Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope this newsletter finds you well! We’ve had an incredibly exciting and educational week here at Brayton Headstart Preschool, filled with science explorations and hands-on investigations. It’s been a joy to see the children so engaged and enthusiastic about learning through play and discovery.

Volcano and Lava Experiment-

One of the highlights of our week was the thrilling volcano and lava experiment. The children were fascinated as we created our very own mini-volcanoes and watched them erupt! This activity not only captivated their imaginations but also provided a fantastic opportunity to introduce basic scientific concepts. The children learned about chemical reactions by mixing baking soda and vinegar to produce an impressive lava flow. This experiment aligns perfectly with the EYFS framework, encouraging curiosity, critical thinking, and understanding the world around them. It was wonderful to see the excitement on their faces as they predicted and observed the outcomes of their experiments.

Exploring Gloop-

We also delved into the world of gloop – a unique substance that is both a solid and a liquid! The children enjoyed exploring the properties of gloop, feeling its texture, and discovering how it changes state when handled. This messy but highly engaging activity supports the EYFS goals of sensory exploration and physical development, helping children refine their fine motor skills and learn through tactile experiences. The gloop exploration was a hit, sparking many questions and prompting discussions about states of matter and the properties of different materials. Many children had their own little pots of gloop to explore this fascinating substance!

Preparing for Reception: Numbers and Letters-

In addition to our science adventures, our school leavers have been particularly focused on activities that help them identify numbers and letters. These foundational skills are crucial as they prepare to transition to Reception. We’ve incorporated a variety of fun and educational games that encourage number recognition, counting, letter identification, and early phonics. Whether it’s through interactive storytelling, counting games, or letter-matching activities, the children are honing their skills in a playful and engaging manner.

These activities are not only enjoyable but also integral to the EYFS framework, supporting literacy and numeracy development. By fostering a love for numbers and letters now, we are setting the stage for a smooth and confident start to their Reception year.

As we continue to explore and learn together, we look forward to more exciting experiments and activities in the coming weeks as many of our scientists were off poorly Chickenpox and we didn’t ant to miss them out. Your continued support and involvement play a crucial role in your child’s development, and we encourage you to ask them about their discoveries and share in their excitement.

After Half Term week, we will be diving straight into our next topic which will be all about ‘Minibeasts’. We learn this because we can begin by thinking about the language we are using when hunting for minibeasts. As we think about where to look, we can bring in positional language, such as on, under, opposite, behind and next to. When you do find some, children are sure to be fascinated, which draws them in and sparks their curiosity. It starts with the anticipation of what we might find and where. This can be used as a time to share ideas and make guesses – will there be minibeasts under the log? What sort? How many?

When you find a minibeast or, if you’re lucky, a collection, the learning opportunities begin in abundance. These are sparked by the children’s interest and curiosity, making it rich and meaningful. There is so much to spark conversation – size, patterns, shapes, colours.  We look forward to exploring this topic in more detail and get out our magnifying glasses!

Chickenpox

We wanted to inform you about the current situation regarding chickenpox in our setting. Recently, we have observed a higher number of chickenpox cases among the children (this week alone we have now 10 x confirmed cases). We understand that this might be concerning, but we want to reassure you that this is a common childhood illness.

Chickenpox is highly contagious, and while we take measures to contain its spread as much as possible, it is difficult to prevent it entirely. Our primary focus is to manage the situation effectively and ensure that your children are as comfortable as possible during this time.

Many children typically contract chickenpox at some point during their early years, and it usually results in immunity once they’ve recovered. For those who have already had it, there’s no need for concern. However, for children who haven’t yet experienced chickenpox, we advise you to be vigilant for any signs, such as the appearance of spots, over the next few days.

We are doing our best to maintain a healthy environment and appreciate your cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions or need further information on how to care for your child if they do contract chickenpox, please have a look on the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chickenpox/

Lunch time pack up-

We wanted to gently remind you of our preschool’s policies regarding food items brought from home. Firstly, kindly ensure that any packed lunches do not contain nuts, including peanut butter or any chocolates with nuts. Our provision is nut-free, and this measure is in place to safeguard children with severe allergies.  Additionally, we strive to promote healthy eating habits among our children. Therefore, we kindly request that you refrain from including sweets and chocolate bars (this includes chocolate spread sandwiches) in your child’s lunchbox. Instead, we encourage nutritious options that support their growth and development.

It’s important to emphasise the significance of these guidelines in maintaining a safe and inclusive environment for all children. Allergies can have severe consequences, and by adhering to these policies, we can prevent any potential risks or allergic reactions.

Should any food items containing nuts or unhealthy snacks be inadvertently brought to preschool, we will kindly return them home to ensure compliance with our policies.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this matter. Your support in upholding these standards is invaluable and contributes to the overall well-being of our preschool community.

We also have spoons and forks for your child to use at the setting during their lunch if you would prefer to safeguard your cutlery and keep them at home.  All the children at lunch have bins on their tables so they can bin their empty packets and yogurt pots.  We are often finding a spoon or fork in the bin, but at times we do miss this.  Please do not worry that we can’t offer cutlery here, because we can, and we would prefer the children borrow one of ours, as it takes pressure off trying to find the rightful owner of a spoon or fork as we know then they are ours 😊

Letter of the week-

This week’s letter of the week was ‘’ where children try to name as many things beginning with ‘E/’e’ and search for objects where possible to bring to the table as a ‘show and tell’

After half term, we will focus on ‘’M/m’’

Our Book of the week will be ‘Mad about Minibeasts’ written by Giles Andreae and David Wojtowycz

Clothing

Please could you ensure that any clothes come with a name on as we are often finding the same items coming in and the same sizes, and we are getting them lost and mixed up. We do try our best to ensure the clothes go to the correct home, but we often get mixed up!

The warm and sunny days are here (fingers crossed it stays).  We ask that all children arrive to preschool with suncream applied, have a labelled sunhat to leave in the setting and labelled suncream. If we can leave hats with us, we can be sure that the children have this on their session days, and it becomes one less worry in the morning 😊 

Book Bags

Please could you ensure that your child comes to preschool with their book bag so we can send pictures home in their bags, and send home a book from our lending library. With the weather being as it is, we struggle to carry and keep paper safe to take home with your child. Thank you to those who do remember their book bags. Any lending library books will be sent home 1-2 times per week with a book of your child’s choice, or one we feel they may enjoy 😊

September sessions-. For any children staying on in September and wish to use their extended funded hours.  Please ensure you ‘re-confirm’ with HMRC to avoid losing the extended hours.  Book now to avoid any disappointment later in the term 😊

Key dates

Monday 27th May – Bank Holiday

Monday 27th May – Friday 31st May- we are closed all week for Half Term week.  We will re-open on Monday 3rd June at 9am

Thursday 18th July- school leavers trip- (letters have all been sent home.  Thank you for the emails of confirmation and letters returned to date.  For anyone still to return their letter, please do so in the first week back we return after half term week).

Thank you for your continued support in fostering a nurturing learning environment for our little ones. Together, we’re shaping bright futures filled with health, happiness, and endless possibilities.

Monika, Amanda, Sally, Emma, Harriet, Sarah and Whitney.