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Term 1 Newsletter

Summers Nursery - September 2019

Term 1 Newsletter

Dear Parents/Carers

As always, we have had lots of new families this term. It has been a real pleasure getting to know you all so far. We are looking forward to continued happy relationships throughout your time at Summers.

Staff News

Adele Mortimer has joined the team in the 3-5 room on a permanent basis, after completing her SCQF Level 6 in Early Education and Childcare at Aberdeen College.  Adele joined us on a relief basis in June 2018 to gain experience working in a nursery whilst studying childcare.  We are delighted to have Adele as a permanent team member based in the 3-5 room on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Staff, families and the children have formed good relationships with Adele over the past year. 

Lisa and Jennifer have now returned to University, with Ellen and Claire remaining on as relief, whilst continuing their childcare studies at college.

Staff Training

Caroline, Sarah and Amanda continue to work towards their SVQ Level 3, whilst Gemma has now started hers.  Rosie is completing the final part of her unit and her folder will be taken to be assessed shorty, well done Rosie!

I continue to work towards my BA in Childhood Practices at Aberdeen University and have moved onto my Credit Claim, due for submission in January 2020.

Over the next term, staff are booked onto various courses, including Part 1 of Planning, monitoring and tracking, First Aid, Food Hygiene, Messy Maths, Literacy outdoors, GIRFEC, as well as in house Health & Social Care Standards training.  Staff will also be completing SSSC Open Badges. The open badges are digital certificates recognising learning and achievement produced by the SSSC.  All staff are committed to furthering their knowledge and skills and attend these courses out with their working hours to develop their Continual Professional Development.

Charity of the Year 2019

For 2019, we are continuing with our support for the 'Friends of the Special Nursery', a charity of Aberdeen maternity Hospital's Neo-Natal unit for sick and premature babies in the Grampian region, as well as the islands of Shetland and Orkney.

Thank you for your continued generosity during the charity events so far this year.  Since our last newsletter, we have continued to raise thousands more pounds!  You have done so by contributing towards our pizza making day, which always proves popular, raising £253.10. Staff raised £1595.54 by participating in the Kiltwalk in June and Sports day raised a fantastic £1239.20, as well as other various small events including a Shorts and Shades day and Disney day which raised £60 and £16 respectively!

Trips & Visits

The pre-school room will continue to experience weekly visits from Angela of Abricabeats on a Tuesday afternoon during Term 1.  The children have also been enjoying their weekly visits to the Green next to Strathburn School, as well as their monthly visits to Pleyfauld House.

The 3-5 children thoroughly enjoyed a trip to Stonehaven in July.  They enjoyed a play in the park, a walk along the beachfront to the Tolbooth Museum, which was very interesting, before having lunch and an ice cream from Aunt Betty's ice cream shop!  A visit there whilst in Stonehaven is a must, come rain or shine!  As always, the children behaved extremely well and were very courteous throughout.

The 2-3 children went to Crathes Castle on the morning of Monday the 17th June, where they enjoyed a play in the newly refurbished park, a walk around the gardens and a picnic lunch before heading back to nursery.  Thankfully the sun came out for the children and it was a beautiful morning!

The 0-2 children continue to enjoy their daily walks, exploring the local community and with the nicer weather coming, they will have the opportunity to enjoy picnic snacks in the local park.

The 3-5 staff are planning their Term 1 trip which will take place on Tuesday the 1st October. The children will be attending Tick Tock Play in Alford for a chance to enjoy the soft play and the newly added role play area.  Permission slips will come out in due course.

Improvement Plans

We have been working on three development plans for 2018/2019. These have come to a close, although we are going to continue to work hard to develop the areas we have been focusing on for the past year, in particular Plan 3 which was to develop observation writing skills.  We have been appointed a new Principal teacher called Vanessa Raeper who will be visiting the staff and children on Tuesday the 10th September to observe the team and discuss new Improvement Plans for 2019/20.

Graduation 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended the Graduation at St Andrew's church for the children who are leaving us to go to school.  It was a fantastic ceremony, and it was lovely to see so many nice comments on the evaluations that have come back.

100% of you rated the Graduation as excellent!  Comments made were as follows:

·    "The involvement of the kids and the excitement my child had in the run up to it!"

·    "We especially like the song from the Greatest Showman and the poem/songs made up by the staff, made our day, thank you"

·    "The gowns and hats and lovely professional photographs."

