Updates in the Early Years from Hannah Cole

Dear Parents

I would like to begin this communication with a heartfelt thank you to all Nursery and Reception families for your flexibility and understanding throughout this first of two weeks of imposed school closure. This is not the outcome we had hoped for for the children and I understand how learning from home places all sorts of constraints on families. We have been so impressed with the children’s engagement with their live Google Meet sessions and learning challenges. The Early Years campus has once again become a strange place that is never the same without the children, however I can hear how engaging the Google Meet sessions are for the children as the singing, laughter and learning conversations echo around the corridors whilst the sessions are taking place. I once again want to take this opportunity to thank our Nursery and Reception teaching teams for working so hard to provide enriching experiences for the children.


I am aware that there have been some questions raised regarding a very small number of Nursery and Reception children coming into school and would like to provide some clarity to avoid confusion. These children are being provided with emergency childcare as there are no adults available at home to look after the children. We are not allowed to offer a normal Nursery or Reception school day for these children and neither would this be fair on the children who are learning from home. There is a rota of adults who are supervising the children and ensuring they are able to access the online learning provision. The children are not working with their class teacher or in their classroom as their class teacher is delivering the online learning to small groups, creating resources, planning for future learning and responding to Seesaw posts. If any of our families are in a position in which there is not adult available to take care of their child during this period of closure or there are exceptional circumstances that impact upon childcare, please do make contact with me via email: [email protected] so we can discuss how help can be provided. I must reiterate, that we are only allowed to provide emergency childcare and not a normal Nursery or Reception experience (as much as we would love to!).


Working in partnership with parents continues to be of the highest priority in the Early Years and goes hand in hand with our approach to teaching and learning. With this in mind, I will be contacting all Early Years parents who registered an interest in and / or attended the parent focus group earlier in the term to a second focus group meeting before the end of term. This opportunity will be communicated to all Nursery and Reception parents as when the first meeting took place, we did not have our full cohort in attendance. If there are any EY1 & 2 families who did not register an interest previously and would like to join the focus group for term 1, please contact me directly so I can ensure the information is sent to you.


It has been wonderful to see such a positive uptake of EY1 & 2 children signing up for the Mini Duke Award. The Mini Duke Award is primarily aimed at giving children the time and space to develop key skills needed in their future life. Presented in a glossy journal, the award contains a number of life-skill and cultural challenges including cookery, exercise, personal safety, environmental, domestic challenges, neighbourliness, and many more. The award allows children to participate in a variety of new experiences and teaches them that it is important to ‘have a go’, challenging them to learn new and varied skills from an early age. If you would like further information, please refer to the specific Mini Duke bulletin from Mr Haines on the hub for EY1 & 2. 


I would like to finish this week by acknowledging the fantastic learning that has been taking place this week across the Early Years whether this has been online or face to face in school. The children continue to demonstrate their resilience, excitement and love of learning which is such a pleasure to see. As I have said many times before, these really are exceptional times, yet our children continue to learn, play and grow together as per our Early Years Motto which was created by the children, for the children.


Wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead.

With best wishes

Hannah Cole

Head of Early Years