Summer Term 2023 Newsletter – 1st half

Posted on: 24th April 2023

Welcome back to the start of the summer term. Have all the chocolate eggs been consumed?!

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 5th May.

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 – Living things! Week 1 –animals , week 2 – insects, week 3 – birds, week 4 – seeds, week 5 – fruit and veg, week 6 – life cycles.

Personal, Social & Emotional Development: Over the next 6 weeks the children will look at spring animals and how to care for them (hand reared or by a parent). When 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 their favourite fruit and vegetables and trying some of their friend’s favourites.

Communication & Language: using the finger puppets and small world resources the children will be encouraged to retell the story of ‘owl babies’. Learn the rhyme ‘5 fat beans’ and play ‘I went shopping and I bought…’ The letters G/O/U/L/F/B will be looked at and discussed with activities planned around them.

Physical Development: Gross motor skills will include moving in different ways such as a caterpillar, spider, bird, butterfly, frog…Curling up into a little ball before unfurling to become a bird or a flower. Fine motor skills will be developed by using tweezers, cutting fruit and vegetables and planting seeds.

Literacy: Non-fiction books of life cycles will be looked at as well as stories such as ‘Tiny seed’, ‘Owl babies’, ‘Jaspers beanstalk’ and ‘Walking through the jungle’ read and re-enacted with the children. They will be encouraged to anticipate “what might happen next”. They will write their name labels for their sunflower pots and add entries into their learning journals as the caterpillars and chicks grow.

Maths: Sequencing of life cycles and growth will be discussed and observed by the children both through books and real life experience. When planting their seeds the children will count how many seeds there are and how many pots they will need for everyone. As the flowers grow the children will measure them and keep a record to see who’s has grown the tallest? Number rhymes such as ‘5 little ducks’ will be sung and association with numbers 1e. 2 and 2 dots and 2 objects.

UTW: Looking at habitats of insects the children will learn about where insects live and what they eat. Additionally their lifecycles will be studied and seen 1st hand – tadpole – frog, egg – chick and caterpillar – butterfly. The children will plant their own sunflower seed and tend to it for the ½ term.

Expressive arts and design: using different materials the children will be encouraged to make from clay ‘owl babies’ and a nest for them from other materials. The playdough will have glitter/sawdust added for texture and exploration. After examining and tasting the fruits and vegetables the children will create paintings with them. Inspired by their sunflowers the children will be encouraged to paint a replica of Van Goughs ‘Sunflowers’.

Free play: Within the water tray there will be underwater animals and diver, ducks of varying sizes/colours as well as fish/buckets/scoops/tubes…..A role play garden centre will be created where the children will be able to add numbers/prices to forms and labels alongside acting out being the customer/shop assistant and filling out paperwork. Whilst outside the children will explore the garden looking for insects and use our ‘bug watches’ to observe them. The bird feeders and bird bath will be set up and an observation post set up to record which birds visit.

Rising threes:

The topic is Dinosaurs, diggers and dirt!

PSED: Settling in with our new children who have just transitioned from the Dormouse room or just joined the setting. The ‘hello’ song will be learnt alongside the rooms routines such as registration and snack and Field mouse room rules and boundaries.

C&L: The children will be encouraged to talk about the topic and ask questions about dinosaurs – where they lied/what they ate. The children will be asked to bring in a photo of themselves playing outside and these will be transformed into a tree using handprints for the tree.

Lit: Fiction and non-fiction books will be read and story times will occur outside. Mark making will be encouraged in the mud tray alongside bark rubbing and tracing activities.

Phy: Gross physical movement will be encouraged through Yoga and Sticky Kids. Fine motor skills will be encouraged by creating dinosaurs with pasta and playdough, washing the dinosaurs using a toothbrush and making mud pies. .

Maths: Using number blocks the children will be encouraged to measure the dinosaurs and using pre-cut shapes create a dinosaur. In the mud tray, they will create patterns using shells/pebbles/pine cones/flowers and stone towers before counting them to see whose is the tallest.

UTW: Fossils will be created using salt dough and an erupting volcano from papier-mâché. Dinosaurs will be frozen in ice and the children will explore the properties of water as they watch it melt. Whilst out on a nature walk the children will collect different coloured item to study when back at Brambles.