Parents Evening 2019

Thank you to everyone who attended Parents Evening and completed the evaluation form. We have now collated and studied the evaluations and are delighted with the results in which 87% of you rated the evening as excellent with the remaining 23% rating it as very good. All parents and carers have been highly complementary about the evening.

Some comments include:

·    "Timely, efficient and provided all the detail needed of our child's progress"

·    "My child's parents evening was great and very informative.  Really appreciate all the staff at Summers, our child loves it there and you are all so accommodating and good with our child"

·    "Chatting to the keyworker at an allocated time, the chance to mingle with other parents and not feeling rushed"

Sports Day 2019

Sports Day was another successful event, and many thanks to those of you who completed  evaluations. I am so pleased to let you all know that between money raised on the day and sponsors, that we have raised a fantastic £1239.20 for our Charity of the year - Friends of the neo-natal Unit. I have now collated evaluations and 73% of you rated the morning as Excellent with the remaining percentage rating it as Very Good!

Some of the lovely comments received were -

·         "Both very impressed with effort and organisation, staff very organised & helpful."

·         "A fun filled day had by all, my son thoroughly enjoyed all the races and is still talking about the sports day weeks after."

·         "It was a lovely day as always, very well organised and attended and lovely for my child and us to mingle with her friends and parents. Also, to informally meet and chat with staff, outside of the nursery environment."

We are grateful for your level of response from the evaluations. We will continue to take into account the thoughts and feelings of the parents and carers to ensure our nursery provides a high quality of care and education for all of our children.

Policies of the term

Our policies of the term this term are; 14, 41 & 42

·    14 - Infection Control

·    41 - Health, Wellbeing & Safety

·    42- Environmental

Policies are displayed in the hallway for parents to view.


As the weather is changing, can you please provide weather appropriate clothing. The past few days have been a bit chilly and it will soon be time to take in winter hats and gloves, wetsuits and wellies!

Learning Experiences

There have been some calendar dominated activities this term, including creating Father's Day cards and discussing why we love our Daddy's.  Children are encouraged to express their own feelings, allowing them to feel secure and nurtured as part of the SHANARRI indicators (Safe, Healthy, Active, Nurtured, Respected, Responsible and Included).

0-2 room

Children participated in our Space topic, which was very popular.  They worked collectively to build rockets using the building blocks, giving them the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills.  The children also explored a space themed sensory tray, feeling all the different textures in their hands and investigating the different solutions.

During our Under the Sea topic, children decorated sharks and crabs to turn into hats, which they then wore, pretending to act out the role of the sea animals whilst dancing to music, giving the children the opportunity to develop their imaginations.

The children explored a sensory tray full of sea creatures, sand, pebbles and seaweed made from crepe paper. Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.  They also helped to make salt dough, (moulding it into shell shapes) as well as ice cream, weighing and mixing the ingredients, taking it in turns, and then putting it into the ice cream machine. Children were able to watch as it turned from one form into another, and then the best part - they tasted it! Yum!

Following on from the Under the sea topic, the children moved onto learning about their favourite characters. They started with making Mickey Mouse pictures, collaging them with various materials.  They also participated in imaginative and role play, dressing up in the different costumes, showing great sharing skills whilst taking turns.

We had a Show and Tell during this topic, which helps to develop the children's confidence, allowing them to show and share their toys from home with their peers.

The children enjoyed the story of the Gruffalo and listened intently, developing their listening skills and learning new language. We also used props with our Hungry caterpillar story to make it more interesting. This also helps to trigger children's memories, as well as sequence and pattern of events,

We explored some Makaton with the children, just like Mr Tumble, and staff learned some sign language in the process. We have had some children start nursery who attend Tiny talk classes, a baby sign class, and this helped us all learn some new signs!

The children then learnt about the Circus.  This was a fun topic, with lots of dancing to circus music and moving our bodies in wonderful ways using the ribbon sticks, juggling balls and climbing through "flaming hoops", developing gross motor skills and spacial awareness in the process.  The children also developed their balancing skills when using the Wesco equipment in the 3-5 room, pretending to walk along the tight rope!

A favourite activity was the food tasting activity in which the children got to taste what you may find spectators eating at the circus, and candy floss was a firm favourite!!!

The children have very recently moved onto an "On the farm" topic.

2-3 Room

Children participated in a Space topic, which arose from them showing a great deal of interest in the 0-2 room's Space topic.  The children created planets using paper mache, a new experience for the children, enabling them to explore how different substances can change from one form to another.  These were then decorated once dried and displayed around the room in a Solar system!  The children also explored another new form of arts and crafts, using spray bottles to spray paint onto paper to create a 'galaxy like' effect, which also helped them to focus on co-ordinating their hands in a particular way.

