Learning at Home – Holiday Activities

Some activities to do at home to continue learning over the holidays!

Twinkles:  Continue with colours, numbers and shape recognition.  When out and about (parks, shops) look for different colours and shapes, and look for numbers on letterboxes and signs.

Stars: Continue looking out for 3D shapes and letters. Look at shapes of buildings and objects around the house, play I spy games, can they tell you letters they see at the shops (A, S, A, D) and other letters.

Next Term:

After the Easter Holidays we will be looking at the Sea.  Please talk to your child about the sea and the seaside, and look at pictures of the sea and the beach.

If you are visiting the seaside over the holidays, please can you collect shells and pebbles for Pre-School. Donations of buckets and spades, small boats, or sea creatures would also be appreciated.

Have a lovely holiday, see you back on Tuesday 22nd April!

Sainsburys Active Kids Voucher Collection

Active Kids vouchers are currently available to collect from all Sainsbury’s stores, petrol stations and when ordering groceries online until Tuesday 20 May 2014.

We have collected these in past years and have some ‘banked’ already, so we’d like to add to the total before we redeem them this summer.

As a special bonus, Sainsburys are running ‘Buy Five Get Five’; customers will receive an extra 5 bonus Active Kids vouchers when they buy 5 or more items of fresh fruit or vegetables.  This promotion ends on Saturday 5th April, so there are still a few days left to get extra vouchers!

New Fundraising Opportunity – Terracycle

The Village Pre-School has joined Terracycle, which is an innovative waste collection programme for previously non-recyclable or difficult-to-recycle waste.  They convert this waste into new products, anything from park benches to lunch boxes.  The Pre-School will receive points towards products or a cash donation for every piece of waste collected.  See below for what we’re collecting:

Ella’s Kitchen Brigade accepted waste:

  • Any brand of Baby Food Pouch
  • Any brand of Baby Food Pouch Caps
  • Ella’s Kitchen branded snack wrappers

Air Care Brigade accepted waste:

  • All brands and sizes of plastic bottle caps for air care products, and plastic trigger heads
  • All brands and sizes of plastic air freshener packaging
  • All brands and sizes of plastic air fresheners and air freshener cartridges

McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Brigade accepted waste:

  • Any brand of non-savoury biscuit wrapper
  • Any brand of multi-pack non-savoury biscuit wrapper, including individual wrappers

There are some competitions on for collecting biscuit wrappers (ends 30th April) and air care products (ends May 2014) so let’s get collecting!

 

 

Volunteers and Vandals

A bit of good news and bad news. . .

First we would like to thank Julie Simmons and Sam Lad for the alien costumes they’ve provided for Pre-School.  Our space theme is now truly out of this world!

A huge thank you also goes to Glynn Hughes for his hard work in creating a beautiful, colourful flowerbed in the preschool garden.

The bad news is that the Pre-School has been vandalised three out of the past six weekends.  During the first two instances, we lost our large plant pots, which were smashed all over the school playground.  This past weekend, the newly planted flower bed was ripped from the ground and completely destroyed.

We have contacted the police on each occasion and been promised increased patrols in the evenings and at weekends.  The Committee is looking into the possibility of CCTV.  We have also contacted the Primary School to make them aware of the problem.

If you see any antisocial behaviour or vandalism occurring on school or preschool grounds, we encourage you to ring 101 and report it immediately.

Hopefully we will get our garden looking smart again soon, and it will stay that way!

A few reminders for parents and carers

Just a few reminders about issues that have been cropping up lately.  Some have already been sent as text alerts, but we feel they are worth repeating:

Parking: There should be no parking, stopping, or waiting in front of the gates to the school teachers’ car park. This is because it is the only place an emergency vehicle can access the school playground or Pre-School. An ambulance could be on its way, so please keep the area clear at all times. We are working on providing signage to make this restriction more obvious.

Building Closing Time:  As the weather gets warmer and the children stay later to enjoy the new equipment on the school playground, we’ve noticed an increase in people asking to use Pre-School’s toilets after closing time.  As soon as the pre-school children leave at 3:30pm, the staff work hard to tidy up and make everything ready for the following day. Parents and children have been coming in with muddy feet and then leaving the toilets in an unsanitary condition. Please note that Pre-School is not a public convenience, and we would appreciate you making every effort to avoid treating it as such.

Pre-School Equipment/Property:  Please do not allow your other children to play on the preschool equipment or with preschool toys whilst you are waiting outside. These items are for use only by preschool during our sessions. We cannot accept any responsibility for accidents, and we may ask you to pay for any damage caused by unauthorised use.

Spring Term 2014 2nd Half News

Learning Plan:  This term we will be learning about space, the earth, the moon, and the planets.  Our Spring Term 2014 Plan has ideas of things you can do at home to support your child’s learning.  Please look at our For Children page to see what books we’ll be reading this month!

Items Needed:  For some of our projects this month, we need tubes of various sizes, such as kitchen roll or Pringles-style containers.  If you have any at home, please send them in as soon as possible.

