April 21 Newsletter



April 2021 Newsletter

We are looking forward to a busy and exciting term with lots of play and learning and hopefully less mud! As the weather warms up (we live in perpetual hope!) please could you make sure your child is wearing sun cream before they arrive and they have their shoulders covered; a hat is also good.

Covid-19

Thank you so much for your continued support. As the country moves slowly out of lockdown, we ask you to continue to adhere to our safety protocols:

·         Wearing a mask at pick up and drop off,

·         Socially distancing on the footprints.

·         Restricting use of the car park as much as possible to keep our families safe.

 Solihull training

We are thrilled that so many families have accessed the Solihull parent workshops and we are looking forward to discussing our learning virtually on the 19th April. You can still access this; it really is a wonderful opportunity. Just follow this link: Online Learning (heiapply.com) course 3a: enter the code Invicta. Do let us know if you access the training as we can add you to our WhatsApp and send you the link for the Zoom meeting on the 19th. We would like to thank Canterbury City council who have enabled us to offer this through their Rise funding programme. Please remember Stepping Stones will be closed on Tuesday 20th April to enable to staff to complete their Solihull training.

Stepping Stones will also be closed on Thursday 6th May as Kendall Hall is used as a polling station.

School Places

If your child is due to start school in September you should receive their allocated school tomorrow. Please do let us know which school they are attending so we can begin to arrange a smooth transition. If you do not get any of your three school choices, please do accept the school you have been given, then you can start any appeal process.

A reminder of how Stepping Stones works.

As you will be aware:

•      We are a charity and we are run by a Board of Trustees that oversee the pre-school, our staff and manage the setting on a day-to-day basis.

•      Our Chair of Trustees is Kathryn Rogers, she can be contacted by email: chair@steppingstonescanterbury.org.uk

•      Every parent or carer is a family member

•      Our priorities are:

•      children and families

•      fundraising

•      communications

•      staff and volunteers

•      governance

Our Trustees are continuing to meet virtually in order to focus on these priorities.

Phone Calls

Your child’s key person will be making contact by telephone to catch up with you in the coming weeks. Please do not hesitate to talk to your child’s key person at any time or email: info@steppingstonescanterbury.org.uk

Fare Share

 We are thrilled to be continuing to receive a delivery from Fare Share every Thursday. Fare Share is a charity dedicated to fighting hunger and tackling food waste. We pay a small amount for two crates of fruit that the children have been enjoying at snack time; they have loved eating a wider variety of fruit. Fare Share also donate other food items that we have been passing on to you to enjoy.

Justgiving

The government funding received for children who attend Stepping Stones does not currently cover our running costs. We have asked for contributions through Justgiving to meet the shortfall. We are very grateful to those who have donated already and if you have not yet done so you can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/steppingstonescanterbury

Absences

Please remember to inform us if your child will not be in; you can text or phone on:

07980 492 024. If we have not heard from you by 10 am, we will phone in order to ensure children are safe.Focus Weeks

Each time your child comes to Stepping Stones we spend time playing, listening, talking and facilitating learning through stimulating play-based learning opportunities. At various times throughout the year, your child will be our focus child. During this time, we will record what they can do and what interests they explore and learns from. As we record these interactions, we will write down the teaching and how next steps were planned for in that moment and the learning that takes place. We will follow the child’s lead, as often good ideas for activities and learning opportunities come from children themselves. We would really value your contribution towards this when it is your child’s focus week and we will ask you to email or send in some photos that we can share with your child as part of this process.

Some Sad News

We are very sad to announce: Viv will be leaving us at the end of the summer term after 18 fantastic years. We will miss her dreadfully as will the children. There are countless families that have been fortunate enough to have Viv as a key person for their children and she really has made a difference to so many.

We will be advertising for a new member of the team to start in September, though they will have big shoes to fill (not to mention the garden, who is going to look after our garden?!).

Thank you from The Stepping Stones Team.

PS, please do take the time to watch this excellent video, even if you have seen it countless times. There has been lots in the news about the exploitation of children online; particularly over lockdown, it is never too early to reiterate to children that they have the right to body autonomy and the importance of consent. Talk PANTS with Pantosaurus and his PANTS song #TalkPANTS – Bing video