Weekly News 24/5/19

Our story this week was Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow which prompted lots of lovely creative play with dinosaurs. The children produced some lovely artwork and some of this is displayed around the room.
When we return after half term, our book of the week will be ‘Oi Platypus’ so we are hoping this will inspire lots of work with rhyming words. We will probably look at a few of the books from the Oi series. Perhaps you could practice some rhyming at home over the holidays. Children often enjoy making up nonsense words to rhyme with people’s names.

Funding for holidays

Norfolk County Council have advised us this week that with immediate effect, they will not be clawing back funding for days when children are absent because of holidays. This is really good news as it means we will no longer need to invoice you when you take time off.


Recipe share

After half term, we are starting our “Healthy Me” project. As part of this, we would like to create a Crackerjacks Favourite Recipes book. We would like everyone to send in their favourite recipe from home. It could be something you enjoy cooking with your child or something they really enjoy eating. Healthy recipes would be lovely but it’s always nice to have something yummy as a special treat so we are happy to have treat recipes as well. We may try making some at Crackerjacks – let us know if you would like to come in and help.

Get active

Another element of “Healthy Me” is getting active and we will be encouraging the children to spend time on physical activities. If any parents have hobbies or jobs that are sport related, we would love you to come in and share an activity with the children. Please let us know if you can help with this.

Parent feedback

It’s that time of year again when we ask for feedback from parents to help us improve Crackerjacks. Please use the following multiple choice questionnaire to let us know what you think we do well and what you think we could do better. Parentquestionnaire2019

Tea towels and shopping bagsThe children have been making hand-prints this week for our tea towel and shopping bag orders. Tea towels cost £6.00 each and shopping bags cost £7.50. Please could you let us know what you would like to order and arrange payment by the end of the first week back after half term (Friday 7th June). 

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Norfolk Children’s Book Centre Event – Thursday 6th June
Norfolk Chidlren’s Book Centre are coming to visit us for some story sessions with the children. They will be doing a session with both the morning and afternoon children and will also be selling a range of books over the lunch time period between the two sessions. Please come along to browse their lovely books either at the end of the morning session or before the afternoon session.

Banham Zoo – Friday 14th June

A few families have still not booked to come on our outing to Banham Zoo. If you would still like to come, please let us know during half term and if possible, pay us online by bank transfer. It would be helpful if you could also either complete your reply slip to return to us after half term or send us an email to confirm your payment so we can match your payment to your request for seats and tickets.

Mystery readers


Thank you to Theo’s Mum, Harris’s Day, Martha’s Mum and Hrihaan’s Mum for for being our Mystery Readers this week. We are looking forward to welcoming more parents after half term.

Jobs

Don’t forget to let us know when you can come in to talk about your job. It would be lovely to hear from as many parents as possible.

Dates for your diary

6 June – Norfolk Children’s Book Centre event

7 June – tea towel and shopping bag orders closing date

14 June – Banham Zoo trip

2 July – Sports day

24 July – End of year show

Have a lovely weekend

Karen and the Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News 17/5/19

Our story this week was The Tiger who came to Tea by Judith Kerr so we have been busy with lots of tiger related activities including creating our big collage pictures of the Tiger and Sophie which are now displayed on our wall. We also made invitations to a tea party and created our own little orange and black animals with playdough. 
Next week, we will be focusing on the Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs stories by Ian Whybrow so we are expecting lots of dinosaur themed activities.

Norfolk Children’s Book Centre Event – Thursday 6th June

Norfolk Chidlren’s Book Centre are coming to visit us for some story sessions with the children. They will be doing a session with both the morning and afternoon children and will also be selling a range of books over the lunch time period between the two sessions. Please come along to browse their lovely books either at the end of the morning session or before the afternoon session.

Banham Zoo – Friday 14th June

Please could we have your reply slips and payment by the end of next week (Friday 25th May). If you pay by online bank transfer, please could you make sure we receive your reply slip so we can match your payment to your request for seats and tickets.

Sports Day – Tuesday 2nd July

Our sports day this year will once again take place at Cringleford Scout Hut which is located at the Recreation Ground at the bottom of Oakfields Road. (I have investigated the possibility of holding the event on the field next to the Willow Centre but I was advised it wouldn’t be possible because the football pitch will still be marked out.) 
The morning children should arrive at the Scout Hut at approximately 11.00 am. We anticipate races and the medal ceremony to be completed by 12.00. We would then like all parents and children, morning and afternoon, to join us for a family picnic from 12.00 until 1.00. Sports Day for the afternoon children will then start at approximately 1.00 pm. Again we anticipate the races and medal ceremony to last approximately 1 hour, finishing by 2.00. It would be lovely if as many mums, dads and grandparents as possible could join us to cheer the children along. Please join us even if you don’t usually attend on a Tuesday. There will be no sessions at Crackerjacks on this day.  

