Bourne Valley Nursery Group
Odstock Nursery School Newsletter

Odstock News Autumn 2018

Dear Parents,

Welcome back to the Autumn Term. I would also like to extend our warmest welcome to our new families joining us this term; we are very much looking forward to getting to know you all.

What a busy summer term we had!! With events most weeks it was all go go go as the children prepared for their transitions to school and we enjoyed one of the hottest summers on record. A lot of water play was had and many events and trips.

Here are a few pictures of some of the action that happened

In July some of the preschool children were the test audience to a new show coming to the Salisbury Playhouse this summer performed by the youth theatre. They had lots of fun in their interactive session working with the young artists at the Playhouse.

Leavers Trip to Stonehenge

We had almost 60 children and families join in for our trip to Stonehenge where the children enjoyed the 360 screen, museum, ancient houses, trip on the bus, yoga at the stones and modelling in the education centre. Thanks to all who came and made for a truly memorable day.


Mud Day…

Sports Day…

Summer Family social

Many thanks to all those who came and celebrated our summer social, lots of fun was had by the children and adults across all of the activities including the equipment brought along by one of our parents Karmon Hall who in her new company Toddle Box rents packages of early years equipment, dressing up and construction toys for parties and events. For more information you can look them up on Facebook@toddleboxsalisbury.

New parents’ Group

One of our parents Naomi is setting up a new parents group for those of you living in Charlton All Saints, Bodenham, Britford, Nunton and Odstock. Naomi sent the following for your information. “I’ve found it invaluable having a couple of parents within walking distance that I can call on if I just need to get out of the house, who can meet me at the park in 10minutes, or come over and chat to me whilst I’m doing my washing up or hanging up the laundry... and I just really love this kind of community that lightens the load at a tiring and potentially lonely time of our lives!”

So the WhatsApp group is for parents who live near to one another and it’s there just so that we can build a real community: have fun together, hanging out with or without kids (park or pub or wherever!) be there for each other when we’re in need (need a shoulder to cry on or a cup of sugar - whatever it is!).

Text me, Naomi Martin, 07713031774 if you want to join. No pressure - you can be part of the group and not contribute a lot!


As the weather changes to be cold, windy and rainy could I remind all parents to bring in wellington boots and warm water proof coats and trousers, hats and gloves. Please make sure they are named as it is impossible for us to know who owns which item and our lost property box is getting full. Please do check it from time to time to reclaim any misplaced items. We do go out in all weathers!

Toys from home

Can we please remind all parents that toys from home are NOT PERMITTED. Recently children have slowly been reviving the trend to bring toys in from home, however they cause arguments, distract from our learning outcomes and risk being lost or broken please encourage your children to leave toys in the car, comforters are of course still welcomed. Thank you for your help on this matter.


The staff home links will update you all on the news from each of the rooms staffing movements, promotions and current projects, however I would like to make a special mention to a few in this main newsletter:

Firstly I would like to congratulate Melissa who has taken a promotion to Assistant Manager and who has recently announced the birth of her first baby who will be due on 1st April 2019 (not an April Fools joke!)

Melissa’s promotion comes as I (Natalie) take on a new post for 1 day a week to develop the training and enhanced induction practices for all of the staff at the Bourne Valley Group. I will now be offsite on a Monday and Melissa will be managing in my absence.

With this Emma from preschool will be stepping up as Assistant Room Leader to cover Melissa. Congratulations to you both in your new roles and to Melissa for her amazing news about the baby!

Jess Team Leader from babies is also taking on more management responsibility and running the nursery on a Wednesday PM.

Positive developments within nursery

After the success last term of developing the new woodland garden this term our efforts are drawn to the sandpit in the main garden which we are going to be redeveloping with the help of our friend and esteemed artist Ian Freemantle. Ian is the sculpture of the Larmer Tree in the rear garden and he has been working over the summer on a new piece for our nursery which is called the dormouse house. The children will be working with Ian and the team in designing, building and installing the new apparatus. The main wood being used is rhododendron which is normally seen as a waste wood, but in the beautiful sanded sections creates an inviting twisted framework for exploration and lends itself to working with the sand as it will create a natural sieve effect around all of the boundaries.

Training Courses

Here are some of the courses that the team have taken part in during the Summer Term.

Fire safety practical – Natalie and Melissa

Online Safeguarding Certificate – Amy, Beth, Lauren Fire Awareness Training – Amy, Beth, Lauren Food Hygiene – Amy, Beth, Lauren

2 day early years theorists induction Amy, Beth, Lauren

Level 3 sign up’s – Les, Sophie and Amy

Level 2 in Children’s Mental Health – Beth, Emma, Jodie and Natalie

Speech and Language Training x 2 – Zoe

Safeguarding forum – Melissa

Garden Training – Amy, Agnes, Beth, Lauren

ACE’s Training (trauma in early childhood) - Natalie, Melissa, Jess, Megan, Lauren, Jodie.

Cystic fibrosis awareness – Tracey, Melissa, Emma, Les, Keith

Rituals and senses – All staff at staff meeting

Culture training – all staff at staff meeting

Safeguarding full day – Emma and Beth

Planned training coming up: Emma, Jodie, Megan and Jess – Team Leader CPD session in October and Safeguarding conference for Megan in November in London.

Other professional development

Natalie and Gaenor were asked to be key note speakers at Ofsted’s SW Regional conference day in September and spoke on our nurseries approach to respectful interactions with children in our settings. (It was a bit nerve wracking, but we were met with a lot of interest and praise from our regulators which was really lovely.)

Odstock nursery has also had several professional visits, this is when people ask to come and find out more about our practices or are sent from the local authority to come and see what we do. Last term we welcomed other professionals from 4 nurseries (3 from Wiltshire and 1 from Dorset,) and 1 special educational needs school. Natalie was also invited to give a lecture at Bournemouth and Poole College in Dorset on the teaching ethos at Odstock Nursery to the students and lecturers, which she did earlier in the term.

Nursery Uniform

We do have a children’s uniform available for you to purchase. Please come to the office if you would like to order some.

Polo Shirt £8.00
Sweatshirt £10.00

Baby room home links

Welcome to our autumn home links, we hope you have all had a wonderful summer holiday whether you went away or just spent time together as a family and are all ready to start the new term. The baby room have enjoyed the sunshine and welcoming new friends ready for the autumn term, with this however we have had to say goodbye to some of our older friends and wish them luck as they start their new adventures in the toddler room.

Staff updates

For those of you who are not yet aware Charlotte will be reducing her days down to four days a week due to family circumstances so will not be working Thursdays this Term. Lauren will be co key working her children and will be working closely with Charlotte to ensure as little disturbance to the children as possible.

Our main focus projects in the baby room are Literacy, Creative art, Sensory exploration, Outdoors area and Documentation. Below is a brief description of what we have been up to and what we will be working on this term.

Literacy – Jodie

We are continuing our babbling babies sessions which we all very much enjoy and is helping us to develop our words and sounds as well as maintaining our focus. We would like to introduce you all to our book tree, this is where the children can choose a book from the tree to share a 1:1 time with their keyworker. We would love to know some of your favourites so that our tree can grow, you can help with this by writing your favourite on the clipboard that is in the story basket on the side. As we are coming into the new term the book bag will be changing to “the gingerbread man” – please let us know if you would like to take the story bag home to enjoy as a family.

Creative art – Charlotte

During this term we have been busy getting creative. We have updated our "Making our Mark" art display, which is situated by the fridge. The children all worked together using paint to make their mark. We are currently looking to update our art board as we move into the Autumn term. Part of our goal this term was to make arts and crafts more accessible to the children outside in the garden. We have been busy creating our new area which is now complete. It has been wonderful to watch the children use this area to create their work of art. We are looking forward to creating news ways in which we can be creative together as we move into the new term.

Sensory exploration – Sophie

Over the autumn term the children will be exploring sensory activities to encourage their development and next steps. They will have the opportunity to explore the world around them as the seasons change. These activities will vary and intend to be messy, engaging, fun and supporting the children’s choices. We look forward to sharing these experiences with you throughout the term.

Outdoors area – Lauren

In the garden we are gathering lots of loose parts equipment for the children to explore and manipulate for water play, Jodie and I have been doing lots of research and have some new and exciting ideas so watch this space! We would also like to expand our outdoor kitchen area so we would like to ask our parents if they have any old pots and pans, metal serving spoons or sieves that you are willing to donate to us, thank you in advance.

Documentation - Jess

Throughout our focus projects we have been working on observing how the children explore through play and have been documenting it for you all to see. You can view these documentation folders at any time and will find them displayed on the unit as you enter the baby room. Last term we explored clay everyday and watched how the children worked and manipulated the material using their senses and how they reflect back at their own work, we hope to have our clay project completed for you all to view in the upcoming months. This term we will be focusing on how the children use loose parts and move objects around for their own purpose. Lauren will be working closely with me as she develops the outdoor loose parts area.

Family pictures

For those of you who do not know yet we enjoy sharing some of our family pictures with each other so if you would like to email across any pictures of people who are special to you child which can include pets, grandparents and friends then we can print them off and add them to our family basket, don’t forget to include names!


We hope you all enjoy seeing your child’s development through our tapestry observations and we all enjoy reading your comments as they progress through their learning journey. Don’t forget that you can also upload your own pictures to tapestry so that we can see how they are developing at home and also seeing the fun things you all get up to as a family. These will be submitted to your child’s journal for you to look back on alongside their nursey life.

Thank you

Jess, Jodie, Charlotte, Sophie and Lauren

Preschool Home Links

Dear parents,

Welcome back to everyone who has had the summer off. I hope you have all had a lovely summer and enjoyed lots of time with your family and friends. I would like to welcome all of our new families who have joined Odstock as well as welcoming all our new children who have joined us from the Toddler Room.

This letter will set our key information about Preschool and any information you may need to know.

Staffing Update


As you may be aware I am currently the Preschool Room Leader as well as Deputy Manager of the Nursery. Over the summer my job role has changed slightly and I have taken on more responsibility of the management side and stepped up to be Assistant Manager. With this new role I will be spending two and a half days a week managing (Monday, Wednesdays and Tuesday afternoons) and the other two and a half days in Preschool (Tuesday morning, Thursday and Friday).

This role will only be in place for a short while however, as I am really pleased to share with you that I am expecting a baby that is due on 1st April 2019! I will be aiming to start my maternity leave at the beginning of March, but I will keep you informed of any changes to that as the pregnancy progresses.


As Melissa as now taken on more responsibility of management, Emma is now stepping up to Assistant Room Leader to take a lead on the days that I am not in Preschool. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Emma on her promotion and know she will be fantastic in her new role.


Les has started her NVQ 3 training in Childcare and will be attending classroom sessions on a Monday evening from 4pm – 7pm to enable her to complete the qualification. Les will continue to work in Preschool as a Key Worker for her usual 40 hours.


Keith continues to work in Preschool as a Key Worker. Keith’s shift pattern remains the same working Monday to Thursday with Friday’s off to look after his son. Keith is really enjoying developing the garden and has lots of exciting activities lined up over the next term, including designing a new sandpit area in the main garden.


Tracey also continues to work in Preschool on a part time basis. Tracey works Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Tracey has been developing her photography skills lately and you may see many of the photos she has taken around the Nursery for the children to see. Below I have included a few of the pictures that Tracey has taken whilst she has been out and about. Each room will soon have a display of Tracey’s photography that she has taken of our local community and wildlife.

Role Play

As we have now come into the new term we our changing our role play area from our school area to a vets and pet shop. The children who have been with us throughout the summer have shown a keen interest in animals and helping to look after them. Therefore we are continuing this interest and adding to their role play area so they can continue to be creative and imaginative. If you have any items that you would like to donate to enhance this area then that would be great. Also if any families would like to help look after our two guinea pigs Rosie and Jemima we would welcome your support. You can come to nursery to feed them or take them home.

Help from parents

Please could all parents provide their child with a named water bottle that needs be taken home at the end of each day
All of your children also have a named book bag for borrowing books from our ‘borrowing library’. Please make sure that you are using your book bags and enjoy our stories (all of this is good preparation for school).
Please could you label all of your children’s’ clothes. It is very hard to keep track of all items. We have lots of lost property so if you are missing anything then please check the lost property box in the Preschool boot room or ask a member of staff.
Please can all parents take all belongings home at the end of each day. Our numbers are increasing and we do not have the peg space for items to be left as all pegs will be needed the following day
During the warmer weather please ensure that your child comes into Preschool with sun cream on. We will reapply throughout the day. Also please ensure your child has a named sunhat with them.
During the colder months (and wet weather) please ensure your child has adequate clothing which includes a waterproof coat, trousers and wellies. We do go out in all weathers.
All children will be provided with an art folder. This will allow children to safely store their art work that they have competed each day. Please check your child’s art folder at the end of each day and take home any items that may be in there. This is located in the boot room.
A Trip to the Playhouse and Upcoming Events

Over the summer a few of the children visited Salisbury Playhouse to see part of a show that is being put together by Anna Harriot from Tall Tree Theatre and a group of students. This was a great opportunity for our children to experience a new environment and interact with a new age group. Anna has worked with us before bringing us Shackleton’s Adventures last year which the children and adults both enjoyed. In October Anna will be bringing us her new show Lily and the Baby Bird which we are looking forward to seeing. More details will be available nearer the time. We hope that you will be able to join us to see the show come together and enjoy spending time with your child in the Nursery. See the dates sheet for more info.

Towards the end of the term we will start practising for our Nativity. This year we will be doing “Humph the Camel”. This will include the children singing songs and making their own costumes. Again more details of this will be available nearer the time.


All children will receive observations and these will enable you to track your child’s development. Parents and relatives are also able to add their own observations. This is a great way of seeing what your children have achieved whilst they are not with us. We love to share your holiday snaps and adventures you have been up to.

Signing In and Out

Please can all parents remember to use the register and sign their child in and out on a daily basis this is our fire register and it is vital that we have an accurate log of who is in and out of the setting.

Many Thanks

Melissa and the Preschool Team

Toddlers Home Links

Dear Parents,

Welcome to everyone who is joining us after having the summer off, hope you all have had a wonderful and relaxing summer.

A huge welcome to our new families who have joined us over the recent months and the new toddlers who have made the transition from the baby room.

Staffing and Key workers


As of September I will be working four full days 7:30-6 and having Wednesdays off to complete my third year of my foundation degree in early year’s services.


A big congratulations to Beth who has completed her probation and continues to work as the Toddler Room Deputy Leader taking on more responsibility within the room and to continue to develop the role play corner and art corner, which are extensions of the children’s interest.


Zoe since returning from maternity leave in May, has been developing her knowledge and taking on the SENCO role at nursery, working across the rooms. Zoe continues to support Megan and Beth as the Team leader support and is coming in to support the room on Wednesday’s when Megan is at university.


Continues to build on the literacy area within the toddler room engaging in Toddler Talk activities and taking on the role of changing stories as the children’s interest changes.


Amy has made the transition from the preschool room to the toddler room and has taken on her new key group since September after being off for the summer as she works during term time. Amy continues to develop and maintain the garden and has many exciting plans for the woodland garden!

What we have been up to

Role play

Over the summer the toddlers have showed us a high interest in safari animals and many children have shared with us stories when they have visited zoos and what animals they have seen. Beth has designed a Toddler room “Safari” and we have been learning about the different animals, their habitats, foods and finding out lots of facts about them. The children have been explorers by using the binoculars to see if we can spot any of these animals in our “safari jeep!”

Moving forward

As welcome new children to the group our role play area will be turned back into the house / home set up which helps children to role play the experiences that they know and are important to them in their homes. They will be cooking, looking after our babies and making the beds along with lots of other homely style play as they settle into their new environment.

Developing Literacy

As part of developing the literacy in the toddler room, we have been very much enjoying our new CD player and engaging in stories whilst listening to story CD’s. The toddlers have loved being able to listen and follow these stories and a firm few favourites are “A tiger came to tea” and “The snail and the whale!”

Help us to help you

As our numbers grow in the toddler room keeping track on individual’s belongings can become tricky so the following guidance is much appreciated:
Naming all children’s clothing, hats, waterproofs, shoes and welly boots.
Providing extra clothes (around 4 different sets especially when toilet training!)
On sunny days please can you apply sun cream to your child before attending nursery and let us know on drop off if they have sun cream on. We will reapply during the day.
If your child is in nappies, we accept bulk supplies of nappies as the children have their own individual nappy boxes and we advise you provide personal nappy creams(labelled) so that this can be applied if required.
As the weather conditions change and autumn brings the wind and the rain, please make sure your child has a warm, waterproof coat and waterproof trousers, we have some spares, but not enough to go around. We do go outside in all weathers.
A kind reminder that toys are not permitted, please do not bring these into nursery, it causes us many issues with squabbles, things being lost and other children wanting to use the items which can cause children to become over protective of their possessions. Comforters however are allowed, especially for those who have a sleep at nursery. (Please label comforters also).
Guinea Pigs

As many of you know we have two lovely guinea Pigs at nursery, Jemima and Rosie and we love to have the support at weekends to come to nursery and feed them. If you are interested please come and Talk to Megan for more information and I’m sure I can fit you in to do a shift!

All help will be welcome!

Odstock Day Nursery Autumn Dates 2018/19
Friday 12th October
Lily and the Baby bird show for all 10:00am
Our second show of Lily and the baby bird. Extra bookings taken (FREE EVENT) to come in and see this exciting live theatre. More info about booking in autumn term. All welcome
Thursday 25th – Friday 2nd Nov
Autumn Half Term
Grant Only and Term Time contract children will not be in attendance for this week.
Friday 30th November
Winter Family Social 5:00- 6:30pm
Join us for family fun, refreshments and a visit to Santa’s grotto! Kick off the festive season and see the nursery full of Christmas spirit! FREE EVENT
Tuesday 18th December
Nativity play Humph the Camel. 10:30am
At nursery for all of the preschool children and their parents to come and watch.
Thursday 20th December
Christmas Party Day and Christmas Lunch
Party games and disco plus the long awaited Christmas Dinner with all of the trimmings!
Friday 21st December
Last day of term
Last day for all contract types
Monday 24th December 2018 – Friday 4th January 2019 inclusive
ADVANCED NOTICE of Christmas dates 2018/ 2019
The nursery will be closed for these two weeks we hope everyone has a lovely Winter Break.
Monday 7th January 2019
First day of term
We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the new term after our Winter break.

Bourne Valley Nursery Children Waving