Welcome to term 5 at Nursery. The weather has been so lovely it’s been so wonderful to see the children making the most of our fabulous garden, we are still delighting in having them all back at nursery!

I know that this nursery year for our 3-4yr olds has been cut too short for some of you, especially those children who just joined us in September and have found settling and resettling really tricky. Our experience is that in the last couple of months at nursery all children start to bloom in confidence, independence and communication.

This last 12 months of the pandemic has certainly bought its challenges to all of us, hasn’t it? Our hearts go out to those of you who have lost loved ones, coped with illness or isolation, or been separated from your special people. I suspect we will all have a bit of a trauma-related response to the wider opening up of our services and connections?

The team at St Pauls remain remarkably buoyant, I think we are all really proud of how we have kept our values, focus and resilience during such an uncertain time. I am grateful every day that I work with such a sparky team! Please join me in thanking them for their incredible commitment.

Our Covid 19 precautions and risk assessment remain in place, but we are starting to reintroduce some soft furnishings, and malleable materials back into our rooms, so it’s starting to feel a bit like home again here!

Working with you:

We are really conscious that none of you, apart from those of you settling your children, have had chance to see around our nursery environment, or see a little of our daily routines or teaching times.

We have hated this, as we really believe it’s important for you to see, hear, sense, experience the relationships and environment to have full trust in our provision.

With this in mind, the Nursery School teams will be contacting you to invite you in for a session (in small numbers) so you can see what we are all about!

It’s a bit harder to manage this for our 2yr olds room, as we are inducting families most days at the moment. But we will plan something in.

We ask you to wear a mask in nursery please, consider social distancing, and wear a coat! As we are always outside!

Whats going on:

Now we are nearly back to business as usual there has been a lot going on!

  • We are delighted to tell you that from 1st September 2021 we will be opening another BABY ROOM. Our baby places are in high demand, so if you know anyone who might want a place, get them to register quickly!
  • We have restarted SHOWAROUNDS for prospective parents. These will take place at 8am on weekdays, or on Saturdays.
  • Mini bus driving tests are restarting, and we have got 2 qualified volunteers lined up for taking us out and about in our MINIBUS every week
  • We have also been providing our children with WONDERFUL PROVOCATIONS for learning and thinking for example: microscopes, scientific enquiry, forces, food exploration, growing, exploring trees inside! We are hopeful that our links with the Old Vic, We are the Curious, and Circomedia will also restart.

New Early Years Foundation Stage:

The government has launched new Statutory Guidance for The Early Years Foundation Stage to be implemented from September 21.

This new guidance has greater emphasis on supporting early communication, narrowing the gap for children in need or in danger of underachievement, trusting in professional judgments, and reducing practitioner workload with much less emphasis on providing evidence or data. Settings may have to rethink their curriculum and assessment tool. St Pauls are well ahead with this, our curriculum is always led by our values, what we want for the children and what they are telling us about their interests. Our assessment tool may change a bit, but we will share this with you when things are finalised. We are looking forward to revisiting our practice in the light of this new guidance.

Did you know?

St Pauls is the only nationally recognised  Early Years and Teaching School & Hub in Bristol, who has been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted (as a school, AND daycare provision) for the last 12 years.

 I wonder if you all know everything that goes on here? For example:

  • We run an Early Years Teacher Training programme (3-7 yrs). So if you are an aspirant Early Years Teacher, do get in touch to find out more about our Teacher Training programme for 2021-22, by emailing cate.peel@bristol-schools.uk
  • Our celebrated leaders have developed and deliver a whole National Early Years training programme, check out our website beytc.co.uk if you want to find out more
  • We lead networks, clusters, and setting support for all Bristol Early Years Settings
  • We are the Lead Early Years Hub for the whole of the south west of England, working with new Teaching School Hubs, and influencing the National Teaching School Council
  • We are the Lead Nursery School for the Bristol Central Childrens Centre, who family support, training, 1:1 support and Food Club

Recent DfE project:

A few months ago we were proud to be selected as an EXPERT settings/leadership team to provide ‘expert’ knowledge for the DfE Early Years Foundation Stage online information and training.

This has involved writing lots of material for their website and also making short films of practitioners reflecting on aspects of the new statutory Early Years Foundation Stage.

All this additional work contributes to our model of sustainability – we are desperate to keep this nursery provision in St Pauls.

Filming at St Pauls Nursery:       

Not surprisingly the DfE film crew felt so welcome here they want to come back to St Pauls and film some of our children and practitioners in action in our great outdoor and indoor learning environment. They want to capture diversity and inclusion and will use footage and stills in some of the ‘Experts Discussion’ short films.

The filming is taking place on Friday 5th May. They may even want to capture some of you dropping off or collecting from Nursery! You will be shortly sent a consent form to complete for this filming, which we would like you all to complete asap please.

Please make sure you discuss with your key worker of you DO NOT want your child to be filmed, and we will ensure this happens. I will be on leave that day, but Jet Davis our deputy will be alongside the film crew.

Starting Primary School:

Some of you with summer born nursery children may be considering deferring your child’s start to primary school, if this is the case please mention it to your key person, but for those moving up to schools we are working with our Primary School colleagues to make sure reception classes are children ready!

More information about deferring school entry can be found at: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/schools-learning-early-years/starting-school-later-reception-class

Nursery Governors:

You will shortly be getting a letter from our Clerk to the Governors about becoming a nursery governor, I know I have asked before – but then Covid 19 got in the way!

Please consider nominating yourself for this role. Becoming a governor is a brilliant way of getting involved with the nursery and contributing to our strategic direction. It’s a difficult time for every nursery right now with such reduced funding and government changes, we need lots of optimism and energy on board!

We are looking for parents who will be interested, able to commit time, support and challenge and be an advocate for us in the wider community.

We particularly welcome parents from our black majority community, as we are keen to have full voice and representation from our diverse community on our Governing Body.

An interest or expertise in any of the following might be helpful:  teaching and learning, equalities and inclusion, finance, health & safety, funding, family support, community partnerships, business.


  • Now that the sun is here please can we remind you to apply sun cream to your children before nursery and send them to nursery with a NAMED sun hat
  • Can I also remind you to maintain the handwashing/sanitising, wearing a mask and sticking to our social distancing requests please? We are still very focused on keeping our bubbles Covid safe.
  • Please ensure you have completed and application for the baby room, Eys2 or Nursery School if you are requiring a place for your child to start in September 2021, and tell your friends about us– we only have limited places available now.

Finally, thankyou for your continued support. We never quite know what is around the corner do we, but I’m hoping for a smooth end to this school year!

I wish you a happy, well, safe and connected summer.

Kind Regards

Lucy Driver

Headteacher/National Leader of Education

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