World book day fun!

To celebrate world book day and to kick start our family challenges (more about this in a letter!) we are building dens at Pre-school and reading stories in them all snuggly and cosy! We would love if at home you could let your child/ren choose their favourite book and snuggle under a blanket together to read it or even make a den to share your stories in! Please email pictures of your special story time in at home or add them to your child’s tapestry learning journal! If you are happy to have your pictures added to our website please let us know! Thanks!

January newsletter

Allendale Pre-school, Shilburn Road, Allendale, Hexham, Northumberland, NE47 9PT

(01343)683042   allendalepreschool@googlemail.com     http://www.allendalepreschool.co.uk


Welcome back, we hope you’ve all had a great Christmas and best wishes for 2016!

Over the holidays the staff have been working hard to change the Pre-school environment to better suit the needs and interests of the children, this will develop further over the next few weeks and be adapted as needed as the children settle back into Pre-school. If anyone has a beanbag or two they no longer want they would be appreciated for the quiet area! Soon a small library of story and rhyme sacks will be available for children to borrow to share with their families at home, if you are interested in helping develop this service please speak to a member of staff.

Each newsletter will feature a staff member and their role at Pre-school, so you can get to know staff better

Helena Castle

Deputy Pre-school Leader & Designated Safeguarding Person


Helena has worked at Pre-school since November 2012 after moving to the area from Yorkshire. Helena has a level 3 qualification in Childcare and Education

Helena previously worked in a private nursery for eight years as deputy manager where she cared for children from 3 months to 4 years.

She is responsible for all safeguarding at Pre-school, so if you ever have any concerns that you want to discuss please ask to see her.

Helena is also a key worker and is responsible for her key children’s records of progress, tapestry entries and planning for their next steps with parents.


Car safety We have seen a rise in the number of children being collected or brought to Pre-school in cars without using car seats, at Pre-school the safety of children is paramount. So to make sure all families are aware of the laws regarding the use of car seats the following information has been taken from the Government website:

  • Children must normally use a child car seat until they’re 12 years old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first

You can choose a child car seat based on your child’s height or weight.

    • Height-based car seats are known as ‘i-Size’ seats. They must be rear-facing until your child is over 15 months old. Your child can use a forward-facing car seat when they’re over 15 months old. You must check the seat to make sure it’s suitable for the height of your child.
    • Weight-based car seats must be rear-facing until your child weighs more than 9kg. After that the seat your child can use (and the way they must be restrained in it) depends on their weight. You may be able to choose from more than one type of seat.
Child’s weight Car seat
0kg to 25kg Rear-facing baby carrier, or rear-facing baby seat using a harness
9kg to 18kg Rear- or forward-facing baby seat using a harness or safety shield
15kg to 36kg Forward-facing child seat (high-backed booster seat) using a seatbelt
Over 22kg Booster cushion


Mobile phones and social media – just a quick reminder that Pre-school is a mobile free zone. Staff, committee, visitors and families are not to use phones on the premises unless supervised within the office. Tapestry – we hope you enjoy using Tapestry as much as possible, please remember photos from tapestry are not to be shared on social media or the internet incase there are children in the background that have not given permission. I hope you can understand the need for these conditions but if you have any questions please speak to a member of staff.

Bills – bills are to being issued monthly in arrears with immediate effect, this means sessions for January will be billed in the first week of February with a payment date of 15th. We hope a monthly billing system will be beneficial to all families. As always, if you are experiencing any difficulties please speak to Dani.

Fees the bank details for paying fees are


Sort code : 30-94-19

Account number: 00588800

Fees are still payable for sessions that are missed due to holidays or illness as the staffing is organised termly when sessions are requested from families, this is also in our Policies and Procedures available from Pre-school or our website http://www.allendalepreschool.co.uk

If you are moving or decide to send your child to another setting our Polices state that we are given half a terms notice in writing, if notice is not given a bill will be sent for the sessions that have been pre-booked.


Term dates

Open on Close on
Term 1 Thursday 3rd September Friday 23rd October
October half term
Monday 2nd November Thursday 17th December
Christmas holidays
Term 2 Tuesday 5th January Thursday 11th February
February half term
Monday 22nd February Thursday 24th March
Easter holidays
Term 3 Monday 11th April Friday 27th May
May half term
Monday 6th June Wednesday 20th July


Grapes – Please ensure any grapes in packed lunches are cut in half length ways to help reduce the chance of choking


Getting involved! There are many ways to be involved with Pre-school and your child’s first steps in education, you can volunteer to help at a session – do some baking, read stories, craft activities, games, go for an outing with staff and children, help create resources such as story sacks or rhyme bags. We are always looking for opportunities to fundraise to help keep our fees low, if you have any ideas or would like to organize an event please speak to a member of the committee or staff. You can join the committee; the committee directly influences every aspect of Pre-school and how it runs, they meet half termly and help with organisation and fundraising.

