September 2019


       Coat, hat, gloves and spare socks in the winter months

       Sun protection cream and sunhat in the summer months

       Small bag for artwork and belongings (no large bags or plastic carrier bags)

       Spare nappies and wipes in your child’s bag (if needed)

       Small plastic or metal lunchbox (no soft lunch bags); we provide cutlery; no nuts.

       Names on coats, bags, wellies, lunchboxes, hats, sweatshirts etc. 

       Please tell us if your child has had any medicine at home before coming to pre-school, including paracetamol or ibuprofen.

       Children should stay at home for the first 48 hours after starting antibiotics and their return to pre-school should be agreed with the pre-school leader.

       Children cannot return to pre-school until 48 hours after the last bout of sickness or diarrhoea.

       If you would like a progress appointment with your key person, please ask or use the slip at the bottom of the newsletter.

WELCOME to St Catherine’s Pre-school: If you are unsure about anything, please see your child’s key person or drop us an email.

REGISTRATION and MEDICATION FORMS:  Returning children: Please check your registration form details which will be going home shortly, if there are any changes to be made, indicate this on the form, then please re-sign and date at the bottom of the form and return to the pre-school office via the office post box. If we keep medication on site for your child, you will be asked to check the information we hold is still correct.  If your child’s medical needs have changed, please let us know immediately.


Early drop off       8.10 to 8.40 am

Morning session     8.40 am to 12.10pm

Lunch                    12.10 to 12.40 pm

Afternoon             12.40 to 3.10 pm


     Please park considerately.  The residents of Coneygar Close have requested that parents do not park in the close.

     As yet, there is no separate entry system for pre-school. Please note there is only one person in the school office and on occasions there may not be anyone.  It is therefore essential that you arrive promptly for sessions otherwise you may not be able to gain access.

     In the morning, the school gate is closed at 8.45 am.  If you arrive after that, you may have to wait if there is nobody in the school office to let you in. 

     Please enter through the side gate opposite the pre-school and use the new path across the school field.

     All pre-school children must be wearing a pre-school t-shirt/sweatshirt so they can be easily identified as pre-schoolers.

TERM DATES: Our term dates are not exactly the same as the main school.  We need to be open for 38 full weeks (barring Bank Holidays) in order to meet the Government funding requirements.  The Autumn Term will be finishing on Tuesday 17th December and the Christmas parties will be on Wednesday 18th.  After Christmas we will return on Monday 6th January.  The summer term will finish on Friday 17th July.

KEY PERSONS:  A list of key persons and their key children (with photos) will be on the noticeboard shortly.  Everything is colour coded: Emma/blue; Beth/green, Anna/orange; Chloe/yellow and Alyssa/red.


T-SHIRTS/SWEATSHIRTS:  The pre-school tops are optional but there are t-shirts (£4) and sweatshirts (£7.50) available if required. 


NURSERY EDUCATION GRANT (NEG) FUNDING & INVOICING:  Forms for Government funding will go out shortly. Please return your form as soon as possible.  If you are unsure about anything, please talk to Claire Wilton in the office. Please check your invoice carefully to make sure we have the correct sessions and hours listed for your child and let us know if there are any errors. You will be invoiced for snacks at the same time as your regular invoice.


ONE WAY SYSTEM: Please enter by the front door marked “entrance” and leave by the verandah door marked “exit”.  Pushchairs should be left outside under the canopy.  Babies and toddlers can be carried inside or we can bring your child out to you.  This eases the congestion and makes arrivals and departures much easier.


SHARED CARE: If your child attends another setting such as a day nursery or childminder we will give you a small notebook to carry between the two.  This will keep information flowing between both the settings and home.  Please jot down anything you think may be of help or interest, eg, a bad night’s sleep, being very excited about something, toileting successes etc.


SNACKS: The current week’s snacks are posted on the board outside.  Remember that if you want to opt out of the charge for snack, you will need to provide a snack for your child - two if he/she is here all day. 



     Use a small plastic or metal lunchbox.  No zipped lunch bags as these take up too much room in the fridge and on the table.  We provide cutlery and milk/water.

     Aim for a balance between food types and keep to suggested portion sizes, see our website page on healthy lunchbox ideas and portion sizes for more information.

     Packed lunches must NOT contain any nuts, nut products or oranges due to specific allergies in the pre-school.  If in doubt, please ask a member of staff.

     Cut grapes and similar small fruits in half as they are a choking hazard. 

     Do not include fruit strings, sweets, chocolate desserts or chocolate bars.

     Keep crisps, cakes, biscuits and sweet things to an absolute minimum so your child understands they are treats. 

     If you are including crisps, please split a packet between two days.



     Children leaving at the end of the morning session sit next to the home corner, with their bags and coats.  After collecting your child, please leave by the verandah door and gate.

     Children being dropped off for lunch will sit in the cushion corner with children who are staying for lunch after the morning session. 

     Please leave lunch boxes on the kitchen worktop as we will put them out once everyone has washed their hands.

     Staff will supervise the children washing their hands for lunch once everyone has left (via the verandah door and gate).

     After lunch, children going home will sit next to the home corner with their belongings and children who are staying will sit in the cushion corner. 



