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Preschool Leader Update

Dear Parents and Carers

As you are aware, Pip has notified the committee of her wish to step down as pre-school Leader at the end of this half term. Pip has been the Leader of Roundabout Preschool for many years and will be very much missed by the children, staff and the preschool committee.

I am happy to inform you that Chloe Brinkley has been appointed as our new pre-school Leader. Chloe will be working with Pip and the team during this half term, allowing her to start to settle into the role while Pip is still with us. She will start her role after the half term holiday.

I hope you join with us in wishing the best of luck to Chloe in her new role, and to Pip in her new adventures outside of the pre-school.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Phaup

Chair, on behalf of the pre-school committee

Messy Play

September is a time where the children are adjusting to the new term either returning after a long break or starting Pre-school for the very first time.  We carefully plan activities with this in mind. A great example of this is the messy play activity – making Gloop!

Messy Play is an ideal activity to help build the children’s social skills as well as to develop their own confidence in approaching unfamiliar situations. It enables us to get to know the children in a relaxed environment and helps them to get to know staff and their peers while having fun!

By providing children with ‘messy’ activities and supporting them in their explorations, we help them explore their feelings about different materials; their likes and dislikes and to build confidence to express their own ideas and feelings.


Monday 24th September 2018 (from 8.50am) Tempest

Just a reminder for Monday – Photography in session for individual (and siblings) photos. All are welcome to attend, however, if your child is not normally in for this session please stay with them so we can maintain the correct ratios. If you think you would like to come along, please let us know so we have an approximate idea of numbers – thank you!

Dingle Dangle Scarecrow

During the first week back we have enjoyed singing and signing  Dingle Dangle Scarecrow with Makaton signs/actions. Kath made a lovely display using the children’s drawings and items from home so the children could interact and recall the song in their play at the interest table.

We have had some technical issues with uploading the Makaton actions for you – but hopefully you can now view by clicking on the image below and join in and practice with your child at home. Have fun!

Annual General Meeting

Dear Parents and Carers,

I wrote to many of you last school year to explain how Debenham Roundabout pre-school is a committee run charity that needs the support of parents in order to exist. On Thursday 11th October we will be holding our Annual General Meeting, where over wine and nibbles we review the past year and look forward to the upcoming school year. The AGM is also where many committee members stand down and new committee members come on board.

As mentioned in my last letter, we have been very lucky over the past few years to have a number of wonderful volunteers who have been mainstays of the committee but who now, due to their children moving on from pre-school, have decided it’s time to leave. Not only does this leave a hard gap to fill, it puts the existence of our pre-school at risk. The committee are also trustees of the pre-school charity, so if we don’t have enough members on our committee, the pre-school will be forced to close.

 We are very lucky in Debenham to have such an outstanding pre-school with excellent, experienced staff. If the pre-school were to disappear it would be a huge loss, not only to those involved but to those of you looking to educate your children and the community as a whole.

This is where you come in!

If you are interested in joining, please fill out the form ( AGM nominations 2018-2019) and hand it in to the pre-school by Friday 28th September or if you would prefer, you could contact me directly (see details below). The form gives you the opportunity to nominate yourself as a parent representative, or if you would like a more active role you could also nominate yourself for Chair,  Secretary, or Treasurer.

If you are unable to attend the AGM, please don’t let that put you off from nominating yourself. You don’t have to be there for your nomination to be accepted.

If you have any questions regarding any of this, please don’t hesitate to contact me on (01728) 861748 or email; or contact a member of staff in pre-school or email the pre-school on

Remember, please don’t leave it to somebody else. Even if you can volunteer just a small amount of time to support your pre-school, this would be an enormous help.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Phaup

Chair, on behalf of the pre-school committee

Welcome Back!

7th September 2018

Newsletter September 2018

Welcome back to pre-school, we do hope you have all had a wonderful summer.  We welcome lots of new children to our pre-school and we are very much looking forward to getting to know them and their families.

We have explained below what we will be focusing on over the next few weeks.  Children sometimes seem very excited to share their news with parents/carers and we have found that when families know some of the topics we’ll be discussing, this can really help reinforce children’s understanding.

We have turned our ‘themed corner’ into a dressing up area.  We have a variety of different outfits and dressing up items for children (and probably some of the grown ups!) to play with.  We have provided an assortment of mirrors so children can admire themselves, along with a variety of books to spark some interest in early reading and promote story telling whilst they play.   A very important part of our dressing up area is helping to tidy it up throughout the session!  So, we will be encouraging children to help us to look after our cabin, keeping pre-school tidy and safe whilst also developing physical skills and hand eye co-ordination as we practise using hangers to hang everything back up!  Such activities are also a great way to help lots of other areas of development, eg, colour recognition, ‘Please may I have that blue hanger?’ as well as talking about shape and size, eg “What shape is this hanger?  Is this the right size for you?”

Last term, the staff had a terrific evening when we attended some Makaton training at the cabin.  If you are not aware what Makaton is, it is a language programme using signs, symbols and speech to help people communicate (you may be used to seeing Mr Tumble use it).  We find that using Makaton as much as we can throughout the session helps children and adults communicate with each other.  The children who attend our pre-school have varying communication abilities and one way to build confidence and ability to communicate is to use Makaton whilst we play.  Towards the end of last term, the staff tried really hard to remember all that we had learnt in our training and put it into practice each day!  Song time is often a favourite time of the day (for adults and children!) and we find that action songs seem to capture and maintain children’s attention.  Therefore, each week the interest table will have a new display based on a popular nursery rhyme/song and we will all be learning the Makaton signs to accompany it.