Thank you to everyone for their continued support of Pre-school, if you ever want to speak to a member of staff please phone, ask in person or email them at any point of the day from 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday


Registering for school

The closing date for Reception school admissions is 15th January 2016. Any children born between the following Dates of birth 01/09/2011 – 31/08/2012 need to apply for Entry to Reception 2016

2 November 2015: E-admissions portal opens.
Information, Handbooks and application forms available at:
Paper forms available on request from: School Admissions
Team, Wellbeing and Community Health Services Group,
Northumberland County Council, County Hall, Morpeth,
Northumberland NE61 2EF.
15 January 2016: Closing Date for Applications: E-admission portal closes
15 April 2016: Parents notified of the outcome of their applications for
school places
30 April 2016: Last date for offers to be accepted by parents.


November newsletter

Welcome to our new starters, and welcome back everyone else! We hope you all enjoyed the first half term of the school year; we did lots of exciting things and had lots of fun, thank you for being part of it!

We have a few things to tell you about in this newsletter, but most importantly, if you ever have any questions, queries, issues or just need a chat please contact any member of staff you feel comfortable talking to.

Christmas fair

Raising funds for Allendale Pre-school to buy a new wooden dolls house, castle and small world resources and Clic Sergeant for children battling cancer

Saturday 22nd November 10am-2pm Allendale Village Hall

Photographer Diane Makepeace – To book a photo slot – family or individual please ring Pre-school on 683 042

Refreshments available all day!

Other stalls to include – Christmas gifts and decorations,

Aloe Products, Phoenix cards, Shabby Chic, Little North Star, Your Place, Margaret Young, Jodie Nichol Paper Cuts, Christmas crafts and more!

Raffle with great prizes! We will be issuing books of tickets to each family so they can be sold before the day; these will need returning by Friday 21st November. A bottle of champagne will be given to the family that sells the most tickets! Each families name will be added to the help rota at Pre-school so please check the time you’ve been allotted and if you have any problems please speak to a member of the committee or staff.

Pre-school relies on the fundraising from events to enable us to keep our fees low so please help out however you can! Donating raffle prizes, selling tickets, helping and visiting on the day are all fabulous ways to support us. Thank you

Christingle – Sunday 29th November

Every year the children from Pre-school are invited to take part in the Christingle Service at St Cuthbert’s Church. We sing twinkle twinkle to everyone, so will be practicing soon! If you would like your child/ren to take part please let a member of staff know you will be attending and bring your child/ren to the front of the church for 2.45pm. Sadly we are only allocated seats for the children and staff so make sure you get there early if you want a seat. Then at the end of the service please collect your child/ren from the front.



Please can we request that all children have wellies, coat, mittens, hat etc with them at their sessions? We have a very limited number of spare wellies and always like to be out and about and don’t want to ruin any shoes! Please ensure your child’s name or initials are put in everything. Thank you


If your child is unwell please ring Pre-school to check if our policies include any exclusion times for the illness, for example: sickness or diarrhea – children must not return until 48hrs has passed from the last incident. We can administer prescription medicines such as antibiotics once a form has been completed by the parent or carer, however we cannot administer calpol or nurofen, if your child requires such medicines they may be happier at home although we realise this is not always possible. We hope you understand the need for such policies and procedures – if you have any questions please speak to a member of staff or read our policies that are available on our website or in the foyer at Pre-school. Please remember to let us know if your child is absent, thank you.


Our flexibility of sessions appears to be working well and we hope it has been beneficial to your family. If you ever need extra sessions or to swap please ring, email or pop in and we will try to help – most of our morning sessions are getting busy so we always need to check our ratios before we can give you an answer.

Sessions for after Christmas – we review everyone’s sessions termly as that is when the funding is allocated, nothing is set in stone so if you need to change sessions please get in touch and we will do all we can to accommodate your needs. The deadline for letting us know what sessions you would like from January to Easter is Monday 7th December to allow time for staffing to be organised.

If your child is 3 years old before 1st January 2016 they are eligible for 15 hours per week of funded childcare and education. If your child is under 3 please checkout Northumberland County Council’s website and search for two year old funding, it is always worth checking your eligibility. Any hours that are not funded (either because you’ve used more than 15hrs or your child is not eligible for funding) will be charged at our normal rate of £3.50 per hour for three and four year olds and £4.50 per hour for 2 year olds.