We then moved onto a Disney topic, focusing on different films and creative ideas we could bring from them. Children explored frozen water with sequins which had Disney characters frozen inside. They then had to use the heat from their hands to allow the ice to melt to retrieve what was inside.  The children loved a Disney 'dress up' day and we had a "Mad Hatters Tea Party!" which helped develop the children's expressive and social skills.

We then focused on a Colours, Shapes & Numbers topic.  Throughout this topic, the children learnt to count from small numbers up to higher numbers, and took part in some number recognition also.

The children helped to make ice chalk, taking it in turns to measure out the ingredients, whilst also encouraging them to recognise the numbers on the scales.  We then provided the children with different blocks to draw around and help them to identify simple 2D shapes.  All the children had good knowledge of the primary colours, so we used this opportunity to mix the primary colours together to show the children that they then create secondary colours. They really enjoyed getting messy during this activity! 

After some of the children showed an interest in cars and buses whilst looking out of the window, we moved onto a "Transport" topic.  So far, the children have been enjoying this and are role playing in the petrol station role play area, re-enacting their parents filling up their cars.  This topic has also sparked some interest in "People who help us" so we are going to incorporate this and learn about the different emergency services and what they do.

3-5 Room

Throughout the past few months, the children in the 3-5 room have been extremely busy covering various topics, including My Family, On the Farm, the Human Body and Disney.  Whilst learning about our families, we created a large family tree, which we displayed in the room. The children loved to explore their photos and discuss their family members with their peers.  We also used this time to discuss extended family and what our houses look like.  We supplied the children with real household objects in their house corner which proved really popular with lots of "Mummy and Daddy" role play taking place, with great use of imagination and producing quality play experiences! 

Whilst learning about the human body, the children showed a great deal of interest, using the smart board to learn about bones, different organs and our bloody supply.  This also gave opportunities for Lauren to talk to the children about having diabetes and how she has to look after her body very well. All the children were very intrigued and listened so intently to her talk, asking lots of questions after.

The children helped turn the house corner into a Doctors surgery for this topic, and again lots of quality play took place. Everyone really took on board everything they learnt in this topic and showed this throughout their play.

The children asked for a Disney topic, following on from their interest in the 2-3 room's Mad Hatter tea party.  This was extremely popular and also led to a lot of parental ideas on how to cover this topic, thank you. 

The staff team incorporated so many different learning opportunities into Disney films, so the children were learning whilst having so much fun e.g whilst learning about Toy Story, we discussed friendships, giving opportunities for the children to show compassion and empathy, as well as discuss their feelings, and whilst learning about cars, the children discussed various speeds whilst racing cars in the garden.  This topic ended with a Disney 'dress up' day in which every child took part, well done!  This promotes inclusion and allows the children to become confident individuals.

In the past few days the children have moved onto a topic about "Around the World", and kick-started it with a food tasting session, tasting olives and chorizo from Spain!  We are keen to encourage the children to learn about different cultures from around the world. If you have any suggestions then please bring them to a member of the team.

Thank you

Nicola McKinlay

Inverurie Manager




The majority of parents have requested that the newsletter be e mailed to them which we are now doing. We will also be printing off a small number of copies for parents to take away also. The printed copies will be located in the front hallway for parents, thank you.

Dates for your Diary

Tuesday 1st October – Term 1 -  3-5 trip to Tick Tock

Wednesday 30th October – 3-5 Halloween Party 6pm-7pm

Thursday 31st October – 'Dress up' day for Halloween

Monday 9th December – 0-2 Christmas Party

Wednesday 11th December – Christmas Lunch

Wednesday 18th December – 3-5 Nativity

Thursday 19th December – 2-5 Christmas Parties

Christmas and New Year Closure – 6pm Friday 20th December and re-open on Monday the 6th January 2020.


Inverurie News

Bacon Rolls
Date posted: 19 Sep 18
Term 3 News
Date posted: 20 Feb 19
Sports Day 2019
Date posted: 24 Jul 19
Coffee morning
Date posted: 10 Apr 18
Term 3 Policies
Date posted: 04 Feb 20
3-5 Term 1 Trip
Date posted: 22 Aug 19
3-5 Room Summer Trip
Date posted: 30 Apr 19
School Leavers
Date posted: 07 May 19
Pre-school Admissions
Date posted: 21 Nov 19
Wee Green Space 2020
Date posted: 03 Feb 20
Photo Gallery