As you all know, the coronavirus crisis has hit charities like ours hard. Many of the pre-school’s usual fundraising events have had to be cancelled, leaving us unable to pay for new equipment and improvements to the outdoor area as we had originally hoped.
But the new committee have been busy coming up with ways to help raise the much-needed funds, and this one is really quick and easy – plus it won’t cost you a penny!
With the shops closed, we suspect that many of you may now be opting to do your Christmas shopping online. By registering for an Easy Fundraising account and choosing Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club as your chosen charity, a small percentage of your total spend will be donated every time you shop at selected retailers. These include Argos, John Lewis, Not On The High Street, Marks & Spencer and many more.
Simply visit www.easyfundraising.org.uk and click ‘Create an Account’, then click ‘Find a cause to support’ and search ‘Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club’. Hit ‘Support this cause’, then register your details and remember to turn on Donation Reminders. Every time you shop online at collaborating retailers, a notification will appear, and all you need to do is select ‘Collect Donation’.
You can also download the Easy Fundraising app and shop directly through it to make donating to the pre-school even easier.
Another similar initiative is Amazon Smile. Visit http://smile.amazon.co.uk, click ‘Get Started’, sign in to your account and then choose Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club as your favourite charity. Every time you shop, 0.5% of your spend will be donated to the pre-school.
Just remember to always go to the Amazon Smile page first before you start shopping. It may help to create a shortcut to it on your desktop or mobile web browser.
If you do your shopping via the Amazon app, make sure you have the most recent version installed, and then under Settings within the app, tap on AmazonSmile and follow the on-screen instructions.
Registering for the above accounts should only take a few minutes, and the donations raised will mean that we can continue making our pre-school the fun, creative environment that the children so deserve.
Please forward this email on to any family and friends who may also wish to help!
It has been fantastic to welcome back many familiar, and lots of new, little faces to Preschool this term. Our main priorities this term have been for settling children in well following lockdown, focussing on their emotional needs and building up their confidence. They have all been doing so well and have adapted brilliantly to the environment and all our routines.
Some highlights have been learning a different traditional nursery rhyme each week such as This Little Piggy, learning numbers to 5 and Hey Diddle Diddle. We’ve had some lovely craft activities related to stories we’ve been reading, such as the Three Little Pigs with some fantastic collages and rockets were made from a cardboard box like in the story Whatever Next. This last week of term has been great fun with staff and children dressing up for Halloween fundraising for Preschool and we’ve had some lovely generous donations from parents.
Despite current restrictions meaning parents are wearing masks and saying goodbye at the gate, rather than being able to come and immerse themselves with what we’ve been up to, the Preschool continues to be a thriving, happy place. Staff are always happy to answer questions or tell you about what adventures the children have been up to during their days.
Our first ‘virtual’ AGM took place a few weeks ago after being delayed from June as we hoped we’d be able to meet by now in person. As such, we’re particularly grateful to last year’s fantastic committee for having stayed on in their roles for an extra few months. We’ve now elected a lovely new committee: Jen Patterson – Chair
Bex Curtis – Secretary
Alicea Francis – Treasurer, Publicity
Sam Jenkins – Vice Chair
Tash Hartland – Purchasing
Josie Bentley – Billing
Kate Hobbs – Newsletter
Holly Eggleton, Lizzie Kitchin, Emily Mathison – Fundraising
Please do let Lin, Kate or someone on the committee know if you’re still interested in getting involved with the committee or helping out with any fundraising as we’d love to hear from you.
There is plenty of fun planned for next term to help everyone get into the festive spirit in the run up to Christmas which will all help with raising funds for the Preschool. One easy way if you do any shopping online is to register free of charge for Amazon Smile or Easy Fundraising, and select Bishop Sutton Preschool as the benefitting charity. We will be holding a Christmas raffle with lots of great prizes up for grabs. You will also be able to order your Christmas trees via Preschool to be delivered directly to your home. Finally, there will be the chance to get printed and framed photos of your littles ones and we hope to produce our very own Preschool Christmas cards this year!
It’s difficult for everyone that we continue to live with the uncertainties of the COVID situation and we’re thinking of you all, particularly trying to put a brave face on things in these strange times for your little ones. We feel very lucky that our kids are able to be part of such a special little community in the Preschool during this time.
As the nights draw in and the days become colder, we hope you get the chance to embrace some autumnal fun with your families. Perhaps a walk just to hear the crunch in the orange leaves, go searching for some shiny conkers or on wet days splash in puddles, bob for apples or carve a pumpkin!
