News update 11 May 2020

Email sent to parents

Dear parents and carers,
You will have heard about the government’s latest indication of a phased return for schools and childcare settings from 1st June. It is important to note that this date is provisional and dependent on scientific evidence.
We are anticipating further details and clarification to follow and we will be working our way through all the guidance and advice.
It may very well be necessary to introduce a temporary cap on numbers to ensure safety is prioritised.
Obviously, any re-opening of pre-school has to be practical, manageable and most importantly safe for children and staff members. We will provide further information for you over the coming days and weeks.
Please find a guide for parents and carers from the DfE below.

In the meantime, stay safe and well and keep happy!
With kind regards,
Julie, Lin and Kate.

April 2020: Newsletter

Newsletter, April 2020

It’s hard to know where to begin in capturing the strangeness of the last few weeks. The very difficult situation created by Covid-19 continues to change by the day, with so much impact on so many lives. What remains constant, however, is the solidarity between people in our village, the bond between friends and families – even if that connection can’t be physical – the profound gratitude we hold for our wonderful, unique NHS, and the deep concern felt for everyone we know and everyone we don’t. The Pre-School staff and committee are thinking of you and your children at this most challenging of times.

One of the many tests we face is that of homeschooling. For every parent, not just those who work, this can feel like a daunting prospect. We want to emphasise that education at home is optional. Everybody’s circumstances are different, just as every child is different, and there is no right or wrong way to be going about it. In an email sent round to primary school parents last week, headteacher Dieter Cook stressed the importance of this message. If schooling is causing stress to you or your child, then leave it. If there’s one lesson this virus is teaching us, it’s that health comes above all else.

One of the tenets of our Pre-School is that we learn through play. So, if you can, simply focus on enjoying this extra time with your child. Soak up the sunshine in your garden. Fill buckets with water and stir them with sticks. Paint pasta shapes and thread them on to string. Build a den. Mix a magic potion. Hunt for minibeasts. You might have seen the information circulated by the team on the Early Years Foundation Stage, including some suggested activities. Again, these are entirely optional. Lin and Julie also shared a recipe for Ultimate PlayDough, to keep those little fingers moving and exploring!

And try to find the silver linings in these dark skies. My mum said the other day that in the future I might look back on this period as ‘a time apart’ from the rest of my life: being in the moment instead of rushing ahead, living smaller and quieter than we do normally. I think she’s right. I went for a walk yesterday evening as the sun was setting, and there were no planes in the sky, no cars on the road. Just birdsong and long golden shadows over the fields. The world didn’t seem such a bad place, after all.

Take care of each other and stay safe.

With best wishes,

Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee x

February 2020: Newsletter

Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Newsletter, February 2020

Term three is rolling to a close and what a term it’s been. The children have been swept away on pirate ships (haven’t we had the weather for it?) and thrilled by treasure maps. Now they’re sailing off into half-term week and a well-deserved holiday. Remember that Monday 26 February is an Inset Day and therefore pre-school resumes on Tuesday 27. More adventures await!

Excitingly, this term pre-school joined Bishop Sutton Community Library for the Chew Valley. The little ones have loved the experience of borrowing and returning titles, being read stories in the cosy library setting and, crucially, learning the value of books and imagination. There will be plenty more library visits over the course of the year and beyond – and if you haven’t yet had a chance to pop in, why not give it a try? The library is open at The Link (the Chapel), right next door to pre-school, from 2pm to 4.30pm on Thursdays and 10am to 12pm on Saturdays. Delicious tea, coffee, cake and biscuits are available, as well as free Wi-Fi and good company. Oh, and plenty of fabulous books to suit every taste and age group.

We’ll have our own doors open for the pre-school Open Day on Saturday 21 March between 10am and 12pm. Spread the word! This is a fantastic opportunity for prospective parents to discover the wonderful world created by our vivacious, inventive, encouraging staff, and how much the children benefit from their learning. If you’d like to drop in as an existing parent, and speak to those considering a place, you’d be more than welcome.

On a more somber matter, we hope you will take note of the NHS Coronavirus Public Information poster in our lobby. Please read this notice carefully. Rest assured that pre-school exercises – at this time and every other – the highest level of cleanliness and hygiene to avoid the spread of infection. Find out more about the virus and how to stay safe at

Other literature to be aware of – this time on the parents’ information board above the coat pegs – is our readopted Safeguarding Policy and updated Behaviour Regulation Policy. These policies are regularly reviewed, and amended where necessary, to ensure that pre-school is in line with current advice and recommended practice. Do have a read, and if you’d like any or all of the policies emailed to you to look over at home, please ask one of the staff.

