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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Weekly News – Friday 11th January

This week, we have been having lots of fun with the story, ‘Peace at Last’ by Jill Murphy. The children quickly learnt the story and they have enjoyed acting it out and repeating lines from it. They particularly like the line, “Oh no, I can’t stand this”!! Yesterday, we acted out the story with our musical instruments which was great fun. We have also been listening to lots of different sounds and trying to guess what they could be. Next week, our book is “My Sister is an Alien” by Rachel Bright so we will be talking about space and aliens and enjoying lots of different space stories and crafts.
 
Mystery Readers
A big thank you to George Marcu’s Mum for being our first Mystery Reader this week. We really loved your story and the children liked the concept of a Mystery Reader. 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.
 
Story Cafe – Wednesday 20th March
Due to staff training, we have had to change the date of our Story Cafe from 13th March to 20th March. More details to follow.
 
Book Swap – Thursday 14th February
Our book swap event will take place on Thursday 14th February. We would like the children to bring in a book from home that they no longer read to swap with a book that another child has brought in. We suggest that books are brought in at the start of the week (Monday 11th/Tuesday 12th February) so we have time to sort them out for the event on Thursday. We will then set up a ‘Book Shop’ for the children to visit with a special token so they can each choose a book to take home and keep.
 
Forest School
Our Forest School sessions will start on Friday next week (18th January). Each child has been put in one of three groups and will have a block of six Forest School sessions. You can view the groups and dates on our Orange doors or you can contact me by email to find out which group your child is in. The children in Group 1 will need to bring plenty of warm clothes on Friday 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 be able to go ahead.
Marathon
One of our parents, Jamie Jaques, is running the London Marathon this year to raise money for the Dementia Revolution charities. Please support him with his fundraising by using the following link!
 
Junk Modelling
We would like to do some junk modelling next week and we would be grateful for donations of boxes, yogurt pots, plastic bottles etc.
 
Sessions for September
If your child is staying with us in September, we would like to know what sessions you would like your child to attend. Some of you have received forms from us today and the rest are available for you from the Office. If you are not sure what to choose, please have a chat with me or your key person to ask for advice.
 
Snow days
In the event of closure due to snow, we contact parents via email as soon as a decision is made so please check your emails. We will never be open if Cringleford School is closed, so you can also check the county council list of school closures for information. However, it is possible we might be closed when the school is open if staff are unable to get to work.
Have a lovely weekend
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – Friday 4th January

It was lovely to welcome the children back this week and we hope you all enjoyed a fun and relaxing Christmas break. Happy New Year to you all and a big welcome to our new children and families. We hope you will enjoy your time at Crackerjacks.
We have spent our first two days of term settling back in and talking about presents and holidays. It has been lovely to hear everyone’s news. We have been making some New Year’s resolutions with the children and talking about new things they would like to learn this year or things they would like to be able to do better. Some of these are on display in our room if you would like to have a look.
Next week, we will make a few more resolutions and we will be thinking about Winter, colder weather and experimenting with ice.
School Applications
 Don’t forget, the deadline for school applications for September 2019 is Tuesday 15th January. If you need any help with your application, please let us know.
Funding forms
 If your child is entitled to government early years funding, could you please ensure that a funding claim form is completed and returned to us as soon as possible. Printed copies of the form are available from the Office. Please ask Cathy or me if you need any help completing the form.
Contact details
Please could you make sure we have your up to date contact details so we can contact you in an emergency. It is really important that we are able to contact you if we need to and always best if we have more than one contact number to try.
 
Developing a love of Reading
We have a number of events and initiatives planned for this term aimed at helping children to develop a love of reading.  A copy of these plans is attached. If you have any additional suggestions for us, we would love to hear them.
Have a lovely weekend
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team
Attachments area

Weekly News – Friday 14th December

We’ve had such a fun and exciting week with lots more Christmas activities, singing and crafts. The children have engaged so well in all of these and have produced some lovely work. The morning children were invited to watch the dress rehearsal for the School Reception classes’ Nativity in the School Hall on Wednesday morning, which we all really enjoyed.

