Newsletter

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yelllowdivider

4th July 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope everyone is enjoying this lovely sunshine and having a great week. This week we just have a few key reminders for you all, the holidays are approaching fast!

Sports Day – Friday 5th July

Tomorrow is Sports Day! We look forward to seeing you all for a fun packed hour with the children enjoying many different activities and receiving a lovely medal at the end. It is a great event, with parents going around each activity with their child’s group. This will all start at 11:15 am – If your child does not usually do the Friday session, please bring them in from 11am. All activities will finish in time for the 12:30pm pick up and lunch club will follow as usual.

Hot Weather – Playing safely in the sun

Sun cream – please don’t forget to apply sun screen / protective cream in the mornings.

Also, please remember to bring in a suitable sun hat for your child to each session. The lovely garden and playground area is largely a sun trap in this fab weather and so it is a requirement for all children when playing outside. There are sun hats at pre-school that the teachers will use for any child that doesn’t have one. The children really love playing outside, it is so important to us that they do so safely!

Next week:

W / C 8TH JULY – CHESHAM WEEK!

Next week is Chesham week – with each group taking various outings around the town, from posting a letter to a trip on the train! You will have seen the sheets on the Parents table, please add your name before the end of this week if you are able to make it. If you have any questions about your groups outing, please speak to your child’s group teacher.

School Trip! Bekonscot Friday July 12th

Next Friday, pre-school will be closed as we all enjoy a morning at the awesome model village! Please return your form if you haven’t already and do let Mrs Murrell know if you would like to come but do not have transport, as lifts and car shares can be arranged.

Graduation Photos

There is still time to order your child’s graduation photos, for those heading up to reception in September. The free delivery option has expired however all photos are still available. Enter your personal access code at mccarthyphoto.gotphoto.co.uk. If you have any questions about how to order, email liz@mccarthyphoto.co.uk or call 07973 715396 

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 5th July – Sports Day
  • Monday 8th to Thursday 11th July – Chesham Week
  • Friday 12th July – School Outing to Bekonscot – Preschool Closed
  • Tuesday 23rd July – Last day of term and annual Teddy Bear Picnic

Have a great weekend

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

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yelllowdivider

23rd May 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are now at the end of the half term and what a wonderful first half it was! Jam packed with fun activities, lots of sunny outside play and a successful annual fayre!

We have a very busy final half term of the school year coming up, with Chesham week, sports day, school transitions, our school trip to Bekonscot, graduation photos and the end of year picnic!

Schools of Chesham Carnival

We also have the Carnival coming up on Saturday the 8th June. We shall be having a stall in the park to maximise publicity and promote our brilliant preschool to new prospective parents. Please come and say hello if you’re in the park on the day and help give a welcoming buzz around our stall! We are offering 3 games; football shoot, name the St Mary’s Bear and Jolly Jars. The jars will be quite uniformed and they will be branded with a snazzy new St Mary’s sticker and the school logo colours. We are aiming to make 100 jars! Please don’t forget to bring in any empty jars you may have when we come back on Monday 3rd June – much appreciated, thank you x

Graduation Photos

Our amazing photographer, Liz McCarthy, will be at the pre-school to take graduation photos for the children that are moving up to reception this September. This will be over 2 days; Friday 14th and Monday 17th June. If your child does not usually do the Friday or Monday session, but you would like a graduation photograph, you are welcome to bring them in to get their photo taken on any one of the set days. Times and further information will follow closer to the dates.

Sports Day – Important – Date Change

The sports day this year was to be on Tuesday 2nd July, however it has been now recognised that this will clash with the primary school Transition day. Sports day will now be on Friday 5th July. Apologies for any inconveniences caused by this date change.

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 24th May – CLOSED – Inset Day
  • Monday 27th – Friday 31st May – HALF TERM
  • Saturday 8th June – Schools of Chesham Carnival
  • Friday 14th and Monday 17th June – Graduation Photo Shoots
  • Tuesday 2nd July – Transition / Moving up day – Further information to follow
  • Friday 5th July – Sports Day
  • Monday 8th / Tuesday 9th / Wednesday 10th / Thursday 11th July – Ch/Week
  • Friday 12th July – School Outing to Bekonscot

Have a fabulous half term all!

The Committee Team X

yelllowdivider

14th May 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

Hope all are having a great week so far, and enjoying the weather!

This week at preschool

Activities based around measurements continue this week, and the children are making scones! Lots of positive learning outcomes; learning to follow methods and measure ingredients using scales plus the motor skills in action, kneading and shaping the mixture – the children really love these type of small group activities! There is also some more seed planting going on – fun messy play with soil, connecting with nature and learning about how plants grow and their importance in our world!

We are still searching for some bathroom scales with a needle dial, for another weight measurement activity – if you have some the school can borrow for a week, please let us know. Thank you

Chesham week 2019 – Dates Confirmed!

WHAT IS CHESHAM WEEK?

During the week, each group goes into Chesham for the morning. We try to leave as soon as all the children in the group have arrived. Parents are needed to accompany the groups for the children’s safety. The activities vary group to group, examples from previous years are:-

  • Trip to Sainsbury’s/Waitrose
  • Choose their snack
  • Picnic style snack in the park
  • Visit the library
  • Write and post a letter
  • Walk around the field
  • Walk around St Mary’s Church or Mosque
  • Look at the market stalls
  • Train trip.

The learning outcomes during the week are numerous and include:

  • The children will be discovering more about their environment
  • The children will start to understand the value of money
  • Shows an understanding of the need for safety
  • Develops own likes and dislikes
  • Can listen and respond to appropriate boundaries
  • Can adapt behaviour to different events
  • Hearing and using new vocabulary.

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 24th May – CLOSED – Inset Day
  • Monday 27th – Friday 31st May – HALF TERM
  • Saturday 8th June – Schools of Chesham Carnival
  • Tuesday 2nd July – Sports Day
  • Monday 8th / Tuesday 9th / Wednesday 10th / Thursday 11th July – Chesham Week
  • Friday 12th July – School Outing to Bekonscot

Enjoy the rest of your week and have a good weekend!

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

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yelllowdivider

28th April 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

We are now back in to the swing of things as we enter the first full week of the summer term, we hope you all had a really lovely Easter break and a chance to enjoy some of that fabulous sunshine!

The Mother’s Day concert at the end of last term was absolutely wonderful, as were the beautiful cards made by the children! Thank you to Mrs Murrell and all of the teachers for organising it, and for creating such lovely, personal cards with the children for us to treasure forever!

It was great to see you all at preschool for coffee and hot cross buns, the cupcakes decorated by the children were very popular indeed! A huge thank you to all involved in making that happen, they were delicious (Thank you, Alice!) and looked fantastic! With the money taken on the day and the raffle ticket sales, there was a total of £182.50 raised for the preschool which is really great. Thanks again to all in making this event a success, but most of all, to our amazing children – they sang so beautifully!

During the Easter break, parents of those starting reception in September will have received their school place offer. We hope you all have been offered a preferred school place in the first round of allocations. Once places are confirmed, contact will be made about the visits. These are great for helping the children gain familiarity with their new setting before they make the big move – Exciting times ahead!

May Fayre – This Saturday!

Thank you for the donations at the end of last term, for the tombola and the jolly jars.

This is our final nudge for any more bits you may have to help boost the collections – if you can spare a bottle for the tombola or party bag filler type things, chocolate buttons etc. for the jolly jars – anything at all, please pass on at the door or leave in the donation box on the table. Thank you!

We also need more volunteers on the day, to help run a stall for half an hour or more, or to help set up / pack away. There will be new sign-up sheets on the table from Monday morning, please add your name to a slot if you can help at all on Saturday!

Raffle – Tickets will go out to all this week. If you’re unable to make the fayre on the day but would like to enter the raffle, please return ticket stubs and money in the envelope by pick up time on Friday. Tickets will also be available before the raffle is drawn on the day.

Thanks to all for the support so far, it is hugely appreciated x

We hope as many of you as possible can make it, there will be lots of lovely cakes, burgers and Chesham sausages on the BBQ, a tractor photo booth! Plus lots more including of course, the bouncy castle!

 Summer Term – New Upcoming dates

The summer term is always exciting and jam packed! This year, sports day will be on Tuesday 2nd July – it’s a super fun morning enjoyed by all, save the date!

The school trip this year will be to Bekonscot Model Village! This will be on Friday 12th July. The outing is a wonderful experience for the children to share together with their families, teachers and friends. We hope you can make it! More information will follow soon. Please note the preschool does not organise travel to and from however there is always opportunity to organise lifts for those without transport on the day.

Dates for your Diary

  • Saturday 4th May – May Fayre
  • Monday 6th May – Bank Holiday
  • Friday 24th May – CLOSED – Inset Day
  • Monday 27th – Friday 31st May – HALF TERM
  • Saturday 8th June – Schools of Chesham Carnival
  • Tuesday 2nd July – Sports Day
  • Friday 12th July – School Outing to Bekonscot

Have a fab week

The Committee Team x

May Fayre 2019

yelllowdivider

25th March 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope all had a lovely weekend, spring is certainly in the air – let’s hope it stays!

Just an update and a few reminders this week, as we edge closer to the end of term..

This week at pre-school

The main focus this week will be on practising for Friday’s concert! We had the privilege of hearing some snippets from the other side of the wall in the boardroom this morning and it was just adorable – we can’t wait! As well as all the singing fun each day, there will be lots of paint, craft and alphabet learning activities with the magnetic letters. Plenty of activity going on in the garden too this week, including the ball run set up, sand pit, trikes and more!

This Thursday the children will also be putting on their aprons to decorate some delicious fairy cakes that will be available to buy alongside your coffee or tea before the concert on Friday – scrummy!

Mother’s Day Concert

Look out for an email on Thursday, we will be sending out all the details needed for all visitors coming to the concert on Friday morning. Raffle tickets will be available to buy before the raffle for the hamper is drawn, if you have any spare / unsold tickets, please bring them in as we can sell them on the day, thank you.

May Fayre Preparations

Thank you for the jolly jar items that have so far been donated

Don’t forget next week is dress up week, helping to gather prizes for the tombola by bringing in something to donate for the table – anything tombola appropriate, from bubble bath to beer!

We have a few already signed up to help on the day but will need a few more! If you can offer an hour on the day to help run a stall, or to help set up or clear away, please add your name to the sign-up sheet, it will be on the parents table from Thursday this week.

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Monday 1st to Wednesday 3rd April – Dress Up Week
  • Thursday 4th April – Parent Consultations – No preschool session
  • Wednesday 24th April – 1st day of Summer Term
  • Saturday 4th May – May Fayre

Have a great week

The committee team

yelllowdivider

18th March 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

It’s a joy to all to see the garden open for play this week, following last week’s safety shutdown! The wind and rain was just too strong and the children so missed their garden playtime, even with the climbing frame and slide set up indoors!

This week at pre-school

There will be as much outdoor play as possible this week, making the most of the better weather with some sporty fun activities and the popular sandpit set up in the garden. Amongst the usual group time activities and singing sessions, the children will also be doing some more junk modelling this week! If you have any smaller size, clean boxes or containers that you would usually put in the recycling box, please bring in this week and pass on to your key worker at drop off – clean yoghurt pots, small cardboard boxes etc. anything small and suitable to help boost the selection of items for the children to create their masterpieces!

Parent Consultations

The annual consultations are just a couple of weeks away now! On the day, as well as the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress, you will also be able to view their wonderful scrapbooks. These always give such a lovely, visual insight to all the brilliant things the children get up to during their time at pre-school!

Mother’s Day Concert – Pre-school morning session 29th March

We will send out a separate letter closer to the day, with details for all coming to see the concert. For the children that are not usually in on a Friday, please bring them in between 11.15-11-30am. If you would like to bring your child in at 9.30 for the whole morning you can, please speak to Jacky or email Anne at office.preschool.stmarys@gmail.com to add their name to the session and the extra session cost will be added to the next invoice.

May Fayre Preparations

The box for jolly jar donations is on the parent’s table and we are collecting tombola donations during dress up week at the end of term. If you have any to pass on before then, just pop in the box. The tombola’s are always popular and so a great fundraiser, all donations help!

It looks like we have solved our Camera / Polaroid situation, hurrah! This will be for an awesome new feature at this year’s fayre! Our focus now is on getting a great collection of raffle prizes. If you have or know of anyone with something suitable please let us know – Vouchers / gift sets / new toys / new electrical items / tickets for museums etc. Thank you x

 Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Monday 1st to Wednesday 3rd April – Dress Up Week
  • Thursday 4th April – Parent Consultations – No preschool session

Have a great week

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

11th March 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

We hope you all had a good weekend, despite all that wind and rain!

The pancakes were a huge hit with the children last week; ‘best snack time ever’ according to some! No surprises there! The children mixed up the batter together in their groups and Mrs Murrell took charge in the kitchen, cooking up a delicious pancake storm for the children to polish off with bananas and blueberries! Thank you to Jacky and the team for organising and to Sarah for donating the fresh fruit. The children also enjoyed dressing up and celebrating world book day, fab week!