     Remember to ‘like’ our Facebook page as we will often post reminders and information on the page.  No personal information is included and all photos are carefully cropped so children cannot be identified.

     Staff are advised not to make or accept friend requests with parents/carers on networking sites such as Facebook.  Profile pages can contain material which staff might not wish to share with parents or may have comments added by friends or family which they may wish to keep private.  We hope you will understand this.



As well as our Facebook page please remember to check:

     YOUR CHILD’S NAME CLIP: Your clip is marked with your child’s initials.  Letters, newsletters and forms will be left on your child’s clip for you to collect. 

     OUR WEBSITE:  For term dates etc.

     EMAILS:  There is usually a weekly update as well as reminders about events.

     NOTICEBOARD:  Reminders and urgent messages are on the board outside.


PHOTOGRAPHY AND MOBILE PHONES: There is a strict ‘no photography or mobile phones’ rule.  If your phone rings, please ignore it or leave the building to answer it.  Mobiles will have to be switched off or left in the zipped wallet in the kitchen if you are staying with your child while they settle in.  Photographs may only be taken at ‘public’ events and MUST NOT be posted on Facebook or other social media/networking sites or apps.


WEEKLY NEWSActivities and experiences are mostly planned ‘in the moment’ in response to the children’s interests and staff are always looking for ‘teachable moments’.  The weekly Facebook post will give you an idea of what has been happening.


DIGITAL PHOTOFRAME:  There is a photoframe in the office window which you can view from outside.  It will stream photos from the previous week. 


EMAILS:  If we have your email address, your key person will soon email you with a short observation of your child, together with a photo.  Your key person will really appreciate a reply with details about what your child is interested in at home.


SCHOOL ADMISSIONS:  If your child is due to start school in September 2020 (birthdays that fall between 01.09.15 and 31.08.16) you can now apply for a place at the school of your choice by using the link below:

The closing date for applications is 15 January 2020.

Please remember that attendance at St Catherine’s Pre-school does not automatically lead to a place at St Catherine’s Catholic Primary School.


SNOW POLICY:  Just in case…you will need to know that we aim to stay open if it snows, even if the main school is closed.  Wessex FM have a page on their website which lists schools and settings and whether they are open or closed – we will get a notification onto this page, together with a post on our Facebook page.


RHYME-TIME BAGS:  Rhyme-time Bags are loaned to children for a week.  Each bag is based around a nursery rhyme, song, theme or story.  There is a contents list and photo in each bag which needs to be checked before the bag is returned to make sure everything is in there.  We suggest that rhyme time bags are used as a shared fun activity between children and parents/carers which will help you keep track of the items in the bag.  Learning nursery rhymes is an important pre-reading activity - being able to recognise rhyme, rhythm and patterns in words will help your child when they start to read. 


DONATION TREE: This can be found outside the front of the building. Each apple is a donation suggestion. If you think you could help with something small like a bag of flour, ball of string, or roll of sellotape for example, ‘pick’ the apple and take it home, then return it with the item. These small contributions really can help towards the pre-school running costs, and the less money we spend on small essentials, the more we can use for resources, activities or trips for your children.


FUNDRAISER: Our first big fundraiser of the year is a HALLOWEEN GIG on Saturday 26 October at the Tithe Barn, Symondsbury.  It promises to be a great night and both Behind Closed Doors and the Vinyl Monkeys will be playing.  Doors open at 7.30 pm and the bar will be open until 11.30 pm.  There will be a prize for the best fancy dress outfit.  Tickets are £10 each and available from 


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM): Our AGM will be on Thursday 17 October, 7.00 for 7.30 pm start (in The Cabin) and we would love to see as many parents there as possible.  There will be a brief report from the current Chair (Holly Barwick) and the Pre-school Leader (Emma), together with a financial report from our Administrator.  Without enough parents in attendance, the AGM is unable to take place and it will have to be reconvened.  Attendance at the AGM does not mean you have to join the committee.  However, we are looking for some new members so, if you think it is something you might be interested in, please let us know.



More dates will be added for Beach School, Bake & Share Lunch and Forest School so that each day of the week is covered.

Wed 4 Sept                              START OF AUTUMN TERM

Thurs 19th Sept                       Forest School: 1st of 6 sessions on Thurs mornings

Wed 9th Oct                            Beach session (morning)

Thurs 17th Oct                         ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: All welcome

Tues 22nd Oct                          Bake & Share Lunch

Wed 23rd Oct                          Forest School: 1st of 5 sessions on Wed mornings

Sat 26th Oct                            HALLOWEEN GIG 7.30pm Tithe Barn, Symondsbury

Mon 28th Oct to Fri 1st Nov     Half term: PRE-SCHOOL CLOSED

Wed 6th Nov                            Forest School continues on Wed mornings

Mon 11th Nov                            Beach session (morning)

Fri 22nd Nov                            Bake & Share Lunch

Wed 4th Dec                            Walk to Christmas Tree Festival (afternoon)

Wed 11th December                   Candlelit singing (afternoon session + older children)

Tues 17th December                 Last day of Autumn Term

Wed 18th December                 Pre-school Christmas Parties

Monday 6th Jan                        Start of Spring Term