Information for parents

Useful Links

Poppies and Poppyfields

Newsletter September 21

Dear Parents/Carers of Poppies,

Proposals for Autumn Term 2021

We hope you are all keeping safe and have enjoyed the holiday. We are looking forward to the new academic year, with lots of lovely activities planned! As we said in July, we have drawn many positives from changes in our procedures which have benefitted the children enormously, and we will be retaining those most beneficial as we continue into the new academic year.

This term, children will continue to be divided into Bumble Bees and Ladybirds for the first and last hour of each day, with groups mixing between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. By keeping in their groups for these two hours, children develop strong relationships and when the groups combine between 10-2 p.m., they will widen their social interactions with other children and staff. On arrival, children will continue to leave their family at the gate, following temperature check and sanitising hands as this has worked well the past year. The virus is unfortunately still out there and we are moving forwards and living with it in the safest way.

We will stagger our new starters joining our group, as we usually do, as this promotes settling in procedures and enables key workers opportunity to bond well with their new children. Last academic year Covid restrictions prevented parents/carers coming into the nursery grounds and we were very pleased to see how quickly our new children came in and settled with their key person. This academic year, for new starters, we are offering the option of one family member coming into the nursery garden on their first day, for ten minutes, if they wish. (Please wear a mask if you choose to do this.) Families may feel their child may settle more quickly if they start nursery with the same routine i.e. a kiss and cuddle at the gate then in to see their waiting key worker and playmates. Please be assured we will send a dojo photo to each child’s family, showing what activity they are enjoying. If children have any wobbles, staff will contact their family, but usually, they are kept busy exploring and staff are very skilled at distracting any potential wobbles with activities you have told us your child enjoys!

Ladybirds entrance will now consistently be the main building gate, (please queue by our building on the field towards The Spinney, to reduce congestion with the school classes)Bumblebees will be ‘The Spinney’ garden gate. For arrivals and departures between the hours of 9 and 3, we will continue to meet families at the main school gates by St Marys reception. No one is permitted onto the school site during the day as school children use the playground. Please note *The St Mary’s climbing equipment is out of bounds. Please DO NOT let children climb on it.

For Reception children, we will take them to and from school. They will join the nursery children who are accessing before and after 9-3 p.m. Please continue to use the main door /bell at arrival and departure times.

Just a reminder, children must not attend nursery/out of school club if they display any symptoms related to COVID-19. Children may not attend if a member of their household tests positive or is awaiting results. By working together, we can keep our environment as safe as possible. for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Indoor/outdoor Environment

All children will be continuing to use the garden as much as possible as fresh air is the optimum environment. Please ensure they are suitably dressed for the weather. Every nursery child must bring wellingtons and warm clothing. Several layers are a good idea as even when inside, the rooms will be well ventilated with open doors and windows. Our usual early years curriculum will be offered during the day, and out of school activities are also planned.

Home/nursery partnership.

Children may bring their book bag only. Library books will be shared with families. They may leave a rucksack in nursery with spare clothes/nappies/wipes and staff will Dojo when it needs restocking. This bag will remain in nursery. For children having a nap, please bring a small blanket which will stay in nursery.

Families will receive weekly updates on activities children are enjoying in nursery & after school via the Dojo story. Please share your child’s home achievements or any questions via email or Dojo. We will share our planning and ideas for home, via Parent-mail, regularly for families to support their child’s learning. This covers Nursery and Out of School Planning.

For the first two weeks, activities will be focussing on settling children into the routine, using discussions and activities based on their likes/ interests and holiday experiences.

We will continue to provide snacks at breakfast, mid-morning/afternoon, and after-school. Children will need to bring a packed lunch. Please ensure your child’s lunch-box is clearly marked with their NAME ON THE OUTSIDE. Children will sanitise their hands prior to every refreshment/meal. Reminder* No nuts, Popcorn or eggs in lunch boxes. Also, please cut grapes and tomatoes in half as they pose a choking hazard.

Our Administration/Accounts Team will be available Monday-Thursday between 9a.m-4p.m. Any emails sent outside these times will be addressed on the next working day.

Well-being and support

Our staff team are very dedicated professionals and our priority is to support your child’s emotional needs during these uncertain times. We will offer children cuddles whenever necessary! Our focus remains the safety and well-being of you all. We provide activities to support children and any concerns your child may express will be shared with you. Similarly, families may also have concerns as these continue to be unpredictable times. Please let us know as we are here for you too!