This week at pre-school

This week at pre-school will feel a lot quieter after last week’s jam packed activities! The activities planned for the children this week will involve some more alphabet learning, lots of play dough activities, painting, crafting and singing! Play time activities outside may be limited due to the windy weather potentially blowing over the play equipment. In the event of very strong winds, the garden will be closed for safety and alternative activities will be set up indoors.

Parents Consultations

The parent consultation morning is drawing closer. From this week, the appointment time sheets will be out for you all on the parent’s table. Please find the form for your child’s group and add your name next to your preferred time slot. Times will be confirmed with you all prior to the date. Our wonderful teachers look forward to spending time with each of you, to discuss your child’s progress.

May Fayre

From next week we will start to collect for our very popular children’s jolly jar tombola. There will be a box on top of the cabinet in the entrance for donations, more information to follow. In the meantime, please save those jam jars!

Dress up week

The last week of term, 1st – 3rd April, will be dress up week! We are doing this as a fun way for the children to end the spring term and to raise donations for the Tombola at the fayre. We would like the children to come in to pre-school wearing their favourite dressing up outfits – anything from Rapunzel to Pyjamas! All we request for this, is for the children to bring in a bottle! It could be a bottle of bubble bath, soft drink, beer, wine etc. – anything tombola appropriate will be great!

May Fayre Poster:

If you would like a printed poster to put up in your window or local shop, or for sharing with family, to help advertise the event, please reply to the newsletter email and we shall get one to you asap! Thank you x

May Fayre 2019

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Monday 1st to Wednesday 3rd April – Dress Up Week

 Have a super week

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

4th March 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you all have had a great start to the week. The committee have been busy finalising the plans for our summer term fundraising events, we have lots to look forward to, and lots to organise! Further details to follow in our weekly updates, as we head towards Easter and the summer term!

Last week the children were very enthusiastic to share their collected items from the treasure hunt! They enjoyed learning about different shapes, measurements and using a ruler. Also, discussing their chosen library books and the fun that they had on their outings to collect the items. Overall, the treasure hunt was a great success! Supporting many learning outcomes; social skills, confidence building and practical skills along with the maths foundations, (measurements, shapes, counting). It was a fantastic exercise with so many benefits. Thank you to the fabulous team for putting it together, and to all families for getting so involved. We are also pleased to tell you that the magnetic letters have now been purchased, using the sponsorship money that was raised by you all, and the children will begin to use them this week!

This week at Pre-school

The return to preschool last week was fun packed with activities and also some inventive craft. The children built and painted an array of interesting objects and models, using recycled cardboard boxes of various shapes and sizes! Lots more happening this week with many great activities planned for the children

Climbing – Gross motor skills / Balancing & Learning to take turns. Yes, the very much loved climbing frame and slide has been set up inside, for the children to play on and enjoy throughout this week!

Post Office – Imaginative Play / Social / Writing & Counting. The pretend play post office has been set up and there will be lots of ‘posting’ going on this week, using the fresh supply of penny stamps from our lovely Mrs Rainy Brown! Thank you!

Pancake Day – On Tuesday the children will be learning about Pancake Day and helping to prepare the items and ingredients needed, for the teachers to make pancakes in the kitchen! The children are not allowed to go in the kitchen area to do the cooking however they will all be able to enjoy finishing them off with some bananas and blueberries at the snack tables, and eating them! Yummy!

World Book Day – On Thursday we will be participating in the world book day celebrations, to include lots of reading and discussion based activities. The children are encouraged to come in dressed up to resemble their favourite characters from their favourite stories and is always a super fun day!

(Reminder; we are not requesting a donation for participating in the world book day event, but any donation received will be going directly towards purchasing the new books on offer, for the children to use and enjoy at pre-school).

Mother’s Day Raffle

The raffle tickets for this year’s Mother’s day hamper will be available from the end of the week. Each family will receive an envelope at the door during drop off, with 10 raffle tickets inside. Please put any completed ticket stubs and money in an envelope and post in the black box on the parent’s information table. If you have family members than would like to purchase a ticket, and you need some more, please let us know. Tickets will also be available to buy on the morning of the Mother’s day concert. Before the children perform their lovely songs, we will be having coffees, teas, cakes and hot cross buns in the board room and will draw the raffle then. The hamper basket includes; Champagne, Chocolates, pamper gift set ++ manicure voucher!!

Spring / May Fayre

Our school fete is two months from now and we are getting quite excited! From next week we will send out more details about the day and requests for things to help make it a fundraising success. For this week, our first request is for the loan of a Polaroid / instant film camera! Can you help? If you or anyone you know owns one and would be willing to lend it to us for the morning of the event, please let us know! You will not need to supply the film sheets, we just need the camera to add a wonderful new feature to this year’s fayre!

 Dates for your Diaries

  • Thursday 7th March – World Book Day – Dress up Day
  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert

Have a fab week

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

25th February 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

A very sunny welcome back to preschool this week, it feels much more like the beginning of the summer term at drop off! We hope all enjoyed the half term break and the wonderful weather!

Thank you to all for participating in the half term Treasure Hunt, we hope the children had some fun gathering the items! It was an interesting collection once we put them all together in our household, along with the spider that we managed to bring home, hidden amongst the brown leaves and twigs!!

This week at pre-school

The items you have all collected will form the basis of activities for this week’s sessions. Throughout the week the children will be enjoying their group times discussing their items, as well as using them for various activities that offer many outcomes supporting their early curricular, play led learning. More details will be in the next newsletter along with the activities planned for next week. This week we shall be encouraging lots of outside based activities and play too, making the most of the mild and dry weather. We will also be hearing lots of the children’s wonderful singing at preschool this week, as they continue to practice for the upcoming Mother’s Day concert at the end of March!

World Book Day

We are going to be participating in ‘World Book Day’ next week. The Children are encouraged to come in dressed up to resemble and celebrate their favourite characters from their favourite stories!  Although it is quite common for many schools to request a min £1 donation for these dress up days, we will not be. It is much more about taking part and having fun!  However, any voluntary donations received for taking part in world book day, will go directly to purchasing the new books for the children to use and enjoy at preschool.

Dates for your Diaries

  • Thursday 7th March – World Book Day
  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Wednesday 3rd April – Last preschool session of the Spring Term
  • Thursday 4th April – Parent Consultations – No preschool session
  • Wednesday 24th April – Return to Pre-school, 1st day of Summer Term
  • Saturday 4th May – Spring Fair
  • Saturday 8th June – Schools of Chesham Carnival

Treasure Hunt Sponsorship

Please put any sponsor money collected for the treasure hunt in an envelope and post in the black box on the Parent’s table. A big huge thank you for the sponsorship that was raised by you all, the money will go towards purchasing some brilliant new magnetic letters that will be used as fun learning tools for the children, which is wonderful! Thank you x

Have a great week

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

11th Feb 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have a couple of things to share with you this week, before we break for half term. Firstly, a thank you to our wonderful former Chair, Liz McCarthy, for joining the teachers last week, in offering some activities for the children to learn about Chinese New Year! For those not on the Facebook group, there are some lovely snapshots of the morning at the end of the Newsletter!

This Week at Pre-school

Amongst lots of painting and singing this week, the activities planned will be based around letters and writing. There will be the popular shaving foam writing activity; a super fun and immersive way to practice making the shapes that form letters – the children love it! And, lots of imaginative play, with the fabulous ‘Post office’ set up.

Half Term Treasure Hunt

You will have received the information and checklist to complete the half term treasure hunt. The items that you collect and bring in will form the basis of activities for the first week back after half term. The sponsorship is not essential, the most important thing is that every child takes part. For anyone that did not receive the form or has lost it, please ask at preschool for one before the end of the week. Or, you can print one off in your own time, there is a PDF copy attached to the Newsletter email. Good luck and have fun hunting!

Spring Fair

We have set the date for our annual fair! This year it will take place on Saturday 4th May.

Please save the date and join in the fun on the day! There will be lots going on for the children and plenty for us adults, with the Raffle, Bottle Tombola and some tasty refreshments! A very big thank you to Sarah Baxter and her partner for organising a bouncy castle for us on the day, with ‘Lets Party Bucks’! We are very excited indeed however lots to plan! We will be asking for some donations for the stalls and for volunteers on the day to help run them. Please consider joining the team and helping to make the day a success! It is one of, if not the biggest annual fundraiser for our Charity run pre-school – It simply cannot happen without donations and volunteers, so anything, your time or donations, will be hugely appreciated and beneficial to the school and the children. More information will follow after the half term break.

Reminder

As we are breaking for half term this week, please remember to take home all items kept at pre-school / on your child’s peg –  Wellington boots, spare clothes, artwork bags etc. as everything will be packed away and locked up in the container! Thank you.

 Dates for your Diaries

  • Friday 15th February – Break for Half Term
  • Monday 25th February – Return for 2nd Half Term
  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Thursday 4th April – Parent Consultations – No preschool session
  • Friday 5th April – Closed for Easter Break – No preschool session
  • Wednesday 24th April – Return to Pre-school, 1st day of Summer Term
  • Saturday 4th May – Spring Fair
  • Saturday 8th June – Schools of Chesham Carnival

Have a great week and a super half term break!

The Committee Team

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yelllowdivider

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yelllowdivider

28th January 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

We have had a fun and productive start to the week with our Committee meeting this morning, putting the wheels into motion and planning for some awesome events and activities coming up between now and June! We will be sharing with you all over the next few weeks!

 This Week at Preschool

Lots of lovely play and learn activities planned for the children this week, to include;

Maths and Numbers – Mrs Gettings is making shape counters for the number floor mats. This is a fun, hands on activity that supports their journey in learning to count and identify numbers.

Space, Shapes and Measures – Using ‘Bob the Builder’ blocks to make simple structures.

Understanding the World – Playing with small world resources using the popular road track set up.

Singing sessions – Plenty of fun and giggles as the children start to learn all of their wonderful songs for the Mother’s Day Concert!

 Snow

We are anticipating more snow this week, please keep an eye on updates with regards to opening. Our aim is the same as last week, to remain open! Of course safety is paramount, navigating the road up to the football club and the car park can be difficult and dangerous depending on conditions. We will assess each day and communicate with you all via Email, our Facebook group and the BCC website in the event of closure or any time changes. Unfortunately we are not authorised to clear the area for access ourselves, however we will do everything we can in our power to remain open for those that can get in! Links for information and updates:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/stmarys.preschool.chesham/

https://closures.buckscc.gov.uk/

 Mother’s Day Hamper

As always there will be a raffle to win a delightful Hamper at our Mother’s Day Concert! We are starting to collect for this now in preparation, if you have anything suitable that you can donate please pass on to us at preschool. Pamper goodies / vouchers, wine, chocolates!.. Thank you

 Dates for your Diaries

  • Friday 15th February – Break for Half Term
  • Monday 25th February – Return for 2nd Half Term
  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Thursday 4th April – Parent Consultations and last day of term for the children
  • Friday 5th April – Spring Term Ends – Closed – No preschool session on this day
  • Wednesday 24th April – Return to Pre-school, 1st day of Summer Term

Have a great week and safe travels in the snow!

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

22nd January 2019

Dear Parents and Carers

Wishing all safe travels in the ice and snow!  Just a few notices and reminders for this week;

Parent Consultation Morning

We can confirm the date for parent consultations this year, they will be on Thursday 4th April 2019

This will be the last day of term for the children. Appointment times will be organised with you all nearer to the time.

Facebook Group

Please don’t forget, if you are on Facebook and would like to join, we have a closed group for all current parents and carers at St Mary’s! You can find us following this link; https://www.facebook.com/groups/stmarys.preschool.chesham/ or by searching ‘st mary’s pre-school chesham, parents info’. This is the quickest way for us to share important updates with you all collectively, particularly in the event of snow! We will always send an email as well, this can just take a little longer due to access. In the event of closure, we will also report and update our status on the BCC website page for school closures; https://closures.buckscc.gov.uk/

Lastly, we are very pleased to report that our Santa Walk Volunteers helped to raise £485.00 for our lovely preschool! Wonderful news! Here is Mr Akers receiving the cheque! Thank you again to all involved. x

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Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 15th February – Break for Half Term
  • Monday 25th February – Return for 2nd Half Term
  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Thursday 4th April – Parent Consultations and last day of term for the children
  • Friday 5th April – Spring Term Ends – Closed – No preschool session on this day
  • Wednesday 24th April – Return to Pre-school, 1st day of Summer Term

Have a great week,

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

              14th January 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have had a great week at preschool, getting back to our routines and planning for the term ahead. Lots of fun was had as the children enjoyed their return, with bundles of energy, enthusiasm and giggles last week! We also have some new children starting this term, a warm welcome to you all!

This Week at Preschool

We will be continuing the key areas and outcomes initiated last week, with the addition of more activities to keep the children enthused and amused whilst learning!

The indoor climbing frame is the popular choice for this week. The teachers set it up this morning, much to the joy of the children! It is a wonderful tool to aid their learning, physically helping to build gross motor skills, improve balance and coordination and socially, helping to build relationships, patience and understanding, as they learn to share the space fairly by taking turns. It is a big hit with the teachers and great fun for the children!

Mother’s Day Concert

We are happy to confirm the date for our lovely annual Mother’s Day event.

