We had some very enjoyable ‘Donuts with Daddy’ sessions with Busy Bees and Wise Owls to help celebrate Fathers’ Day. More photos available here.

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Several staff attended training:
Abi attended a course on and Emotion Coaching/Managing Behaviour.
Emma D. attended a course on supporting children who stammer.
Heather, Abi and Aimee attended the Nursery World Exhibition at the Trafford Centre and attended seminars on Preparation for Ofsted, Mental Health in the Early Years and Smiles and Laughs with young children. They saw some fantastic resources and purchased some items for their rooms.
Janet attended courses on Preparation for Ofsted and Prevent.
All staff attended an in-house training session on Preparation for Ofsted.
Laura attended a week-long Forest School Teacher training course at Moss Bank Park. She will be fully qualified once she has created a detailed portfolio relating to forest school experiences and skills, a 2-day practical assessment course and a 2 – day outdoor first aid course.

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Laura also attended a Moderation Session with other early years colleagues looking at how we assess children’s achievements.
Kerry attended a Heritage Fund small grants workshop.

Children from Horwich Parish School visited us once again to share some stories with Wise Owls.

We purchased some outdoor equipment for the Ladybird outdoor play area and Janet bought something she has always wanted – a very large drum which accommodates at least 8 children. This will be fantastic for development musical conversations and aiding social interaction.

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Wise Owls had a very enjoyable day at Smithills Farm. They went on a tractor ride, fed a variety of different animals, held some chicks and rabbits, rode on a donkey and watched some cows being milked. The children displayed impeccable behaviour!

Highlight of the month was our Family Fun Day, for which we had wonderful weather. The Duck Race was lovely and so well attended – we raised approximately £220 for Meningitis Now. The Sports activities were fabulous with the children displaying passion, resilience and a keen desire to ‘have a go’. Parents were also keen to get involved.

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Employee of the month:

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Miss Laura
For giving detailed feedback to parents and introducing new creative and exciting activities to extend children’s learning.
Other Nominations for June 2019:
Miss Sophie – Being a good role model in the room and growing both in confidence and development as a room leader.
Miss Aimee – Supporting on swimming days
Miss Heather- for supporting on swimming days
Miss Sarah – Supporting Busy Bees (when it was the Wise Owl trip to the farm)
Miss Tasha- For supporting the Duckling room (when her colleagues were absent)
Miss Jacky G – Supporting in the kitchen
Miss Chloe G – Supporting in the kitchen
Miss Emma D – carrying out duties over and above what is expected
Miss Lucy – Giving positive feedback to parents

This month we took delivery of several new outdoor items for the Ladybirds’ play area. We are currently upgrading this space to ensure we maximise its use.

The builders completed the new play area (John’s garden) adjacent to the car park and although we know it will evolve further over the next few months, it is now ready for use – by our before and After School Children 7.30 – 8.45 and 3.45 – 6pm, and our older Nursery children from 9 – 3.30. We are very proud of the area which offers outdoor dining areas, planting spaces, a boat, a Living Learning Den, which is due to have a wildflower roof shortly, a sand pit, yellow brick road, lots of areas for dens and other features.

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Forest School and Woodland Learning sessions continued to be enjoyed by some of the Wise Owls and we have had campfires, collected mini beasts and played forest games.
Children from the Ladybird Room enjoyed river walking.

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We have continued with Safeguarding level 1 training with our apprentices.
Janet attended an Early Years briefing given by Bolton Early Start. Topics such as Preparation for Ofsted, Early Years Foundation Stage guidance for parents, safeguarding and staff training opportunities were covered.
Some staff had their bi-annual appraisals.

Employee of the month:

Croft House Nursery Blog May

Miss Terri
For going above and beyond what is expected and being a positive role model.

Other Nominations for May 2019
Miss Brenda – Taking on extra tasks
Miss Chloe G - helping in the Kitchen
Miss Vicky - continued support to students in the Ducklings
Miss Rachael – working extra to support colleagues
Miss Toni- supporting other rooms
Miss Tori- supporting Wise Owl on swimming days
Miss Rae – supporting

April 2019 Blog

At the beginning of this month our Before and After School club moved to the upstairs rooms at the new Croft House Nursery building. The children love the new areas and are enjoying having more space to play and socialise.
before and after school club
In the second week of April we had a very happy, successful time caring for a select group of school children on their Easter break. They spent every afternoon outdoors in the forest. We are now taking bookings for children, from any local schools, who need Holiday Care in July and August this year.

The builders continued to work on the outdoor area adjacent to the car park to create an exciting area for the children at the Before and After School Club. Younger children will also be able to access the area at certain times during the day. The builders are also working on the ramp alongside the newly developed building which will eventually become a pathway to the single storey arched building (to be called Marion’s Den in Memory of Janet’s Mother who used to work in the building when it was owned by a cellophane manufacturer many years ago)
Kerry attended an update on Safeguarding Level 3 training and some of the apprentices undertook Safeguarding training Level 1.
As Easter, and the concept of new life was approaching, we had visits from very young chicks, rabbits and guinea pigs. We also had some caterpillars and discovered how they eventually become beautiful butterflies, and we went to the forest to find tadpoles.

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Wise Owls learned about the local custom of walking up to Rivington Pike on Good Friday and children in other rooms took part in Easter egg hunts, made Easter cakes and pursued other Easter customs.
Staff were given new, more robust identification badges which are clearer and help parents to recognise their names.

