Dear Parents and Carers,
Thankyou for choosing St Pauls for your child’s Day Care and Early Years Education, we hope you have been able to trust in our new ‘covid safe’ settling in procedures and that your children are coming home inspired by their experiences here at nursery.
Term 1, despite our new ways of working, has gone brilliantly. We have been overwhelmed by the children’s resilience during our induction process, we expected that ‘handover’ at the main entrances to have caused problems for some children – but they all seem to be taking the system in their stride, and are making wonderful relationships with their key person and group.
What we miss is YOU, we miss showing you what going on in nursery and welcoming you into our nursery rooms each day – we love to hear what’s going on for you and your family at home, so we are thinking about new ways for us to keep connected.
As we now start term 2, with another national lockdown beginning this week, I just wanted to share with you some important information and updates.
St Pauls Nursery School and full Day Care provision will remain OPEN during the month of lockdown. We will continue with our Covid Risk Assessments, policies and procedures which are reviewed regularly to ensure everyone is safe.
The staff teams here do work in bubbles; I feel it inevitable that at some point that we may have to close bubbles for short periods of time in response to positive Covid tests. We will notify you directly if and when this happens.
Please continue to ensure you do not bring your child to nursery of they are unwell or if you have a positive COVID test result in your family.
Please get you and your whole family tested should you suspect anyone of you have Covid 19. Testing and isolating are the only way we can limit the damage of this virus.
COLLECTION and PICK UPs:
Thankyou for following all our procedures for drop off and pick up. Some of you will have noticed that there is sometimes a bit of a block in the entry/exit route to the back gate for families with children in Nursery School 1 and 2.
From the start of this term we are introducing a ONE WAY system for these nursery classes.
Please enter the nursery site from the usual gate on Princes St, but then exit the site walking alongside our training room, family Hub building and out through the gate on Little Bishop St.
You may need to park your bikes etc somewhere in between the entry/exit routes! We apologise if this causes any inconvenience, but the safety of all our users is an absolute priority.
Please be mindful of social distancing at all times and remember the hands/face/space guidelines as you arrive/leave nursery.
We also ask that if you are late to nursery school, arriving after 8.45am, could you please come round to the main entrance of nursery please. A member of staff will be called to collect your child from the door.
Please do arrive on time if you possibly can, calling staff out of the classrooms at the start of the day can cause quite a disruption, particularly if staff are engaged in settling children, they may also take some time to disentangle from them and get to the door!
We are really aware that our website has been a bit unclear for a while, so are now in the process of updating it, making all information far more accessible to you all.
The Central Bristol Childrens Centre information is also being separated out, as we will be launching a new and distinct website for this service at the end of the month. In the meantime please ensure you like and follow their Facebook page which has so much fantastic information for you and your family.
A new feature you will soon see on our St Pauls website is ‘News from our Rooms’, which will be updated each week by staff teams as a means to share with you the things the children have been doing at nursery, and show you our new displays etc. I hope this will help you all to feel more connected.
Our staff teams will also be doing much more regular phone calls with you, just to share what’s been going on in nursery and hear how things are with you and your family during this VERY unsettling time.
Parent conferences will still happen 3 times a year, but this year they will be by phone. Your key person will contact you to make arrangements to make this happen at a time that is convenient to you. We will also send Learning Diaries home more regularly.
Our termly newsletter will be reinstated once our admin team is back to full capacity.
It a funny time to be asking for new Nursery Governors – but we are always on the lookout for anyone who has an interest in supporting the development of St Pauls Nursery School & Children’s Centre.
This year we are particularly looking for people with experience or interest in: Family Support and Community development, Finance, Health & Safety, Charities to join our Governing body as Associate Governors. We would also like to positively recruit greater BAME representation onto our Governors. The diversity of our community is not yet represented on our Leadership and Governance.
If you are interested in this role and would like more information please email me directly on email@example.com
Out and About:
We are encouraging the children to be outside at all times, as this is the where COVID is least transmitted. We have fires each day, cook on fires and are starting to better involve children in growing their own produce.
Please can you make sure they come to nursery in WARM clothes, and with wellies and waterproofs if possible – and be prepared for them to come home a bit muddy!
We also hope to get the children out in our mini bus, once we are over this latest lockdown we will need volunteers to help make this happen.
Please can you start asking in your community, on your street ‘Whats Apps’ groups etc. if there is anyone who would willingly give up half a day a fortnight to drive a mini bus to a wood! We would pay for them to be trained up as a driver!
Every year we have Centre Improvement Priorities, which help to ensures our provision is always better than our previous best. As I’m sure you can imagine, this year things will have to be flexible to respond to national policy.
For your information the ‘improvement’ foci this year are:
Pedagogy: Revisiting planning, evaluation, observation cycle in Eys 1 & 2, differentiation, world class environment
People: Team/bubble wellbeing, parents voice, communication, Governors and Childrens Centre representation
Sustainability: Business planning to ensure we are viable
Inclusion: Revisit race equality, and SEND core offer
Health: Covid safe environment, food project, outside out and about experiences
As with every other business in the country, COVID 19 has had a pretty detrimental impact on our budget at St Pauls, and despite assessing the furlough scheme, tax relief etc. we have lost at least £110k this year.
In addition to this our maintained Nursery School which has been underfunded by the government for many years, and has also seen another cut this financial year.
We are quite innovative here at St Pauls, and over the years have developed other services that generate income and help to keep us buoyant, as we are VERY committed to ensuring we are here for the future for this community.
An example of this was becoming a National Teaching School and delivering our own Teacher Training Programme and charged courses for the Early Year’s sector, however these are also in danger.
All in all, we are in a challenging position, and we need your help please!
We do still have a few places left to fill on our 2-3s Room in January, and would also like to top up our waiting list so we are better able to predict the number of staff required as we move forwards.
To help us with this please could you:
- Recommend our nursery to your family and friends
- Writing positive reviews about us
- Signposting people to our websites, Facebook pages, you tube channel
I don’t want to end on a bleak note, but to reassure you right now St Pauls is still thriving – as are your children who are growing up with us!
Every year our new intake of children surprise us with their remarkable and unique little selves.
We are in such a privileged position to ‘relearn’ about the world again and again through their eyes and imaginations. I know the world is in a difficult place right now and we are all responding to this differently ourselves, but being with young children can make it still feel hopeful, colourful, exciting and full of awe and wonder!
Thankyou for sharing your children with us
Stay safe and connected.
Ms Lucy Driver
Headteacher and National Leader of Education