Welcome to your Boys & Girls Nursery annual review. What a fantastic and exciting year 2016 has been with lots of new ideas, initiatives and talented individuals who have joined our growing team.
It wouldn’t have been such a wonderful year without your parental involvement and support, so a big thank you. The children have thoroughly enjoyed the surprise ‘Mystery Reader’ visits and also the interactive ‘Learning Together’ sessions. We really hope that you have benefitted from spending special time with your child and gained insight into our varied daily activities. We have further developed relationships with experts and we hope you have found our blogs of interest covering a host of topics. We now have an array of activity sheets that we add to on a monthly basis, the latest are in nursery for you to pick up and take home, there are some fantastic suggestions that are great for a rainy day at home, these can also be found on our Pinterest page.
As well as providing frequent cooking, language and music classes which the children enjoy, we have now partnered with Challenge Sports Education who visit our nurseries on a weekly basis and run a number of engaging physical activities. We also continue with our special sports sessions with an expert fitness instructor and our much loved Rugbytots.
Our incredible team ensures that our nurseries continue to thrive, they are always supportive, creative and exceptionally caring and go the extra mile to provide a stimulating and nurturing environment for each and every child.
Here at Boys & Girls Nursery we like to help our local community and also participate in fundraising for key national charities, we really do appreciate all your donations throughout the year. I would also like to thank our team who participated in the Tough Mudder, which although physically demanding saw us raise a significant amount of money for Watford Children’s Emergency Department, a fantastic cause.
Finally, I would like to wish you and your family a very happy and healthy new year and look forward to seeing you in 2017.
A Note From Kelly, Area Manager:
It’s certainly been a fun packed year full of exciting developments, all of our nurseries have worked extremely hard to ensure they are providing the best environment for their children.
As Area Manager I love to go into the nurseries and see first-hand the wonderful activities taking place on a daily basis. I have been working closely with our management team, helping to support Elena in her new role and Tanya whilst she stepped up as Manager when Denise was on Maternity Leave. We also welcomed back Nicola who has settled into Watford with her son and is showing what a great manager she is. It was great helping Rickmansworth gain their Gold Early Years Quality Standard Award which was an extremely proud moment for all.
Our frequent strategy days ensure that we are continually questioning, developing and improving our approach. Recently we implemented our new planning system, where the team are encouraged to make suggestions, share ideas and ensure each child reaches their full potential.
I have thoroughly enjoyed working together with our local authority advisor implementing positive changes to our nurseries and look forward to continuing this close relationship in the year ahead. 2017 is going to be superb and I am excited to be working with a strong management team where we can continue to build upon our current best practice and further develop our outdoor areas for everyone to enjoy!
I have loved getting to know my new and wonderful team after returning from maternity leave and settling Lochlan into the Baby Room. There have been so many exciting changes in the nursery, so 2017 really does promise to be a great year. With Elena moving across to manage Croxley Green, Harriett was promoted to Administrator and Deputy Manager; with her wealth of knowledge and experience she will be a fantastic support in the office. We do recognise hard work and would like to congratulate Gemma who is now Room Leader in Pre-School and Abbie who heads up the Baby Room. Jade, Leanne and Erica have also been promoted to senior members. I am thrilled to be part of a supportive team and look forward to continued strong relationships with our parents and welcoming lots of new families!
I am thrilled to be Manager at Croxley Green, the whole team are all so hard-working and
extremely helpful individuals. For the best part of the year, Karina who left to go travelling
headed up our
nursery making it a wonderful place to work and a great environment for all of our children to play and develop. We congratulated Daniella, Liam and Kirsty who have been promoted to Room Leaders and Emily who is now a senior member of Toddlers. Also well done to Nicky who is proving to be a fantastic Deputy Manager and a great support. We continually improve our setting and this year is no exception, we have developed our quiet areas in both the Babies and Toddler Room. Furthermore, the team have all mucked in to create a superb space in the garden where the children can grow their own plants, fruit and vegetables. 2016 was indeed a good year and I know that 2017 promises to be as exciting.
We were so excited to receive our Gold Early Years Quality Standard Award, a remarkable achievement which highlights the team effort and hardworking approach we have here at Rickmansworth. We have made some wonderful adjustments to our outdoor area for our Babies who are benefitting from our new garden time. Our team in Pre-Toddlers have been developing their approach to transitions ensuring the children move on in a cheerful and confident manner. If you take a look at our Toddler Room you will notice our wonderful investigation area, a permanent feature in the room promoting a culture of fun learning. Whilst our Pre-School team have been conscientiously working with the children’s interests and nurturing their passion. A special mention to Toni, Lara and Katrina who were promoted to Room Leaders and Natalie who after returning from maternity leave now supports me as Deputy Manager. I am looking forward to 2017, working together with the team and parents to create a happy learning environment for all of our children.