We all had a lovely time at Christmas Forest School today. The children followed a trail or star challenges before hearing the sound of sleigh bells and finding a trail of snow which led to a sack of presents! We returned to the warmth of Crackerjacks for party food and some dancing. Thank you to all the parents who helped us out with this event. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Christmas Show – Tuesday 18th December
 
Don’t forget there won’t be any normal sessions on Tuesday. The morning children should arrive at 10.15 and the afternoon children at 12.30. Each Show should last no more than half an hour and there will be refreshments and an opportunity to stay and chat afterwards. The children can come dressed in whatever they choose – princesses, super heroes, Christmas jumpers, Angels; all welcome!
 
Holidays
 
Our last day of term is on Tuesday (18th December) and we return on Thursday 3rd January. We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year!!
Have a lovely Christmas break
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team

Weekly News – Friday 7th December

We have enjoyed lots of Christmas crafts, stories and songs this week. Hopefully you are all being bombarded with the children’s lovely artwork. There will be lots more next week along with quite a lot of Christmas baking.
 
School Christmas Fair
Thank you so much to Sam Osborne and Krissie Fox (and Sam’s Mum) for their hard work in raising  £183.00 for Crackerjacks at the School Christmas Fair last Saturday. Also thank you to George Marcu’s sister Roxy for the decorations she made and donated to the stall for us to sell.
 
Christmas Forest School – Friday 14th December
Weather permitting, we will be having a Christmas Forest School Session in the woods next to the Willow Centre next Friday. Please could you make sure the children come to Crackerjacks with suitable clothing for an outdoor session – wellie boots, waterproofs etc. The children should come to Crackerjacks as usual and be collected at the usual time. Thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help us with this session. We have enough helpers for the event to go ahead although if you would still like to join us, we are happy for you to come along. If the weather is very wet, we will hold the session in our outdoor area and will not need any parent helpers. We will let you know on the day.
 
Christmas Show – Tuesday 18th December
The children will be performing some Christmas songs for you in our Christmas Shows. Please come and watch if you possibly can. The morning children should arrive at 10.15 and the afternoon children at 12.30. Each Show should last around half an hour and there will be refreshments and an opportunity to stay and chat afterwards. The children can come dressed in whatever they choose – princesses, super heroes, Christmas jumpers, Angels, all welcome!. If your child does not normally attend on a Tuesday, we would still love them to come and take part if possible. There will be no normal sessions for the children that day
 
Two Stars and a Wish
Thank you for all the feedback we have received so far; it is really useful to us. If you haven’t been able to complete yours yet, it’s not too late! We would still love to receive it. If you need another copy of the form, please let me know.
Holiday
Our last day of term is on Tuesday (18th December) and we return on Thursday 3rd January.
Have a lovely weekend
Karen and the Crackerjacks’ team

Weekly News – Friday 23rd November

This week, we have been writing letters to Santa and learning about the Nativity through stories and songs. We have also been doing lots of measuring including finding out who is the tallest and who is the shortest.

Next week, we will continue to talk about The Nativity and begin our preparations for Christmas, including some singing and some Christmas crafts. We will also be going back to our Snail and the Whale story in preparation for our theatre trip on Friday.
Theatre Trip – Friday 30th November
Please meet us at the Playhouse at 10.15 for the morning children and 12.45 for the afternoon children. Performances usually last just under an hour. The Playhouse is in St George’s Street which you can view on a map using this link http://www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk/contact-us  Please ask if you’re not sure and remember there won’t be any sessions at Crackerjacks that day.
 
Fundraising
We raised £36 last Friday from the children’s donations for Children in Need. Well done!
We are still collecting and counting the money from the Sponsored Walk and hope to let you know the total raised from this very soon.
Photos
Please let me know if you have not yet received your photo orders back from Tempest.
Two Stars and a Wish
The children are bringing home a ‘Two Stars and a Wish’ form for you to complete to give us feedback on how we are doing. We would be very grateful if you could use these forms to let us know what you love about Crackerjacks and what you think we could do better.
Music
Don’t forget to let us know what you enjoy listening to at home.
Christmas Forest School
We still need quite a few more helpers with our Christmas Forest School on Friday 14th December. Please let me know as soon as possible if you are available.
Have a great weekend.
Karen and The Crackerjacks’ Team