4th January 2021.

Dear Parents and Carers,

Despite the sudden change in national Christmas plans, we do hope that you have all had a good Christmas and would like to take this opportunity to look ahead together to 2021 when we pray that our lives may be able to return to some normality.

We would also like to take this opportunity to give a very big welcome to our new starters this term. Parents have always commented on the strong sense of community and genuine care and concern that our staff show and one of the great sadness’s of Covid has been that we have been unable to welcome parents into the setting in our usual way. You would normally be welcome to bring your child into the hall and get to know their key worker before leaving. Once your child is settled you are usually also welcome to spend a morning with us by putting your name down on our parent’s rota. We are looking forward to such days again soon.

In the meantime please be assured that Teresa is always available at the door and a staff member is always outside at the end of the sessions. We have also been able to arrange some outdoor meetings with parents and will continue this weather permitting.

Particularly in light of increasing Covid cases we would like to remind you of the importance of following our Covid policies and procedures. The Government campaign of Hands, Face, Space are more important than ever as we go through the winter months and we are very grateful for your continued vigilance.

  • We are very grateful to you all for continuing to wear masks and respect social distances on arrival and pick up and adhering to our one way system.
  • We will continue to be at the door to welcome children between 9:15 and 9:30 but would appreciate if you could endeavour to be no later than this. Many thanks.
  • Please continue to monitor your Childs temperature and general health before bringing them to Pals. If you are in any doubt then we ask you to err on the side of caution and keep them at home. If you are concerned it could be Covid it is of course important that you arrange a test and that they do not return until a negative test has been obtained. Should your child have a Covid test then please forward the results to us once received.
  • We in turn are doing our part and continue to wash all the childrens hand on arrival and throughout the session and also to clean every single table, chair and toy that has been out for the children to enjoy during the mornings. It is time consuming but vital and we are now in a good routine with it. However, please forgive us if this means we do not always have the children’s art work to hand at the end of the session.

Staffing:

Last half term we welcomed Lynsey onto the team and I am sure you will join us in giving her a huge welcome. Many of you will already know Lynsey and that she has been a childminder for a number of years – I know she is going to be a real asset to Pals and I am pleased to say that she will be able to increase her hours when Ashley goes on maternity leave later this

Theme:

This half term we are going to explore rhyming with the children which is a important skill in the process of learning to read. We will use a variety of rhyming books and traditional nursery rhymes amongst other things

Also this half term we will be completing our annual RSPB big school Birdwatch. This gives the children a wonderful opportunity to see the variety of birds on our doorstep here at Christ Church.

Website:

For new parents we have quite a lot of information available on our website. In particular we normally post the plans for the week together with a small paragraph letting you know some of the things that the children have been up to during the week on a Friday afternoon.

If you lose a newsletter don’t worry you can find all the newsletters from the past year on our and also term dates for this academic year. Our policies are also available on the website.

Winter Weather:

Should we have heavy snow this term we may need to make a decision as to whether to open. In such circumstances please check the home page of the website where we will post a message to state whether we will be open or closed

Child absences:

If your child is goingto be absent for any reason then please let us know. We are required to keep a note of all absences whether due to sickness or other reasons and it therefore important that you notify us.

Please note that once they are funded London Borough of Bromley stipulates that children are allowed no more than 3 weeks absence due to events such as holiday during any one term. Should this extend beyond 3 weeks then you will be liable to pay the full fees for the extended absence.

Many thanks for your co-operation.

Extended sessions:

These sessions are primarily for children who are off to school in September and run until 2:45pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As well as learning to manage their lunch the children love exploring outside during the afternoon and towards the summer also get the opportunity to practice such skills as getting changed for P.E. the cost for this session is £12.50 and if you have any universal funded hours are eligible for extended entitlement funding then you can access 2 hours funding towards the cost of this session. Please speak to Teresa should you wish your child to join these sessions.

                                                                          

Primary School Applications:

The deadline for applications for Primary Schools for 3 and 4 year olds born between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017 is Friday 15th January and it is imperative that you send your applications in by this date. Please visit www.bromley.gov.uk and click on the link marked “apply for it” on the home page.

Please remember that despite the current restrictions we are always happy to arrange a time to meet with you outside to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have.

Teresa, Laura, Nicola, Ashley, Janet, Lara, Linley, Liz, Lynsey and Sarah

 

2nd November 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

We hope you all enjoyed a break over our extended half term and we are pleased to welcome you all back to the second half of the autumn term. 

As we return we would like to remind you of the importance of following our Covid policies and procedures. The Government campaign of Hands, Face, Space are more important than ever as we go through the winter months and we are very grateful for your continued vigilance.

