Posted on: 22nd January 2023

Welcome back to the start of the Spring term and the year 2023!

Please ensure you look at the term dates and holiday clubs at the end of this letter.

Holiday forms are attached and need to be returned by Friday 27th January.

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, Bernadette, Louise or Debbie.

Field mice room: Pre-school children

The topic is – Oursleves! week 1 –look at me , week 2 – when I was a baby, week 3 – my body, week 4 – Chinese New Year, week 5 – food, week 6 – I can see, week 7 – I can hear and touch.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development: Over the next 7 weeks the children will discuss how everyone is different and look at people from different cultures. They will look at photos of each other as babies and talk about the needs of babies and the difference to their needs now. During food week they will discover foods from different countries and cultures and respect other people’s food choices.

Communication & Language: There will be a sound of the week running throughout the term. Stories about feelings will be shared as well as stories about babies, bodies and food. Visual games such as Kim’s game and lotto will be played as well as listening games where the children will identify sounds from the environment.

Physical Development: Gross motor skills will include playing games such as ‘Simon says’. ‘sticky kids’ skittles, musical bumps/statues, use of outdoor equipment such as hoops/beanbags/balls and the children will then look at the effects of exercise on their bodies. For fine motor skills to be honed the children will dress the baby dolls, draw faces in the sand, thread beads/cards for sequencing and use scissors to cut pictures from magazines.

Literacy: Appointment books/record cards/prescriptions will be made for the children to use during role play along with message pads for the children to record on. A height chart will be made and the children’s height recorded to see who is the tallest/smallest of the group and a child will be drawn around for the children to label the drawing with body parts.

Maths: During the term the children will use counting rhymes with body parts such as ‘one finger, one thumb…’and numbers such as ’10 green bottles’ and ‘5 currant buns’, count their teeth, play dominos, match and count shoes and socks and create a chart according to hair/eye colour. When cooking pizzas the children will sort the toppings before choosing a set amount of toppings for their pizza.

UTW: The children will explore why we clean our teeth and how often this should happen. They will go on a colour walk and play ‘I spy’ and different ingredients (coffee, onion, chocolate…) will be used to fill covered pots for the children to smell and discuss.

Expressive arts and design: Using a collage of materials the children will ‘fill a plate with their favourite foods’, explore mediums such as gloop and jelly, listen to different instruments and match them by sound and look at x-rays and then recreate them using black paper and white straws.

Free play: Within the water tray there will be containers for pouring, blue water with sea creatures, pasta shapes in coloured water and objects to discuss the properties of floating and sinking. Sieves, small shells/stones, scoops, spoons and bowls of different sizes, rakes and combs will be put in the dry sand tray and buckets and spades put in when the sand is wet for the children to explore and create with. Small world scenarios will be set up such as ice/water and sea animals and then materials such as playdough and clay will be available for the children to mould, create and decorate.

Rising threes:

The topic is Winter; week 1 – settling in, week 2 – weather, week 3 – clothes, week 4 – Chinese New Year, week 5 – animals, week 6 – animals.

PSED: Looking at rules and boundaries within the rising 3 area. Promoting positive behaviour, sharing and being kind to our friends.

C&L: The children will be encouraged (and reminded) to use their manners during the day saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to their peers and practitioners. As the weeks progress the children will hear words related to the topic such as snow, ice, melting, cold, freezing, polar and artic. Additionally how animals in these areas keep warm and what it is like to live where it is icy and snowy. Discussions will be held on how they can keep warm – which clothes to wear, heating and fires. During Chinese New Year different cultures will be looked at and how these are celebrated – we will be celebrating the Chines New Year.

Lit: The stories of ‘Goldilocks and the 3 bears’ and ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ will be read and discussed. The children will be encouraged to mark make in different mediums such as gloop and shaving foam and begin tracing over lines and shapes.

Phy: Gross physical movement will be encouraged through ‘Baby Yoga’, going on a bear hunt and jumping/running exercises. Fine motor skills will be encouraged by the use of scissors to cut out icicles and lanterns and tweezers for holding cotton wool balls for dipping in paint to form snow.

Maths: At register time the children will be estimating how many rising 3’s are in today and then counting each other to confirm numbers. During baking sessions the children will weigh out their ingredients and count ‘smarties’ for decorating their buns. A height chart will be created looking at who is the tallest and who is the smallest within the group.

UTW: Water will be frozen with twigs, fir cones and pine branches for the children to discuss and play with. Igloos will be constructed from the duplo, the children will role play living in cold areas and wearing the special clothes needed – gloves, hats, scarves, warm jumpers and coats. Role play will include becoming bears and living in a cave.

EA&D: During the beginning of term the children will be involved in lots of creative activities. They will include; symmetry paintings (such as gloves), drip painting icicles on the easel, making lanterns and hand and foot prints to create penguins and other animals/birds.

Dormouse room:

Traditional Stories

W/B 02.01.23 & W/B 09.01.23: The Three little Pigs.

W/B 16.01.23 & W/B 23.01.23: The Gingerbread Man.