Advance Notice of Parents’ Evenings:  Twinkles Parents’ Evening will be on Tuesday 18th March and Stars Parents’ Evening will be on Tuesday 25th March.  Time slots will be sent out shortly.

Easter Competitions:  We are having two Easter competitions this year during the week of 31st March.  Twinkles will be making Easter bonnets at home, and Stars will be decorating a hard-boiled egg at home.  Each competition has a £1 entry fee, and there will be prizes for the best bonnet and best egg!

Parents: Address and Child DOB Verification Needed

As a condition of receiving the Free Early Years Education grant from Warrington Borough Council, we need to see proof of address and proof of age for every child attending preschool.

Therefore, we need you send in the following documents as soon as possible:

All Children: Parents/guardian need to bring in a recent utility bill or council tax bill for the current year.

Twinkles only: Please bring in proof of your child’s date of birth (passport, birth certificate).

Can you please send this/these in with your child as soon as possible? Thank you!

Changes to Pre-School Staff

We are sad to announce that after five and a half years, Pre-School Assistant Ysabel is leaving Pre-School. Her last day will be Friday, 14th February.

Ysabel is leaving so that she can focus on her childminding business and teaching. Fortunately she will stay on at Pre-School as ‘bank’ staff, so we hope to see her in that role soon. If Ysabel is currently your child’s key worker, the staff will let you know who your new key worker is as soon as possible.

We would like to thank Ysabel for her years of service, and we hope everyone will join the Staff and Management Committee in wishing her all the best for her future endeavours.

Reminder: Bag2School Fundraiser in March

Our next Bag2School collection is a little over a month away, on 12th March 2014. This is our first fundraiser of the spring term, and our third collection since we joined the scheme.

Bag2School accept the following ‘good quality’ items for RE-USE:*

  • Men’s, Ladies and Children’s clothing
  • Paired shoes (tied together or elastic band around)
  • Handbags
  • Hats
  • Bags
  • Scarves and ties
  • Jewellery
  • Lingerie
  • Belts
  • Soft toys

To learn more about the scheme, please visit the Bag2School website.

When it gets closer to the date, bags will be sent home with the children. Thank you for your support!

*Please note, this post has been amended to reflect the latest information about what items are collected. This has changed since our last Bag2School collection and no longer includes bedding or curtains as before.

Spring Term Planning and Holiday Homework

When we return from the holiday, we will be introducing the letter of the week. We will start with Aa and then each week change it to follow the alphabet, a, b, c, and so on. Each week at home we would also like you to discuss the letter with your child, introducing the letter by its name and its sound.  Can you find objects in the house which sound like the letter?

Correction: The previous version of this post mentioned bringing in objects starting with the week’s letter. However, children should not bring in objects or toys from home, as they are too easily lost at preschool.  Thanks for your cooperation.

We will also be discussing the Christmas celebration, so please talk to your child about this. If you do not celebrate Christmas, please talk about another festival you celebrate so your child can share this with us.

We would like each child to bring in a photo of them with their favourite toy they got at Christmas or a photo of them with their family.  We will ask your child to share this with their friends at group time. It might be helpful to put this on an A4 sheet of paper with some discussion points for us (e.g. names of people in the picture, who the present was from, what they did at Christmas).

Twinkles will also be receiving a ‘rhyme of the week’, which is a fun rhyme to learn at home and picture to colour.

Stars will continue to take home ‘Chatter bags’.  If you have not received one yet you will get a turn shortly.  As supplies are limited, we ask you keep it for 1-2 nights then bring it back so someone else can have a turn.

Unwanted Gifts? Post-Christmas Clear-out?

Remember, Pre-School is always looking for raffle/tombola prizes for fundraisers, and we also have our very own Ebay Charity Shop where we can sell your donated new or used goods.

If you’re already an Ebay seller, you can also donate a percentage of your sales to Pre-School. Email fundraising [at] thevillagepreschool.org.uk for more information.

Thanks as always for all your support!

Early Pickup on December 19th

Gorse Covert Primary School will be closing on Thursday 19th December at 2:15pm.  If you are collecting an older child and wish to collect your preschooler at the same time, please let us know in advance of the day, so we can minimize disruption and confusion.  If you are collecting early, please be at preschool for 2:20pm.  Children are, of course, welcome to stay till 3:30pm as normal.

Pre-School Nativity DVD Filming

The Stars will be doing their Nativity on Wednesday 18th December.  The Management Committee have arranged for it to be filmed with two cameras, and our very own production team will edit, put titles in, and present it in a case with a group photo.

We hope this will allow parents to relax and enjoy the show, rather than anxiously trying to film and photograph every minute.  DVDs will cost £2.50 per copy, which covers our materials and gives a small contribution to Pre-School.  Please send cash in an envelope clearly marked ‘Nativity DVD’ and your child’s name.

We are aiming to have the DVDs ready for the children to take home with them on Thursday, but if for some reason that isn’t possible, we will make sure it gets delivered to your home address in time to share it with your family at Christmas.