Looking ahead into 2020, we’ll be fundraising again at the fabulous Chew Valley 10K on Sunday 14 June – put it in your diaries! As ever, nearer the time we’ll be asking for your baking – or buying – prowess, as we seek to supply 1500+ slices of cake to hungry runners. If you’d like to volunteer to help on the day, either in setting up or selling refreshments, we’d be most grateful. More details to come!

And if you’re feeling the New Year volunteering spirit, and fancy joining our fun and friendly committee, please speak to one of us or to one of the staff. We’d be absolutely delighted to welcome you on board, in as great or small a capacity as you would like. Being on the committee is a lovely way to make friends, be part of the community and help contribute to the pre-school, now and in the future.

We hope you have a brilliant week off. If your little ones are still looking to learn over the holiday, why not try Numberblocks on CBeebies (available on iPlayer)? Numberblocks is recommended to parents as a fun and effective way to learn Maths in early years. It captures a different approach to understanding numbers than many of us will have grown up with, and is well worth dipping into if you have a moment.

Happy half term!

And best wishes,

Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee x

December 2019: Newsletter

Bishop Sutton Pre-School & Forest Club Newsletter December 2019

Thank you to everyone who came and supported our fantastic Christmas Fayre at the end of November. We had a brilliant day! Santa’s Grotto was a magical hit with the children, the festive stalls looked amazing and the Grand Raffle went with a bang. We really appreciate every volunteer who helped us pull it off, as well as those who kindly provided cakes for our refreshments. The mulled wine, in particular, went down very well indeed! We’d also like to extend our gratitude to the local businesses who donated raffle prizes. We raised a wonderful amount for the Pre-School that will go to benefit the children and their learning resources throughout the year to come.

With the Fayre done and (snow)dusted, we’re now dashing towards the end of December and the big day itself, somehow staying afloat on a raft of mince pies and Snowballs. The Pre-School’s Christmas party takes place this coming Wednesday 18 December, with children invited from 10 a.m. and parents welcome to join from 12.30 p.m. for a special performance. The party marks the end of term, with Pre-School resuming after the holidays on Monday 6 January.

Before then, if you’ve still got Christmas shopping to do (who hasn’t?), please remember that there is a really easy way to help support our fundraising efforts and that’s through the charity shopping fundraising site All you have to do is search for Bishop Sutton Pre-School then visit retailers and shop online as normal. Every purchase you make sends a lovely £2.5% automatically to our Pre-School. There are loads of major retailers signed on, so next time you’re thinking of buying from John Lewis or M&S, take just a few seconds to go through Thank you!

Also, if you’d like to order uniform for Pre-School (not obligatory), do try the family-run business, the UK’s largest provider of school wear.

As we turn towards the New Year, we urge parents to remember that the deadline for Primary School applications is by midnight on 15 January.

We also look with optimism to 2020 as a time of hope and new beginnings. As we were desperately sad to inform you a few weeks ago, Jennie’s husband died suddenly in October. She wanted us to share the below note with you:

‘I would like to thank you, our wonderful committee and parents (past and present), for all your kind messages, support and generosity at what is a very difficult time for me and my family.

I have booked my spa day at Charlton House for just before Christmas and I’m very much looking forward to a day of pampering and relaxation accompanied by my daughter. Thank you all so much!

The staff have been amazing, too. Thank you, lovely ladies! “I love you guys!”

I feel very fortunate to have the support of so many wonderful people. Thank you all once again!


Our very best wishes to Jennie and her family, and to you and yours, for a peaceful, loving Christmas and a happy New Year.

Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee x

October: Newsletter

Bishop Sutton Pre-School & Forest Club Newsletter October 2019

Welcome back for the autumn term! The leaves are reddening, the nights are drawing in, and it’s the perfect excuse for cosy jumpers, lighting fires and scoffing mashed potato. The children have returned happily into the swing of things at pre-school, with our new arrivals settling in brilliantly as well. We are delighted to have wonderful Becca back following her maternity leave, plus new staff members Sarah Naylor and Hannah Moores, whom the children adore.

This week we are excited to be putting up our scarecrow in support of the Harvey Hext Trust Scarecrow Trail. Look out for our guy, who’ll be sporting an out-of-this-world look to tie in with our space theme in the schoolroom! If you’re creating your own scarecrow this year, remember he or she has to be ready by this Sunday 6 October.