It was fantastic returning to Stanmore after enjoying time with my little girl whilst on maternity leave. Tanya has been truly wonderful whilst I was away stepping up as Manager and now continues to do a great job as our Deputy. We continually reflect as a team and always strive to improve and make appropriate developments. One key strategic change has been in the Pre-Toddler Room where we now have two separate areas, one that supports children coming from the Baby Room and the other preparing them for Toddler life – this alteration in room layout has been magnificent and benefitted all Pre-Toddlers. We have introduced even more exciting experiments in our Pre-School Room, with many wonderful science activities encouraging exploration and questioning. Congratulations to Rachael and Chloe who have both enjoyed promotions for their hard work.
The fun and celebrations continued in January as Stanmore celebrated its 6th birthday, everyone had a wonderful afternoon with lots of tasty food and superb entertainment. All our Pre-Schoolers loved our extra special fitness class with our local expert instructor, it was a fun filled session with lots of jumping, running and some very tough obstacles. There were some rather wonderful Winnie the Pooh displays to celebrate and honour A.A. Milne, the children especially loved cuddling the big teddies.
February started with honouring ‘Hedgehog Day’, Jean from the RSPCA came to talk to the children about these wonderful animals, what they like to eat and how to build a home for them in your garden to stay safe over the winter months. The children enjoyed a surprise visit from Tinkerbell who told an enchanting fairy-tale and to see the smiles on their faces as family members read to them during National Storytelling Week was truly magical. Stunning festivities took place for Chinese New Year, the nurseries were full of colour but we think the children loved Pancake Day the most!
With St David’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and Holi all celebrated in true Boys & Girls Nursery style the festivities continued throughout the month with brilliant displays and special sessions. Mums were invited to a wonderful ‘Stay and Play Session’ and a surprise video which the children enjoyed creating made this Mother’s Day extra special. David Boyle, a famous children’s author popped in and read to the children for World Book Day, the team and children dressed up as their favourite characters and everyone looked fantastic. We do love participating in charitable events and especially Sports Relief, thank you to everyone who donated, we think the children did superbly well trying to complete our outdoor obstacle course. The nurseries turned into little laboratories for the week as our Pre-Schoolers took part in lots of exciting experiments for British Science Week, we have some budding scientists in the making. It was a busy month and we finished it with a colourful Easter Bonnet Parade.
One of our lovely mum’s who is also a local nurse came to talk to the Pre-Schoolers, she ran a fun session teaching them what foods are healthy and what to avoid, the children certainly learned a lot on World Health Day. We ran a fantastic inter-nursery junk modelling competition which was judged by Veolia and Rickmansworth were named the winner! Veolia also took time out of their busy schedules to tell the children all about how to recycle and look after the environment. We thought the dragons that the children painted for St George’s Day looked excellent and were very life like, there were also some wonderful knights dressed up in shining armour. We think the Queen would have certainly asked them to protect her for her 90th birthday celebrations and in honour of her special day we held a royal tea party. We sent her a Boys & Girls Birthday greeting and were very pleased to receive a thank you letter back from Her Majesty!
With the sun finally shining and the weather warming up we were thrilled to sponsor the baskets outside Croxley Green Station, we went along to help ‘Croxley4Flowers’ plant the stunning pink and blue buds that blossomed throughout the summer months and were enjoyed by commuters. The nurseries were alive with creepy crawlies as our Pre-Schoolers held a variety of little creatures when Zoolab came to visit, they liked feeling the slithery snakes the most.
The team worked together managing to complete the Tough Mudder, it was an incredible achievement to complete a 10K run with the most gruelling of obstacles and challenges. It certainly was difficult but we proudly raised over £4,000 for Watford Children’s Hospital A&E Department, an amazing achievement by everyone. Shortly after the Euros kicked off, the children drew flags to support their favourite country, we saw lots of activities using balls. They loved their special Footiebugs Session where lots of goals were scored. Then came the surprise for Father’s Day, a great video from the children who spent time making their individual cards to show them. The month ended with a real buzz when Bee Keeper, Debbie Rosario from West Herts Bee Keeping Association came in for National Insect Week, the Pre-Schoolers found the morning really interesting and enjoyed dressing up as Bee Keepers.