We have previously had some very positive feedback from parents/carers about when their child signs at home and we are often asked to demonstrate the signs so parents/families can join in too.  Therefore, each week, we will have the Makaton signs displayed in the cabin and we will also blog them for you so you can practise with your child/children at home (we are sure that the children will love teaching you!)

Some of the songs we will be learning have a video which can be watched on ‘YouTube’.  We will post a link on the blog so you can watch from the comfort of your living room and we hope you all have as much fun learning these songs as we do!  We would encourage you to join our blog and receive updates about the activities we have done during the week.  Follow the link to our website: and you will see a prompt on the left hand side ‘SIGN UP TO OUR BLOG’.  Just add your e-mail address and click ‘Sign up’.

We have arranged for Tempest Photography to come on Monday 24th September from 8.50am to take individual pictures of children (or with their siblings) these do make beautiful Christmas presents for family if you’d like to get organised ahead of December!  If you have children in Nursery/Primary School they are very welcome to come for a group sibling photo, please bring them as close to 8.50 as possible so they are not too late for school.  Additionally, if your child is not normally here on that day, you are very welcome to bring them along to be photographed, however, we would ask that you wait with them so our staff:child ratios are not affected.

If your child stays for lunch and you provide grapes, tomatoes or olives in their lunchbox please could they be chopped into at least half as we have learnt that choking on whole grapes is the third most common cause of death in young children.  Whilst the staff do obviously chop up these items for children, it does mean that we have to leave the table and go to the kitchen to chop them, so we hope you understand the importance of them coming ready chopped please.

Should your child not be attending a session, please could you let us know.  We do appreciate that it can be difficult to get in touch especially if people are poorly, but in the interests of good safeguarding procedures it important that we know when or why children will not be attending.

We have a PE session on Monday mornings, this takes place in the Primary School Hall, could we ask that children who attend this session bring a change of clothes; shorts, t-shirt and plimsoles.  We encourage children to find their own bags, take them off the hooks and then get changed as much as they can into their PE kits. This is a really important opportunity to encourage them to become more independent in preparation for school.  We also have weekly visits on a Tuesday morning to the primary school’s woodland area and we do play out in the garden every day.  Therefore, could we ask that your child comes to pre-school with suitable outdoor clothing according to the weather that day albeit; sun hats, or wellies and waterproof coats!  You are very welcome to leave a pair of named wellies at pre-school, we have a shelf for them just by the entrance.

We would like to remind you that your child’s Learning Journey is available for you to read at any time, please do not feel that you must wait until parents’ evening.  Learning Journeys are kept in the cupboard behind the ‘signing in’ table.  However, whilst the door is left open at drop off /pick up times, if you would like to look through your child’s Learning Journey, we would request that you ask a member of staff to give you the document.  This is to help us maintain the confidentiality of these documents and help safeguard the children in our care.

Finally, in case you are not already aware, after working at pre-school for eleven years, Pip will be leaving our pre-school at the end of this half term.  The committee have been very busy getting the recruitment process underway in the holidays and we hope to appoint someone very shortly, we will of course, keep you updated on any news as soon as we have any.

With kindest regards from us all.

Pip, Kath, Beccy, Jane, Simone, Rachel and Anna

Important dates for your diary

Friday 7th September 2018

Beginning of Autumn term

Wednesday 12th September 2018 7.30 pm

Committee meeting

Monday 24th September 2018 (from 8.50 am)              

Tempest Photography in session for individual (and siblings) photos.  All are welcome to attend, however, if your child is not normally in for this session please stay with them so we can maintain the correct ratios.   If you think you would like to come along, please let us know so we have an approximate idea of numbers – thank you!

Thursday 11th October 2018, 7.30 pm                             

AGM – Everyone is welcome!  Please come along and have an informal drink and nibbles hosted by the Committee.  You will hear about our achievements for the past year and our plans for the forthcoming academic year.

Monday 22nd October – Monday 29th October 2018

Half term (Please note that there are no pre-school sessions on Monday
29th October, we will return on Tuesday 30th October 2018)

Wednesday 19th December 2018

End of Autumn term

Preschool Announcement

Dear Parents / Carers

I hope you are all well and having a lovely summer.  If you have seen the Committee’s Facebook page you may have noticed some news that went out recently.  A couple of weeks ago, I made the very difficult decision to hand in my notice to the Chairperson as I have been offered and accepted another job.

I have been with Roundabout for eleven years and it has been such a huge part of my life since my three children came here (albeit many years ago now!)  I started my employment here as the cleaner and I have been on my own learning journey as I completed my qualifications whilst working.

It really has been a wonderfully entertaining place to work, there is never a dull moment and I feel privileged to work with such inspiring, compassionate and dedicated Early Years Professionals.  However, it is of course the amazing children and all those within our community who really help to make working here so super special.  I will miss some of the spectacularly wonderful comments that only three and four year olds seem to say!

The Committee are currently advertising for a new Leader and Kath and I are helping with the recruitment process.  We hope to find someone as soon as possible and we can then start a handover.  I will probably be here until half term, however, if we find someone quickly, we may negotiate a different finishing date, but we will of course keep you updated.

In the meantime, I hope you all have an enjoyable last couple of weeks before the term starts.  We are looking forward to seeing you again and getting to know the new children and their families who will be joining us in September.

With kindest regards




Thank you!

Just to say a big thank you to parents, carers and committee for their lovely gifts we received and your continued support – much appreciated!

On behalf of all the staff at Debenham Roundabout Preschool – Happy Holidays!

Fond Farewell!

As we say goodbye to the end of term we say a fond farewell to our school leaver friends and wish them all the best at big school!

Have a safe and happy summer and we will see you on Friday 7th September 🙂