9th September Newsletter

This term our theme is HARVEST

We will begin our new term with two weeks of ‘Getting to Know You’ which is our time to get to know each other, learn about our interests and generally settle back into the swing of things.  We will begin to build new friendships and re-kindle previous ones.

New friends are joining us each week and it will be so nice to introduce new personalities to the group.  The September term is always refreshing and exciting for all of us.  The children love to take on new responsibilities, share their ideas and really find their place at Pre-School. 

We have the whole year to look forward to – so let’s get busy!

The theme of Harvest will incorporate cooking, creative art, music and movement, stories, discovering the outdoors and learning about the environment we live in.  We will ask the children to share their experiences; if you see tractors or farm vehicles please  take a photo if safe to do so!  Email it to us or print it so that we can make a display.  I imagine we are going to have a lot to talk about.

The Harvest theme will continue until half term at the end of October.

Upon our return to Pre-School on 31st October we will be having a week of Halloween celebrations which will include some fundraising such as a cake stall and a bit of healthy competition in the form of pumpkin carving……more details to follow.


Each week we will hold a P.E session with the children.  From next week the session will take place on a Wednesday afternoon.


Liz and Vicki will begin the ‘Little Chefs’ group on Tuesday 13th September. 

Each week a small group will follow a recipe and learn food handling and preparation skills to produce something delicious to take home and enjoy.

We look forward to finding out what the first recipe is going to be….


A group of children will begin learning French on Thursday 15th September.  They will use colourful, attractive French resources to learn simple words and phrases, songs, numbers and colours.


Throughout each week, whenever the mood takes us we love dancing and moving to music.  We are so lucky to have such a spacious hall enabling us to move freely and express ourselves physically.

We use different genres of music including classical, pop, folk and jazz to enhance the children’s interest of music and sounds and to provide the opportunity to move in many different ways.


Each child is encouraged to bring one Show and Tell item with them when they attend Pre-School.  Their item will stay on the Show and Tell shelves until it is time to talk about it within the group.

Items may include photographs, tickets from outings, books, models, treasures etc.  Items will be looked after and returned the same day.

Please name items wherever possible.

Show and Tell is a super activity to encourage not only self-confidence but also provides the opportunity to ask and answer questions, to listen, share and discuss events that have taken place.

An important area of learning is for the children to share their interests and for us to encourage respect for each other’s beliefs and cultures.


We will begin the specific transformers group at the beginning of the January term.  It is most likely to take place on a Wednesday morning.


On the hallway table each day you will see a clear, plastic wallet for your child.  Please check this wallet at the end of your session for letters, notes, pictures etc.  Kindly leave the wallet here with us.


Each child does have a blue book wallet to be used to transport a book home and back again.  This is our own library service!  We have such a vast collection of fiction and non-fiction books and it is only right that we should share!

Please use the blue wallets – this is a good practise for taking school bags to and from school in the future.


We ask all of our families to help us provide a healthy variety of snack foods for the children to enjoy throughout the week.

Please kindly bring some fruit or salad items with you each week – maybe once or twice – for the children to share at snack times.

We provide toast and drinks to go alongside.

There is a snack basket on the hallway table – please help us to fill it each week with goodies.  Thank you.


Each child needs to bring along a drinking bottle filled with water to encourage drinking throughout the day.  Please name the bottle clearly.  We will refill as necessary.  The bottles do need to be taken home please at the end of your session.


Please name lunchboxes clearly on the outside and place them on the trolley in the entrance hall.  We will refrigerate them until lunchtime.  If you need ideas for lunches do ask us!  We have many years of packed lunch experience and may be able to suggest something that you may not have thought of…….


If your child enjoys any of the numerous children’s magazines available would you kindly pass them on to us instead of popping them in the recycling bin please?

We use the pictures for many activities – especially the production of birthday cards!!

So, we are looking forward to a busy, fun term.  We have so much to look forward to and many activities planned.