We do adore singing, dancing and making music and July was no exception, we transformed our nurseries into a big festival – there were tents, daisy chains, a music stage and lots of tie-dye. Everyone had so much fun putting on their colourful festival clothes and especially playing around in the mud. It was show time and another fantastic inter-nursery competition, who could produce the most creative flower display and one that would equal ‘The Royal Hampton Court Flower Show’. Amie Bone, a well-known local florist judged and Croxley Green was crowned the winner. There were some rather large cats prowling around as the children loved pretending to be Tigers for ‘International Tiger Day’.
With the summer holidays in full swing our nurseries decided to bring the beach to the children, there was sand, buckets and spades galore. The best part was constructing amazing sandcastles and our lovely Facebook community picked the winning entry, Watford enjoyed an afternoon of sunshine and ice-lollies as a little prize. The Olympics were magnificent, huge congratulations TeamGB for an astounding performance coming a magnificent second in the medals table. Boys & Girls Nursery never like to miss an international event, so our little ones took part in numerous games and sporting activities, making their own medals and showing us their skills, we might have some future Olympians!
We had a month of activities to raise money for Watford Mencap and their local children’s centre, many thanks for all the donations we raised £1,565. There were many cakes baked by the children and they tasted incredible, it was lots of hard work, but a fantastic effort by everyone. After training really hard the children participated in a Teddy Toddle, taking their bears on a sponsored walk, it was really fun and some of the team even dressed up. The energetic activities continued with a Rugbytots session, key ball skills were taught and everyone managed to try! We like to hear about all the major festivals and our Pre-Schoolers found their morning session learning about Eid thoroughly fascinating. The month ended with a wonderful ‘Stay and Play’ session just for Grandparents, it was great to see them spend quality time together and it was a lovely way to honour ‘Grandparents Day’.
We welcomed the Jewish New Year with a ‘Rosh Hashanah’ session held by David Pollak, a member of a local synagogue who brought along his guitar and sung to the children. The nurseries were awash with colours and bright firework paintings for Diwali, they loved their henna hands and finding out about this joyous festival. There were some wonderful pumpkin carvings for Halloween and lots of great number activities for World Maths Day. Rickmansworth turned 2 and celebrated in style. However, it was Mad Hatter day that caused real excitement. The nurseries competed to see whose hat was wackiest. Mumsnet judged and hats off to Croxley Green who won a magical tea party in their own wonderland.
The skies were illuminated with beautiful fireworks as people across England enjoyed Guy Fawkes Night. We celebrated the Prince of Wales birthday making cards and baking delicious cakes. It also happened to be Croxley Green’s 4th birthday as well! The Pre-Schoolers spent a morning jumping around and developing their gross motor skills with our fitness session, the team just about kept up with the little ones! It was ‘Children in Need’, a charity we love to support and this year we held a special raffle and ran a number of other exciting fundraising activities. It was a great day, again many thanks to those that donated we raised a fantastic £1018.24.
The seasonal festivities started in early December, there were fabulous decorations, cards and great parties. They danced, listened to music and enjoyed lots of really tasty food. Donuts were eaten for Hanukah and cakes for Christmas. Various prizes were presented at our Team Christmas Party to show appreciation for exceptional talent and hard work. Watford celebrated their 9th birthday. We saw some fabulous Christmas Jumpers to raise money for Save the Children. A really wonderful way to end what has been a fun packed year with of lots of events, activities and special guests. Here’s to a happy new year full of excitement and many wonderful surprises ahead.
This year has been extremely exciting with lots of fantastic news from all of our nurseries. We are proud of our strong team with their amazing energy and careful planning. They all bring their unique talents and support each other to form a great atmosphere.
There have been a number of well-deserved promotions, a group of talented individuals who have stepped up with enthusiasm and determination. We sadly said goodbye to a few key members wishing them well in their new lives further afield and warmly welcomed both new staff to the team and those returning from their maternity leave.