  • We are very grateful to you all for continuing to respect social distances on arrival and pick up and adhering to our one way system.
  • We will continue to be at the door to welcome children between 9:15 and 9:30 but would appreciate if you could endeavour to be no later than this. Many thanks.
  • Please continue to monitor your Childs temperature and general health before bringing them to Pals. If you are in any doubt then we ask you to err on the side of caution and keep them at home. If you are concerned it could be Covid it is of course important that you arrange a test and that they do not return until a negative test has been obtained. Should your child have a Covid test then please forward the results to us once received.
  • We continue to wash all the childrens hand on arrival and throughout the session and also to clean every single table, chair and toy that has been out for the children to enjoy during the mornings. It is time consuming but vital and we are now in a good routine with it. However, please forgive us if this means we do not always have the children’s art work to hand at the end of the session.

Nasal Flu Spray

Bromley are encouraging all parents to ensure their child receives the Nasal flu spray. Flu can be horrible for young children and they can easily pass it on to those around them even if they don’t show symptoms. The free nasal spray is easier to give to children than the injection and is the best way to protect your child and prevent the spread!

Primary School Admissions:

If your child was born between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017 then you are able to apply online now for their primary school place. Details are available on Bromley’s website. www.bromley.gov.uk/info/13/primary_school_admissions You will be able to amend and upload any documents right up to the close date of 15th January should you wish. Please note that as verification of your school application the Borough will require a letter from the Child Benefit Department regardless of whether you are eligible for receipt of this or not. We would strongly recommend that you apply for this as this can take some time

 

 

 Childrens clothing:

Please be aware that we are outdoors most days and your child will therefore need a suitable outdoor coat for the colder weather. Please ensure that your child’s coat and jumpers/cardigans are labelled to enable us to return items to the right child at the end of the session!

 

Universal and Extended Funding

If your child has their 3rd birthday this term then they will be eligible for universal funding from January. Please ensure you return any Parental Declarations and copies of Birth Certificates to Teresa ASAP. You may also be eligible for extended funding (which can be used towards our extended sessions). Please log onto www.childcarechoices.gov.uk and follow the link to check your eligibility.

Theme:

Over the next three weeks we will be thinking about autumn, including exploring Firework night and Diwali. After that we will turn our attention to some Christmas crafts.

We are so sad that we will not be able to put on our usual Nativity performance this year. Despite the fact that people are able to gather in a Covid secure way in churches, we feel very strongly that it is too big a risk and we most certainly don’t want to be responsible for any passing on of infection particularly in the lead up to Christmas.

We are however planning to do a nativity with the children during the last week of term and they will have the opportunity to learn all the nativity songs from one of our favourite nativities “Shine, Star, Shine. All the children will be able to dress up in costume and the older children will act out the story.

We are also planning to send home a special Christmas photograph of each child in costume together of course with the usual Christmas crafts that the children will be making.

On Thursday 17th and Friday 18th December we are planning to have two festive party sessions. The children will enjoy some free play for the first part of the session as normal and then we will provide some festive food (nut and dairy free) before enjoying some party games with the children. We are sure that the “big man himself” will be able to make a special delivery for all of the children somehow.

 

Extended Sessions:

Please note that there will be no extended sessions during the last week of term. The final extended session this term will therefore be on Thursday 10th December.

 

Website Testimonials:

We hope that you all find the information on our website useful. We post the plans for the week on a Friday afternoon which we hope gives you an insight into some of the things the children have been up to during the week. We do also add photographs of some of the activities which we hope may prove especially useful while parental access to the setting is restricted.

One of the challenges we face due to Covid restrictions is how to enable prospective parents to look around the setting. We are arranging visits out of hours on a one to one basis, but this of course doesn’t really show parents what our sessions entail or enable them to gauge our interactions with the children. With this in mind, we would particularly welcome parents posting testimonials on the website at the moment, as this will in some measure give parents an insight into parental satisfaction. If you would like to post a testimonial then please click on the testimonial link on the home page.

 

Please be aware that despite the current restrictions we are always happy to arrange a time to talk to you should you wish to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have.

 

Teresa, Laura, Nicola, Ashley, Janet, Lara, Linley, Liz and Sarah

 

 

 

1st July 2020.

Dear Parents and Carers,

We wanted to make contact before the end of term both with the families that have returned to Pals and those that we are looking forward to seeing once again in September.

We are pleased to have welcomed a good number of children back to Pals during June and are immensely proud of how the children have adjusted to the new routine and taken all the changes in their stride. We have managed to give them a varied timetable and they seem to have really enjoyed being back and the staff have certainly loved being back with them.

Autumn Term:

As I am sure you will be aware the Government is expecting schools to be fully open in September. Early Years Guidance is due out at the end of this week, and I am hoping that we will be largely back to normal. It may be that we will need to continue to operate in bubbles, although these are now allowed to be much larger at up to 16 in each group and that could be easily managed during our sessions. We will of course keep you posted.