Employee of the month April 2019

Miss Tori
For going above and beyond what is expected and showing dedication in her role as a Key Person.

Other Nominations for April 2019
Miss Chloe (Butterflies) Always meeting the children’s needs
Miss Courtney – For working extra to support the room
Miss Hannah G – For continued support to others
Miss Chloe (Wise Owls) Being diligent in her role.
Miss Danielle (Ducklings) Supporting others
Miss Toni- Putting other needs first
The Wise Owl team for supporting Miss Lauren T
Miss Jodie –A successful first observation
Miss Deena – Passing her Level 3
Miss Sophie – Working extra to support colleagues
Miss Emma J/ Miss Vicky – working together to solve a challenge.

This month we took delivery of some new equipment for outdoors- a lovely story-telling chair, small tables and stool sets, an outdoor wooden xylophone and a mud kitchen. The children love them!

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On World Book Day the children dressed up as their favourite characters & some of our parents and grandparents came into nursery to read stories! Wise Owls were also visited by some of the Year 3 children from Horwich Parish school & their teacher to read together.

As part of our Mothers’ Day activities Mummies or Grandmas of our Busy Bees and Wise Owls were invited to Nursery for afternoon tea. We used real china teacups and saucers and had a selection of sandwiches, cakes and jam and cream scones. All the cakes were very kindly homemade by Emma J’s mum & were delicious – thanks Kath!

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On World Book Day the children dressed up as their favourite characters & some of our parents and grandparents came into nursery to read stories! Wise Owls were also visited by some of the Year 3 children from Horwich Parish school & their teacher to read together.

As part of our Mothers’ Day activities Mummies or Grandmas of our Busy Bees and Wise Owls were invited to Nursery for afternoon tea. We used real china teacups and saucers and had a selection of sandwiches, cakes and jam and cream scones. All the cakes were very kindly homemade by Emma J’s mum & were delicious – thanks Kath!

The staff went on their ‘Christmas Night out’ (this always occurs in the spring!) to a Comedy Night at the Hawthorns in Blackrod.

Miss Laura and Miss Emma J. attended a training course for ‘Letters and Sounds and Miss Sophie went on ASQ training.

Forest School sessions continued to take place and the children learnt how to follow a simple map. They also had a camp fire and roasted marshmallows.

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During ‘Healthy Body Happy Me’ week, the children were involved in lots of different activities, such as fruit tasting, making fruit kebabs, learning about oral hygiene & Wise Owls had a visit from a dentist.

The builders worked very hard during the month of March to make sure the Before and After School Club would be ready to take children from 1st April. Julie, Toni, Dawn and Hannah G worked over the weekend to create an amazing environment for the children. We are thrilled with the result – the suite of rooms is stunning! See our face book page for photos.

The builders also started to re-claim more car parking space. This work is ongoing but will eventually make parking a little easier for all parents.

The 31st of March at 6pm was a very momentous time for Janet and for longstanding staff. This was the last time children would use the old Croft House Nursery building.
From 1st April all children will be in the new Croft House Building and from now on it will be called Croft House Nursery (rather than Croft House Nursery 2). As many people know, the old building is soon to be renovated so that Janet and her husband Philip can move back and use it as a house again.

Employee of the month:

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Miss Hannah G - for being conscientious and putting nursery’s needs first.

Other Nominations:
Miss Sophie - being positive role model
Miss Annalise - being supportive
Miss Emma J – taking on additional responsibilities

Once again, this month, quite a few members of staff have accessed training sessions:

Miss Sarah C.: Phase One Letters and Sounds
Miss Lucy and Miss Jodie: Safeguarding Level 1
Miss Laura and Miss Deena: Maths in the Early Years
Miss Lauren: Wellcomm Speech and Language toolkit

Janet and Miss Laura attended the Nursery World Conference in London, Laura attended a Masterclass on Playing and Creating in a digital world and a seminar on outdoors provision. Janet attended seminars on Musical development and Curriculum planning.

Several staff updated their Paediatric First Aid certificate – this is a legal requirement of all level 3 Educators.

Forest School sessions continued with, amongst other things, a focus on Pirates, use of tools, looking for frogs and frogs spawn and a search for Allan the Alligator who frightened all his friends with his false teeth.

We celebrated Chinese New Year with Chinese food for lunch. Wise Owls created their own dragon and did a dance with the dragon. Other rooms enjoyed craft activities relating to the celebrations. We also got involved in Valentine’s Day activities, making cards, threading hearts, and making heart biscuits

A meeting was held to discuss how to update and improve our website.

We took delivery of some new equipment, including some furniture for Wise Owls, a den for Butterflies and beautiful, large sea creatures and an alligator for everyone to enjoy.

We changed some items in the HUB to reflect the fact that spring is on its way.

Staff from a nearby Nursery School came to join us on a Forest Walk with some of our older Ducklings. They wanted to gain some inspiration to help them set up a Forest area for babies at their setting.

Miss Laura visited Lostock Primary School to observe how they organise ‘continuous provision’ in their Reception class. This gives the children the opportunity to be independent learners and to enhance their interests.

Employee of the month February 2019:


Miss Chloe W – for her enthusiasm & for taking on extra responsibilities