Gatehouse-Primary_1.jpgGatehouse Nursery Class Newsletter

Thursday 31 May 2018

Session Times:            morning 8:45-9am flexible drop off             11.55am pick up

                                    Afternoon 12:15pm drop off                        3:10-3:25pm flexible pick up




Dates for your Diary

31 May CAPER 9:15am & 2pm

1 June NO NURSERY (training for staff)

5 June Stay & Play 9-10am

6 June Nursery Sports (weather permitting 10-11am)

7 June CAPER 9:15am & 2pm

8 June Stay & Play 12:15-1:15pm

8 June Library 2pm

11 June Parents’ Meetings

13 June Reserve nursery sports

14 June CAPER 9:15am & 2pm

15 June Library 2pm

20 June Library 11am

21 June LAST CAPER 9:15am & 2pm

21 June Trip to Red Deer Centre

22 June Library 2pm

27 June Library 11am


29 June End of Year Assembly and School Prize Giving (1.45pm to be confirmed)


Nursery Sports

The Sports are planned for Wednesday 6 June.  We will start promptly at 10am, and plan to finish by 11am.  We would ask all children to be in nursery for 9:45am to allow them to go to the toilet, before we begin.  All children are invited to participate.

There will be a seating area next to the track for parents and families.  We will provide a shaded area for the children to sit, but if the weather is hot please bring a water bottle for your child, clearly labelled with his/her name, a sunhat or cap and ensure they have sunscreen on.



If your child is ill or will be absent for another reason, please phone the school office to let us know. This phone call is only necessary on the first day of absence.  It is important that you inform us when your child will not be attending Nursery.  The school follow the Children Missing in Education Procedures for Nursery aged children which states “…not attending school or ELCC means all of these children have wellbeing needs around inclusion and achievement.”  This means that if your child is absent and the school have not heard from you over a three day period child protection procedures will be triggered.  This may result in social work involvement.

We now have a child with us who has childhood cancer and is immunosuppressed.  It is critical that you do not send your child to nursery when they are unwell as we would not like to put this child at risk.  Please notify us immediately if your child or any family member develops chicken pox so that the parents and health care staff can take action.


Stay & Play

Our stay and play sessions will be Tuesday 5 June 9-10am and Friday 8 June 12:15-1:15pm.  This is a great chance for you to come and stay to play with your child at nursery and see some of the things we do with the children.  We also extend the invite to younger brothers and sisters, and the local Childminders.



Please ensure that your child is suitably dressed for the weather conditions and that any shoes, wellies, bags and clothes are labelled clearly with your child’s name.  It is helpful if you can bring a bag with spare clothes to nursery on a daily basis.  If your child is still in nappies or pull ups please speak to staff and arrange to leave a supply here in the changing area.  Please can you ensure your child has sunscreen on when sunshine is forecast.  Thank you.


 Weekly Walkabout

Our walkabout sessions will continue to be a Monday morning and a Tuesday afternoon.  We are always delighted to have parents join us for these walks and need an extra adult to help during the Monday morning session due to the numbers of children attending.  If you are able to help, please add your name to the rota on the parents’ board in the cloakroom.


TLQ Result

Our TLQ sessions have now finished and the children who have been involved in these have been reassessed.  We are pleased to say all children have made gains in their information and grammar scores.  If you would like individual feedback on your child please speak to Mrs Irving.


Cardoness Castle Family Outing & Celebration

We like to finish the school year with a family trip and celebration of learning.  This year we have a trip planned for 28 June.  We plan to meet at 9:30am at Cardoness Castle, where we have activities planned and would ask you all to bring a picnic lunch to share with your child.  After lunch we will be returning to the school for a small celebration of learning where the children will entertain you with some songs and rhymes before a presentation of a gift to each child.  We plan to finish no later than 1:45pm.

