Newsletter – Summer term 2024 (second half term)

Posted on: 25th June 2024

Welcome back form the half term.

Holiday forms have already been sent out for summer club – please ensure you have booked your child in if you require care over the summer holidays

Below is the topic each room is exploring this half term and the exciting activities your child/ren may be involved with. 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 –holidays. Week 1 –trains , week 2  the travel agents, week 3 – our holidays, week 4 – beach cafe, week 5  sunny days, week 6 – at the beach and week 7 – sports day.

Personal, Social & Emotional DevelopmentTrain journeys the children have been on will be discussed and re-enacted with the train setFeelings will be focused on – the excitement of going on a holiday or visiting a place or relatives. Turn taking will be encouraged as the children set up the role play area as a beach – discussing what they like/dislike to eat and picking up their litter when they leave. Discussions will be held about what to expect on sports day and how others may be feeling
Communication & Language: Stories such as The Train Ride and Mr Archimedes Bath will be read and discussed. Other stories and rhymes around journeys and holidays will be shared. Sports day races will be discussed and the skills required from the children.

Phonic lessons will cover all the sounds and letters of the alphabet.

Physical DevelopmentGames will be played which involve the children listening, following the leader, travelling at different speeds and over/under/around…. obstacles. Roadways and tracks will be created for the trains and cars to be driven around. 

Literacy: Opportunities will be provided for the children to practice their writing skills with menus in the café, taking orders, sending postcards and during the phonic lessons where letter formation will be practised. These skills have developed immensely over the last 2 terms. 

Maths: During the obstacle course positional language will be introduced as the children go over, under, through, around….. the garden. Train carriages will be counted and labelled with the correct number, number games will be played and patterns drawn and copied. 

UTW: Postcards and souvenirs from holidays will be brought in and discussed. The children will be asked to think about the different landscapes they saw on their holiday compared to ours. A travel agents will be set up for the children to role play. 

Expressive arts and design: The children will be encouraged to respond and move to the rhythm, tempo and beats of the music. Instruments will be explored to create the sounds of trains and other vehicles. Patterns will be drawn in chalk outside and items from the beach (shells, seaweed, pebbles..) will be placed on a table and drawn. 

Rising threes:


Each Week the children will visit a different country. Week 1 – France, Week 2 – Spain, Week 3 – Switzerland, week 4 – Mexico, week 5 – Greece, week 6 – Australia and week 7 – Italy.

PSED – The children will be involved in games which involve turn taking and teams. The games will be those typically played on holiday – swing ball, skittles, bat and ball games…..

C&L – Each week the children will learn how to say ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ in the language of the country they are visiting. If you could encourage and practise this at home it would help embed the new vocabulary for them.

PD – The children will be practising for sports day therefore please ensure they are wearing suitable footwear for this. 

Literacy – A focus will be given to their pencil control ready for when they transition into the pre-school room in September. There will be several activities over the weeks to help with this such as mark making in the sand, chalk drawings outside, art activities…..

Maths  As the children visit each country they will make a dish related to the place. They will follow a recipe, weigh out the ingredients, mix and then cook the food before tasting and eating it!! If the children bring home their food please can you take a photo and post it on FB for Lindsey to be able to print and add to their learning journal.  

UTW – The flags from each country will be looked at as well as their culture and traditionsIf anyone has any souvenirs, toys, pictures from these countries they would be willing to share with the children please see Debbie or Lindsey. If you have links to these countries and would be able to come in and talk about them to the children that would be great as well. Again, please speak to Debbie or Lindsey. 

EA&D – using different media the children will create artwork related to the countries as well as preparing for Lafrowda and helping with our structure.  

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 sort 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. 

The children 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. 


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…

Payments – nursery fees:

There are still many outstanding fees which need to be settled as soon as possible. The end of July by the latest. As you are aware we have just replaced the roof at a cost of over £50,000 which the nursery has to pay therefore the outstanding fees would go a long way to cover this amount. We now have a card machine in the office if this makes it easier for parents to pay. Please see Debbie or Hanri if you have any queries and would like to set up a payment plan. 

We do not want to pass these debts to an agency but we will be required to if payments are not made or a payment plan drawn up. Once they go the agency more costs are added

From September if accounts are not settled before the next statements are sent out we may have to stop your child’s place. Due to the government funding initiatives, these places are in great demand. 


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


Now the weather is warming up please ensure ALL children have a named bottle of sun cream and a named sunhat in their bag every day. It would be great if they could be left at Brambles for the summer. Please apply cream in the morning before dropping off your child and we will apply it during the day as required. 

Please ensure there are plenty of spare clothes in your child’s bag – we will see a lot of water pay this term and the children love to get wet!!!Please make sure the clothes are suitable for the weather

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 all to see. Please speak to Debbie or Hanri if you would like a square.


This year’s theme is ‘Underground’- we have decided we will be archaeologists and have a large skeleton of a dinosaur as our structure. The children and parents can be dressed as dinosaurs or archaeologists. We hope to have ‘fossils’ for the children to carry – this will depend on the artist and the time we have. If we held a workshop would you be interested in helping out? Please see Debbie if you are. All the children are invited to join us – preschool children do not need to be accompanied by a parent but rising 3s and the Dormouse children will. Grown-ups will need to dress up as well!!


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 is now open on Monday mornings as well but if you wish 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 .govwebsite 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 parents need 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 ‘Child free 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 Thursday 20th June Tempest will be visiting to take the nursery group photo – known as a Vista.

They will be here from 9.30 am. If your child does not normally attend on a Thursday but you would like your child to be in their group photo please see Debbie to arrange a time.


On Friday 12th July at 10.30 am the children will be visiting Benoni Nursing Home to see the residents and take part in a little sports event there. If you are able to help with ratios and walk with us please see Debbie. 

The children have thoroughly enjoyed their French and Spanish lessons this year and if you visit you will be able to see some of what they have been up to

Rising 3’s and Dormouse room:

The ‘Hello Birds’ production on Tuesday 4th June was a great hit with both staff and children. A great interactive show, which was aimed perfectly for the ages and stages of our children. Thank you to all the parents who came in and supported this. 

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 16thI am still waiting for confirmation on this and will send out an email.

The event will be as follows:

10.15–10.30 am Dormouse room

10.45-11 am – Rising 3’s

11.15-12 – Preschool children.

For the preschool children ONLY there will be a BBQ where parents will be able to order and purchase bacon baps for themselves, relatives, friends and children. An email will follow with details. 

Term dates:

15.04.2024 to 19.07.2024


Bank holidays Monday 6th May and Monday 27th May

Autumn term starts on the 2nd September

Thank you.