In other upcoming dates, Concept Photography will be coming into pre-school on Tuesday 8 October, 10.30 am to 12.30pm. This is a fantastic opportunity to buy professional shots of your little one – and maybe, if you’re really organised, tick off some early Christmas presents? If your child attends pre-school on Tuesdays they will automatically be photographed; if not, please just come into pre-school during these hours and Concept will fit you in. Also, if you’d like siblings to take part they are welcome to join. We look forward to seeing you there!

On Friday 8 November we will be gathering for our annual pre-school parents’ drinks at the Red Lion from 8pm. This is always so much fun, just a chance to meet fellow parents or catch up with friends over some beverages. If you’re new and don’t know anyone, please don’t feel put off: we’d love you to come along J.

Unbelievably (because how can we be talking about Christmas already?) it’s also time to get a date in your diary for our 2019 Christmas Fayre. This year the fayre is happening on Saturday 30 November at the village hall in Bishop Sutton. Last year’s was a sparkling success and we hope to build on that and raise even more funds for pre-school this year. Expect the return of Santa’s Grotto, local artisan Christmas treats and unique shopping opportunities. Nearer the time we’ll be asking for volunteers to help on the day, but if you’d like to get in early please do speak to one of the staff or committee – it’s a nice way to get a head start on that festive feeling!

Speaking of helping out, we’d also like to draw your attention to the box in the pre-school foyer containing plastic milk bottle tops. If you can add to these by bringing in any milk bottle tops from home we’d be hugely grateful. These plastic tops can be recycled to raise money for charity and this year donations will go to help Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. Please wash out your milk bottle tops and remember they have to have either the number 2 or 4 inside the recycling triangle marked inside (they all do). Thank you.

Finally, if you’re looking to order pre-school uniform (not obligatory!) then do visit, the UK’s largest provider of school wear. It’s a family-run business and 5% of whatever you spend will go directly back to the pre-school. On further money matters, we’d like to encourage a gentle reminder to parents to check whether they are eligible for government funding for their two-year-olds. Follow this link to discover more.

With best wishes,

Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee

30 November: Join us at our Christmas Fayre

Come and join in the fun as once again Bishop Sutton Pre-School hosts our fabulous Christmas Fayre, on Saturday 30th November 2019 at Bishop Sutton Village Hall from 12pm to 4pm.

We will be bringing together a host of seasonal suppliers of gifts, crafts and produce, including local decorations and delicious food – and the chance to try our famous Yule-dogs and mulled wine while you browse. There will be plenty of magic and sparkle for our little guests, with the return of Santa’s Grotto, festive face painting and a lucky dip packed with treats. And with a Grand Raffle draw of fantastic prizes kindly donated by both our stallholders and local businesses, this is the perfect way to get your family in the Christmas spirit.

Entrance is just £1 for adults and children go free. All funds raised go to support Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club. We look forward to welcoming you next month!

Bishop Sutton Pre-School & Forest Club, Newsletter May 2019



This summer’s an important one: as you’re likely to have heard, on Friday 21 June we are throwing a party to celebrate our beloved pre-school’s 50th birthday. This is a momentous milestone for the village and a chance to raise a glass to the many ways in which our children, and those in families across the past five decades, have benefitted.

Will you come and help us to PARTY LIKE IT’S 1969? On 21 June Bishop Sutton Village Hall will be transformed into an out-of-this-world venue: expect Live Music from the amazing Treasury Band, playing all your favourite songs from then up till now, a delicious hog roast and a fully stocked cash bar, PLUS a free drink on arrival AND a signature cocktail designed especially for the event! Grab your friends and come along to dance through the decades. This half-century birthday is a total one-off and we promise to give the pre-school a night to remember. Support us by buying your tickets – only £15 – from one of the committee at pre-school drop-off or pick-up, or via EventBrite

Now, helping us party is the easy bit! On to the favours Our pre-school is a charity and its funding relies entirely on efforts made by volunteers on the committee and by parents. Without the money we earn from fundraising events, there simply wouldn’t be a pre-school for our children to go to. So, if you can, please do your bit!

On Sunday 9 June we’re putting on our usual refreshment stall at the Chew Valley 10K. Please could you donate a cake for us? We need to provide 1000 portions – yes, that’s right, it’s a lot of cake. If you’re hopeless at baking, don’t worry, shop-bought is just as welcome, and it can be anything from brownies to cupcakes to Victoria sponge.

