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Newsletter 1st September

Goodness me! Where has the time gone? I got back from Dorset yesterday. It was so lovely to have a whole week at our static van near Lyme Regis. My (sometimes) Merry Men were also there and the boys really encouraged me to actually have a go on the Paddle Board. It was indeed so much fun but so hard trying to balance and paddle. My 15-year-old Sam got it immediately, even when it was a bit choppy. Ben at 17 also had the strength and finesse of an expert. I was less than glamorous it must be said, but I was ever so enthusiastic, and I persevered, despite my nerves. These are traits that we wish to pass on to your children. I am actually officially scared of water, but I was reassured and guided by my family, and I had a wetsuit from a friend of mine, and I did it. Yey! Self-pride is a wonderful thing and very powerful. I mean look at Ellie Robinson: “This is a triumph, not a defeat”. What a legend. And Jonnie Peacock. He has inspired so many people. Not that I am comparing my hour in the water to these greats. However, I did my usual going off on a tangent, which is also one of my fortes!
So, I have been a great “aficionada” of the Paralympics. That’s probably where my summer went! I have been lucky enough to have family and friend time and explore the beauty of Dorset intermittently. We are blessed with our “Aunty Mercy’s Retreat” as we call it, in Dorset.  But then how wonderful that when we come back, we are in an AONB (who’s googling that?) We really are quite spoilt!
So, to business! We will start seeing the returners from next Monday 6th September and then will be greeting our new folk as the month elapses. You will have received home visit dates. We would really appreciate if you can stick with them although we understand that this may not be possible. As you can imagine though, we are also on a bit of a tight schedule with our own families and obligations. We are really looking forward to meeting you all again and properly. Naomi has sent out our new Arrivals and Departure policy and procedure, so please read it before you start. It’s also on the website as are all our step 4 policies. Our new starters have also received the settling in policy. Again, we ask you to familiarise yourselves with this and be reassured that we are here for you and your children.
I would like your opinions on snack time, oh oracles of parents. We are starting with individual snacks in September, so each child has their own snack and water bottle per day, but how do you feel about possibly going back to shared snack? The learning elements from snack time are incredible as our children who are on focussed activity week would have the chance to cut up and count out the fruit, discuss the benefits of healthy eating, negotiate mathematically the halving or quartering of fruits and dividing them in to two bowls. I must admit, I am standing firm right now about not sharing their snacks, but I would really like your feedback to see where you are right now as lock down eases. Communication is paramount to me.
We, as staff, will still be taking lateral flow tests twice a week and we really hope you continue to be as careful and vigilant as possible to keep everyone in our community safe. We have an immune compromised child with us, and also myself and Nicola continue to be careful with our critically compromised husbands. The reality is that we need to continue to follow government guidelines and look out for each other. Also, we are a small staff who need to be well to keep the show on the road, so to speak!
So, this term we will be focussing on “getting to know you”. Our returners may have experiences to share and that you as parents want to share. As always, the more we know about your littles, the easier it is to support them and you. Our new children will be completing an “all about me” form. One parent filled it in about themselves last year which did make us chuckle! This is for us to get to know as much as we can about your child and if you can return it to us by email before their visit date, this would be really beneficial to go through as we meet your child’s own safe environment.
Also, we will be exploring the coming autumn and the changes in the weather. It’s all bonkers though so we are as uncertain about seasons as your children. It’s wonderful scope for exploration.
Right, I shall leave you as I have to take my cats to the vet. Dave is the size of a house and his brother, Frank, is so skinny. It’s their annual check-up. This could be interesting!
As always, please contact us with any queries, concerns, or general comments. We particularly like nice ones and that is the positive reinforcement ethos that we offer your lovely little ones.
Muchly love
Jacquie, Katie, Nicola, Juliette, Charlotte and Naomi


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