This will be on the morning of Friday 29th March 2019. More information will follow in the upcoming weeks, please save the date!

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 15th February – Break for Half Term
  • Monday 25th February – Return for 2nd Half Term
  • Friday 29th March – Mother’s Day Concert
  • Friday 5th April – Last day of Spring Term

Have a lovely week,

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

        

   7th January 2019

Dear Parents and Carers,

Hello 2019 and a Happy New Year to you all! We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a well earned rest during the break from preschool. The Santa visit and his grotto on the last day of term was absolutely magical and the children really loved it. Thank you to everyone involved in creating such a wonderful experience for them and for all the work that goes into making the gift packs and cards with the children, for them to bring home to us! It’s such a lovely thing, thank you! Plenty to look forward to this term as we head into Spring, it’s good to be back getting into the swing of things and the children seemed very eager coming into school, catching up with their buddies this morning!

This Week at Preschool

As the children settle back in, the curriculum focus will be mainly on communication, language and expression, using 4 key areas;

  • Creative Area – Painting

Expressive arts / design, experiments with colours. Discussing their picture creations in small groups, building communication listening and language skills.

  • Home Corner – Kitchen set up

Encouraging expression and engagement in imaginative play, based on their own experiences – Perhaps we may even have some replaying a few Christmas dinner fiascos…”oh no, I forgot to turn on the oven!”

  • Brown Owl Area – Books and quiet space

Reading and literacy; book handling, learning and understanding that print carries meaning and that in English, text goes from left to right.

Personal and social; to initiate conversation and play alongside others within a quiet space, helping to build relationships and confidence in talking to others.

  • Green Frog Area – Small World

Brio, extending vocabularies, holding conversations and using gestures when talk is limited. Focusing on emotions, managing feelings and learning to share.

Primary School Admissions

For parents with a child due to start reception this coming September, the deadline for admissions is one week away! The Bucks County Council Portal for online admissions link is here: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/apply-for-a-school-place/apply-for-a-primary-school-place/

We wish all parents making applications for this year, the very best of luck in getting their first preference school place. It is a big step for our amazing kids, we just want the best for them!

 Mother’s Day Concert

The teachers are starting to plan the rehearsal sessions with the children, for the lovely annual Mother’s day concert. This is the highlight of the spring term and we are looking forward to it as always! It is also a great event for us to raise some funds for the preschool. The date for the concert will be confirmed next week and further information will follow closer to the time.

 Dates for your Diary

  • 15th January 2019 – Deadline for primary school applications
  • 15th February 2019 – Break for Half Term
  • 25th February 2019 – Return from Half Term Break
  • March TBC – Mother’s Day Concert
  • 5th April 2019 – Last day of Spring Term

Have a great week everyone

The Committee Team x

yelllowdivider

FullSizeRender (1)

12TH December 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

We’ve sure had a wonderful start to the week already, with the delightful Christmas concert yesterday! It was brilliant, funny and very, very cute! Thank you to all of the children and staff for putting on such a lovely show for everyone and getting us all in the Christmas spirit, the jingle bells freestyle was fabulous! We also raised over £200 in funds for the preschool, with the raffle, mince pies and donations! Thank you to everyone that contributed, it was a super day. X

This Week at Preschool

As this is our last week of term before we break for Christmas, this week is mostly about fun! The teachers are busy adding to the scrapbooks, reflecting on the past few weeks with the children, talking with them about their most favourite activities, funniest moments and most yummiest snacks (highly important!). There will be lots of playtime, more festive singing, magical storytelling and ending the week perfectly, with the visit from Santa on Friday!

Santa’s Visit

Father Christmas will be dropping by on Friday, to visit each group and wish them a happy Christmas in person!

If your child does not usually come in on a Friday, you can bring them in at the allocated time for their group. Please let us know if you can’t make it at all, so that we can arrange for your child to receive their gift.

  • BROWN OWLS – 10am
  • WHITE RABBITS – 10.15am
  • YELLOW DUCKS – 10.30am
  • PURPLE BUTTERFLIES – 10.45am

(Green Frogs do not have a specified time as they are all scheduled in)

Rotary Float

Our Santa walk with the Rotary Club last week was a great success, it rained a lot but that certainly did not dampen the spirits! We had a lovely time, seeing the children getting so excited was a real joy and made for some memorable moments! To everyone that volunteered and joined us on the night; Sophie, Liz, Claire, Teddy, Candice, Dan, William, Sarah and Neil –a huge, huge thank you! X

Farewell

Many of you will know, that this week we will be saying farewell to one of our much loved, long standing team members. Claire van den Berg has been a teacher at St Mary’s preschool for 17 years and her contribution, passion, care and support over those years, has been above and beyond. We have been so privileged to have her, she is an exceptional teacher. Adored by all the children, parents and colleagues alike, it will be an emotional last day! Thank you Mrs van den Berg, for being so absolutely fabulous – you will be missed greatly! X

Dates for your Diary

  • Friday 14th December 2018 – Children’s visit from Santa 
  • Friday 14th December 2018 – Last day of term
  • Monday 7th January 2019 – First day of term – return to preschool

 

Thank you, to all staff, volunteers, and parents, for all of your contributions this term. May we wish all of you and yours, a very Merry Christmas! Family time, scrumdiddlyumptious food, new socks, the panto, Christmas movies on the telly-telly bunkum box – however which way you do Christmas, have a good one! See you in 2019!

The Committee Team xx

yelllowdivider

FullSizeRender (6)10th December 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

Here are the details for tomorrow’s Christmas Concert, we look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible from 11am onwards!

11-11:30am – Mince Pies & Hot drinks

Please enter via the large white gates and join us in the Football Club’s boardroom. There will also be an opportunity to buy raffle tickets, St Mary’s preschool T-shirts and the Book Bag Library will also be on display, for any parents that would like to sign up for the service.

If your child is not usually in on a Tuesday, please bring them in at 11am (via the black gates as usual) and then join us for mince pies and hot drinks!

11:30am – Concert Starts

On arrival please find a seat at the table for your child’s group (you can check the colour of their group on the signing in sheet) this system makes returning children to their parents after the performance much smoother – thank you.

The Raffle will be drawn after the performance, before we finish for 12:30pm. Raffle prizes:

  • Christmas hamper basket with £30 beauty treatment voucher
  • Bojangles Voucher
  • Swimming Lessons voucher
  • Gamekeepers Lodge voucher

+ Chocolates and more!

The end of term Newsletter will go out on Wednesday this week. See you all tomorrow!

Kind Regards,

The Committee Team x

yelllowdivider

3rd December 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope that everyone is starting to feel much better this week, it was great to see more of the little ones back this morning, lots of lovely happy faces greeting friends that were missed last week, absolutely adorable! Lots to look forward to now as we enter the last fortnight of term!

This Week at Preschool

With only one week to go, the children will be having extra singing sessions to rehearse all of their wonderful songs for the concert!

Math foundations with shapes and blocks – learning through play to develop sequencing and an understanding of weight and dimensions.

Small motor skills with Christmas crafts and some lovely playdoh activities planned for this week.

Gross motor skills – Outside play weather permitting! We do sometimes have to cancel the activities planned for outside, for health and safety reasons. Last Thursday was a fine example when the wind was so strong that it toppled all the fences as well as the playhouse! The children were a little disappointed but Mr Akers added a sprinkle of magic, by telling the children that the ‘Wolf’ had been and blown it all down with a huff and a puff!

Santa Visits St Mary’s!

On the last day of term, Friday 14th December, the children will each have the opportunity to meet Santa! If your child does not usually attend preschool on Fridays, you can bring them in to meet Santa at the allocated time for their group. Or if you wish, you can pay for a session and bring your child in at 9.30am to stay for the whole morning. Please inform Jacky / Anne ASAP if you would like to book in for the whole session, otherwise please bring your child in at their set time. If you can’t make it at all, please do let us know so that we can arrange for your child to receive their gift.

  • BROWN OWLS – 10am
  • WHITE RABBITS – 10.15am
  • YELLOW DUCKS – 10.30am
  • PURPLE BUTTERFLIES – 10.45am

(Green Frogs do not have a specified time as they are all scheduled in)

Christmas Concert

More Christmas cheer! The concert is due to start at 11:30am on Tuesday 11th December. Please arrive from 11am and join us in the boardroom where we will be having mince pies and hot drinks as well as selling raffle tickets and t-shirts. We will also have a table displaying the Book Bag Library, please have a look and choose one to take home for the Christmas break or reserve one for January!

The raffle tickets will start to go out this week, if you or your family / friends are buying some before the concert, please return the stubs in an envelope with the money and pop them into the black post box on the parents table. Many Thanks. The draw will take place on the day of the concert. Prizes to be won; Christmas Hamper Basket with £30 Beauty voucher, a voucher for the lovely ‘Bojangles’ in Amersham and a voucher for children’s swimming lessons!

Dates for your Diary

Tuesday 11th December 2018 – Christmas Concert 

Friday 14th December 2018 – Children’s visit from Santa

Friday 14th December 2018 – Last day of term

Monday 7th January 2019 – First day of term – return to preschool

Have a lovely week,

The Committee Team x

yelllowdivider

26th November 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have had a lot of sickness this past week, with tummy bugs and heavy colds doing their rounds. Preschool was much quieter than usual this morning! A huge ‘get well soon’ to all of our little dumplings, we all know too well the struggles of juggling everything with a poorly pre-schooler at home, our best wishes are with you! X

This Week at Preschool

Have you heard yet? Father Christmas, he got stuck! You may have heard your child reciting a song along these lines at the weekend! There will be lots more of that this week as the children continue to practise for their big show on December 11th!

More festive cheer planned for this week as the children get stuck into some Christmassy crafts. It looks like play, but drawing, painting and crafting also meet some important literacy goals; symbolic representation, visual motor coordination and creative expression!

The children are also still eager to play and run outside during playtime, despite the cold which is wonderful. Don’t forget to pack the hats and gloves!

Rotary Christmas Float

We are only a week away and almost have a full team – we just need one more volunteer! For those that have signed up, we will be meeting at The Chess Medical Centre at 5:30pm on the day. Wrap up warm and bring a torch if you can! Further details will go out at the end of the week. Many Thanks to all involved, it should be a fun night!

Hamper Raffle

We will soon have raffle tickets available to win the Christmas Hamper. It is looking good so far, along with some festive goodies, we also have a £30 beauty treatment voucher included, which is fabulous!

Dates for your Diary

  • Tuesday 4th December – Rotary Club Christmas Float
  • Tuesday 11th December – Christmas Concert
  • Friday 14th December – Last day of term
  • Monday 31st December – Photo ordering deadline

 Have a lovely week,

The Committee Team x

yelllowdivider

19th November 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you all have had a restful weekend, this morning’s school run was a cool shock to the system, definitely time to layer up and dig out the winter gloves! The response to our newsletter last week has been positive with regards to the change of release day, we thank you for your feedback and will continue to send out to you on Monday evenings from now on.

This week at Preschool

You may well start to hear some new rhymes being sung at home, as the children have started to rehearse for their Christmas concert! Not only do they really enjoy these sessions, the benefits that they add to their development are wonderful. Singing is aerobic, helping to build stronger muscles, cardiac and respiratory functions, as well as improving language and communication skills – all while having lots and lots of fun! This week we are also continuing to concentrate on the small motor skills development. The garden activities we set up for these sessions last week will not be included unfortunately due to the cold weather, however the children will still be enjoying many activities with glitter, duplo and the like inside in the warmth!

Rotary Christmas Float

Fabulous news, we now have a volunteer to take on the role of Santa for us! Huge thanks to Sarah, and her partner, Neil! We also have some more volunteers signed up to help on the night, thank you so much! We just need 4 more, and we have a full team!

Easyfundraising

Easyfundraising is a free and simple way for all of us to raise money for St. Mary’s Pre-School. Please consider signing up if you are planning to buy from any of the participating websites (including Tesco, John Lewis, Amazon, Sainsbury’s, and many more) whilst doing the Christmas shopping! Once signed up to the scheme, you can help fundraise every time you shop online at the participating websites, you simply click a button and the website provider will donate a small amount to our charity!
To register, go to easyfundraising.org.uk, select ‘Support a good cause’, then ‘Search for a Cause’, type ‘St. Mary’s Pre-School, Chesham’ and you’ll be directed to register your details and get raising. You can see how much we have raised in total as well as your contribution, it’s a fantastic scheme.

Communications

Please let us know! If your child is going to be absent, it is important that you contact us by text, on 07812 904 952 to make us aware as soon as possible. Similarly, if your child has been unwell but appears well enough to come in, but you are unsure, please call us with your concerns before 9:30am on the day that they are due in. Many thanks.

Photo Orders

Photos are still available to view and order online, but you may have seen on the notice board this morning, that the discount and free shipping offer has now expired. All of your lovely pics will still be available to order until 31st Dec, for those who haven’t already. To order, visit mccarthyphoto.gotphoto.co.uk and enter your personal access code.

If you have lost your unique password to view your child’s photos, please email Liz at liz@mccarthyphoto.co.uk

Hamper and Resource Donations

Please remember to look out for goodies that you can spare to help boost our hamper for the raffle! The donations box can be found by the door in the entrance at drop off and pick up times.