EA&D: Using blocks dipped in paint/hand prints dinosaur pictures will be created and named after the children.

Dormouse room:

Plants and flowers:

Week 1 and 2 – insect hunting, Week 3 and 4 – seeds and plants, Week 5 and 6 – life cycle of a caterpillar

PSED: Together the children will explore the garden looking for insects and playing with the toy insects in the tuff spot tray with soil. When the caterpillars arrive, the children will care for them before releasing the butterflies into the garden. Using leaves to print with the children will construct a climbing wall plant.

C & L: After exploring the garden the children will be encouraged to talk about what they found outside. As they plant cress seeds they will be encouraged to talk about what they are doing and what they can see. The lifecycle of the caterpillar will be discussed.

Physical Development: Whilst in the garden the children will be encouraged to move around imitating an insect – slowly like a snail/quickly like an ant. Whilst listening to music and using scarves the children will be encouraged to move around emulating butterflies.

Lit: The stories of ‘The very busy spider’ and ‘The hungry caterpillar’ will be read and the crochet props from the story books used alongside each story. A cosy den will be made in the garden for the children to utilise whilst sharing stories.

Maths: An insect number line will be made with the children counting the insects in the garden to complete it. When the children are planting their seeds they will be encouraged to use their numbers to count and again when sorting the fruits and vegetables from ‘The hungry caterpillar’ book.

K&UW: Whilst exploring the garden the children will see the habitats of the insects, watch their plants grow and see the changes of the caterpillars as they emerge into butterflies.

EA&D: The children will make their own spiders and webs, caterpillars and butterflies as well as pictures of flowers from collage materials.



Pam – our cook – has unexpectedly left the nursery but we wish her well in her new role. Mr and Mrs Waters will be filling in until June when Sarah will take over the role of cook again. The children do not seem to mind who cooks their dinners so long as they have a hot meal on the table!!


Our next trustees meeting is being held on Thursday 4th May at 1pm. This will be @ Brambles. If any parent is interested in joining the trustees, please see Debbie.

Thank you to all who helped towards raising over £800 at our duck race on Saturday. This is an incredible figure and is not possible without continued parental support.

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 autumn term. Debbie will give out EY2 forms just before summer 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 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.


Now the summer is finally approaching can all children please have a named sun hat and named bottle of sun cream in their bag hung on their pegs. A change of clothes will also be necessary as ‘water’ will feature quite a lot this term and the children love to get wet and dirty in the mud kitchen!!!

Now the warmer weather is approaching the children will spend most of the day outside. If your child is not well enough to be outside, they are not well enough to be at nursery.

Our annual sports day will be held at the end of the term (Tuesday 18th July provisionally). All Dormouse children who are walking will have a small session from 10-10.20 am, Rising 3’s 10.30-11.00 am and pre-school children 11.10 – 11.50 am. There will be a BBQ for pre-school parents (ONLY) and nearer the time a form will be sent out to ascertain numbers.


Term dates:

17.04.2023 – 26.05.2023 first half of the term

1st and 8th May are bank holidays and we will be closed.

30th May – 2nd June half term. PLEASE FIND an ATTACHED HOLIDAY FORM

05.05.2023 – 21.07.2023 second half of the term

(17th – 21st July is unfunded).

24th July – 18th August, summer holidays. PLEASE FIND An ATTACHED HOLIDAY FORM

4th September is the start of the autumn term.

Holiday forms to be returned by Friday 5th May.

Thank you.

Holiday club: May 2023

Please ensure these forms are returned by Friday 5th May.

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: __________________________________________

May half – term:


Start time

Finish time


Tuesday 30th

Wednesday 31st

Thursday 1st

Friday 2nd

Summer holiday


Start time

Finish time


Monday 24th July

Tuesday 25th

Wednesday 26th

Thursday 27th

Friday 28th

Monday 31st

Tuesday 1st

Wednesday 2nd

Thursday 3rd

Friday 4th

Monday 7th

Tuesday 8th

Wednesday 9th

Thursday 10th

Friday 11th

Monday 14th

Tuesday 15th

Wednesday 16th

Thursday 17th

Friday 18th