Parents Newsletter - Summer 2017


1. Children’s work across the Nursery & Small School 

Baby 1 Room – The babies have been continuing their visits to the beach exploring sand between their toes and joyfully observing what is around them. Back at the nursery the beach has come inside and the babies have been exploring sand using their fingers and toes. Most recently the element of water has been added to bring a different feeling to the sand. We have introduced an overhead projector in the room and the babies have been fascinated with their own shadows as well as the shadows of the resources they are exploring. Their friendship with the fish is still strong and we often see the babies with their faces and hands up at the tank.

Toddler Rooms 1, 2 & 3 – The toddlers have been continuing to form lovely relationships with one another which has been fascinating for the educators to observe; we have noticed the children often mimicking one another or the adults they are with. The baby dolls are being used more frequently in the toddlers’ role play as children cook for them and feed them, put them to ‘sleep’ and change their nappies. 

Within the Toddler Rooms 1 and 3, we have been observing the changing interests of the children and will be reflecting our findings in their environments in the forthcoming weeks. So, watch this space!!!! We have also enlisted the support of our Atelierista, Laura to work alongside the Toddler team looking at the children’s ways of working from a different perspective and developing the materials in the environment following her observations. 

Toddler 4 Rooms 

Main Room: The children within the main room have been investigating combining materials and are currently exploring papier mâché, looking at the ‘ingredients’ on their own as well combined together, discussing the textures they come across at each stage of making and mixing. They have been working on individual and collaborative creations using the papier mâché in both the indoor and outdoor environments. 

Side Garden: In the side garden the children have been continuing their explorations of rolling and movement, looking at different shapes and sizes of balls, transporting water through tubes and guttering and moving objects through the sandpit to follow the trails they create. 

Atelier: The children have been very keen to engage in imaginative investigations alongside their found objects and sculptures, using the pieces to create and tell stories. The children have been sharing and elaborating each other’s ideas such as the story of ‘the cake monster’ who makes a regular appearance in their sculptures. The groups have been telling their stories verbally as well as creatively through 2D marks and 3D creations.

Pre-school 1 Rooms 

In the Construction Room we have introduced new resources and the children have been using these to build and explore how they fit together. They have been integrating the small world people and vehicles to inhabit their constructions and to develop their stories. We will continue to observe how the children use this space and interact with the materials. 

In the Communication Room the children have continued with their experiments using ice and the pipettes with food colouring, oil pastels on the lightbox and water colour paints. They have been predicting what will happen when the colours meet, learning how much water to use in order to make marks but not tear through the paper and how much space is required for the marks they make. The children have also been working collaboratively on large sheets of paper, so they have had to make allowances for one another and at times see their own ideas being compromised for others. 

In the Atelier the children’s relationship with the snake has deepened and they have been dancing to the music of the snake charmers. The children have been swaying to the music and matching their body movements in sync with the snake itself. Some of the children have been truly lost in their movements and have closed their eyes almost in a trance like state of dance. 

The Mirror Room has been a place for ideas to meet. The children have been bringing together the snake skin from ‘snakey’ and projecting it, discussing the patterns they see and re-creating these using some open materials from Re-Create on the floor on a large scale. The have also been making marks using opposing colours, light marks on dark paper and dark marks on light paper. This meeting of ideas has brought some interesting discussion between the children.

Pre-school 2 Rooms 

Outdoor Atelier – The Nursery Wedding 

For all of those who have been in Pre-school 2 since September 2016, I am sure that it has not escaped you that we have been very busy planning and organising a wedding for the bird and the butterfly

The wedding took place in the garden ‘castle’ on 7th June 2017 and there was much excitement on the day with everyone bringing their ‘plus 1’ in the form of homemade puppets. 

Merriments continued throughout the afternoon until it was time to leave for their honeymoon when it was discovered the ‘newly-weds’ were too poorly to go. They had eaten a poison lily (pretend!) and the whole wedding party had unfortunately been affected. 

Please do not despair, as the children have been very proactive and created a triage centre within the Atelier where the wedding guests’ stats can be measured and monitored before sending them to the appropriate ‘fever’ ward (currently in Re-create 4)

The Atelier has been supporting the hospital admissions and trying to gather ingredients to make vital antidotes for the patients. They have been gathering statistics and monitoring their temperatures, recording these on their charts, and passing information back and forth before sending them on for further treatment. 

In the Construction Room the children have moved their focus from building the structure of the submarine and testing out their buoyancy investigations and have been focussing on the interior decoration; in particular, on building bunkbeds. 

The Little Room has been investigating where the fish head has disappeared to. They have been theorising what could have happened to it and are now busy trying to find a way of ‘enticing’ it back to the safety of nursery. They have been making gifts and building a 3D map to follow around the room in the hope of discovering the fish head on their way.

Small School – The evolution of the baby to the jellyfish 

The Small School children have been fascinated with the idea of a small item or animal growing into a space, transforming and being born into a new world. 

They have been discussing the baby inside the mummy’s tummy, and how it survives by the ‘pipe’. Through these conversations they connected the pipe to the importance of providing food, air and blood, and recently discovered that we all have veins throughout our bodies, and that even the pipe to the baby had veins. This interest extended to the jellyfish eggs they had collected from the beach. The children spoke about how jellyfish tentacles might act as pipes, but also help them to move and sting with electricity. They prepared the tank and added the eggs, and their observations continue. The children were shocked to learn that jellyfish have no brain or eyes – and therefore have more questions that they want to find out the answer to! 