Our Awards were presented at our annual Christmas party, everyone has worked extremely hard, however the parents, nursery teams and managers have chosen their winners , well done to the following individuals who went the extra mile:
Team Player of the Year— Liam
Runner Up— Elena
Third Place— Kirsty
GEM Award Winner— Andrea
Managers Choice Award— Nicky
Team Player of the Year— Abbie
Runner Up— Toni
Third Place— Bryony
GEM Award Winner— Lara
Managers Choice Award— Kat
Team Player of the Year— Denise
Runner Up— Louise
Third Place— Georgia
GEM Award Winner— Krutika
Managers Choice Award— Michelle
Team Player of the Year— Harriett
Runner Up— Nicola
Third Place— Abbie
GEM Award Winner— Julie
Managers Choice Award— Lauren
Our nurseries have enjoyed a year full of exciting events and activities. We have welcomed a number of special guests including an author, nurse and sleep expert. The children have participated in a number of fun competitions and charitable fundraising activities. They loved meeting a number of creepy crawlies with our Zoolab visit and their favourite was taking care of the chicks as part of their incubation project
We have introduced a new induction programme for our new staff, a full day of training at our Head Office where we cover in detail all of our policies and procedures. It provides an opportunity to meet other new staff who are based at our different nurseries, where they can share ideas and discuss issues and provides them with all the knowledge they need ready for nursery life.
After a detailed review our deputy mangers like our managers will not be allocated to a specific room, therefore enabling them to gain a better understanding of the whole nursery and provide greater support to the manager. It is a very exciting change that will ensure our high standards are maintained.
The manager and team rep meetings continue to be a vital feedback mechanism ensuring that our nurseries re-evaluate themselves and make continual improvements.
30 Hour Childcare Offer:
The government has continued their role out of the 30 hour free childcare scheme, providing an additional 15 free hours to working parents of three and four year olds.
Early Years Educator Numeracy and Literacy Requirements:
The Department of Education is currently assessing the numeracy and literacy qualifications needed by Level 3 early years’ educators. This review will gain a better understanding into appropriate skills and knowledge required to work in an early years setting.
Tax-Free Childcare Scheme Launches in 2017:
Tax-Free Childcare is a new government scheme starting in early 2017 to help working parents with the cost of childcare. Parents who qualify will be able to open an online account, which they can use to pay for childcare from a registered provider. The scheme will be available for children up to the age of 12, or 17 for children with disabilities. For every 80p that is paid into the account, the government will top up with an extra 20p. There is a wealth of information online for you to peruse and see if you qualify.
From next April Ofsted will be bringing their early years and regulatory work in-house. Currently, early years’ inspections are carried out by Tribal and Prospects on behalf of Ofsted. As of next spring Ofsted will have full control over the selection, training and management of inspectors and complete oversight of the quality of inspection. This will bring early years’ inspections in line with schools and further education and skills, with Ofsted directly managing all inspections.
The benefits of nursery
Choosing the right childcare is one of the biggest decisions parents will face when returning to work and deciding what is best for your child is a task that requires a lot of thought, time and research. With many options available and with the feelings associated with leaving your child in the care of others, it can feel like a leap into the unknown. In our blog we highlight the key benefits of attending a nursery: http://bit.ly/2aNMq0X
Puzzling it out - why it is so important for Pre-School children to play with puzzles
Puzzles are a great way to spend time with your child having fun together or just observing from afar and watching them slowly solve it piece by piece. One of the most satisfying feelings as a parent is seeing the excitement on your child’s face when they complete a puzzle. We explain why it is so important: http://bit.ly/20ax61C
A day in the life of a nursery nurse
A fantastic blog explaining what goes on behind the scenes, here is a taster:- After arriving at nursery at 7am one of the first things I do is set up the room with fun activities for the little ones to explore throughout the day. The children and I really love messy play – clearing the mess away at the end is the bit I don’t enjoy as much. To read more: http://bit.ly/2gxx1Ef
Moving home – tips on minimising stress in young children by Dr Natalie Flatter, clinical psychologist
Young children generally thrive on routine and familiarity so moving home can be stressful. Some children love the excitement, adventure and a fresh start. Usually, unless a family are making frequent moves over long distances, children are resilient and cope well. One of the main problems with moving is that it is extremely stressful for parents, which can impact on young children. They can also feel like they are losing precious attention. If parents can find ways to manage and cope with their own stress then this will have a positive impact on the children. Dr Flatter provides some useful tips to ensure that any stress is reduced: http://bit.ly/1pxWKgK
Making science magical for Pre-Schoolers
Pre-school age is the perfect time to encourage scientific thought, observation and experimentation. Little ones are so curious about the world, they are like sponges absorbing and noticing everything in their environment, constantly searching for answers to the questions that they ask on a daily basis and hence make the perfect mini scientists. This wonderful blog, lists some brilliant science experiments: http://bit.ly/1UaUwQs