Staff will continue to wear PPE at the gates. We are not required to wear PPE unless we are changing nappies/ helping with toilet or first aid, but staff are given the option of wearing them if they wish. If we are caring for someone with COVID 19 symptoms, we will wear an additional face shield/gloves and apron and provide care away from the rest of the children/staff.

With regards to school grounds, the wearing of face masks is optional. We would respectfully request that while queuing, parents keep two meter distance from others and we do recommend the wearing of face masks when its busy/crowded.

Personal and Environmental Health/Cleaning Programmes

Staff frequently clean areas and surfaces throughout the day, with bins regularly emptied. We all carry antibacterial gel in a waist pack and use this frequently. Children are supervised to wash hands thoroughly and frequently. The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ strategy is promoted. PLEASE INFORM US IF YOUR CHILD IS ALLERGIC TO ANTIBACTERIAL HAND SANITISER. On arrival at our setting, every child and adult have their temperature taken prior to entering, using a distance thermometer. Temperatures are re-taken at lunchtime and after school.

EYFS changes

From September 1st, the EYFS has altered. We have adapted our current practice to accommodate these changes and will update you shortly.

Funding Forms (15 and 30 hour) for eligible 2 and 3 year olds

These will be at nursery from Tuesday 7th September for your completion. Please ensure you have your NIS number and eligibility letter (Two year olds) and access code (30 hour funding) with you.

In summary…

We will continue to work with you to provide as safe an environment as we can and your understanding and support is appreciated. In this respect, please ensure we have your current numbers for phone and email. We also would ask that every family join our Dojo platform as this is the quickest way we can share communications with you. If you are unsure how to access Dojo, please email the accounts team.

Kindest regards, keep safe,

Joanne Rowland


Poppies and Poppyfields

Newsletter October 21

Poppies Monthly News October 2021

Term Dates

Term Ends Friday 22nd October Restarts Tuesday 2nd November

Holiday Club is running 25th-28th October at Poppies Wild Wood site. Families who have already sent their forms will shortly be invoiced. We do have limited places available if any family still needs care, please email Accounts.

This months Value: Friendship (to support friendships and help new children settle.)

Family Forum

We would like to offer families opportunity to join an informal Family Forum. The idea of this initiative is to provide families with an insight into Poppies life, provide new parents with ‘support’ from a current parent, share ideas with staff and families and build relationships between families and staff. If you are interested in this initiative please email the accounts team.

Tea Towels and Christmas Cards.

Every nursery child, including Reception, has drawn a self- portrait picture of themselves for our tea towel. These make wonderful Christmas presents! Please complete the order slip below, seal in an envelope and return to nursery or email your order, confirming how you would like to pay, by Friday 15thOctober.

Children have also painted a beautiful family of snow people to be made into their own Christmas card to raise funds for our group. Please look out for your order form in your book bag and return by Friday 15th Oct.

Achievement Certificates

To boost children’s self-esteem which is vital for learning we will be awarding certificates. These will be given to celebrate achievements and also if children are seen to be adopting the’ value’ of the month. The achievement may relate to their learning, a skill they have mastered or an act of kindness etc. Children are very proud when they achieve such an award! This boosts well-being, confidence and self-esteem which promotes further learning and development.

October’s Policy Overview: Children’s Activities and Experiences, ‘Key Person’ & Transition Policies.

(We will be providing regular Policy Overviews for your information.)

‘Key Person’s’ carry out numerous observations which they use to plan and extend children’s learning and development. We incorporate what children enjoy, their family values and ideas, and their current achievements. Planning includes every area of the EYFS. We believe children learn through play incorporating nature and the outdoor environment, with hands-on experience to gain skills and knowledge. Children’s activities are recorded with next steps planned to consolidate and build on their individual achievements. Your Key Person is always available to share information conducive to the well-being and development of your child. This may be through Dojo, or a longer pre-arranged appointment where we may share their records & Learning Journey with you.

When your child moves on to a new setting, we share developmental information which ensures a smooth transition when your child moves on. Where our children are ‘shared’, we work closely with their second setting to ensure continuity of care and well-being.

Kind regards, keep safe,

Joanne and The Team

Tea Towel Order Form (£4.00 per tea towel)

Childs Name……………………………….. Number of Tea towels………… Total sent £…………….

Poppies Monthly News November2021

Term Dates
Term Starts Tuesday 2nd November- Term Ends Friday 17th December

This months Value: Helpfulness (to support children’s understanding of helping their friends, helping the adults in their lives and helping to tidy up!!!!)

Ofsted ‘Outstanding’!!!!