Dates for you Diary

  • Tuesday 4th December – Rotary Club Christmas Float
  • Tuesday 11th December – Christmas Concert
  • Friday 14th December – Last day of term
  • Monday 31st December – Photo ordering deadline

 Have a lovely week,

The Committee Team x

 

12th November 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

You may have noticed that the newsletter release day has changed! Following our Committee meeting last week and after speaking with some parents, we have realised that perhaps it might be more favourable with parents and carers, to receive the newsletter at the start of the week rather than at the end of the week, when we are mostly busy with family and other commitments outside of preschool. We very much welcome your feedback, please do let us know your views and suggestions for anything else that you would like to see included in our newsletter.

This week at Preschool

Lots planned for the children this coming week, we are mostly concentrating on small motor skills. Learning through play comes into full action here, with glitter sprinkling, bead threading and everyone’s favourite, duplo! In the garden there will be some super fun messy play as the children will be encouraged to start emergent writing with shaving foam!

Notice Board

There is a shiny new notice board at the gates! There you will find useful reminders for upcoming events, urgent resource items needed and a sign-up chart for voluntary washing up. Thank you so much to the parents that have signed up already for this week. Our community preschool relies on lots of donations and volunteers offering their help when they can, every little bit of help in any way is very much appreciated.

Rotary Christmas Float

As previously mentioned in our newsletter, we have a fantastic fundraising opportunity coming up on the 4th of December, with St Mary’s slot on the Christmas Santa Float! There will be a sign-up sheet on the parent’s table at preschool from this week, for volunteers on the night. We also need a Santa! If there are any willing dads / grandads, please make yourself known!

Christmas Concert and Hampers

This year’s Christmas Concert date is set and will take place on Tuesday 11th December. After having to sadly cancel last year’s event due to the heavy snow, we are really quite excited for this year! As usual there will be delicious mince pies, hot drinks and a raffle to win a Christmas Hamper. We hope to see as many families as possible on the day, please save the date!

As of now, the committee will be receiving donations for the hampers, please have a look for anything festive you may have that you can offer, to help us boost the hampers; chocolates, wine, biscuits, toiletries.. Thank you!

Resources Needed

The most urgent items can be found updated throughout the week on the new notice board at the school gates. At the moment these items are:

Washing up liquid and Toilet rolls!

Other resources that are also particularly needed and always welcome:

  • Large bottle of bubbles
  • Sellotape
  • Bleach
  • Cloths / J cloths
  • A4 printing paper
  • Food waste bags
  • Baby Wipes
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel pump

Resources and Donation Box

From this week, you will see a box by the door at drop off and pick up times. Here you can quickly and safely drop off any of your resource items or hamper donations.

Dates for your Diary

  • Tuesday 4th December – Rotary Club Christmas Float – Volunteers needed!
  • Tuesday 11th December – Christmas Concert
  • Friday 14th December – Last day of term

 

Have a good week!

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

2nd November 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back, we hope all have enjoyed their half term break! With the change in the weather and clocks last weekend, we are starting to get excited for the cosy days of winter, snuggly blankets, hot chocolates and of course, the magic of Christmas!

Lots to look forward to this half of the term, with the lead up to the holidays.

Winter Clothing

With the cold shift in the weather, please ensure to bring in to preschool; a warm coat, gloves and hat. Also, wellington boots on rainy days with indoor shoes to change into. Please can we request that these are all labelled with your child’s name, so that they can be identified and to eliminate any possible mix ups! Thank you.

School Photographs

There will be a photographer taking individual photos of the children this coming week, on Tuesday 6th November! These will be available to order shortly after. The ordering process has changed this year, with an up to date, safe and secure online system. Each person will have a unique password, so they can only view their own child’s photos, and the photos will be removed from the website after a specified amount of time. We feel this will be a much simpler and more convenient system for parents to use. More information will follow

Primary School Admissions

The Bucks County Council online portal for primary school admissions opens on Monday 5th November, for parents with children due to start in September 2019. The link to this is here: https://www.buckscc.gov.uk/apply-for-a-school-place/apply-for-a-primary-school-place/

If you have any questions about the primary school application and process, please let us know.

Invoices

A reminder that invoices for this period are due. Invoices need to be returned by the 7th November with your payment or payment details. Many thanks

Dates for your Diary

Monday 5th November – Primary school applications open

Tuesday 6th November – Photographer taking individual photos of children

Tuesday 4th December – Rotary Club Christmas Float – volunteers needed to help, please!

Enjoy the weekend everyone! Have a great week,

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

19th October 2019
Dear Parents and Carers,

We have had a lovely end to the first half term of the year, with the children still having the opportunity to enjoy the outside space as much as possible, mostly on their beloved bikes and trikes! We also had our wonderful annual Soup and Song, which was enjoyed by all as always!

Soup and Song

A huge thank you to all involved! I think we can all agree, particularly with so many younger children, that they did tremendously well and put on a really fun and memorable show! The help on the day was wonderful, with so many pitching in to chop, cook, clean, wash up, dry up and move furniture! With everyone’s contribution, it made for a very successful and lovely morning! Thank you xx
Soup and Song Photographs

Some of you will have seen the photos from Soup and Song at preschool yesterday.  They will remain on display during the week after half term, with details of how you can order copies.  If you would like to order a copy of any photos of your child before the end of half term, please contact Liz directly.  Her email address is liz@mccarthyphoto.co.uk.  Photo prices range from

Rotary Christmas Float 2018


We are fortunate enough again to have a slot on the popular Father Christmas float that is organised by Chesham Rotary Club every December.  Our turn is on Tuesday 4 December. This is a brilliant fundraising opportunity for our Charity run preschool and a fun evening to be involved in! It cannot happen though, without the help of volunteers. Please do consider joining us on the night to help raise those crucial funds, the more the merrier!
Ofsted Report
You will have received an email this week with regards to our successful Ofsted visit. We have officially retained our GOOD rating. The full report is now available for you to view, please let us know if you would like a copy.
Dates for your diary
Monday 29th October – Staff training day – children will not be in preschool
Tuesday 30th October 2018 – Second half of autumn term starts
Tuesday 6th November 2018 – Photographer taking individual photos of children
Tuesday 4th December 2018 – Rotary Club Christmas float – volunteers needed to help, please!
Half Term Fun!
See attached photo for some fun seasonal ideas we found!
1 – Easy, safe, no flame pumpkin idea – use glow in the dark teeth!!
2 – Pirate ship Pumpkin!
3 – Whale Pumpkin!
4 – Edible Teeth! Easy and fun to make with Apple slices and peanut butter. Use banana or any other fruit to make the teeth, for a yummy healthy snack!

Wishing all parents, children and carers, a lovely half term break. Thank you for all of your contributions. We have lots to look forward to next half term, with the lead up to Christmas!

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

12th October 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

We have had another pleasant autumnal week, with the children making the most of the weather, enjoying the outside space at every opportunity!

SOUP & SONG

The children have also been busy this week, practising their songs and crafting their wonderful Christmas cards that will be available to view next week at the soup and song! Every child has designed a card and the templates for these will be on your group table on the day. Mrs Gettings will come round and collect them along with your order which will need to be paid in full, please remember to bring some money!

We all look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible on the day. Obviously the safety of the children is our prime concern and it is essential for us to ensure that the children are reunited with their parents safely without anyone getting lost. This does take some time. At previous events some of the children have been upset whilst waiting, so this time we are going to try and do things differently.

On arrival we would like you to sit at the table for your child’s group. We think that this will make returning children to their parents after the performance much smoother.

The sign-up sheets for volunteers and vegetable donations are still on the parent table. If you are able to join us earlier on the day, to prepare the vegetables with the children, to help make the soup or to clean up afterwards, please do add your name to the list. For those joining us to chop and prep, please remember to bring if possible; a chopping board, hand blender and a sharp knife – ideally wrapped in a tea towel, for extra safety when not in use!

AGM & Parent Coffee morning

This week the committee held the annual general meeting. Thank you to those able to join us and to Liz, Sally and Alice for their delicious cakes and cookies! Liz McCarthy made her formal announcement of stepping down as Chairman and a new committee was elected. Sally Batchelor has been elected for the role of Chair and we are very delighted to have her lead the team. A full AGM report is available to parents, please ask if you would like a copy.

May we take this opportunity to thank Liz, on behalf of the committee and all involved with St Mary’s, for everything she has done and continues to do for our lovely preschool. During her years as Chair, Liz has given so much time, care and dedication to the school, amongst many things but particularly in leading the unforeseen move to Amy Lane. Liz was more than instrumental in making the whole relocation with all of its logistical implications, an absolute success. Thank you Liz, your passion and care has been inspiring and very much appreciated by us all, we are so happy to still have you on the committee!

Book Bags

Thank you to those that have signed up so far, all book bags are now available for lending. The catalogue and request form is on the parent table, please select one when you have a moment at drop off or pick up.

Making an Application for Primary School

At this time, many of us will be exploring the options for our child’s move to Primary School in September. The Bucks County Council application portal for children starting primary and junior school, opens on 5th November at 11am.   (A link to this will be added to the newsletter after half term.) Here is a table for the timeline of dates for children moving up to a primary school setting:

DATE OF BIRTH WHEN DO I APPLY FOR

A SCHOOL PLACE

WHEN WILL MY CHILD

START SCHOOL

01/09/2014 – 31/08/2015 Applications Open:

5th Nov 2018

Applications close:

*15th Jan 2019

    September 2019
01/09/2015 – 31/08/2016 Between Nov 2019 and Jan 2020     September 2020
01/09/2016 – 31/08/2017 Between Nov 2020 and Jan 2021     September 2021

 

If you have any questions about the primary school application and process, please let us know.

Dates for your Diary

  • Tuesday 16th October 2018 – Soup & Song
  • Thursday 18th October 2018 – Break up for half-term
  • Tuesday 30th October 2018 – Return for 2nd half of term

Please note; Friday 19th and Monday 29th October are staff training days.

Have a lovely weekend, see you next week!

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

Newsletter 5th October 2018

Dear Parents and Carers

We’ve had some lovely autumn sunshine this week, and the children have been loving playing in the garden.  Let’s hope the sunshine continues into the weekend!

Book bags

Hopefully you have had a chance to register for the book bag library and to have a quick look at the catalogue this week.  If you haven’t yet registered, please talk to the committee member on the door any day this week, and we will try to make sure we have extra forms to give out.

The library catalogue will be out on the parent info table this week, so you and your children can look at it and select your choices.  Once you have completed a request for, your chosen book bag will be available for you to take home on the next Wednesday or Thursday morning.  If your child is not in on either Wednesday or Thursday and you would like to borrow a book, please speak to the committee member on the door and we will arrange for your chosen book bag to be ready for you the next time you’re in.

We hope that as many families as possible will use this facility – a lot of thought has gone into the contents of the bags, and they are always very popular with the children.

Welcome coffee morning/AGM

We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to come and have some tea/coffee and cake with us on Tuesday morning straight after drop-off – if it’s not your child’s day at preschool, you are still welcome to come along, but remember that you will remain responsible for any children that you bring with you.

Once we have had some tea, cake and a chat, we will hold our Annual General Meeting, and we hope that as many people as possible will stay for that.

We’re delighted that a few more people have expressed an interest in joining the committee, but we still have room for more!  If you are interested in knowing more about how the preschool is run, having more of a say in its direction and volunteering your ideas and skills to help with fundraising, help keep our website up to date or help us with publicity for upcoming events, please do come along to the AGM and put your name forward.

If you’d like to know more about what is involved in being on the committee before committing yourself, please talk to any member of the committee on Monday or during the tea and cake bit of the morning on Tuesday.

Soup & Song

The children are practising hard for the first concert of the year, and you may well have heard endless renditions of some of the songs they’re going to be singing – I’m sure mine isn’t the only house that has ‘Baby Shark’ on a continuous loop through every mealtime!

You will have seen sign-up sheets in preschool for donations of vegetables and other ingredients for the soup which the children will make before the concert on Tuesday 16 October.  We also need as many volunteers as possible to help the children chop the vegetables, to help prepare the soup in the kitchen and to help with the clearing up after the event.

Cauliflower cards

Your children have been thinking ahead and are already designing Christmas cards for you to share with friends and family.  You will be able to see their designs at Soup & Song on Tuesday 16 October, and if you would like to have these made into professionally printed Christmas cards, we will be taking orders that day.

We will need to pay for these on ordering, so please ensure you have some money with you if you think you would like to place an order.  The cost is £5.50 for the first pack of 12 cards you order, £4.50 each for any additional packs, and £2.50 for a pack of 16 gift labels (which can only be ordered if you also order at least one pack of cards).

Easyfundraising
Easyfundraising is a free and simple way for all of us to raise money for St. Mary’s Pre-School. Once you have signed up to the scheme, every time you spend money online at participating websites (including Tesco, John Lewis, Amazon, Sainsbury’s, and many more) you simply click a button and the website provider will donate a small amount to our charity.
To register, go to easyfundraising.org.uk, select ‘Support a good cause’, then ‘Search for a Cause’, type ‘St. Mary’s Pre-School, Chesham’ and you’ll be directed to register your details and get raising. You can see how much we have raised in total as well as your contribution, and it’s very motivating to see the pennies pile up!