Have a lovely half term break,
With warmest wishes,
Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee
Term 2: Tues 3rd Nov – Thurs 17th Dec 2020
Term 3: Tues 5th Jan – Fri 12th Feb 2021
Term 4: Mon 22nd Feb – Wednesday 31st March 2021
Term 5: Mon 19th April – Fri 28th May 2021
Term 6: Monday 7th June – Tues 20th July 2021
Good Friday 2nd April, Easter Monday 5th April, Bank Hol 3rd May Staff Inset Days: 2nd Sept, 2nd Nov, 4th Jan, 1st April, 22nd Jul ‘Moving Up’ Day Thurs 1st July 2021 – No Forest Club
Pre-School and Forest Club Trip Date – Tuesday 18th May 2021 Parents Evening Tuesday – 18th May 2021
Christmas Party for all children – Friday 18th December 2020 Party for our ‘Leavers’ – Wed 21st July 2021
We have attached a new document from BANES that may be helpful in deciding when it is ok to send your child to Preschool or School. It gives a little bit more information on how to work out if they have a cold or Covid symptoms and what to do next. http://www.bishopsuttonpreschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/25.9.20-Covid-19-A-quick-guide-for-parents-and-carers.pdf
Start: Thursday 3rd September 2020
Finish: Friday 23rd October 2020
Start: Tuesday 3rd November 2020
Finish: Thursday 17th December 2020
Start: Tuesday 5th January 2021
Finish: Friday 12th February 2021
Start: Monday 22nd February 2021
Finish: Wednesday 31st 2021
Start: Monday 19th April 2021
Finish: Friday 28th May 2021
Start: Monday 7th June 2021
Finish: Tuesday 20th July 2021
Good Friday 2nd April, Easter Monday 5th April, May Day Bank Hol 3rd May 2021.
Staff Inset Days Wed 2nd Sept, Mon 2nd Nov, Mon 4th Jan, Thurs 1st April, Thurs 22nd Jul
Please note – on Staff Inset days – we may be off site
Reception Children ‘Moving Up’ Day Thurs 1st July 2021 – No Forest Club
Pre-School and Forest Club Trip Date, Tuesday 18th May 2021
Parents Evening Tuesday 18th May 2021
Christmas Party for all children Friday 18th December 2020
Party for our ‘Leavers’ Weds 21st July 2021
Another Pre-School year has drawn to a close and what an unforgettable year it’s been. This time last summer, no one could have predicted the impact a global pandemic would have on our community. While this has brought unprecedented challenges to the Pre-School, it has also shone a light on the very best parts of our organisation. Our staff’s unfaltering dedication, passion, kindness and enthusiasm has continued to create a wonderful environment for the children, in spite of necessary restrictions. We are so proud of the team and admire how readily they have adapted. The children continue to thrive and greatly enjoy their time in the School Room.
But all good things must come to an end, and the Pre-School shut its doors for the summer holidays on Wednesday July 8. Sadly, this year, we weren’t able to host our annual leavers’ celebration, but we want to send a huge ‘Hip-hip-hooray!!!’ to all the children moving on to primary school and wish them every happiness for the future.
We will also need to defer our Annual General Meeting until the autumn and are currently hoping to hold it in September or October. We do hope you will be able to come. The AGM is a very important night in our calendar, where we take stock of the preceding year and look ahead to the next. It’s also where we appoint our new committee.
The committee is an essential part of Pre-School, because without one the Pre-School would not be able to run.
Would you be interested in giving a little of your time and signing up? We promise being on the committee is a lot of fun, and a great way to get involved in village life. Being a member just means joining our meetings with management every couple of months, helping to organise fundraising events (proceeds from which go straight back into the School Room), and getting together every so often for some friendly drinks in the pub! We very much need parents to step forward and volunteer, so if you are interested, please get in touch with any of the staff, or alternatively chairperson Clare Goldsmith on email@example.com. Thank you!
Looking ahead to September, we are planning for a return to normal conditions, and are excited to welcome children both old and new back into Pre-School. Be assured we are keeping a close eye on government advice and will update you if the situation changes.
The end of term feels bittersweet for obvious reasons, but there’s another reason that cannot go unmentioned. Twenty-seven years ago, our beloved Julie Read joined the staff at Pre-School, and in the decades since she has shaped it into the remarkable place it is today. Julie’s infectious sense of fun, her wicked smile, her professionalism, her generosity, her imagination, her playfulness, her commitment to the Pre-School and every child in it, has made her an invaluable leader and friend. So, it’s with huge sadness that we wave goodbye to Julie as she embarks on her retirement adventure. We will miss her more than we can say but know her new chapter will be filled with joy.
Thank you, Julie, for all you have done for countless children over many years. You have given them something money can’t buy: happy memories of their first independent steps in the world. This is a gift that will carry them their whole lives.
So, as Julie prepares to enjoy a relaxing summer (just as soon as this rain takes a break!), we hope that you are able to do the same. To those who are moving on to school, farewell and good luck; and to those returning in September, we look forward to seeing you soon!
With best wishes,
Bishop Sutton Pre-School and Forest Club Committee x
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.
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
Due to the global spread of COVID-19, we are regrettably closed for now and are awaiting further guidelines.
Stay well everyone.
Best wishes from all of us at Pre-School and Forest Club x
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 gov.uk/coronavirus.
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