We are delighted to share this very special news with you all. Poppyfields was recently inspected (October 2021) and we are very proud to say we achieved ‘outstanding’ in every area! A copy of our report is attached. May I take this opportunity to praise every member of the team for their organisation, skill, empathy and knowledge which made this possible. Our staff team share responsibility of both Poppies and Poppyfields and strive to ensure every child, family and fellow team mates receive their support and commitment. Ofsted is not just about ‘the day’, but is a result of constant dedication from everyone involved in our group, from Administration, to the Senior Management Team, to the practitioners, to the children and to all families who attend. Without your ever-present support, understanding and relationships with us, we would not achieve, so THANKYOU!!!!

Family Forum

We suggested a Family Forum in our last newsletter. We would like to reiterate our offer families to establish sufficient numbers. The idea of this initiative is to provide families with an insight into Poppies life, provide new parents with ‘support’ from a current parent, share ideas with staff and families and build relationships between families and staff. If you are interested in this initiative please email the accounts team.

Settling-in consultations

We will be holding settling-in consultations during the second week of the new term. This will be an opportunity to meet and chat to your key person, share thoughts and plan next steps. A form will go up next week for you to select a ten minute slot. These chats are purely optional. If you prefer, please use Dojo or Parentmail to share your thoughts. We will be holding these chats in the open air to reduce potential transmission of Covid so please dress accordingly!

Tea Towels.

Every nursery child, including Reception, has drawn a self- portrait picture of themselves for our tea towel. These make wonderful Christmas presents! Last shout for tea towel orders!!!! Please complete the order slip below, seal in an envelope and return to nursery or email your order, by Friday 29th October

Novembers Policy Overview: ‘Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy’

Socially acceptable behaviour is encouraged, praised and supported. Unacceptable behaviour will be explained to the child at an age appropriate level, with a more suitable alternative offered. We maintain the ‘action’ to be unacceptable, not the child, which ensures the child’s self-esteem is not diminished. We believe in positive management and encourage all children to behave responsibly, consider their actions and the effect they may have on others. This is all supported at age-appropriate levels..

Families will be consulted and share behavioural strategies should the need arise. Children will share in forming ‘golden rules’ and staff will fully support maintaining them. A complete copy of the policy is available on request. Families views are welcomed.

Our ‘Values’ programme also promotes acceptable behaviour and develops children’s awareness of positive and invaluable attitudes and life skills. This enhances the environment by creating a safe, secure and fair place in which children will be fully supported to develop confidence, self-esteem and social skills which ultimately supports their learning.

Kind regards, keep safe,

Joanne and The Team


Supporting Nursery Children’s Cultural Capital.

Due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, children’s ‘cultural capital’ has been affected. This is defined as the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for future success. We have safely restarted our Cultural Capital Programme as restrictions have lifted. This will involve a variety of experiences and skill-gathering activities throughout their time at nursery. We will also be offering families ideas they can also enjoy as partnership is key to providing as many opportunities as possible.

Our first projects are underway! We will be encouraging every child to complete a letter which they will then take to the post box, in small groups with staff, to post home. They should arrive on your doormat shortly!

We would like to ask families to play classical music for children E.g., Carnival of the animals by Saint Saens or googling classical music for children on you-tube. Many musical experiences will pop up! We will also be playing classical music at nursery. Please let your keyperson know, or send a dojo or email, if your child has any favourites and also how they feel/ likes/dislikes etc.

We are compiling our own ‘museum’ collection of artefacts and pictures for children to explore. If you would like to visit a museum there are many local to us! The British Schools Museum in Hitchin, The Shuttleworth Collection at Biggleswade, The Roman Sandy at Sandy, Welwyn Roman Baths at Welwyn, Royston Museum at Royston, Stockwood Discovery centre, Luton, John Bunyan Museum at Bedford (this venue may be restricted due to rising cases of the new variant in Bedford). Many venues are beginning to re-open now, with Covid-19 safety measures in place to keep visitors safe.

Also, local art galleries e.g. The International Garden Cities Exhibition at Letchworth and Broadway studio and art gallery, are options to visit. Each term at nursery we explore a famous artist and children complete their own version of those styles e.g., Monet, Kandinsky, Van Gough, Mondrian.

Reading Challenge!! Please continue to record via Dojo each time you read a story with your child. These will be logged at nursery and your child will receive a sticker on their Reading Chart. Each half term the child who has shared the most stories with their family will receive the prize of a new book!

Thankyou in advance of your support for these projects! These are just a few ideas for when families feel comfortable about going out and about, re-exploring our community. If any family has any comments or additions they would like us to include, please let us know via Dojo or email.

Keep safe,

Joanne and the Team