Dates for your diary
Tuesday 9 October – welcome coffee morning for all parents and AGM
Tuesday 16 October – Soup and Song.

Have a great week!

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

Newsletter 28th September 2018

Dear Parents and Carers

It’s been a busy week, starting with our Ofsted inspection on Monday.  Many thanks to all those parents who spoke to the inspector to give their feedback.  As soon as we have a copy of the report, we will be passing this on to you.

Identifying property

Could you please ensure that all items you send in with your child are clearly labelled with their name.  This includes backpacks, lunch boxes, coats, hats, wellies, shoes, and any item of clothing your child is likely to take off in the course of the day (jumpers, hoodies, etc).  Although we try our best to keep everything together and in the right place, hats and jumpers are often discarded in the playground and bags can get mixed up together.  Your child may not be the only one in the preschool who loves Batman/PJ Masks/Blaze/Lightning McQueen/Princess Elsa/Tinkerbell/Moana/Rainbow Dash, and the staff can struggle to match up unmarked items to children, especially when they’re in a hurry!

Mobile phones

Please remember that the use of mobile phones on preschool premises is not permitted.  This includes both inside the preschool building and in the playground, so please keep your phone in your bag or pocket until you are outside the gate.

We do appreciate that this is not always easy, especially if your phone rings, or if you keep your diary on your phone and just want to check whether you’re free later to do the washing up, but with all the capabilities that mobile phones have these days, this absolute ban on the use of phones on our premises is an important measure to ensure the safety of all of our children.

Book bags

From Tuesday morning next week, book bag library membership forms will be handed out. Please give completed forms to a member of the committee or post in the black box. Also, on the parent info table, there will be the library catalogue for parents and children to view and select their choice from. A request form will be included, please complete the details and your chosen bag will be available to take home on the next book bag day (Wednesdays and Thursdays at drop off time ). If your child is not in on those days, but you would like to use the book bag service, please do not hesitate to let a committee member know so that we can make them available to you also.

Many thanks to Danette, who has put the catalogue together for us and created the necessary forms to help get the book bag library off the ground again for the first time in a couple of years.  The Ofsted inspector looked at the catalogue on Monday and was very impressed with it, and we hope you and your children will also enjoy it.

Welcome coffee morning/AGM

Now that we have welcomed our new children and the settling-in process is well under way for some and completed for others, we will be holding our beginning of year welcome coffee morning for all parents in the boardroom from 9:30 on Tuesday 9 October.  Committee members will be on hand to direct you to the boardroom after you have dropped your child off.

If your child is not usually in on that day and you would like to come along to meet other parents and enjoy some home-made cake, please do join us (but remember that if your child is with you, you remain responsible for them).

Once you have had your coffee and a bit of a chat, we will start the AGM at 10:15.  Under our constitution, we are required to hold an AGM every year, and we have to have a minimum number of parents attending in order to have a quorum.  The meeting should take no longer than an hour, and we do hope that as many of you as possible will stay on for this.

As mentioned last week, it is at the AGM that the committee for the coming year is elected.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please have a chat with any current member of the committee to find out more about what it involves.  We particularly need someone who is computer savvy and can help keep our website up to date, and someone who can help with publicity and social media, including updating our Facebook parents’ information page – this could be one person or two, depending on how much time you have available.

Cauliflower cards

Your children have been thinking ahead and are already designing Christmas cards for you to share with friends and family.  You will be able to see their designs at Soup & Song on Tuesday 16 October, and if you would like to have these made into professionally printed Christmas cards, we will be taking orders that day.

We will need to pay for these on ordering, so please ensure you have some money with you if you think you would like to place an order.  The cost is £5.50 for the first pack of 12 cards you order, £4.50 each for any additional packs, and £2.50 for a pack of 16 gift labels (which can only be ordered if you also order at least one pack of cards).

Dates for your diary
Tuesday 9 October – welcome coffee morning for all parents and AGM
Tuesday 16 October – Soup and Song.  This is a lovely annual event, when the children spend most of the morning chopping vegetables to make soup.  While the soup is cooking, they put on a concert for the parents, and then the parents, children and staff sit down and eat the soup together.  We also have bread and butter kindly provided by Sainsbury’s.  We will need as many helpers as we can get for this event, to help the children chop the vegetables, to make the soup, and to clear away and wash up afterwards.  We will also be putting up a sign-up sheet next week for people to volunteer to bring in ingredients for the soup.
Thursday 18 October – As Friday 19 October is a staff training day, we break up for half term on the Thursday.

Tuesday 30 October – We have another staff training day on Monday 29 October, so the children return to preschool on the Tuesday.
 
Have a great week!
 
The Committee Team
yelllowdivider

September 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome!
As this is the first newsletter of the new academic year, we’d like to start by welcoming all parents, staff and children, and wish you all a very happy new year.  It’s lovely to see both familiar and new faces and to see all the new children settling in so well.  We have welcomed many hundreds of children and parents over our 50 year history, and we look forward to helping your children create the sort of wonderful memories that so many people in Chesham already have of St Mary’s Preschool.
Communications
This year, you will normally be receiving a weekly newsletter every Friday.  From next month, this will be written by the secretary, Danette, after consulting the staff about anything they would like us to highlight.  We use it to tell you about dates for your diary, events in the preschool, interesting things your children have been learning about, and much more. 
 
We also use it to ask for your help when it’s needed, and as a charitable trust which is run by a committee of (mostly) parents, we really appreciate all help that our fellow parents are able to give.  As it’s the beginning of the year and we have a lot of new parents, this week’s newsletter is longer than usual, but we will try to keep them as brief as possible, so you don’t have to wade through loads of information every week (and Danette doesn’t have to spend hours writing it!).
If your child is dropped at preschool by a granny or childminder, they may find it useful to receive the newsletter as well, so that they are prepared for dressing-up days, etc.  If this is the case, please respond to this newsletter with your granny/nanny/childminder’s email address, and we will add them to the mailing list.
If you know of anyone who is not receiving the newsletter and should be, please let us know (or ask them to let us know), so that we can update our mailing list accordingly.
We have a Facebook page which we also use to make announcements, give reminders and generally keep you up to date with what’s going on.  It’s a closed group, but if you click on this link – https://www.facebook.com/groups/stmarys.preschool.chesham/, you should be able to find it and send a request to be added.
Staffing
This term, we are pleased to say we have welcomed Natalie Luffman to our fabulous staff team. 
Committee
As mentioned, the committee are responsible for running the preschool, with the help of Mrs Murrell and the lovely staff. There should be a member of the committee on the door every morning with the member of staff who lets you in.  We are there to greet you and your child, answer your questions, ask for volunteers (see below) and help ensure a smooth start to the day.
There will soon be an opportunity for you to have a greater say in how the preschool is run and to help raise funds and ensure that our children have the best possible experience while they are here.  At the AGM (date TBC, but it’ll be Tuesday 9 October unless you hear otherwise), all committee members stand down and a new committee is elected. 
We are very fortunate that all current committee members are willing to stand for re-election, and we have volunteers to carry on the secretary and treasurer roles.  However, several committee members resigned at the end of last term when their children left the preschool, so we have a number of vacancies.  
Liz, who has been chair of the committee for the last three years, will be standing down as chair at the AGM, though she is willing to be re-elected as a general committee member to help ensure a smooth transition.  We have various other specific vacancies, as well as needing more general committee members to help with fundraising and other events. 
If you are interested in joining the committee, please have a chat with any member of the committee to find out more about what it involves.
How else can I help?
You may not want to make as big a commitment as joining the committee, but there are plenty of opportunities for all parents to help, and these will be highlighted in the newsletter in the course of the year.  Today’s focus is on the washing-up.
We need volunteers to come into the preschool every day to do this vital job.  It involves washing and drying the plates and cups from snack time, as well as washing out paint pots, etc when these have been used.  We ask volunteers to arrive 30-45 minutes before pick-up time (11:45 or 12:45, depending on whether your child is doing lunch club) to do this. Any help with this, even just one session a term, would help greatly.
Equipment supplies
If you are not able to volunteer your time because of work and other commitments, perhaps you are able to help with small donations to help the preschool run smoothly.  There is an equipment list on the gate every morning and lunchtime, and any items you are able to buy and bring in save the preschool money and enable it to put more of its limited resources into fun and educational toys and activities for our children.
Book bags
We will be relaunching our book bag scheme this term.  This consists of a small library of book bags which you and your child are able to borrow for a week or two at a time.  Each bag contains a book and a couple of toys or activities based on the story – for instance, a Cinderella book with some small puppets so that your child can act out the story, a book about dinosaurs with some dinosaur figures to play with, or a book about fire engines with a fire engine jigsaw puzzle.  
You will hear more next week about how and when this scheme will be run and how you can borrow a book bag for your child.
Dates for your diary
Tuesday 9 October (date TBC) – welcome coffee morning for new (and old) parents, combined with the AGM, to give a brief review of the past year and vote in the new committee
Tuesday 16 October – Soup and Song.  This is a lovely annual event, when the children spend most of the morning chopping vegetables to make soup.  While the soup is cooking, they put on a concert for the parents, and then the parents, children and staff sit down and eat the soup together.  We also have bread and butter kindly provided by Sainsbury’s.  We will need as many helpers as we can get for this event, to help the children chop the vegetables, to make the soup, and to clear away and wash up afterwards.  We will also soon be putting up a sign-up sheet for people to volunteer to bring in ingredients for the soup.  Watch this space for more details.
Thursday 18 October – As Friday 19 October is a staff training day, we break up for half term on the Thursday.
Tuesday 30 October – We have another staff training day on Monday 29 October, so the children return to preschool on the Tuesday.
If you’ve managed to read this far – phew, thanks for your patience!  We’ll try not to have such long newsletters in future weeks, but our regular slot with ideas for healthy lunchboxes will be returning next week.  If you would like to share any recipes or ideas, please email us with your suggestions.
Have a great weekend!
The Committee Team

 

yelllowdivider

13/7/18

Dear Parents & Carer’s,

We are almost at the end of our Summer term and what glorious weather we’ve had for the children to spend playing outside for much of their time with plenty of fun activities to keep their minds busy and their bodies active.

The end of the Summer term always brings some sad farewells and as we do every year, we shall be waving goodbye to all the children who will be beginning a new adventure after the Summer holiday and starting school in September. We wish them an easy transition and feel confident that St Mary’s Pre-school has given them the very best start in their early years education.

We also have some sad farewells to members of Staff. Doris Poynter will be leaving at the end of term after almost 15 dedicated years of service. Our Deputy Manager Kirstie Scott will also be waving goodbye after several devoted years and our special needs virtuoso Jenna Waiser will also be off to pasture’s new.

We are so fortunate to have such long serving, committed and enthusiastic members of staff at St Mary’s Pre-school without which the well-being and education of our children would be much poorer.

We will be arranging a collection for leaving gifts to say a big thank you for all their hard work and devotion to the children. If any parents and carers would like to contribute that would be marvellous. Any donations can be popped into the black tin at drop off (please clearly mark the envelope with: For Attention Kim) or a committee member will have cards to sign and an envelope for donations at the gate at both drop off and pick up next week.

  • The Summer Fair

The Summer Fair was a roaring success and we raised over £900 for the pre-school! A huge thank you to everyone who contributed – with the huge amount of preparation that went into the fair, all those who volunteered to run stalls on the day, by donating items and purchasing raffle tickets and of course by turning up on the day to support the pre-school. There was a lovely atmosphere and it was a pleasure to see all the smiling faces of the children and grown-up’s enjoying the various activities and edibles.

  • Tea-towels

For those who missed out on purchasing the wonderful 50th Anniversary tea towels with the children’s portraits, these are still available to purchase until the end of term. Please speak to a member of the committee. They will also be available to purchase at the Teddy bear’s Picnic. Just remember to bring cash on the day.

£4.00 each or 3 for £10  They make wonderful gifts so don’t forget Grannies, Grandad’s, Auntie’s and Uncle’s!

  • The Teddy Bear’s Picnic:

Hopefully you have received a personal invitation to the Teddy bear’s Picnic which will take place on Friday 20th July – our final day of term. This will be a normal pre-school day for those children who regularly attend on Friday’s. The picnic is for all children, even those who do not normally attend on Friday’s.

If your child is leaving please arrive at 11.30am for a little presentation, if not please join us at Midday.

Please bring a picnic rug, and picnic with both food and drink for you and your child, (we regret that we will not be able to offer drinks at the picnic.)

…and importantly don’t forget the Teddy!

  • How can you contribute?

We know that not all parents/carers have the time available to join the Parent’s Committee (everyone welcome!) but there are still plenty of ways in which you can help! We are currently seeking someone who may be able to spare a little time helping with our website and our online presence and also looking for someone with skills in graphic design who might be able to help design our new flyer. Do you have skills in these area’s? If so we’d love to hear from you.

After the Summer!!

  • The Autumn Term begins September 10th. You will receive an email with the updated Groups and Key workers during the holiday.
  • We do have places for extra sessions, if there are parents or carers looking to increase their child’s hours then please do speak to Mrs Harper in the office.
  • We also still have some remaining places for new enrolments so if you have friends who are still looking for September placements then please think about encouraging them to take a look at St Mary’s. We are unique in being an early years provider that is not affiliated with a particular school nor a Nursery with extended hours and this allows us a very different and beneficial perspective on the way we educate through the Early Years Programme. We embrace diversity, are non denominational and open to all Chesham Families.

Thank you.

The Committee


May 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

It’s been a great first half of the Summer Term with plenty of sunshine. Chesham week was a roaring success, the kids had great fun on their various group outings and the pre-school trip to Odd’s Farm.  We hope you have a wonderful break and take advantage of all the opportunities to be outside this half term returning to us for more play based pre-school adventures on Tuesday June 5th

 Do you ever wonder what your children have been up to whilst at pre-school? What they’ve been learning and how it fits into the Early Years Curriculum? Most of the learning at this age is play based so it’s not always easy to see exactly how they are learning but we thought we could share a few of the ways St Mary’s pre-school is supporting your child’s education through play by adding a few highlights to the newsletter. You can also take a look at your child Group Board each day and this will let you know the specific group time outcome.

    1. We’ve had a lot of fun with the bikes in the garden, set up to include a mini zebra crossing and traffic cones to bring in discussions on road safety, and self care which is great for personal development.
    2. Lots of activities tying in our visit to Odd’s Farm including small world toys, imaginative role play, expressive art and design and map study.
    3. Maths and number play – various activities including weights and measures such as volume, shapes and space.
    4. Of course lots of water play outside in this fabulous weather, using materials like guttering, different containers, heavy and light objects.
    5. Expressive art including shaving foam and glitter!

Children’s Day:

Monday June 18th. This is our ‘sport’s day-like’ event that we have each year. It’s a lot of fun for the kids, with different activities set up for them to take part in. All children are welcome, even if it’s not their regular day. Please arrive with your children at 11.15am if they wish to take part. Parent’s are of course welcome to stay and watch the fun too! Pre-school and Lunch club will be running as usual on this day.

Data Protection Act:

You should have received a printed letter regarding data protection at pre-school in the last week. Please ensure it is signed and returned as soon as possible. If you did not receive one please speak to Mrs Harper in the office. You should have also received an email from the committee regarding data protection, unless you are opting out there is no need to reply to the email.

Lunch Club:

A few reminders for lunch club. No nuts or sesame seeds (hummus) to be included in your child’s lunch as we do have children with allergies.

Please include a drink for your child. We are able to provide water at lunch club but not cups so please include a reusable cup in their lunch bag if you would like us to provide water for your child.

 

____________________________________________________________________________________


April 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back to St Mary’s Preschool. We hope you had a wonderful Easter break. The sun is shining for us and we will be making the most of it in the coming term! Also a warm welcome to all the new Parents & Carer’s who have children starting this Summer Term.

Date’s for your Diary: 

    • The St Mary’s Summer Fair: This will take place on Saturday June 30th 10am-12pm. It will also be a celebration of our 50th anniversary so get the date in your diary, it’s our biggest fundraising event of the year and always a lot of fun! There will be a call for volunteers shortly.
    • Parent’s Consultations: (no preschool this day) Monday June 4th. You should all now have a scheduled appointment with your child’s key worker. Please speak with them if you haven’t yet got an appointment scheduled. Reminder: your children can attend the appointment with you but you will be responsible for them.
    • Chesham Week: Week of 14th May with our annual outing to be confirmed for Friday May 18th. Details to follow.
    • Half Term – We will break for half term on Thursday May 24th 

Notices: 

    • We will no longer be sending out paper invoices but will be trialling sending them electronically via email.  Please speak to Mrs Harper, our administrator know by next week if you have not received an invoice or email her at office.preschool.stmarys@gmail.com
    • Please be vigilant in the Car Park at drop off and pick up. Children can be unpredictable so please keep them in buggies or hold their hands and do not under any circumstances let them run around in the car park. They can’t easily be seen by cars due to their height.
    • Now the weather has finally warmed up, please ensure your child has the correct clothing for outside. This means hats and warm weather clothing and sunscreen applied.  We are not permitted to apply sunscreen to the children so you must ensure this is applied prior to drop off.
    • Please remember to name all your child’s clothing and belongings which should be hung on their named peg on arrival.  This way we can ensure that any items left behind are returned to the correct child. If you bring items in plastic bags please also ensure they have small holes in the bottom as without them them they do pose a risk of suffocation.
    • A reminder that we implement a non-negotiable safe guarding policy to protect the children and under no circumstances will we allow a child to be picked up by a non named person without prior consent and notification. If the person collecting is not known to the member of staff on the door they will require photo ID.
    • Boot bags and T-shirts with the St Mary’s Preschool logo are available to purchase. Please ask!

Book Bag Library: 

We are re-instating a fabulous Book Bag Library whereby children can borrow a book bag for a week or two to enjoy at home. All book bags have a main title (fiction or non-fiction) with supporting materials to help children engage with the text. Many book bags contain more than one book, as well as games, puzzles and toys. There will be a sign up sheet to use the scheme. Please speak to a member of the committee if you are interested.

Learning Outcomes: what is my child up to?

Do you ever wonder what your children have been up to whilst at pre-school? What they’ve been learning and how it fits into the Early years Curriculum? Most of the learning at this age is play based so it’s not always easy to see exactly how they are learning but we thought we could share a few of the ways St Mary’s pre-school is supporting your child’s education through play by adding a few highlights to the newsletter. You can also take a look at your child Group Board each day and this will let you know the specific group time outcome.

This half term at St Mary’s we will be focusing on:

  • Taking turns & sharing
  • Encouraging the children to climb using alternative feet
  • Negotiating spaces
  • Exploring how sounds are made
  • Focusing on healthy eating, our bodies and our teeth

Daily Chores & Volunteering:

A reminder that St Mary’s pre-school does need parent volunteers to run effectively and the daily chore of washing up is one that can easily be filled by Parents & Carers. If you could spare an extra 30minutes before collecting your child and help out with the washing up it is so very appreciated. There are sign up rota’s for you to volunteer. We also often need volunteers to take home a load of laundry with dishcloths and aprons. There is also an opportunity for you to volunteer for the morning to help out at the preschool, this is also a lovely way to see what your child gets up to whilst at St Mary’s. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered so far!


09/03/18

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you and your little ones have had a wonderful week. With World Book Day and the Mother’s Day Concert, it’s certainly been a fun filled one for the kids at pre-school.

Do you ever wonder what your children have been up to whilst at pre-school? What they’ve been learning and how it fits into the Early years Curriculum? Most of the learning at this age is play based so it’s not always easy to see exactly how they are learning but we thought we could share a few of the ways St Mary’s pre-school is supporting your child’s education through play by adding a few highlights to the newsletter. You can also take a look at your child Group Board each day and this will let you know the specific group time outcome.

This week at St Mary’s you might have seen:

  • A fabulous shop set up in the home corner, complete with stocked shelves, shopping baskets, tills and play money. Your children get to fully immerse themselves in this imaginative world of play, imitating the adult world around them through role play. Playing with the tills and money helps them begin to use numbers and mathematics in context.
  • Ice painting on the painting table. Engages the children in a discussion about why things happen and how frozen paint is different to regular paint. Creates a discussion around their observations. All before they’ve even got their hands and paper messy with the creative bit!
  • Spaghetti Activity with tweezers – these small focused activities are fun whilst developing fine motor skills and concentration.

Mother’s Day Concert: 

Our Mother’s Day Concert was a roaring success! It was wonderful to see the children perform their songs and super to see so many of you for tea and coffee and hot cross buns beforehand! A huge thank you to everyone who contributed. Thanks to your generosity we made over £300 which will be put to good use for pre-school resources. 

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

 

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.Chocolate Hummus!

 

Are your kids fans of the wonderful middle eastern dip hummus?

Well wether they are or aren’t here’s a sweet spin that your kids are sure to love and it’s packed full of goodness.

Try serving with fresh fruit, crackers or pitta bread.

Ingredients:§  2 cups cooked, unsalted chickpeas§  3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or cacao powder§  2 tablespoons peanut butter OR almond butter

§  1/4 cup maple syrup

§  1 teaspoon vanilla extract

          Directions: 

2.                Add all ingredients into to a large food processor, and puree until smooth. If your child is helping be careful of the blade!

3.      Serve with fresh fruit, crackers, or pitta.

(recipe adapted from http://www.superhealthykids.com)

___________________________________


 

23/2/18

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you’ve had a wonderful week.

Do you ever wonder what your children have been up to whilst at pre-school? What they’ve been learning and how it fits into the Early years Curriculum? Most of the learning at this age is play based so it’s not always easy to see exactly how they are learning but we thought we could share a few of the ways St Mary’s pre-school is supporting your child’s education through play by adding a few highlights to the newsletter. You can also take a look at your child’s Group Board each day and this will let you know the specific group time outcome.

This week at St Mary’s you might have seen:

    • Chinese New Year activities – there was a Chinese restaurant theme in the Home Corner, Chinese New Year animals being explored and an invitation for Chinese writing on the painting table with black and gold paint on red paper.  It’s great for the children to be able to get a sense of other cultures and communities. Discussion of different props such as the animals helps with listening and attention skills and also story telling. The creativity of painting and making marks on paper helps the children with the skills they will need later for writing.
    • Lychees being discovered and eaten at snack time. Snack time isn’t just an opportunity to help little tummies from getting too hungry before lunch, it’s also another fabulous learning opportunity. Textures can be explored, colours discussed, fine motor skills honed in the process of peeling, cutting, tearing and so forth. Fractions and numbers are introduced in the process of dividing and sharing. That’s all before the food has even been tasted!
    • Bikes being ridden around the garden area. Not just exercise or a fun outdoor activity but also a way to encourage strength and gross motor control, not to mention the possibilities for imaginative play!

Chesham United FC Move:

Some of you may be aware of circulating rumours about the possible relocation of the Chesham United Football Club to new grounds and wondering how this may affect St Mary’s Pre-school and your children. The committee attending the recent meeting held by the directors of Chesham United FC and have also spoken with them privately.  They have assured us, and in turn we would like to assure you, that although the Football Club are indeed hoping to relocate by building entirely new grounds with an all weather pitch, training pitch and so forth at this time they are working with a developer to find a suitable location. The move is not imminent as they do not yet have a new site and so 2020 is likely to be the earliest a change would take place. It will therefore not affect any children currently at the pre-school. Moving forward what will this mean for St Mary’s Pre-school in the future? Well there will likely be options. The Football Club have made provision for us within their contract with the developers to home us either at the existing site when it’s redeveloped or to provide us with a custom home at the new site so in either scenario we shall be taken care of and won’t be homeless.  If you have any questions please feel free to speak to a member of the committee.

Have a great week!

The Committee Team


09/02/18

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you and your little ones have had a wonderful week.

Welcome to our new Administrator:

We are delighted to have appointed a new administrator. A very warm welcome to Anne Harper. Do say hello when you see her around and about at the pre-school. Please extend your patience as she familiarises herself with all the administration systems and if you notice that there are any inaccuracies on your invoice please let us know immediately.

Thank you’s!

Firstly thanks for your patience regarding the film crew this week, I know it made parking and using the drive more difficult than usual.

A huge thank you to everyone who had kindly brought in supplies this half term, we’ve been overwhelmed at the generosity. Your donations really helps us invest as much money as possible directly into resources for the children.

The committee would also like to extend a special thank you to Jacky Murrell and Fizz Van den Bergh who excellently managed the administrator role along with all their existing duties whilst the position was vacant. Another example of our fabulous team of staff stepping up to make sure the running of St Mary’s Preschool is second to none.

Mother’s Day concert:

Our Mother’s Day Concert will take place on Friday March 9th. We will be holding a raffle for a special Mother’s Day Hamper so your donations for the hamper will be gratefully received – any and all goodies that you think would be loved by the special matriarchs in your life – edibles, items for pampering etc.

Half term:  

Don’t forget we are closed next week for Half Term. We open again on Monday 19th February. Hope you have a wonderful week full of fun activities! If you need ideas, there is a Chinese New Year celebration in Chesham town centre on Saturday 17th February, which should be some free fun for the children!

Fee increase:

A reminder that the fee increase will begin directly after half term. New fees will be reflected in your next invoice.

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

 

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.Thumb Print Cookies!These thumb print cookies are so simple and easy they will make a great half term kitchen project. Your little ones will love getting their hands (and thumbs dirty) making these and they’re healthy enough they could even be eaten for breakfast!Ingredients:§  2 Bananas ripe§  1 cup (92g) Rolled Oats§  1/2 cup Oat flour (Blended oats)§  1 tsp cinnamon

§  2 tbsp Chia Seed Jam*

          Directions: 

2.                Pre heat oven to 180C /  350F and prepare a baking tray with baking paper.

3.                Mash the bananas and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the oats, oat flour and cinnamon and stir until combined.

4.                Form table spoon balls of the mixture and lightly press down onto the baking tray. Form an indent with your thumb and spoon in some chia jam.

5.                Bake for approx 12 mins, until they become firm and slightly golden. Transfer to a cooling rack.

* To make the chia jam:

Ingredients:

§  2 cups (224g) Defrosted frozen raspberries (could also use fresh)

§  2 tbsp Chia Seeds

§  2 tbsp warm water

Directions:

9.      Add all the ingredients to a blender and pulse. For a chunkier texture pulse only a few times, for a smoother texture blend longer. (Mash together with a fork if you don’t

10.   Taste the mixture, if you feel it is too tart then add a sweetener of choice (e.g. honey, maple syrup)

11.   Transfer to a container with a lid and chill.

Recipe from www.healthylittlefoodies.com

 


02/02/18 

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

 

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.Beans Beans! The magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot! They aren’t a fruit of course, but a legume which are so packed with nutrients, protein and fibre, they are great to incorporate into your child’s diet.  Rather than the same old kid standard of baked beans, try these roasted chickpeas – delicious, easy and a great snack!Ingredients:§  1 400g tin chickpeas rinsed, drained, and patted dry (or about 2 cups cooked dried)§  1 teaspoon olive oil or coconut oil§  1 teaspoon ground cinnamon§  1 teaspoon maple syrup

§  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

§  1/4 teaspoon salt

          Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread on a baking sheet or baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until fragrant, lightly golden, and soft. Serve warm or at room temperature, smashing beans slightly for younger eaters if desired.

Variations:

Skip the vanilla and add 1/4 teaspoon cumin for a more savory version.

Add 1 teaspoon sesame seeds before baking for extra flavor and good fats.

Mash the baked beans completely with a fork or in the food processor and spread on buttered toast.

(recipe adapted from http://www.yummytoddlerfood.com)

 


26/1/18

T-shirts and Welly bags:

We have St Mary’s Pre-school T-Shirts and Welly Bags available to purchase. Not only are they practical but they also serve as a lovely memento of your child’s pre-school years when they move on. Please ask a committee member if you would like to purchase any of the items.

Welly Bags £3.00

T-shirts £5.50

(or £8.00 for both)

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

 

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.Cold days need comfort food! Who has kids who love to dip? Get an extra green veggie in at breakfast time by switching out traditional soldiers for asparagus spears. Also makes a great snack!Ingredients: o   1 soft boiled eggo   Steamed Asparagus spears          Directions: Cut the soft-boiled egg in half and serve with the steamed asparagus for dipping.You could also serve in a traditional egg cup if you have one. Simple!

(recipe adapted from bbcgoodfood.com)

 


19/1/18

New Parents: 

A very warm welcome to all our new Parents & Carer’s. Please do let us know if you would like to join the Parent’s committee. We are a friendly bunch and would love to have you!

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

 

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.Having trouble getting a healthy breakfast into your kids before you rush out the door? Try switching the cereals for a more nutrient dense start to the day and have a go at these easy breakfast egg cups made in a muffin tray. They can be made in advance and refrigerated or frozen.

Ingredients: o   1 – cooking sprayo   6 large eggso   1/4 cup  milko   1/8 teaspoon – salto   1/8 teaspoon – black pepper, groundo   1 medium – bell pepper, redo   3/4 cup – spinacho   1/4 cup – cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions: 

9.      Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and  set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F.

10.   Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

11.   Dice the bell pepper into small pieces. Stack the spinach leaves, roll them up, and slice them thin.

12.   Add the peppers, spinach, and shredded cheddar to the egg mixture.

13.   Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes until centers are set and no longer runny.

14.   Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Extras may be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to a month. Microwave thawed egg cups on high for 45-60 seconds or until hot.

(recipe from www.superhealthykids.com)

 


  • Christmas Lottery

NATIVITY:

Tuesday 12th December at 11.30am

We encourage all children to come along and partake in the Nativity even if it is not their regular day!

The committee are organising tea, coffee and mince pies (plus hosting the raffle) from 10.30am. 

Please come along to the Board Room (behind the main pre-school area) before the main event and enjoy some festive socialising!

SANTA’S GROTTO:

This will be taking place on Wednesday 13th December which is the last day of term. Once again if this is not your child’s regular day you are very welcome to bring them along.

 A Very Merry Christmas to all!

 


27/11/17

Dear Parents and Carers,

We hope you are having a wonderful weekend! Are your little one’s getting into the festive spirit yet? With the light’s being switched on in Chesham on Friday it certainly feels that the holiday’s are approaching fast! Below are a few reminders about our pre-school upcoming festivities…

But first a huge thank you to Clarks for all the boxes they passed along to us. The children have been letting their imaginations run wild and have made all sorts of fabulous creations from dens, houses and tunnels to robots and people. They’ve provided a lot of artistic fun and inspiration!

NATIVITY: Tuesday 12th December at 11.30am

The committee are organising tea, coffee and mince pies from 10.30am. Please come along to the Board Room (behind the main pre-school area) before the main event and enjoy some festive socialising!

SANTA’S GROTTO:

This will be taking place on Wednesday 13th December which is the last day of term.


17/11/17

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.

It’s time for some festive baking!!!

I love this healthier alternative to regular gingerbread men and kids love them too!

Makes 16 gingerbread men

For the gingerbread:

– 2 cups of buckwheat or brown rice flour (plus extra for rolling)

– 2 cups of pecans

– 1 cup of almonds

– 1/2 a cup of water

– 1/2 a cup of pure maple syrup

– 4 tablespoons of ground ginger

– 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

– 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Place the almonds and pecans in a food processor and blend for a minute or so until a flour forms. Then add all the other ingredients and blend into a sticky mix.

Get a couple of baking trays ready, either greasing them with coconut oil or laying a pice of baking paper on top.

Then cover the top of a counter and a rolling pin in buckwheat or brown rice flour and roll your mixture out on it until it’s nicely thin and perfectly smooth. At this point use your gingerbread man cutter to make men, then put the cutouts onto the baking trays to cook. Once you’ve made the first batch of men re-roll the remaining dough and make some more until it’s all used up.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden then leave to cool before decorating in any way you choose! We like to use raisins for eyes and buttons.


 

November 2017

Soup and Song & AGM:

A huge thank you to everyone who came to our AGM and The wonderful Soup and Song Concert which was lots of fun for the kids and adults alike. With your generous donations we also raised a wonderful £80 towards the cost of The Numicon maths tools which we are hoping to purchase soon.

Special thanks goes to to Chris Cloonan for making the delicious soup for the fourth and final year running, to Sainsbury’s for generously donating the bread and butter and to parents & carers who donated ingredients and gave up their time to help the children with chopping all the veg.

_________________________________


October 2017

The autumn leaves are changing, and half term is approaching. We hope you are enjoying  crunching among the fallen leaves with your children. Have you discovered Chesham Rocks yet? A fun way to get outside and do some fun hunting and exploring with your little ones! Take a look at the Chesham Rocks Facebook group for more details (not affiliated with St Mary’s – just good fun!).

Do you need a Babysitter?

Our very own Fizz would like to offer her babysitting services to all the parents and carers at St Mary’s Preschool. If you’ve struggled with finding someone to take care of your children for a few hours and don’t have family to call upon but have been concerned about leaving your children in the care of a stranger than here is the answer! You can rest assured that working at St Mary’s means that Fizz already knows your children and more importantly they know her! Please speak with her directly for her availability and costs.

T-shirts and boot bags

If you would like to purchase a blue St Mary’s Preschool t-shirt for your child, please speak to Alison.  As we move into the autumn, you may also find a St Mary’s Preschool canvas boot bag handy.  These are available for purchase at £5.50 per t-shirt, £3 for a boot bag, or £8 for both.

Saving little legs

Those of you who walk to preschool from the old town/Newtown part of Chesham may find it useful to use the shortcut via German Street and Fullers Hill.  If you have not yet discovered this handy little cut-through, please feel free to ask a committee member or member of staff to show you the route.

Easyfundraising

Easyfundraising is a free and simple way for all of us to raise money for St. Mary’s Pre-School. Every time you spend money online at participating websites (including Tesco, John Lewis, Amazon, Sainsbury’s, and many more) you simply click a button to donate a small amount to our charity. To register, go to easyfundraising.org.uk, select ‘Support a good cause’, then ‘Search for a Cause’, type ‘St. Mary’s Pre-School, Chesham’ and you’ll be directed to register your details and get raising. You can see how much we have raised as well as your contribution, it’s very motivating to see the pennies pile up! Thank you.

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.

Healthy Halloween Treats!

Halloween is a time where there are often a lot of refined and sugary treats floating around which aren’t the best choice for your child’s teeth or health.

Try these two fun but healthy treats! They are so simple your children can make them with a little supervision.

Banana Ghosts:

Cut the banana in half and add two eyes and a mouth with either chocolate chips or raisins. Try adding a wooden lolly stick and pop them in the freezer for icy lolly ghosts.

Clementine Pumpkins:

Peel clementines and add a small stick of cucumber or celery to the centre to make miniature pumpkins. You could also try leaving the skin on some of your clementines and using a black pen to create a carved pumpkin effect!


22/9/17

What if I have questions?

Our wonderful staff will always try to make themselves available if you have any questions or concerns about your child.  However, drop-off and pick-up times can be very busy, and some parents may feel reticent about approaching them at this time with more general questions.  If you have any general questions about the preschool or about upcoming events, there should always be a member of the committee on the door at drop-off time in the morning.


15/9/17

Hello and welcome

Welcome to the new school year.  We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones now the term has officially begun.

Mrs Murrell has written a manager’s newsletter with information about the preschool which all parents should find useful.  If you have not done so already, you can pick up a copy from the signing-in table any day next week.

Volunteering

As you know, St Mary’s Preschool is a charitable organisation which is run by a committee of parent volunteers. If you would like to be involved with the committee (we’d love to have you!) please chat to one of the members; one of the staff can point us out to you if we aren’t familiar faces yet. There will also be many opportunities for all parents (not just committee members) to volunteer for both big and small jobs over the course of this new year, and the preschool cannot run without this help.

One of the ways we can show our appreciation to the staff for the way they constantly go over and above what is required of them and the dedication they show in their day to day work, is to make our own contribution and step forward when they ask for volunteers to help them – tasks like washing up save staff time and allow them to spend the maximum possible amount of time with our children.  If you are not able to volunteer during the preschool day, you may still like to help by taking pencils home to sharpen or bringing home a laundry load. We therefore look forward to seeing lots of names appearing on the sign-up sheets whenever help is needed, and thank you in advance for your contribution.

HEALTHY RECIPE FOR PRESCHOOLERS:

Since obtaining our Smile Award accreditation last term, we are continuing to promote good oral hygiene and healthy eating.  As part of this initiative, we have decided to include in the weekly newsletter a regular slot with simple and tasty recipes for healthy meals or snacks which you may like to make for (or with!) your children.

Two Ingredient Pancakes:

Try these for a simple and yummy protein packed pancakes for breakfast, as a snack or as part of a healthy lunch box!

Ingredients:

I large or 2 small bananas mashed (overly ripe is best)

2 medium eggs

Whisk the eggs and combine together with the mashed banana.

Heat a little butter or coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium heat

Spoon the mixture into the pan – cooking time will vary depending on the size of your pancakes. When bubbles start to appear all over the surface, flip the pancake and cook for another minute or two on the other side.

Serve with some fresh fruit and a dollop of plain yoghurt

(add a little cinnamon or vanilla to spice them up, and a 1/4 tsp of baking powder for fluffier pancakes)

Looking forward to a great term ahead!

The Committee Team

yelllowdivider

Friday 21st July,  2017
Goodbye and thank you
The Teddy Bears’ Picnic was a great success yesterday, and we bade a fond farewell to Mrs Creed and our ‘graduates’.  Many thanks once again to Mrs Creed for all she has done for our children over the years – she will be greatly missed.
Jaimee Chapman has done a great job of keeping the preschool clean over the last year, and we’d like to thank her for her efforts and send her best wishes for the impending arrival of her baby.  We look forward to meeting the baby next term and are sure big sister Darcey will be keen to introduce her little sibling to us all!
Thanks also to the outgoing committee members – Anna Tkachenko (treasurer), Kylie Cottrell, Kate Cappo and Jaimee Chapman.  All have contributed hugely to the smooth running of the preschool.
We’d like to thank our outgoing parents who have been so supportive over their children’s time at preschool in helping with washing up, volunteering as helpers in preschool, washing painting overalls, sharpening pencils, helping with fundraising events by offering both time and the requested donations, etc.  As a charity run by a committee of parent volunteers, we really couldn’t survive without the help of so many parents, whether they choose to join the committee or not.
And the final goodbye is the children who have left us to start the next big step in their lives.  We hope they continue to enjoy learning and have as much fun at school as they have had at St Mary’s.
Committee roles
As Liz said yesterday, we also have some changes in the committee roles.  Maggie Watson (Jemima’s mum) is stepping down as secretary, although we’re very pleased that she has agreed to stay on the committee.  Our new secretary is Kate Lomax (Iggy’s mum), and our new treasurer is Leila Hynd (Jessica’s mum) – thanks very much to them for volunteering.  We have no changes to announce in the role of chair …. yet!
Next term
We look forward to welcoming the children back on Monday 11 September.  Next term promises to be packed with more excitement – the AGM and Soup and Song in October, the Nativity play in December, and the start of our year of celebrations for the preschool’s 50th anniversary being particular highlights.
Thank you all for your support this year, and we hope you all have a very happy summer holiday.
The Committee Team
yelllowdivider
July, 2017
Teddy Bears’ Picnic
The term will end with a bang on Thursday 20 July, as we say goodbye to our ‘graduates’ and celebrate the beginning of the summer holidays with a teddy bears’ picnic.  Parents of children who are leaving are invited to arrive at 11:30 for the leavers’ presentations.  All other parents are invited to arrive at 12:00.  We will then enjoy our picnics together and say adieu to those who are leaving us and au revoir to those who will be back next term.