Mystery readers

Thank you to Thomas Fielden’s Mum for being a Mystery Reader this week. We are looking forward to welcoming more parents next week and if you still haven’t signed up for this, please let me know when you are available to come in.

Jobs

Thank you to Henry’s family and Gladys’ Mum for coming in to tell us about their jobs this week. Don’t forget to let us know when you can come in to talk about your job. It would be lovely to hear from as many parents as possible.
Have a lovely weekend

Karen and the Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News 10/5/19

The children (and adults) were so excited to discover that our little ducklings had hatched during our slightly longer than planned weekend. All the children have had the opportunity to spend time with the ducklings this week, handling them and getting to know them. The highlight of the week was watching them swim in a tray filled with water. The children have learned so much about ducks and they have made some lovely pictures as well. Today, we said goodbye to the ducklings as they were taken to a farm in Saxthorpe where they will be looked after. Our eggs and equipment were supplied by Incredible Eggs and this is what it says on their website about the welfare of the birds:
“The welfare of our birds is of paramount importance to us and we take our responsibilities seriously. We are established, reputable small-scale poultry breeders and conservationists in our own right and are passionate about what we do, with standards that are extremely high. Birds signed over to us at the end of the hire period from settings which have chosen not to embark on poultry keeping or who have not managed to find suitable homes are grown on in spacious, warm, carefully maintained accommodation. This is kept clean and well-ventilated. They are ready to go outside at about eight weeks of age. As poultry breeders, we provide a local service by supplying poultry enthusiasts and smallholders with quality livestock. We are advocates of ‘old school’, low intensity traditional smallholder farming methods – as close as possible to what nature intended. We NEVER sell more hatching eggs than we can comfortably accommodate as birds after the hire period is over. “
Next week, our story of the week will be ‘The Tiger who came to Tea” by Judith Kerr. This is always one of our favourites and we are looking forward to learning about tigers and having lots of tea parties.

Administrator

I’m really pleased to tell you that Cheryl Phillips has been appointed as our new Administrator. Cheryl already has lots of Crackerjacks’ experience both as a parent and as a valued former member of our Committee where Cheryl served as Treasurer. I know Cheryl will be an asset to our team and we are very happy to have her.

September 2019


We are currently allocating places at Crackerjacks for September 2019 and we have been able to allocate the preferred sessions for all the children who currently attend. If you know anyone who would like a place for September who may not be on our list yet, please let them know that we have a limited number of afternoon places still available.

Mystery readers

Please let me know if you would like to be a mystery reader. We would love to welcome you back for a second time if you enjoyed coming in before.

Jobs

Don’t forget to let us know when you can come in to talk about your job. It would be lovely to hear from as many parents as possible.

Water bottles

As the weather is hopefully soon getting warmer, please remember to bring a water bottle for every session. Please could I ask that you only put water into your child’s bottle as we have children in the setting with allergies who may become unwell if they come into contact with other drinks.

Some dates for your diary


Thursday 6th June – Norfolk Children’s Book Centre Event – more details to follow

Friday 14th June – Summer Outing to Banham Zoo – letters will be given out next week

Tuesday 2nd July – Sports day – details and venue to be confirmed
Have a lovely weekend
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – 26.4.19

It was lovely to welcome the children back this week after the Easter holidays. They have settled really well back into a routine and they have chosen to spend lots of time outside enjoying the better weather. We have enjoyed getting to know Lily, Florence and Martha who have started coming to Crackerjacks this week. We are looking forward to getting to know them better.
The story for next week will be the one we postponed at the end of last term, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle. This is always one of our favourites and we look forward to lots of discussions and activities about all the lovely food the caterpillar ate in the story.

Forest School
Group 2 morning children had a lovely time in the woods today enjoying lots of sunshine and some really fun activities. They particularly liked the games we played and being woodland explorers.If you are able to help with our Forest school sessions, please sign up on our rota which is on our orange doors.
Mystery readers
We would still love to have some more mystery readers. Please let me know when you are free to come and read us a story. If you have already read to us and enjoyed it, we would love to welcome you back to read to us again.
Funding formsI have now received most of your funding forms back. If you haven’t returned yours yet, please could I have it back as soon as possible. Please let me know if you need any help completing the form.
Group PhotosPlease could you return your Group Photo orders by Thursday next week (2/5/19).
Parent jobsWe always enjoy talking to the children about what Mummy or Daddy do when they ‘go to work’, as well as finding out what the children think they would like to do when they grow up. As part of this, we would love to welcome parents to come in and talk to us about their jobs. If you would like to help us with this, please let me know when you would free. If you are unsure about what you could do, please chat to me or your key person about it and we may be able to help you.
Physical activity and Healthy eatingThis term, we are going to have a focus on physical activity and healthy eating. Our story will be a great introduction to this along with our ‘daily lap’ which we have started this week. Every session, just before story time, we are taking the children out to the school field to run a whole lap together. The children are already enjoying this activity and developing a competitive attitude as well as being supportive towards each other. They are also developing an understanding of the importance of being fit and how exercise contributes towards this.
Take the stress out of teaching your child to ride their bikeLittle Riders UK runs a range of cycling courses in Cringleford to help children develop the confidence and the fundamental skills required to ride a bike.They offer Balance Bike courses for children aged 3-4 at the Willow Centre, and Learn to Ride courses for children aged 4-8 years old at Cringleford Primary School. Courses are held during school holidays and at weekends. They can also lend children bikes and helmets to use if they don’t already have their own.For more information visit www.littleridersuk.co.uk or follow them on Facebook or Instagram (search “Little Riders UK”)
Have a lovely weekend

Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – Friday 22nd March

This week, we have all loved taking part in our Itchy Bear story. The children have enjoyed making lots of different bears from biscuits, play dough, fork painting and collage materials. The children have also been spending a lot of time playing outside with lots of opportunities to play on the big school field and play equipment.
Next week, we are continuing our bear theme with the story, ‘The Bear under the Stairs’ by Helen Cooper. This is always an enjoyable read because of all the stinky food in the cupboard under the stairs but it also provides an opportunity to talk about the things we might be scared of such as ‘the dark’.
Forest School
 
I’m sorry we had to cancel Forest School once again today due to staff absence. We will try again next week to get out to the woods with Group 1. Group 2 will start their sessions after the Easter holidays.
Parent consultations
 
Please let me know if you would still like to make an appointment to see your child’s key person.
Mystery readers
 
Thank you to Daphne’s Dad for being a mystery reader this week. We have more parents booked in for next week but plenty of space for more if you haven’t had a chance to come in yet. Please let me know when you are available.
Administrator vacancy
 
The closing date for applications is Monday 25th March. If you or someone you know might be interested, I will answer email enquiries over the weekend.
 
Red Nose Day 
 
Thank you to everyone who made a donation for Comic Relief. We raised £57.48.
Story Cafe 
 
Thank you to everyone who came along to our Story Cafe on Wednesday. This was the first time we have run an event like this and we really hope you enjoyed it. I would like to say a very big thank you to Miranda for performing the Itchy Bear story for us and to the parents who were chosen or ‘picked on’ to help her. We would really like to run more events like this for parents in future so if you have any feedback, we would love to hear it.
If you want to buy a copy of Itchy Bear, we bought ours from Amazon Itchy Bear
You may be interested to watch the author of the book, Neil Griffiths, performing his story and talking about the techniques he uses Neil Griffiths
If you want more tips for reading to your children at home, have a look at our Top Tips leaflet which each of the children have been given a copy of. If you haven’t received yours, there are still some copies available in the Office.
Have a lovely weekend
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – Friday 8th March

It’s been another busy week at Crackerjacks, not least because Ofsted turned up on Pancake Day! The children did a great job of making their own pancakes for their snack that day and later in the week, they also enjoyed preparing and tasting fruit from our story, ‘Handa’s Surprise’. The children have also been enjoying lots of planting activities in our outdoor area and we all enjoyed seeing the children dressed up for World Book Day yesterday.
Next week, we will be enjoying some traditional tales such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, Three Little Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood. If you have copies of these at home, it would be great if you could look at them over the weekend so the children become familiar with them. You might also be able to find them at the library.
Ofsted
Two inspectors from Ofsted paid us a surprise visit on Tuesday morning this week to investigate our safeguarding and recruitment policies and procedures. They carried out a very thorough investigation which included interviews with staff and a detailed inspection of paperwork. They also spent time with children and staff in the room and in our outdoor area. This was not a full inspection although they will be reporting their findings in due course. In the meantime, I can tell you they were very happy with everything they saw and didn’t raise any concerns. Although this visit was entirely unexpected, it was a great opportunity for us to show the inspectors how robust and effective our safeguarding practices are.
 
Scavenger Hunt
I am pleased to tell you that we have raised an impressive £86 so far from the children’s scavenger hunts. Thank you to everyone for helping your children with these and for your donations. We will add the money to our Crackerjacks’ fundraising pot and let you know how we have spent it in due course. If you still have a scavenger hunt at home, it’s not too late to bring it in. We would still love to see it. We have blank scavenger hunts still available in the office if you have lost yours or didn’t receive one.
Thank you
A really big thank you to Joshua’s Dad for his generous donations to our growing and planting areas. It all looks fabulous and the children have had a lot of fun with it all. We really appreciate your kindness.
Cathy
I am really sad to tell you that Cathy will be leaving us at the end of this term to join the office staff team at Cringleford School. Cathy has been working as our Administrator since we moved to our current site in 2013. She has been a huge support to me and the team and will be greatly missed. However, we wish Cathy well in her new post.
Vacancy
We are now looking to recruit a new Administrator for Crackerjacks. A copy of the job advert is attached. Please feel free to share this as widely as possible with family and friends. We would love to hear from anyone who may be interested. Cathy and I are happy to chat to anyone who wants to find out more about the role.
Forest School
Don’t forget to look on our Orange doors for the revised Forest School dates and rota. Group 1 will be going out next week and the following week.
Parent consultations
Our parent consultation meetings begin next week. Sign up sheets are on the orange doors. Please take this opportunity to meet with your key person to discuss your child’s progress and next steps. As always, please let me know if the time slots available are not convenient for you and I will find an alternative day.
Mystery readers
Thank you to Monte’s Mum and Henry’s family for being our mystery readers this week.
Red Nose Day – Friday 15th March
We will be collecting donations for Red Nose Day on Friday 15th March and it would be great if the children could come dressed either in red or wearing something funny (or both)
Group photos –  Monday 18th March
The Tempest photographer will be here on Monday 18th March to take our yearly group photographs. If your child does not usually attend on a Monday and you would like them included on the photograph, you are welcome to bring them in. Morning children should arrive at around 10.00 and afternoon children at around 1.00.
Story Cafe – Wednesday 20th March
Don’t forget we are holding a story cafe on Wednesday 20th March. We will be sharing the story ‘Itchy Bear’ by Neil Griffiths. More details will follow.
Have a lovely weekend
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team
Attachments area

Weekly News – Friday 1st March

Firstly, my apologies for not sending out a Weekly News for the past two weeks. It’s been a very busy time for us.
This week, we have been enjoying our book of the week, ‘Oi Frog’. If you are not familiar with this book, it’s a really fun introduction to rhyming language which the children have really enjoyed. We’ve also been playing rhyming games and making up rhymes for the children’s names which they seem to find hilarious. Perhaps you could practice this at home.
We are also starting to think about Spring and you might notice crafts and paintings of spring flowers starting to make an appearance.
Next week, our story is, ‘Handa’s Surprise’ which is an old favourite of ours. This is a lovely introduction to discussions about Africa, fruits and animals. We always have lots of fun with this book.
We will also be celebrating pancake day in the usual way!!
Forest School
As Group 1 have now missed a few of their sessions for various reasons, I have produced a new version of the rota for Forest School. This is attached for your information and is also on our orange doors so you can sign up to help with a session. The dates for all three groups are affected so please check these. If you had already signed up to help and the dates overlap the new ones, I have transferred your name across to the new rota.
Parent consultations
This term’s parent consultations will begin week commencing 11th March and take place over two weeks. Sign up sheets will appear on the orange doors shortly. Please take this opportunity to meet with your key person to discuss your child’s progress and next steps. As always, please let me know if the time slots available with your key person are not convenient for you and I will find an alternative day for you.
Mystery readers
We have continued to enjoy lots of lovely stories from our mystery readers. We would love to have more! It would be great if you could ask Dads and Grandparents as well. Everyone will be made to feel very welcome. Just let me know when you are free to come.
World Book Day – Thursday 7th March
Next Thursday is World Book Day and each of the children will receive a World Book Day token. It would be lovely if the children could come to Crackerjacks dressed as a favourite book character. Alternatively, they could bring in a copy of their favourite book to read with their friends and to show to the group.
Red Nose Day – Friday 15th March
We will be collecting donations for Red Nose Day on Friday 15th March and it would be great if the children could come dressed either in red or wearing something funny (or both)
Group photos –  Monday 18th March
The Tempest photographer is returning on Monday 18th March to take our yearly group photographs. You have probably noticed the photographs from earlier years decorating the Crackerjacks’ office. If your child does not usually attend on a Monday and you would like them to be included on the photograph, you are welcome to bring them in to be photographed. Morning children should arrive at around 10.00 and afternoon children at around 1.00.
Have a lovely weekend
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – Friday 1st February

We really enjoyed “Zog” by Julia Donaldson as our book of the week this week. We’ve had lots of superhero and dragon fun, including creating our own superhero cities. We’ll be extending the dragon theme next week as part of our Chinese New Year celebrations. As part of this, we will be sampling some Chinese food at snack time.
Next week, our story will be another book by Julia Donaldson, “What the Ladybird Heard”. This is one of our favourites and we will be doing lots of activities with ladybirds and farms together with some lovely songs from the stage show. If you have this book at home, perhaps you could read it together over the weekend.
 
Mystery Readers
A big thank you to this week’s mystery readers (Isabella’s Mum and Dad, Rafe’s Mum and Scarlett and Kenyon’s Grandma).  We really enjoyed your stories. We are now starting to run out of mystery readers and would love some more so if you haven’t signed up yet, please let me know when you are free.
Forest School
Thank you to Ziyad’s mum and Isabella’s mum for helping us with these sessions. Please have a look at the rota on our orange doors and sign up to help if you can. We rely on parent helpers to make these sessions happen.
Book Swap
Don’t forget our book swap event on Thursday 14th February. We would like you to bring in a book from home that you no longer read and swap it for one that someone else has finished with. It would be helpful if you could bring your books in on Monday or Tuesday that week so we have time to sort them out.
Have a lovely weekend.
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – Friday 25th January

We really enjoyed our book of the week again this week, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen. The children know this story really well and we had so much fun telling the story with actions, crafts and instruments.
Next week, our story will be Zog, by Julia Donaldson which means we are expecting lots of superhero fun and lots of dragons. This is one of Julia Donaldson’s less well known stories but the children seem to enjoy it and it was shown on television over Christmas so you may be quite familiar with it. We would be grateful for donations of empty cereal boxes so we can create our own superhero city.
 
Mystery Readers
A big thank you to this week’s mystery readers (George and Elsa’s Mum, Zach’s Grandma and Dad, Harry Morgan’s Dad and Jacob Mason’s Grandma).  We really enjoyed your stories and the children love trying to guess who the next mystery reader might be.  If you haven’t signed up yet, please let me know when you are free.
Forest School
Thank you to the parents who have being helping us with these sessions. Please have a look at the rota on our orange doors and sign up to help if you can. We rely on parent helpers to make these sessions happen.
Contact details
Please could you make sure your contact details are up to date on our records so we can contact you in an emergency. It would be helpful if possible, to be able to contact someone who is able to speak English.
Use of toilets
Please note that at the end of the afternoon session, we are sorry but we are unable to ‘buzz’ you in to use the toilets because the After-School Club are using that area.
I hope you have had a lovely weekend.
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – Friday 18th January

We’ve had lots of alien fun this week after reading our book of the week, “My Sister is an Alien” by Rachel Bright. The children have created lots of aliens and found out lots of things about space and the solar system. Some of them have also created lists of their favourite things just like the little boy in the story.
Next week, our story is “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen. Hopefully most of the children are already familiar with this story and will be ready to act it out and join in with the words. We love this version of the story on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gyI6ykDwds
 
Mystery Readers
A big thank you to this week’s mystery readers (Merle’s Mum and Dad, Zach’s Mum and Tabitha’s Mum).  We really enjoyed your stories and we are looking forward to welcoming lots more mums, dads and grandparents over the next few weeks. If you haven’t signed up yet, please let me know when you are free. You don’t have to be experienced at reading to big groups of children; just bring a story that you enjoy reading together at home.
 
Forest School
We really enjoyed our first Forest School sessions. It was a very cold day so we had to do lots of moving around to keep warm but it was good fun. Please make sure your children bring plenty of warm clothes for Forest School and waterproof footwear. We rely on parent helpers to make these sessions happen so please sign up on the rota on the orange doors if you are able to help. If we don’t have enough helpers, the sessions will not go ahead.
Sessions for September
If your child is staying with us in September, don’t forget to let us know what sessions you would like your child to attend. If you are not sure what to choose, please have a chat with me or your key person to ask for advice.
 
I hope you have had a lovely weekend and apologies for the lateness of this newsletter.
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team
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