W/B 30.01.23 & W/B 06.02.23: Goldilocks & the 3 Bears.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development:

This first part of the term we are going to be focusing on the children returning to nursery after the Christmas break and meeting, settling, and getting to know all our new children who will be starting. We would like to give the children plenty of time and opportunity to explore their environment and to feel happy and confident being there so they can engage and take part in all our activities.

Communication & Language:

To link in with our stories we will be encouraging and supporting the use of the repeated phrases from these well-known books and encouraging the children to join in with the parts that they are learning. In our activities which will be set up around the room we will be using and encourage the children to use those phrases within their own play.

Physical Development:

We will be using some gross and fine motor skills as we make our houses from a variety of construction materials. Using a variety of tools for measuring, mixing, stirring, and rolling while we make our gingerbread men or making our own porridge to eat for snack time.


We will be reading and repeating these stories over this half a term so the children can hear and use some of the repeated phrases such as ‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff, I’ll blow your house down’ or ‘run run as fast as you can’. The children will have the props/resources to accompany the stories so they can use them when we are reading the books in a group time or individually.


With the children we are going to be use building blocks to build our own houses incorporating some counting skills as we go, focusing on numbers 1-5.

Using some mathematical language such as ‘small’ ‘medium’ ‘large’ from the story of Goldilocks and the 3 Bears.

Knowledge & Understanding the World:

There will be small world areas created such as the farmyard and props/resources from each story which we are reading at the time will be added. Our Dormouse home corner area will be transformed into the 3 Little Pigs houses, then into a kitchen where the little old man and the little old lady make the gingerbread man then into the 3 little bear’s cottage. The children will be able to link their own knowledge and their knowledge of the stories into their play.

Expressive Art & Design:

There will be the opportunity for many creative activities including; glue for the straw and the stick houses and paint for printing with building blocks during the story of The 3 Little Pigs. The children will create their choice of house along with painting their own little pig to go inside.

When reading Goldilocks we will make our own bear ear crowns to wear alongside making our own small, medium and big bears.




We would like to welcome Linda back onto our team in the Field mouse room. Linda is replacing Ali for 3 days a week and many of you will have seen and spoken to her already. Ali has greatly reduced her time at Brambles and will only be in on a Friday afternoon for now. We would also like to welcome Natalie who has come on board this term working with both the pre-school class and the rising 3 group. Maddy is also working this term with both groups and covering any absences, holidays and appointments staff when have. Additionally we have Jo who has joined us as bank staff and she has already been busy covering absences!

Pam has taken over the role of nursery cook from Gaby and the children are still very happy with their lunches and are keen to see her arrive in the morning!

To help out this term with the snack café we welcome Sarah who has been running this on a Monday – Thursday morning working with the children to ensure it continues to run smoothly.


Our next trustees meeting is being held on Monday 23rd January at 3pm. This will be @ Brambles. If any parent is interested in joining the trustees please see Debbie.

As many of you may have seen our 1 and only female chicken laid her first egg last week and Alice kindly shared this on our Facebook page. Alice then added the egg to her moussaka and she says it was delicious!

We will in the summer term be hatching more eggs and hoping to have more than 1 hen but have 3 surplus cockerels at the moment. They are not just your normal run of the mill cockerels either! If you know of anyone who would like a Frizzle, a Cochin or Silver laced Wyandotte to add to their flock please speak to Alice or Debbie.

If your child has just joined Bernadette and Lindsey in the Rising 3 area they will be eligible for 15 universal hours of funding from the beginning of the summer term. Debbie will give out EY2 forms just before Easter and will then need to see 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 www.cornwall.gov.uk 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 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 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.

During our ‘Chinese New Year week’ we hope to welcome Chow Chow from our local Chinese takeaway in. She has visited before and the children have loved seeing their names being created in Chinese letters and making money envelopes with her as well as listening to her read a story in Chinese to them.

Can the pre-school children please bring in or email to Debbie at manager@brambles-nursery.org.uk a baby photo of themselves. These will be displayed and discussed by the children this half-term.

Term dates:

03.01.2023 – 10.02.2023 first half of the term

13-17.02.2023 half term. PLEASE FIND ATTACHED A HOLIDAY FORM

20.02.2023 – 31.03.2023 second half of the term

03-14.04.2023 Easter holidays but we will be CLOSED on Friday 7th and Mondays 10th for the Easter bank holidays. PLEASE FIND ATTACHED A HOLIDAY FORM

17.04.2023 is the start of the summer term.

Holiday forms to be returned by Friday 27th January.

Thank you.


Holiday club: February 2023

Please ensure these forms are returned by Friday 27th January.

Please tick the requisite box if you know your child will be having a hot lunch during holiday club. This will allow us to have an estimate of lunches to order ingredients for and the dishes being cooked. You will still be able to order a hot lunches on the day if necessary.

Name: __________________________________________

February half – term:


Start time

Finish time


Monday 13th

Tuesday 14th

Wednesday 15th

Thursday 16th

Friday 17th

Easter holiday


Start time

Finish time


Monday 3rd April

Tuesday 4th

Wednesday 5th

Thursday 6th

Tuesday 11th

Wednesday 12th

Thursday 13th

Friday 14th