If you’re feeling extra generous we also need hands on deck on the day. Can you spare us an hour of your Sunday to do a selling shift? We’d massively appreciate it. The Chew Valley 10K is one of the fundraising highlights of the year, and the more help we have, the better our chances of success. Remember all money made comes straight back into the pre-school and to supporting our little ones’ play and learning. Look out for sign-up sheets in the pre-school lobby and please don’t be shy! Alternatively speak to Chairperson Clare, or me, Emma: we’ll be looking after cake business on the day J.

Furthermore, if you’re interested in marshaling the run, the Primary School is still looking for a few more volunteers to fulfill their quota. Contact Lisa Elliott on 07791 787019.

If you’re away for that but would still like to contribute, Chew Moo’s Open Day will be happening on Saturday 6 July. Pre-school mum Suzanne is set to throw a phenomenal day for all the family, building on the considerable successes of her previous Open Days and offering even more fun activities this year, from bouncy castles to tractor trailer rides, pony rides, a kids’ entertainer and even a live band as the sun goes down. We’re really pleased to be invited to run a couple of stalls. Will you volunteer to put in an hour of your time to help on these? If you would, just let one of us know, or a member of staff, and we’ll be happy to put your name down.  

Another date for your diaries is the Annual General Meeting on Thursday 27 June. This is a great opportunity to meet parents and hear what’s been happening at the pre-school and all that’s coming up for the year ahead. Do come along, all are welcome, mums and dads. You can just sit and listen – or, if you’d like to play a greater part and join the committee then we’d be thrilled. You can sign up in whatever capacity, big or small, and you don’t need any special experience (except maybe chatting and drinking wine/snaffling Quality Streets).

Being on the committee is a fun way to get together and feel involved. If you’d like to join but can’t make it to the AGM then that’s no problem – just let us know BEFORE the AGM by telling Lin or Julie, or filling in the forms that will be on the table in the foyer very soon. 

And remember, after the AGM we’ll be heading down to the Red Lion for the traditional booze-up! We hope to see lots of you there.

In the shorter term, we’re excited about our school trip to Avon Valley Farm next Wednesday 22 June, followed of course by parents’ evening in the School Room between six and eight p.m. For those with children at Forest Club, we also enjoyed our tour of the green space earlier this month. The children are so incredibly chuffed with their forest and it was lovely to see how it inspires their imagination. Feasts were being prepared in the Mud Kitchen, stories written on keyboards under the Evergreen Laurel, and the very important Forest Club Rules imparted to us round the Fire Pit. It was a joy.

So much to be proud of at our lovely pre-school, and so much still to come! Please support us, if you can.

Best wishes,

Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee

Bishop Sutton Pre-School & Forest Club Newsletter April 2019

Spring has finally sprung! It’s been a busy, happy few weeks at the Pre-School and Forest Club, with the children enjoying bursts of sunshine, designing Mothers’ Day cards and crafting Easter chicks and bunnies, as well as taking advantage of our brand new Tinkering Trolley, which has proven a big hit. The holidays are already here, so, if you can find a second amid the madness of Easter egg hunts, sugar-high meltdowns and chocolate squashed into sofas, we urge you to crack open the Ferrero Rocher and jot down these upcoming dates…

First to mention is our super-exciting ‘Party Like It’s 1969’ birthday celebration, which is taking place at Bishop Sutton Village Hall on Friday 21 June. This party marks 50 years since the launch of our outstanding Pre-School – a major milestone for the village – and promises to be a night to remember. We’ve got live music from The Treasury Band and a licensed cash bar catering all your favouritedrinks. Tickets are a steal at £15, which includes a delicious hog roast and complimentary tipple. Come and help us dance through the decades, as we raise a glass (or bottle, or several bottles) to this magnificent anniversary! Keep an eye out for our out-of-this-world posters and publicity, soon to be all over the place, and spread the word that PARTY is coming to town. Buy your tickets at drop-off or pick-up, or at

(If you buy tickets directly from the committee then you’ll avoid the event brite booking fee!)

Also this summer we’ll be supporting the ever-popular Chew Valley 10K on Sunday 9 June with our usual range of cakes and refreshments (appeals for those nearer the time J); plus we’re looking forward to being part of Chew Moo’s Open Day on Saturday 6 July, at which we’ll be fundraising with stalls from the Pre-School. The Chew Moo’s Open Day was a fantastic success last year with some gorgeous late-summer sunshine, and we’re very grateful to Pre-School mum and committee member Suzanne for welcoming us again.

Phew – we’ll need all the chocolate we can get in the run-up to all this. Happy Easter! Pre-School returns (a little fatter) on Tuesday 23 April.

Best wishes, Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee