Monthly Archives: November 2010

From Russia With Love

Well, not Russia exactly although the weather was pretty Siberian last night! – the majority of Paint Pots staff decamped to a very large marquee in a field somewhere north of Southampton. The occasion?  – a celebration of 10 years as a Day Nursery. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. There were 93 of us including partners. We enjoyed a 3 course meal, cossack dancers, bumper cars, a charity casino, official photographs, a chance to let our hair down (those of us who still have some!) on the dance floor. There were posh frocks and DJs. I have to say that Paint Pots staff do scrub up extremely well – I did a double take on most people out of uniform.  The last of us finished with a bacon sarnie at 1am before heading out into the arctic conditions to scrape the ice off the windscreen and head for bed. Well I certainly enjoyed myself!

Depressing Forum Post

This post was made on the Men in Early Childcare and Education forum this week. Kind of disheratening, don’t you think? –

Having spent 8 weeks working in Early Years I’m finding the hardest part is working with the all-female cohort of colleagues.

Even as a mature student (45) I accept I have a lot to learn but I quite resent being treated like an annoyance when I have to constantly ask about resources or have questions about the (often nonsensical!) ways things are done. The support simply isn’t there for me. At the moment I feel I just want my NQT year over and then I’ll get out of Early Years asap! I may feel different soon but for now it’s all a bit gloomy and rather lonely.

We all need to work together to improve the situation

NSPCC prepare magical ‘Letters from Santa’ campaign

Soon, excited children up and down the country will be waiting anxiously by their letterboxes; eagerly awaiting their Letters from Santa, courtesy of the NSPCC

The NSPCC has worked very closely with their representatives in the North Pole over the last few months, and Santa has decided to send personalised letters to every child on the ‘Letters from Santa’ list!

For a suggested donation of £5, a letter will be personalised and placed upon Santa’s sleigh for delivery over the Christmas period to a child (or big kid!) that’s special to you. Every pound is warmly received as it will help the NSPCC continue to provide help and support to vulnerable children.

Each Letter from Santa will make a significant difference to the lives of children – for example £20 donated could enable the NSPCC to answer another five calls to ChildLine.

All of the personalised Letters from Santa will be posted in time for Christmas. Letters can be ordered through the NSPCC Wishes website, where you can find Christmas eCards and Letters from Santa. You can even make a donation to Chaity!

Letters from Santa with the NSPCC are easy to order, so it couldn’t be simpler to support the NSPCC this Christmas

So, please help to put smiles on the faces of the nation’s children this festive season, starting with a magical Letter from Santa himself!

Ballet Lesson

L was telling me all about ballet today. Apparently there is a strict division between princesses and bears. Princesses are obviously always on tiptoe, usually with arms flapping up and down gracefully whereas bears have a scowl, gritted teeth and raised claws (one about 6 inches higher than the other).

Princesses run away from bears, who are very protective of their honey. Princesses also practice good toes, naughty toes, plies and running round in circles.

Bears seem to just strike a pose. They do not growl and frighten anyone.    

Middle aged men pirouetting and trying to perform somewhat arthritic knee bends,  look very silly!

The Big ‘O’ has arrived!!!!

What a joy for the least inexperienced member of staff to answer the door to the Ofsted inspector this morning! Amazingly, she had the presence of mind to check her identification and get her to sign in.

We don’t know how it’s going yet but the sun is shining (unlike yesterday’s torrential rain), bizarely, we have 5 children and 5 staff in babies as several haven’t come in and the livelier element of preschool is also off today.

I haven’t heard of any major disasters from any area yet.

I helped with lunch in preschool. I refered to A by her first name, ‘No’, said O, ‘We are calling her Miss M!’ 

‘Well then you can call me Mr Wright’, I replied.

‘No, we’re going to call you Mr Lovely!’ said O.

Regardless of the Ofsted outcome, that has made my day!

Back from America

Rather a strange week trying to recover from jet lag.  The most encouraging aspects of being out of the country for a week were –

a) Ofsted didn’t turn up anywhere!

b) All nurseries continued to function without us. 

It was lovely to return to happy smiling faces – children, staff (most) and parents (well, the ones I spoke to anyway!)

Mrs W and I ran 2 parenting courses this week. I was back to my Dads’ Incredible Years course. Most of them are still coming, even after 7 weeks! and the feedback on how their relationships with their children has improved, has been absolutely brilliant.

Last night, we both presented on ‘All Change’ to expectant mothers and their partners / supporters. It was really interesting to explore with them their hopes, fears and expectations. I’m not sure all of them are fully aware of what may lie ahead! but fair play to them for coming along to think about it.