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.

Photo 12 05 2019, 20 49 18 (1)
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!

Croft House Nursery March 2019 1


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!

Croft House Nursery March 2019 2


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.

Croft House Nursery March 2019 3 Croft House Nursery March 2019 4

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:

Croft House Nursery March 2019 5

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

This month some new staff started at Nursery - Miss Laura, our new Nursery teacher; Miss Brenda, our new Cook; Miss Chloe, who began her apprenticeship with us & Miss Hannah G who left in the autumn, has now returned to us, and is working at our Before and After School club, as well as supporting Nursery four mornings per week.

More Forest School sessions took place, led by Miss Tracy and Janet – themes included bird watching, making nests for owls, looking for a lost Teddy in the snow, and bridge building.

Croft House Nursery Blog January 19 1 Croft House Nursery Blog January 19 12

We had a visit from a violinist – one of our children’s uncles. He played us some wonderful music on his violin and showed us how to play two smaller violins.

Many families took part in the Big Bird Watch and we had special displays around Nursery showing the various birds we see in our local environment. We are making sure that the birds are well fed during winter-time.

All the staff had evening meetings to look at the Ofsted criteria for an Outstanding Setting. We identified our strengths and the areas we still need to work on.

Swimming lessons resumed for Wise Owls.

We purchased some new equipment and furniture, including an outdoor pergola for the
Butterflies and new Tuff (builders’) trays in various rooms.

Miss Abi – our Health Champion, has signed us up to participate in a ‘Supervised Toothbrushing Scheme’ for all children aged 2 & over. Each child taking part will receive a free toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste to use at nursery. Staff in your child’s room will give you more information regarding this.

Various staff attended courses:
Miss Emma J & Miss Jade: Sensory processing
Miss Lauren: WellComm – a speech and language toolkit for Early Years
Miss Sarah C: language stimulation
Miss Kerry: assessing progress in the Early Years
Miss Abi: Promoting Communication and Language and use of the Bolton Council Toothbrush scheme

Employee of the month January 2019:

Croft House Nursery Blog January 19 13

Miss Suzanne
Excellent knowledge of nursery policies and carrying out extra duties above and beyond expectations

Other Nominations:
Miss Holly – Putting others’ needs first
Miss Meg T – Her positive attitude with parents
Miss Lauren T – Supporting new colleagues
Miss Chloe- Using her initiative
Miss Lucy - For offering to carry out extra tasks
Miss Jodie- Taking responsibility

This month was a very busy month with lots of Christmas -related events taking place. The Wise Owls took part in our Nativity Service at Holy Trinity Church, performing The Lucky Owls which tells the Nativity story from animals’ perspective. The children were fantastic and they sang, acted and danced beautifully.

We had a visit from a member of the Bolton Startwell Team who came to ensure that we are fully prepared for our next Ofsted Inspection which could take place at any time.
We took delivery of some problem solving equipment.

We had some very successful Christmas parties at Nursery and Father Christmas visited us and brought each child a book as a Christmas present.
Many of our children and some staff wore their Christmas Jumpers and outfits on certain days in December, including on Christmas Lunch Day.
Staff appraisals continued to take place.

Wise Owls made Christmas cards for Friends of Croft House and some of the children went posting cards to people who live on Bridge Street.

Croft House Nursery Blog December 1 .   Croft House Nursery Blog December 2

There was a festive Forest School session - some of the Wise Owls went for a Santa Hunt in the Forest and found treats along the way. They made wooden Santa pegs and had a campfire roasting marshmallow, snowmen kebabs.

Work continued to progress on the upper floor of Phase Two in readiness for our Before and After school club.

Employee of the month December 2018:

Miss Kerry – for her organisational skills for the festive season & putting others needs before her own.

Other nominations:

Miss Meg H - enthusiasm & detail when giving feedback to parents
Miss Vicky - using her initiative
Miss Judy - for supporting in the kitchen
Miss Jacky - for supporting colleagues
Miss Hannah B - for her positive attitude
Miss Annalise - excellent feedback
Miss Morgan - using her initiative
Miss Lindsay W - helping to organise Christmas lunch