 

yelllowdivider

June, 2017

Children’s Day 3rd/4th July

The two Children’s Days will take place on Mon 3rd & Tues 4th July. Parents and carers are welcome to come and take part in activities with their children from 11.30-12.30. There will be a range of sports activities around the room or garden. If your child is not due to be in or you have any questions please see Ms Murrell, Ms Scott or their keyworker.

Privacy Policy

In line with the photo policy which you will all have signed when your children joined the preschool, please ensure that if you take photos of your child on preschool premises or at preschool events, you do not post any photos on social media in which any other child at the preschool can be identified.  It is possible on most smartphones to crop or otherwise edit photos to remove other children and ensure only your own child is shown.  If you do take photos which include your children’s friends, you are, of course, welcome to share those photos privately with the friends’ parents.

Best wishes,

The Committee Team

Liz, Maggie, Anna, Kate, Jaimee, Leila, Kylie, Jenna, Kate and Kim

yelllowdivider

June, 2017

Dear Parents and Carers,

Great news!

Those of you who have been with us for a while will recall that we originally moved to the football club for a temporary period during the refurbishment of St Mary’s Church Rooms. 

Following the move, and seeing how happily the children had settled and how aspects such as the free flow to the garden had such a positive influence on their learning, we began to consider whether it would be possible to make the move permanent. Our discussions also took into consideration the disruption to the children, parents and staff of another move so soon after the last one, bearing in mind that well over half of our current children have never known the preschool anywhere other than at the football club. 

The main sticking point for us was that we only had temporary planning permission to be at the football club until September of this year, and so we have been putting a lot of work into applying for permanent planning permission. 

We’re delighted to tell you that we received our permanent planning permission this week, and so the preschool will be able to stay at its current location for the future. We do hope that you’re as pleased and excited about this news as we are!

yelllowdivider

Friday 26th May, 2017

Thank you and goodbye to Mrs Gregory
Sadly, Mrs Gregory will be leaving us today. We would like to thank her for all her hard work and dedication to the children throughout her time at St Mary’s, and wish her the best of luck in the future. She will be missed by staff and children alike.
Goodbye Miss Samborski; hello Mrs Martin
The children had great fun celebrating Miss Samborski’s forthcoming wedding on Monday, with bunting, balloons, confetti and even a wedding ‘reception’ at snack time. We hope Miss Samborski has a wonderful wedding day next week, and look forward to greeting the new Mrs Martin after half term. 

yelllowdivider

April, 2017

T-shirts and boot bags

It seems that many parents are not aware that the preschool has branded t-shirts and welly bags (see the Facebook page for a photo). The t-shirts are available for sale for  £5.50 each, and the welly bags are £3′ or you can buy one of each for £8.

yelllowdivider
March, 2017
 
Smiles all round!
Following extra training undertaken by the staff, the preschool is in the process of obtaining Smile Award+ accreditation. As part of this process, the staff are working hard to promote healthy eating and healthy teeth among the children.

yelllowdivider

March, 2017

 Party invitations

If your child has party invitations, please hand them to your child’s key worker and they will hand them out to all the children invited.

yelllowdivider

January, 2017

Get involved

Would you like to have a say in your child’s future? Help improve the running of the preschool? Share your skills, time & ideas? If you are interested, please speak to any of us about what’s involved in being a committee member and we would be happy to share our experiences with you.

The Committee Team

Liz, Maggie, Anna, Helena, Jaimee, Kate, Leila and Kylie

yelllowdivider

November, 2016

Chesham Toy Bank

For the third year running, the wonderful Chesham Toy Bank will provide free toys to those less fortunate. If you are a little stretched this year, or know someone who is, then please pass this information to them. In order to benefit from the donations, you need to complete an online form, which can be found at www.toybank.co.uk, and the toys will be delivered by one of the Elves right to your door.

New or pre-loved (in good condition) toy donations for 0 to 18 year olds would be much appreciated please. If you would like to donate, there are several collection points in Chesham (Chesham Town Hall, Mosque Community Centre or White Hill Centre), or we can arrange a pick-up if you contact Anna Tkachenko on 07950905707. Let’s bring Christmas cheer to every family together!

yelllowdivider
23rd September, 2016
 
 

More feedback

We have had two official inspection visits since the beginning of term, and are very pleased with the feedback we have received from both.

Our first visit was from the Buckinghamshire Learning Trust.  The inspector said, “You have done wonders in the short time you have been at the football club and all children seemed happy and content.”  She was impressed that all the children were engaged in what they were doing, and were being encouraged to be independent in helping themselves to their snack and getting themselves ready to go outside and play in the garden.  

We also had a visit from the Buckinghamshire Early Years Commissioning team.  The lady who visited us said, “It’s fantastic – I’m blown away!  I’d never have believed you could get it as good as this.”

You’ll be hearing more about the feedback on our new premises at the AGM, but we think Mrs Murrell and all the staff deserve our thanks and congratulations now for doing such a super job of getting the football club ready and helping the children to settle in so well.

Our AGM will be held immediately after drop-off on Wednesday 12 October in the boardroom at the football club.  All parents and carers are invited to this meeting, whether they are interested in volunteering or not.  At the meeting, you will hear brief reports of how the preschool has been doing over the last year.

yelllowdivider
16th September, 2016

Feedback on our new premises

We have had some very positive responses from children, parents and staff to our new temporary home.  As one member of staff said on Friday, “I don’t know why, but everything just seems calmer here, and the children are loving it.”

 

Comments from parents at our Open Days include, “Really lovely – my child will have a great time playing here!”, “Fabulous!”, “Lovely open space for the children to explore”, “Really fantastic – I’m overwhelmed by what you’ve made of it, and it has a lovely atmosphere”, “The space is incredible”, “I really like it – I love the wide open space”.

 

But the last word should go to the children, who said, “I love it”, “It’s very different”, “It’s good – I like it”, “I love the playdough”, “I like dressing up”.  One, when asked what she thought of her new preschool, simply gave a thumbs up, and one of our future preschoolers clapped his hands and said, “Happy, happy”!

yelllowdivider

10th September, 2016
Dear Parents and Carers,
 
Hello and welcome
Welcome to the first weekly newsletter of the new school year.  We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones when term begins next week.
We’re hugely excited to be opening at last at our new temporary premises!  It’s been a longer, harder journey than we imagined it would be when we first started looking for a new home just a few months ago, but we hope you’ll agree that it’s all been worth it, and our new home is looking fabulous.
Open Days – 12 and 13 September
We will be welcoming parents and children together at the football club on Monday and Tuesday of next week, so that we can all familiarise ourselves with the new setting and new procedures, and you can ask any questions you still have.
You should have received an e-mail from Alison Holt which tells you which days we are expecting you.  Please check this e-mail and ensure that you come in on the correct day, as this is when your children’s key workers will be in.
Thanks
Over the summer, the football club has been completely transformed.  As well as new windows, carpet and fire safety equipment in the fabric of the building, we have a range of bright new furniture, rugs and play equipment to enable the children to make the most of their time with us.
The garden has also been transformed, thanks to the hard work of both our own staff and a team from Santander Bank which came to build the new playhouse, clean all the existing outdoor toys and clear the overgrown garden area.
Mrs Murrell and the staff have all given up substantial amounts of their holiday time to make this a fabulous place for your children to play, learn and grow, and I’m sure you will want to join us in thanking them all for their efforts.
Volunteering
As you know, St Mary’s Preschool is a charitable organisation which is run by a committee of parent volunteers.  There will be many opportunities for all parents (not just committee members) to volunteer for both big and small jobs over the course of this new year, and the preschool cannot run without this help.
One of the ways we can show our appreciation to the staff for the way they constantly go over and above what is required of them, not just in the huge undertaking of getting the new premises ready over the summer but also in the dedication they show in their day to day work, is to make our own contribution and step forward when they ask for volunteers to help them.
We therefore look forward to seeing lots of names appearing on the sign-up sheets whenever help is needed, and thank you in advance for your contribution.
 
The Committee Team
yelllowdivider

July, 2016

Hazeldene Farm Fairy Fair

We had a great time at the sheep shearing and herding event at Hazeldene Farm. A huge thank you to the staff and parents who gave up their time to run various stalls. We made £259 for the preschool and hopefully got some good publicity.

Hazledene is also hosting a magical Fairy Fair this week, and we will have a St Mary’s Information stall at this event. Thank you to the parents and teachers who are manning the stall on Sunday.

yelllowdivider

July, 2016

Chesham Week 27th-31st June

Our children had a great time exploring Chesham. One of the highlights was getting to go in the tube driver’s train cab! The kind driver even blew his whistle for the Brown Owls. Thank you to the staff and all the parents who helped the children explore the train, the library, the Tennis Club amongst others.

Hazeldene Farm Sheep Shearing & Herding Event 

Hazeldene Farm has very kindly offered to support the preschool at this event on Sunday 3 July between 11 am and 4 pm.  There will be lots of fun at the farm, as well as lots of activities for the kiddies, including crafting, a treasure hunt, name the giant hedgehog (you can win the hedgehog!) and lots more. As well as the sheep herding and shearing there is a cafe and a craft market. The children’s activities are being run by the pre-school and it is an excellent opportunity to raise funds for the temporary relocation to the football club premises in September. We need lots of volunteers for the stalls we are running, it will be tremendous fun AND helpers get in free!

Hazledene is also hosting a magical Faerie Fair the following week 4th July, and we will have a ‘St Mary’s Information’ stall at this event and again will need some volunteers to man the stall on that day. Free entry to helpers of course – it promises to be a hugely popular event, so should be a good day out.

yelllowdivider

June, 2016

Odds Farm 1st July!

The pre-school is going to Odd’s Farm on Friday 1st July. Please note that there will be no pre-school at the Church Rooms and you or a carer must accompany your child throughout the visit to Odd’s Farm. If there are any parents who are able to provide lifts, please let us know. Please also let us know if you do not have transport, and we will try to match up people offering lifts with those who need them.

Odd’s Farm has a great variety of interesting farm animals and is very child-friendly. The costs are £7.40 per child over 2 years and £8.20 per adult (this is a special discount for the pre-school). We will ask for payment during the week before, cash is better so that we can pay on entry. If you cannot attend on the day due to illness money will of course be refunded as long as Mrs Murrell is contacted before 9am on the day.

Hazeldene Farm Sheep Shearing & Herding Event 

Hazeldene Farm has very kindly offered to support the preschool at this event on Sunday 3 July between 11 am and 4 pm.  There will be lots of fun at the farm, as well as lots of activities for the kiddies, including crafting, a treasure hunt, name the giant hedgehog (you can win the hedgehog!) and lots more. As well as the sheep herding and shearing there is a cafe and a craft market. The children’s activities are being run by the pre-school and it is an excellent opportunity to raise funds for the temporary relocation to the football club premises in September.

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May 2016

Thank you to all those who baked cakes for the Queen’s birthday picnic. It was great fun and the children looked very regal in their crowns.

Dates for the Diary

The week beginning Monday 27th June is Chesham Week. This involves each group exploring Chesham one morning that week.

The Pre-school is going to Odd’s Farm on Friday 1st July. For those who don’t know it, Odd’s Farm has a great variety of interesting farm animals and is very child-friendly.

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15th April, 2016

Dear Parents and Carers,

Queen’s Birthday Picnic

Don’t forget that on Wednesday 27th April (12:30 – 1:30) there will be a celebratory picnic in the garden (or the main hall if it rains) in honour of the Queen’s birthday. We all bring our own food and share some delicious cake. On the subject of cake, we need a few to share on the 27th. If you fancy some baking please do bring some in on the day.  Lunch Club will still be running with preschool staff if it is required.

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24th March, 2016
 
Temporary premises move
 
You should by now have received a separate email detailing our prospective move to the football club for the autumn term. Please contact Jacky or a member of the committee if you have any questions or concerns, or if you are able to help with any aspect of the move.

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12th February, 2016

New Website

There is so much good news this week. We have a lovely new website thanks to Vanesa, Kylie and Charlotte. We are very grateful indeed for their hard work. Check it out below:

http://stmaryspreschool.org.uk

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5th February, 2016

Easy fundraising

You can collect big donations for St Mary’s Preschool when you book your next holiday online with easyfundraising. All you have to do is:

Join

Go to www.easyfundraising.org.uk/stmaryscommunitypreschool and sign up for free.

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8th January, 2016

Facebook

Just a reminder that we have a private Facebook page to share information about what’s going on in the preschool, and if you want to join you can either e-mail us to ask to be added to the group or send a request via the the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/stmarys.preschool.chesham

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