will finish at 2.15 pm where children can be dropped back to Brambles if necessary.

Don’t forget to pre-book your tickets – an email has been sent out by Hanri with the details. 

Leavers teddies – reminder forms need to be returned by Friday 10thMay.

Rising 3’s and Dormouse room:

On the 4th June there will be a production group visiting Brambles with a workshop for the children to become involved in. There will be 2 sessions (1 for each room) and children who do not normally attend will be welcome. More details will be emailed when times have been confirmed. 

The story follows a day in the life of the birds in our gardens. Using sound, smell, colour, texture, small puppets and baby safe props the storyteller introduces the audience to 6 garden birds and the children can help feed the bird puppets, build soft nests and sing the wake up and night time songs.

Late collections:

A reminder to ALL parents that a late collection will result in £50 being billed to your account. If you are going to be late please phone Brambles and let a practitioner know. Late collections impact on practitioners leaving to collect after school club children from school, meeting appointments, collecting their own children  and having the correct ratio of staff in the building. 

Family support:

Jessica Legrys is the Family Support Worker for our area and she is keen to meet with our families to see if there is anything, she can help with. This may be eating, sleeping, behaviour, finances, support…..Please let me know if you would like to speak to her. Drop in sessions are due to be arranged. Her number is 01736 759058 if you would like to speak to her directly. 

Sports day:

Provisionally Sports day will be Tuesday July 16th. I am waiting for confirmation on this and will send out times after half-term. 

Term dates:

15.04.2024 to 19.07.2024

May half term 7th -10th May


Bank holidays Monday 6th May and Monday 27th May

Autumn term starts on the 2nd September

Thank you.