Do see the welcome from our Chairperson, Hannah Pivonka, below.  Our Pre-School Committee oversee the smooth running of our Pre-School.  They meet once a term or so to discuss the ‘business’ side of things as well as the ‘social’ side such as parent gatherings and fundraising events which are vital to the continuation of a Pre-School.

Throughout the year we will introduce fundraising events.  These may be a cake stall, a hamper raffle or the purchasing of a tea-towel on which your child’s drawing will be printed.  Some of these will require contributions from yourselves such as a cake or a small gift for a tombola.  We ask for these to enable funds to be raised to purchase resources for your child’s Pre-School.  As a registered charity is necessary for us to raise funds through events such as these.  Sometimes we ask for your help to run a stall or sell some tickets.

Please do try to help us when these events arise.  As a small team of staff and a small committee we do need as much help as we can.

New ideas are always welcome; if you have attended or run or contributed to a successful fundraiser in the past, please do share them with us.  We are always on the lookout for new ways to raise money!

The size of our Committee can only get bigger!  If you would like to know more about their role and if you fancy joining us for the first committee meeting of the year, do come along on WEDNESDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER.  We meet in Checkendon Village Hall at 7.45pm for an 8pm start.

Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions about your child, Pre-School in general, or if you have any ideas you would like to share with us.

If you do have a hobby or a skill that you would like to share with us do come and chat.  For instance; we have enjoyed visits from pet ducks, train enthusiasts, cyclists…..you never know who’s going to come along next!!

And lastly, again a big thank you from the three Checkendon Ladies for the delightful gifts and kind words we received at the end of the summer term.  We never fail to be surprised and touched by your kindness and appreciation.  Thank you.

Liz has asked me to pass on her thanks to you all for the gift of theatre tokens with a meal that she received from parents in recognition of her 25years of working at Checkendon Pre-School. She was truly surprised and touched by the contributions made and is looking forward to booking tickets for a show in London very soon – once she can decide what to see!!

Kind regards,

Nina, Liz and Kelly.

 Committee news

Welcome to old and new parents! We hope to be able to meet you in the near future – keep an eye on the useful date section for a coffee morning. Hannah (chair) will also be loitering in the hallway on a few occasions so do stop and say hello.

The preschool is parent-run school all of whom undertake this work voluntarily and therefore we would always welcome support or additional members – big or small … The support that is.

After a successful fundraising run in June last year the plan is do it all again making use of the lessons learnt. A separate meeting to kick this off will take place in first week of October- watch this space but we’d love as much help as possible so if you have a skill we can probably use it!

We wish all your smalls a wonderful Autumn term and look forward to meeting you.
Best Wishes,

The Checkendon Pre-School CIO Committee;

Hannah, Heidi, Sue, Vicki, Charlotte.


17th March Newsletter

24 March Easter bonnet parade and Mothers coffee morning
24 March End of term 4
11 April Summer Term (5) starts
18 June RUN – all hands to deck (field)
What have we been learning this week?
We have enjoyed preparing for our Easter celebrations this week. We are all looking forward to decorating our Pre-School with our beautiful paintings and Easter crafts.

We will really get into the Easter spirit next week with egg hunts and Easter games. Not forgetting showing off our Easter Bonnets on Thursday morning. We are hoping that the Easter Bunny will surprise us too!

We visited the mobile library on Wednesday afternoon. We chose reference books so that we can find information about animals and the world around us, as well as a selection of story books to read together.   We have already used the reference books to find out about animals that hatch from eggs. We have drawn some superb pictures that are displayed on the boards. We have also asked the computer about animals that hatch and discovered some interesting creatures such as Chameleons and Turtles which we watched hatching. We were all entranced!

Thank you to Lexi’s Grandad who sourced different sized eggs from a Rhea, a duck and two chickens.

P.E was lovely in the sunshine this week – we used the sports equipment to strengthen our throwing, catching and balancing skills.

After finding some unused plasticine in the cupboard this week, we have enjoyed creating and making creatures with it!   The idea was born from Holly and Louis using our blu-tac to make spiders and nests whilst I was sticking pictures on the boards!

Monday A.M – Mud Kitchen

Tuesday A.M – Outdoor Adventures

Tuesday P.M – Transformers

Wednesday P.M – P.E

Thursday A.M – French

Friday A.M – Cooking


Election Days

Please note that due to Checkendon Village Hall being used as a Polling Station, we regretfully are unable to open on THURSDAY 5 MAY due to a local election and THURSDAY 23 JUNE due to the EU referendum.


If you claim Government Funding please discuss with Nina or Liz an alternative available session so that you can use your allocated hours.

Committee news

We are pleased to report there is a new facebook page for the preschool and we are looking for interesting content so if you think of anything – even small please let us know.

This newsletter is also online so if you forget anything please have a look at our website.


If you buy online there is an easy way to support your preschool by going to easyfundraising.org.uk any small amount really helps.

Fun Run – 18 June

Please take a moment to look at the website. You will notice that there is a short course for all of our little ‘uns to take part as well.

The flyer is available to download from the website so please distribute to friends and family – the more the merrier!

Units disposal – HELP!

Thank you to the two families who have recycled the two units for us!


Please continue to contribute to our healthy snack times by bringing along some fruit or other items of food which could be added to the menu. Thank you.

Voucher Payments

Please may we ask that when paying any fees by childcare vouchers or bank transfer that your child’s name or your surname is used as a reference for the payment. This is vital in ensuring that payments are matched to the correct bills.

Spare Clothes

Please ensure that your child has at least one whole outfit of spare clothes in the bag that Checkendon Pre-School has provided. We use our own bags to free up some space in the cloakroom area which we know is rather limited.

22nd February 2016 Newsletter


22 February Start of term
29 February Mothers Coffee morning
17 March St.Patrick’s Day – wear as much green as you can!!
24 March Easter bonnet parade, coffee morning 9.30am – everyone welcome!
24 March Last day of term. Easter Bonnet Parade – 9.30am everyone welcome.
11 April Summer Term (5) starts
18 June FUNDRAISING FUN-RUN – information below….

What Have We Been Learning This Week?

We have really enjoyed discovering new painting techniques this week to decorate eggs. We have also been asking the question; “Are chicks the only animals to hatch from an egg?” So, we have been thinking about this and next week we will use the computer to help us answer the question. We will also use books and pictures as well as produce a wall display to show what we have learned.

The ‘Transformers’ group made eggs of different sizes this week. From using the stencil to draw the oval to cutting out and decorating the three eggs we put them in size order and matched the large, medium and small eggs ready to use for a hanging display. Part of this activity was the intention for the group to find the tools needed for the activity, locate the three different sized eggs, use scissors effectively to cut them and keep the oval shape and then to choose their preferred painting technique to decorate the shapes. The group worked well together and were able to assist each other if necessary. Working as a group whilst producing an individual piece of work is an important step to learn in the preparation for Primary School and I feel that we achieved this well.

Thank you Sam for bringing your Easter stories to share this week. We used the books to produce some beautiful artwork. The children chose their favourite picture and then drew it using felt tip pens. We have been absolutely amazed at the results of this – well done everyone! Just like the ‘still-life’ daffodils that Liz painted with the children. It is important to note that the paintings and artwork are all the children’s own work. Yes, we talk them through and encourage them to use the space provided but the finished product is always their own. And what fantastic results this achieves. The pictures will be displayed at the Easter Bonnet Parade along with the children’s other artwork.

French, P.E and themed activities have continued much to the enjoyment of the children.

We are following an Easter theme until the end of term. If you have any items for the ‘Showing Shelf’ that are appropriate to the theme please do share them with us. We like to have something new and interesting to talk about. Maybe photographs of lambs, baby animals, places you have visited or storybooks to share…

Committee news

We are delighted to announce a more user friendly website, which will be updated regularly with dates and other information relating to the preschool. If you would like to review our policies or need information it should be there. I should add that we would be very interested to hear if there is any information you would like to be included.

In addition the running of the preschool is undertaken by parents for parents, we currently have a committee team of three but would welcome any assistance however small please feel free to ask as we are sure you have skills that we might not have!

 A committee meeting was held on Tuesday March 1 and anyone wishing to see the minutes please contact Hannah on chairmancheckendonpreschool@gmail.com.


We really do need to update the photos on our new website. Using information we hold on registration forms we will only use photos of children for whom we have permission. If you would like your child to be on our website please let Nina know. Also, if you would prefer not to have photos of your child on our website please let Nina know. Thank you.

Warmingham Sponsorship

We are very proud to confirm that Warmingham have kindly agreed to continue to sponsor Checkendon Preschool CIO. Thank you.

Easter Bonnet Parade

We do like to host a traditional Easter Bonnet Parade in celebration of Easter. We would love you to join us on Thursday 24th March at 9.30am to show off the wonderful creations that we ask you to make at home!  

Please make a bonnet/hat and be as creative as you can! Use ANYTHING and have fun. Then bring your bonnet along on the last day of term – everyone is more than welcome to join us. There will be prizes to win and lots of fun to be had!!

Fun Run

PLEASE DOWNLOAD A FLIER ADVERTISING THE FUN RUN. We would appreciate the sharing of this flier – please forward it to friends and family who may wish to support us or maybe share it in your workplace – anywhere!! 
Download Now

Our updated website contains a page specifically for signing up to the Fun Run. All details can be found there www.checkendonpreschool.co.uk

This year the committee have decided to focus their efforts on one rather large fundraising event. The first ever Checkendon Run. We are very excited but cannot run the event without your support, if you feel this is something that you would like to help organise we would welcome you with open arms to the separate committee; otherwise please pencil Saturday 18th June 2016 into your diary as we will need all hands to assist whether cake baking, serving water or …taking part.

Easy Fundraising

Details can be found on our updated website of a really easy way to help us raise funds. We urge you all to sign up to www.easyfundraising.org.uk/checkendonpreschool  Please take a few minutes to do this – you can raise money simply by shopping in a wide range (approx. 3,000 retailers) of shops online. Thank you.

Bank Staff

Thank you for the offers of help from a number of parents. Hugely appreciated but let’s hope that we don’t have to call on you too often!

Our three excellent ladies are always full of good health (with a slight hiccup this week) but there may be a few occasions that they are unable to attend preschool for training or other reasons and therefore, we are looking to create a list of ‘bank’ staff members that we could call upon for these occasions. If you are interested in volunteering please either speak with Nina or Hannah.

Communication Diaries

Please continue to use your purple Communications Diary to inform us of children’s achievements and events from home. They are a most useful tool enabling us to complete our records and monitor the developmental stages of the children. Please just put them in your child’s wallet or hand to a member of staff.


Please continue to contribute to our healthy snack times by bringing along some fruit or other items of food which could be added to the menu. Thank you.

Please note that we end the term on Thursday 24th March and return to Pre-School on Monday 11th April.

We are all looking forward to our Easter celebrations and hope that many of you are able to join us.

Best Wishes and thank you for your continuing support.

The Checkendon Ladies.


Details of the Fun Run now available

I’m delighted to say that the planning for our Fun Run is well under way and details of the entry options are available on the fun run web page .

It’ll be a great day out, so do please join in;  even my Dad reckons he could do it, although he does say that he’ll need an under 5 year old to accompany him!

Any questions, please do get in touch: runsecretary@checkendonpreschool.co.uk

See you there!

Welcome to Checkendon Pre School

Thanks for looking at our website. As Chairman of the committee I’m delighted to have this opportunity to introduce you to our school. Our daughter is a keen attendee, indeed, she seems to prefer it at school to being at home (is it me?), so I am a great believer in the school, its ethos and its character.

However, its not for me to persuade you. If you have a little one and you are wondering where is the best place for them to enjoy starting to learn in an informal yet school style environment, come and visit the school.

Call 01491 682589 and arrange a visit with your child. You’ll be very welcome and, I’m sure, impressed.