Training Day

This year’s Birkbees Group training day was held on Friday 19th February at Birkbees. Once everyone had signed in and had welcome refreshments and a catch up chat, they split in to groups to begin the day.
All the staff who work with over 3’s headed for Stingers where Jo Barker was to spend the morning talking about how to deliver maths and understanding of the World in the curriculum. These were areas of the EYFS noted by staff for development.
The under 3’s staff were split in to two groups led by Diane Wilkinson and Vanessa White. Upstairs in the training room Diane talked about Enabling Environments, looking at indoor and outdoor provision.
Downstairs in honeybees Vanessa looked at attachment theories, treasure baskets and heuristic play.
Time for lunch! Jenny (Nursery Rhymes cook) and Rose (First Class cook) had spent the morning providing individual lunch boxes for staff with a selection of sandwiches, crisps ,fruit and a chocolate biscuit.
In the afternoon the over 3’s staff went back to Stingers for a fun packed Science Workshop whilst the under 3’s changed places and enjoyed the training session they hadn’t done in the morning.
The day went really well and all the staff came away with some great ideas to enhanced the provision at their respective nurseries.

Heuristic Play

“Acquiring tools for learning”


We are collecting again and would like your help in providing the following materials.

We refreshed our knowledge on heuristic play at our staff training day in February and your help in gathering these resources would be brilliant so we can implement it through out the nurseries


 We want to collect the following items:

Boxes, tins with lids, cotton reels, cones, coasters, pieces of wood, tubes, pegs, shells, stones, Dolly pegs to peg around a box or a stainless steel bowl, curtain rings, paper towel holder, cup tree, bangles/bracelets, lengths of chain/beads, ribbon, scarves, balls of different sizes and textures, tubes, cones, pompoms, wooden door knob, cone shaped shells etc, pine cones, leaves, containers and lids, baskets with handles, large jars, bags, containers with small and large openings, baskets that fit inside one another, metal objects, small objects to put in jars and be shaken, a wooden stick for banging, small cardboard boxes, wooden egg cups, yoghurt pots, kitchen roll tubes, empty sweet tins, paper cake cases, paper bags, plastic milk bottle tops, small metal buckets, small metal pudding basins, insides of chocolate boxes, different sized tins, metal bowls, wooden bowls and raffia coasters.

Food For life Award

In September all the Nurseries signed up to The Soil associations Food for Life Award.

Since then we have been looking at all things Food!

The award is split into 4 sections

  • Food quality
  • Food leadership and food culture
  • Food education
  • Community, partnerships and parental engagement

We have introduced a new menu in November which meets the Voluntary food and drink guidelines and we are close to having all the sections approved. We will keep you posted with our progress!

Our new food policy which hopefully you have all seen (download is available on the website if not!) outlines our food philosophy. Our decision on birthday cakes not being allowed in the setting was a little controversial at first, but I think that most of you have accepted this now, thank you for your support.

We have dedicated staff hours to ensuring that whilst in nursery the children will learn all about food. From growing to cooking and the best bit of all…eating new and healthy food. Our staff have also been introduced to new foods so this award is helping everyone at the nurseries to be open to new healthy food.

The growing season is coming! Jen, our Food For Life Coordinator has a new colleague, Andy. He is joining the team to help with all things outdoorsy! He will be supporting Jen to build new raised beds for planting, helping to keep the outdoor areas clean, safe and tidy as well as helping the children meet the Food Education element of the award. We are all really excited to welcome Andy to the team. Say hello if you see him around.

Grandparents Growing Event 14th-18th March. More information to follow

Some of our staff team will be attending the Food Initiatives Nutrition Education (FINE) training organized by Kirklees Council. This training will mean that the staff will be qualified to deliver healthy eating training….look out for our cook and eat sessions in your nursery!

The children have been on visits to the market and other local shops to see where food is sold in our communities. On these outings many new foods have been introduced to the children and staff.

We have celebrated Chinese New Year with food tasting and learning about other cultures. We look forward to continuing to celebrate other cultures and look forward to your support with this.

Please support our Stay and Play sessions in each nursery, where you can. It is so important that we engage families into children’s learning. Most of our sessions are based on the food for life criteria. Follow us on FaceBook so you don’t miss out!

In the summer term we will be taking preschool children to Stirley Farm at Almondbury to experience a working farm.

It you would like to get involved with the Food For Life Award in any way, please contact your settings Nursery Manager, we would love to see you involved. Thank you