Welcome Back Morning

Please note that ALL children who are returning in September are invited in on the first day of term – Tuesday 1st September for our “Welcome back” session. This is an annual event but this year more than ever, I think it will be a really important opportunity for those children returning to meet up again after such a long break and familiarise themselves with the pre-school and one another before we begin to welcome our new starters! Please put this in your diary regardless of whether your child will be attending on Tuesdays or not. In particular those children who have not been with us since March will particularly benefit we believe from this somewhat quieter morning to meet up with old friends!

Increasing Sessions:

Should you wish your child to increase their sessions at any point over the next academic year then please let Teresa know as soon as possible if you have not already been in touch. Many thanks.

 

Extended Sessions:

We are planning to resume our extended sessions on Tuesday 15th September. These run until 2:45 on a Tuesday and a Thursday afternoon and are largely for our older children off to school the following September. The children bring a packed lunch which they eat together with the staff. After lunch we do a lot of activities in the Church ground and some more focused activities. The cost of these sessions is £12:50 per session and if you are eligible for the Government extended entitlement, then this covers 2 hours fees and there is a balance payable for the remaining time.

 

Website Testimonials:

We get a lot of enquiries via our website and it is often the first port of call for families who are looking at a place for their child at Pals. We would be very grateful if you felt you would like to post a testimonial on the website for us. This is very easy to do – just click on testimonial on the homepage:

www.palspreschool.org.uk

May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very safe and happy summer and to wish all our school leavers the very best.

Teresa, Laura, Nicola, Ashley, Janet, Lara, Linley, Liz and Sarah

 

1st September 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

We would like to welcome you all to the autumn term whether you are joining us for the first time, returning with a sibling or just returning after the summer break.

Theme:

For the first week or two of term we will be thinking about what we enjoy and what we look like while we create a gallery of self portraits. After that we will explore ourselves in a little more detail.

Coronavirus Procedures:

We are following the Government guidelines closely as we continue to return to a more normal routine at Pals. As such it is vital that you read our attached procedures carefully and adhere to them at all times.

In particular we ask that whilst waiting outside to drop off and pick up your children that you keep a safe social distance with other families, and also that you adhere to our One Way system as laid down in our procedures

Usually we ask you to arrive promptly at 9:15, however In order to minimise numbers outside in the morning we will be on the door to welcome children between 9:15 and 9:30. Please ensure that you drop your child off during this time as this will enable us to carry on with our normal routines

Should you travel abroad to a country on the Quarantine list then we ask that you let us know and keep your child off for 14 days after your return for the safety of both the other families and staff.

For our new parents we would like to stress that in normal circumstances we operate a very different model and parental involvement is something that we actively encourage and we are very much looking forward to being able to do so once again.

You may be interested to read the following article from the Government:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-

years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-

carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term

Extended Sessions:

Please note that our extended sessions for 3 and 4 year olds will resume on Tuesday 15th September and operate on Tuesday and Thursdays until 2:45. These sessions are largely aimed at children who will be leaving for school next September. The full cost of these extended sessions is currently £12..50 however if you are eligible for the additional funding then you will be able to claim 2 of the hours under this scheme, in which case the cost for the extra 15 minutes will be £4:50. Please speak to Teresa regarding availability, if you wish your child to attend.

Updated contact details:

It is vital that we have your correct contact details in case of emergency. We would therefore ask you to let us know any recent changes in, contact details such as home address, email or phone number as well as any updates to medical conditions and GP contact details. Many thanks

Absences:

Please notify us if your child is absent for any reason. If this is for a planned event then we would be grateful if you could let us know in advance. If it due to unforeseen circumstances then please phone, text or email that morning to let us know whatever the reason.  If your child is in receipt of Early Years Education funding and is goingto be absent due to a family holiday or even a one day outing then we ask you to fill in an absence sheet. London Borough of Bromley stipulates that children are allowed no more than 3 weeks absence due to such events during any one term. Should your child be absent for longer than this then you will be liable to pay the full fees for the absence.

Website:

For those of our parents who are new we would like to draw your attention to our website where there is a lot of useful information. We usually upload our weekly plans retrospectively on a Friday afternoon to give you an idea of some of the things that the children have been up to during the week. These are on the notice board page of the website.  Our plans are colour coded linking to our key worker system.

If you lose a newsletter don’t worry because you can find all the newsletters from the past year on our website together with a calendar with key events marked and also term dates for this academic year. Our policies are also available on the website together with lots of other information. All of this can be found at www.palspreschool.org.uk

Primary School Admissions:

If your child was born between 1st September 2016 and 31st August 2017 then you are able to apply online now for their primary school place. Details are available on Bromley’s website together with details of school open days on their schools and colleges page. You will be able to amend and upload any documents right up to the close date of 15th January should you wish.

Term Dates 2020-2021:

Term dates for this academic year can be found on the front page of the Website should you wish to refer to it.

Christmas Arrangements:

We would normally perform our annual Nativity play on the last Wednesday of term to all our parents and wider families. Due to the current health situation we are sadly unlikely to be able to do so this year.

Likewise our Christmas party with all the children will certainly not be our usual format, but rest assured that we will ensure that we will celebrate the season when it arrives with the children in one way or another.

We are so sorry that this is the case – our Christmas celebrations within both the Pals and Church community are usually such an integral part of the autumn term.  We would also like to apologise in particular to all our new parents that we have been unable to welcome you into the Pals community in our normal way - usual policy is very much an open door approach!

We are always happy to arrange a time to talk to you should you wish to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have.

Teresa, Laura, Nicola, Ashley, Janet, Lara, Linley, Liz and Sarah.

 

24th February 2020.

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

We hope you all had an enjoyable half term and welcome you back to the second half of the spring term at Pals.

 

Ofsted Inspection:

Our Ofsted report has finally been published and we are at last able to share with you that we have been graded outstanding again! There are copies of the inspection report available in the entrance hall; however we have also created a link to the report on our website for your reference. During her feedback the inspector commented on our good strong routine, the strength of management and how much we valued each other and worked well as a team.

 

Theme:

Another strong feature of our report was our emphasis on books and amongst other things this half term we will be cooking whilst linking this to some of our well known and popular childrens books. For example as Pancake Day is this week, we will be making (and eating!) pancakes whilst focusing on the books “Mr Wolf’s Pancakes” and “The Big Pancake”. Other weeks we are planning to make overnight oats, flapjacks and bread whilst looking at a variety of books.

As always we love to encourage parents to be involved as much as possible so if you would like to help in any way within the setting whether by contributing to our themes, putting your name down on the parents rota or just coming in for an hour to read to the children then please do let us know. We would particularly like to get more dads involved – particularly in reading to the children as it is well researched that dads reading to their children has a huge impact on the child’s interest in print and literacy.

Another way to get involved is by donating unwanted paper. If anyone has any old rolls of unwanted wallpaper or paper suitable for use within the setting then we would be very grateful for donations.

 

Staffing:

We are very pleased to inform you that Ashley Perrins has joined the staff team as a pre-school assistant. Ashley has recently spent some time within the setting and was a real asset. She is keen to become a qualified Early Years Practitioner and we will be delighted to support her as she gains the skills and qualifications necessary to achieve her aim.

 

World Book Day:

We will be celebrating World Book Day on Thursday 5th and Friday 6th March. The children are invited to come dressed as a favourite book character on those mornings for a donation of £1 which we will use to purchase some new story books and sacks for the children to explore and enjoy.

 

National Dental Health Survey

We have been selected to take part in this scheme and as a result the Dental Nurse will be with us on Thursday 30th April and all children will be offered a quick and simple dental examination. If your child is due to be at Pals on that day we have therefore attached an information pack and consent sheet for you. Please return the consent sheet by Friday 20th March at the latest indicating whether you are happy for your child to participate or not.

 

Photographer:

The photographer will be here on Tuesday 28th April when she will take both a group and individual photographs of the children. We will put a sign up sheet in the entrance hall nearer the time.

Outdoor Clothing:

We would be very grateful if you could ensure that your child’s outside clothes and jumpers are labelled with their name. Many thanks

 

Term dates 2020-21

Those of you whose children will still be with us in September should have received the term dates for the next academic year. Please note that unusually we return very early in the autumn term (Tuesday 1st September) and we have a two week autumn half term this year.

 

Parents leaflets:

We have a selection of parents leaflets on a variety of topics in the racks on the parents table in the entrance hall. Do please feel free to help yourself to these resources.

 

Testimonials:

We are always very grateful for parent’s testimonials on our website and if you would be happy to leave one please just click on the testimonial link on the top of the home page and then go to “Submit a testimonial”.

 

Summer Dates for your Diary:

Please save the date for our Summer Show which will be held in the church on Wednesday 15th July. Children arrive at 10:00 on this morning and parents stay for this event where the children showcase some of their P.E. activities and Circle Time songs. More details to follow.

On Friday 17th July all children are invited to our Teddy Bears Picnic 9:45 -12:00 – again more details to follow.

May we remind you that we are always happy to arrange a time to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have.

 

 

Teresa, Laura, Nicola, Janet, Lara, Linley, Liz, Sarah and Ashley.

 

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