We would ask in the interests of safety that all children and adults attending the trip do have trainers on, the spiral stairs at Cardoness can be slippery.  While on the trip you remain responsible for your child.  The trip has been risk assessed and activities planned will be fun.  The nursery staff will have spare clothing, medication (for those requiring it) and a first aid kit.  We will also have cool drinks.  If there is an accident please report it at once to staff, who are all trained in Paediatric First Aid.  If wet the trip will still go ahead but we will return to the school early for a picnic lunch in the Gym Hall.


Parents’ Evening

We would like to invite all parents into nursery for an open evening on Monday 11 June.  Staff will be in nursery from 3:30-4:30pm and 5-6pm for any families who wish to come and look at their child’s PLP and discuss their progress.


End of Year Assembly and Prize Giving

This takes place at 1:45pm on the last Friday of term, 29 June.  The nursery children are all invited to attend; we sing one song as part of the assembly.





Nursery Questionnaires

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete these.  The responses have been attached at the end of this letter for your information.  We had a variety of responses and now are looking at how to make the improvements suggested by all who contributed.  Our training day on 1 June will be used to review the responses and develop the action plan for the next year.  Once we have this completed we will display it in the cloakroom and give all parents a copy.

Please remember if you have any concerns or comments about the nursery speak to staff and don’t feel you need to wait on a survey.  We are happy to speak to you about comments and suggestions made throughout the year and we do keep a record of these which are shared with inspectors during inspection visits.  We try to be very open and transparent, and respond to your concerns on an individual basis, which is why every newsletter has a comments/suggestions section at the bottom.  We also have these slips available in our cloakroom on the wall so they can be accessed throughout the year.



At Gatehouse we are constantly looking for ways to improve your child’s experience of the Early Learning and Childcare we provide.  If you have any comments or suggestions please either speak to nursery staff or complete the slip below and return it to nursery – there is a comments/suggestions folder attached to the wall in the cloakroom.

We greatly appreciate your comments/suggestions as they do help us to evaluate and improve our service.


COMMENT/SUGGESTION                                                                  DATE:




Please print your name if you would like a personal response



This is all of the feedback we have received from our recent Quality Assurance Questionnaire: 2 Stars and a Wish.   Thank you to everyone who participated, we are grateful for your responses.



  • Interact with all the kids, do lots of stuff together.

  • Gatehouse nursery is a lovely nursery. The teachers are just so lovely and easy to talk to and will do whatever it takes to settle your child into nursery. The nursery it's self has so much room and a variety of different corners, things for kids go enjoy. There's loads of outdoor space for them too which is also so important. They have their own little playground, a separate science garden and use of the big school pitch area where I've seen them use for egg hunts at Easter, making food round a bonfire and not only that they do a weekly walk about to the surrounding area as well, the woods and cafes etc. It's just brilliant.

  • I feel there is a strong link between nursery and my childminding setting, we get invited to special events such as Scottish Celebrations, Christmas parties and trips. These activities are plentiful throughout the whole term and it's lovely to be invited giving children lots of opportunity to transition smoothly. And creates an excellent professional relationship for the child within both settings. I really like the monthly newsletter they are so informative.

  • Enhance confidence in the children

  • Fab staff! All 3 have different qualities - unlimited enthusiasm - calm & quiet nature - down to earth - very important in a nursery setting especially when children first start - they need to latch on to someone for support - we have the perfect balance in Gatehouse!

  • Plenty of activities for them to learn and you make it fun for them.

  • Inclusion

  • Library visits and outdoor activities are regular and the kids love them.

  • Learning through play

  • The nursery feels welcoming and has a friendly atmosphere.

  • Meeting children's individual needs, both pastoral and educational.

  • Nurture the children

  • Learning through play, especially outdoors

  • Outdoor activities.

  • Good teacher pupil ratio

  • Enthusiasm and support for every child. Achievements are celebrated well.

  • Open evenings

  • Getting the children active

  • Children are happy!

  • Individual support for children with additional needs



  • Go lots of outings e.g. library, woods, walks

  • Giving our kids such a great start in school life. So loving to each child too, making sure they are doing the right thing for that child and knowing we can trust you with our children. Giving them a great range of learning.

  • I think Gatehouse nurseries outdoor access is inspirational; children enjoy tons of outdoor learning in all-weather such as fire pits and gardening as well as integrating with the local community with weekly walkabouts.

  • Learn through play

  • I love the stay and play sessions - me and my minded children are always made welcome & included in lots of activities not just stay & play. I think it is great how outdoor play is still available during work on new nursery - although limited still brilliant :-) Oops that's 3 stars! - well deserved :-)

  • You treat all children the same and you do lots of new things with them.

  • Outdoor Learning

  • Very caring and nurturing environment

  • All the different activities they kids can learn with

  • I like the layout of the nursery the areas are accessible and interesting for the children.

  • We provide consistency but challenge too.

  • Know each child individually and cater to their needs

  • Story time (in class, visit local library, caper)

  • Providing routine and a stable environment for the children.

  • Same q as above??

  • Varied activities including outside play.

  • Activities

  • Keeping a structured routine

  • Keep us informed of what is happening and what happened. Twitter is brilliant. Love seeing the photos.

  • Supporting learning through play with the involvement of children in creating stimulating environments



  • Can't think of anything needing improved. Yours do a super job

  • It's hard to find something you could do better as everything I have been through with you all with my child has just been brilliant. I can't fault anything. Maybe could do with bigger coat and shoe space as sometimes there is so many coats etc. it can be a bit full and overlapping. Other than that I can't think of anything at all.

  • With the possibility of my setting delivering 1100 ELC in the future I think it would be beneficial to be somehow included in care plan updates / meetings to ensure continuity to best meet the needs of the child.

  • No areas

  • Only a minor thing but parents/carers who choose to have discussions with staff at signing out table! :-(

  • I would like to see the afternoon children do more as the morning children do a lot more things.

  • Unsure

  • Even more outdoor play.

  • I don’t think anything needs improved the nursery does a brilliant job and all the kids and learning and are very well looked after.

  • This is nit picking. I think outside the sandpit could be improved by having one raised up on legs off the grass.

  • Try to make more time for science discovery and exploration of the science boxes.

  • N/A

  • Ensuring that teacher trained staff is maintained as I feel that this really helps with transition into P1

  • I honestly can think of anything!

  • Nursery teachers need to spend more time with the kids, encouraging their learning and interests and teaching them facts about their interests. Monthly projects should be brought in, where the children learn about subjects such as whales or sharks. They need to develop kids learning at the child’s pace, if that means encouraging writing reading and numbers, then so be it. Where is the writing table and drawing table in Nursery? Sticking their name on a picture st age 5, I’m not acceptable. Those children going into p1, need to have the ability and skills to sit still for periods of time, concentrate on tasks and work as teams. How are the teachers ensuring these kids have these skills? I have found that the teachers seem to be more concerned with keeping the Nursery clean and tidy than interacting with the children. No feedback is given on what the child has been up to during the session, and this needs to be given to every parent. The book and toy bags are a good idea, it’s just a shame the toys get so dirty and covered in animal hair, some people do have allergies you know. Also why don’t the teachers use the toy bag topics as a basis for their projects, it seems that all learning activities are being placed upon the parent and nothing is learned at Nursery. To be honest if I wanted a babysitter for my child I would get one, Nursery is a stepping stone to school, and should encourage the children to learn and use their little sponges of brains to the maximum, not free playing all day. I do not believe the curriculum for excellence says that children should have their learning held back so as to only learn certain things in certain year groups.

  • We hope that the focus going forward (as nursery hours are extended) will continue to be on early years education and not just childcare. We think it's vital the nursery is led and driven by teaching staff.

  • Quiet corner of the room

  • Nothing comes to mind

  • One top tip of a fun learning activity we could do with them once a week?? For example, counting or pencil control activities

  • Linking indoor and outdoor activities to the curriculum for children. Building the vocabulary of learning through our planning systems.






Extended Family









Student/work experience