The Research Room has been full of busy children investigating money and plants. We were given a huge collection of coins which the children were excited to begin sorting into groups, towers and paths, which helped when counting in 2s and dividing large quantities. The children’s bean & pea experiment is changing daily, and they have drawn or written their observations. So far, the children think the beans are the happiest as they are the biggest. The children have also learnt how to tally by ‘1, 2, 3, 4 and cross the gate at 5’, which helped when they needed to quickly count the dead and alive jellyfish eggs, which they later took to study under the digital microscope.

2. School Leavers 

Please can I request that if you haven’t already let us know when your little one will be leaving Reflections, please do so by email to me at 

3. Pre-school 2 ‘Graduation’ Day 

Pre-school 2 Graduation date is Friday 21st July 2017 at 3.00pm. (You will receive a formal invitation from your child shortly). This is a little gathering where we come together to celebrate the next stage in our journey. 

4. Safe arrivals & Staff 

We are delighted to announce the safe arrivals of our staff team’s babies who have been calling in regularly to say hello: 

Kirsty – gave birth to Lexi 

Amy – gave birth to Arlo 

Donna – gave birth to Nova 

Danielle – gave birth to Charlie 

Kelly – gave birth to Rosalee 

Andi – gave to birth Ophelia 

Holly – gave birth to Frankie 

Lauren – gave birth to Oscar 

All mums and babies are doing well and we look forward to welcoming them all back in due course. Whilst they are enjoying their maternity leave we are delighted to announce the newest members of our team as follows: 

Baby 1 Jude Smith joins us as a Qualified Educator 

Toddler 2 Eszter Muszka-Kallo joins us as a Qualified Educator 

Toddler 4 Pippa Harvey joins us as a Qualified Educator 

Pre-school 1 Rosie Greco-Williams joins us as a Qualified Educator 

Nikki Berecz joins us a Qualified Educator 

Lunch cover & support Viktoriya Milovanova joins us as a Qualified Educator 

Laura Stephens joins us as a Qualified Educator 

Jenny Callen will move from Toddler 2 Room into a floating position seeing her work across all areas of the nursery and Caroline Waight from Toddler 4 will move to Pre-school 2 to widen her experience. We also welcome Jenny who will be supporting our Reception Office in Westerfields.

5. Reflections’ Summer Party – 9th September 2017 

It’s that time of year when we like to invite all of our families to the nursery for a family day of fun and food on Saturday 9th September 2017. The party will begin at 12.00pm and go on until 3.00pm. Please feel free to pop in for some or all of the afternoon where there will be the usual face painting, acrobatics, music and BBQ and drinks. Admission is free of charge but we will request a donation on the door for our chosen charity, Children on the Edge. 

6. A tortoise for Toddler 4 

We are looking forward to welcoming the newest addition to the Reflections Team in the forthcoming weeks when our tortoise hatches and can join our Toddler 4 group. The eggs were laid 3 weeks ago and have been incubating since. We eagerly await updates and will keep you informed.

7. Arrival and Collections – please note 

Please can we remind all families that we unfortunately cannot accommodate your child before or after their booked sessional times. 

In the mornings our staff are in attendance in advance of their shift in order to carry out safety checks, read up on information about the children attending on the day and to gather the materials and resources they require for their rooms. However, if you try to leave your child early (or collect your child late) we are afraid this puts the staff in a very difficult position – leaving your child 10 or 15 minutes I advance of our start time of 8.00am may seem trivial but it can compromise the safety and well-being of others. 

We do offer a 7.30am early drop off and a 6.30pm late collection by prior arrangement for which we make a modest charge but this means that staff are ready to care for these children on strict ratios. These additional times can be booked through the Front Office at Westerfield House. Thank you in advance for your understanding. 

8. Sunhats & suncream 

We hope that the warm weather of the past few weeks is here to stay, we would like to assure you that we will protect your child from the sun. We provide suncream here at Reflections and we have sunhats too should you require one. Please can you help us out by providing suitable clothing (including appropriate footwear – please note that crocks and flip flops are not suitable for climbing and running), long sleeved tops if children are sensitive to the sun and changes of clothing should they chose to play in the water areas. Please ensure all clothing is labelled with your child’s name as many parents shop in the same clothing stores. A brimmed hat will do the trick rather than sunglasses and is less likely to be popped down somewhere and lost in the depths of the garden. 😊 

9. Parent Forum discussions 

We have been recently discussing how to engage parents more in the nursery in whatever capacity that may be; some families participate in the Parent Forum regularly by attendance, others by email. Some families regularly comment on our Facebook page, some families contribute through their child’s journal; uploading photographs and comments which their child has found interesting. Others (thanks to Richard & Phil) have started to volunteer their time. If there any ways in which you would like to be involved here at Reflections, you are always welcome to chat directly with Yvonne. Our next Forum date will be Tuesday 19th September 2017 as always, you are most welcome to join us.

10. New website 

We have been working on updating our website with a fresh new image over the past few months and are delighted to announce that although it is still a work-in-progress it will be live by Monday 10th July 2017. Please take a look and as always, your comments are most welcome. 

11. Louise & Martin’s Tough Mudder! 

Nursery Directors Louise & Martin have signed up for a Tough Mudder (Half) on September 16th. Please make no assumptions that they will complete the course or indeed survive. However, it is all in a good cause. They will be fundraising for our chosen charity, Children on the Edge. If you feel like contributing, please see their Just Giving fundraising page here: 

12. Forest School 2017/2018 

Places are quickly filling up for our programme starting in September 2017. If your child will be 3 years old by 31st December 2016 and you are already certain you want your child to attend Forest School sessions, please complete the form below and return to the Front Office in Westerfields House. Please note that there will be a £12 additional charge for each Forest School Session. Many thanks in advance. 

To find out more about Forest School at Reflections, you can purchase Martin’s book ‘I Love Forest School’ from Reflections front office (at a discount), or from our shop.

Best wishes from the Reflections team