November 2021

 This last couple of weeks we have been delighted by the enthusiasm and passion that the after-school club children have about the work they have been doing at school which they have then shared with us. Jacob and Zeke were keen to show us their spellings to learn which included words used by Miss No, where the o in the word is always pronounced the same way as in ‘no’ and Mr Owl with words where the letter o is pronounced as in the word owl. We also had a very passionate report from Toby and Esther about the injustice experienced by Rosa Parks which they had learnt about as part of Black History Month. They were completely outraged by the thought that a person could be treated so badly because the colour of their skin, they certainly didn’t think that anything like that should happen today or ever! It is wonderful the way the older children (aged 4 and 5) are confident to share their learning and experiences with us all, and it sparks some very interesting questions from the three year olds too.  

You may recently have seen the advertisements for additional staff for Edale Stepping Stones. The Trustees are committed to keeping the nursery small with high ratios of staff to children. There is no proposal to increase the number of places for children but we are looking at ways of ensuring continuous improvement to the quality of the provision.  

We have already enhanced our team by the appointment of Rose Potter, who brings not only excellent care but also expertise in music which the children really enjoy.  

We are also hoping to be appoint a full-time permanent manager, who will lead the future development of the Centre. This post will be supported by Theresa and Naomi who will job-share a part-time Deputy role and will continue to work directly with the children at least one day a week. We have also advertised for an apprentice, who will work as part of our team whilst gaining qualifications.  

In the meantime we are getting to grips with the new Early Years Foundation Stage. We welcome the changes which very much focus on planning for individual children, following their lines of enquiry and interests. As such we have developed a new way of planning, involving a bespoke monthly plan for each child which will be reviewed and will, in the following month, include consolidation of learning and introduction of new areas, according to each child’s own individual development, ways of learning and interests.  

And in the last week, when it has felt much more like Autumn, the children have been talking about dressing up as pumpkins, going trick or treating and bonfire night. We’ve been on welly walks and collected colourful leaves, pinecones and sticks. The one year olds have done some wonderful red, orange and yellow paintings and the two and three year olds have been making sparkly bats and spiders. Oh the magic of the seasons through the eyes of children!