As each family has different requirements please speak to a member of staff if you would like any pricing worked out for you before you decide.


We would encourage all families to make use of Tapestry; it is our secure online learning journal that your keyworker updates regularly with pictures and information about what your child has been achieving and exploring at Pre-school. You nominate people you would like to have access to this service and we provide them with a link and password for your child’s journal. You can also add entries from home to share information so staff see the whole child’s development and experiences and support the assessments they make.



Many thanks Dani, Jodie, Helena, Hayley, Diane and Jane



September newsletter

A huge welcome to everyone who is new to Pre-school and also to the families returning, we hope you’ve all had a lovely summer, and the children who left Pre-school to start Primary School are having great fun!

We have a few things to tell you about in this newsletter, but most importantly, if you ever have any questions, queries, issues or just need a chat please contact any member of staff you feel comfortable talking to.

Annual General Meeting

Please see the attached letter from our chairperson Victoria Pugh. From a staff members point of view it is vital that Pre-school has a committee as without one we cannot operate. The committee is a great resource for Pre-school staff as they provide direct input from a parent’s point of view and they bring skills, experience and knowledge from different walks of life. The committee also raises vital funds which allow us to keep fees affordable in comparison to other private nurseries. The committee and staff meet once every half term to discuss Pre-school and upcoming events, if you are interested to hear more please come along to the AGM or speak to a member of committee or staff.

We would also like to add our thanks to all the committee members who are leaving us this year, you have all contributed so much that we are so grateful for. You’ve all help make Pre-school fabulous and a great place to work! We also hope all your children have a great time at school!


We are pleased to announce that Hayley has permanently joined the keyworker team this term. As a keyworker she will be making assessments, providing reports and updating Tapestry learning journal for her key children. This has meant we have had to swap the keyworker of some children, please see notices or speak to a member of staff to find out who your family’s keyworker is. For children starting Pre-school their keyworker will be decided once they have settled and formed attachments with staff, we are lucky to have such a close team of keyworkers and staff that we can share this responsibility and work together with all children.


We would encourage all families to make use of Tapestry; it is our secure online learning journal that your keyworker updates regularly with pictures and information about what your child has been achieving and exploring at Pre-school. You nominate people you would like to have access to this service and we provide them with a link and password for your child’s journal. You can also add entries from home to share information so staff see the whole child’s development and experiences and support the assessments they make.


The hot lunches we purchase from school have increased in price; each meal now costs £2.15 with effect from 1st September. These meals can be ordered daily as an alternative to packed lunches.

Lost property

We have a huge amount of lost and unclaimed clothing at Pre-school it is on the shelf just through the door; please check if any items are yours. Please can we request that all jumpers, coats and shoes are named or initialed so we can return them?


We are looking to purchase uniform that will be available to purchase. The navy blue t-shirts, jumpers, hoodies and cardigans will have the logo embroidered on and save spoiling other clothes! They will be available in sizes 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 or other by arrangement. The costs are:

T-shirts – £7

Sweatshirts – £9

Cardigans – £10

Hoodies – £11

Please let a member of staff know by 14th September if you would like to place an order. The cost can be added to your bill and will take approximately a week to arrive.

Borrowed clothing

We keep spare clothing at Pre-school for those inevitable accidents or for when they just get too painty or wet! We just ask for these clothes to be washed and returned for future use. We currently have a shortage of girl’s trousers and skirts so please can everyone check if they have any of them at home and return them please. Thank you!

Lending library

Over this academic year the staff are hoping to make and build a collection of story and nursery rhyme sacks for Pre-school and to create a lending library for the children to borrow and share with you at home. If you are interested in helping at all, either making the drawstring bags or donating items that fit a story they would be gratefully received, please speak to a member of staff.


If you need extra sessions or to swap please speak to a member of staff and we will do our very best to accommodate your requests.

Upcoming events at Pre-school

  • Annual General Meeting – 7pm 21st September 2015 at Pre-school
  • Half term – we close 3.15pm Friday 23rd October and reopen 9am 2nd November
  • Christmas holiday – we close at 3.15pm on Friday 18th December and reopen on Monday 4th January

Things we need:

  • Junk modeling items – small boxes, tubs, pots, scraps of material etc 
  • Smooth pebbles/stones – for activities and construction area 
  • Planks of wood – for the large construction area outside, the children love building bridges with the crates and planks and we are running short


Many thanks Dani, Jodie, Helena, Hayley, Diane and Jane