Milngavie Early Learning Centre

news for parents

November 7, 2018
by K. Cameron

Happy Diwali Everyone!

Today is Diwali – the beginning of the new year for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs.  They celebrate the triumph of good over evil, light over dark and light up houses and temples with lots of diya lights.  Fireworks are also part of the celebration, as is lovely food and sweets.

We watched some videos which show how different people celebrate Diwali and we tried some yummy Indian Snacks and barfi – an Indian sweet.  We decorated our door with a special Diwali garland that we made ourselves and Emily made a lovely Rangoli pattern, which she put at the front door to bring us good luck in the coming year.  We have been trying a bit of Indian Dancing too!

Last week we made a special Diwali display with Mehandi patterns and a beautiful Indian Elephant.  We decorated the nursery window ledges with candles to bring us good luck and prosperity.


November 5, 2018
by K. Cameron

Our First Parents’ Focus Group of the Year

Today we had our first PFG meeting- many thanks to Laura, Shalinay, Giselle and Krista for coming along and for their very informed and valuable contributions to the meeting.  It was really helpful to get an overview of parents experience of our nursery, and there were very positive comments about the online Learning Journals and the Nursery News blog.  The Word Aware Book and Words of the Week were also thought to be a good idea.

We were very keen to get ideas on of how best to share the strategies staff are being given, to help develop language and communication, with parents.  We talked about the need to give children time to respond to our language and not jump in to finish sentences or speak for them.  It was suggested that the children also need to be made aware of this, and that we might approach this in a playful way, as “conversation detectives”!!   This is a great idea and will be on the agenda at the next staff planning meeting!  Krista highlighted imaginative play as a wonderful way to extend language and vocabulary – something we can also add to our planning.

We discussed communication with parents and Laura told us about her experience with the school’s class Facebook page – a closed group where parents can network and respond to things happening in Nursery.  This seems like a brilliant idea – and we decided to set it up, and try it.  We are aware that not all our parents read the blog, though it is available on a facebook page, but a closed group would mean parents could message one another and also might be more willing to comment on what they like and don’t like about our nursery.  Giselle pointed out that there is a facility to comment on your child’s learning in the Learning Journal, but parents may not be aware of this, or be sure what to put in.  Please comment on the learning – it is really good to know if your child has taken their learning home with them and is able to use  it in other contexts, or discuss it with you.  It is also nice for your child to have your voice in their journal.

Play Prompts for Parents were also discussed – ideas of things to try with your child.  It was felt that a Facebook page would allow parents to chat about how these worked and swap ideas and experiences.

Our Stay and Play Board-  our current method of inviting parents in to nursery.was discussed.  It was generally felt that the board was a bit intimidating as it required parents to say what they felt they were good at – something as West of Scotland adults, we struggle with.  It was suggested that we be more specific about what we ask parents to help with, or do.  For example, a “Read your child’s favorite book to their group” with a sign up sheet for times, was felt to be a good idea and has been popular in other nurseries.  We fully appreciate that it is not possible for everyone’s parents to come in to do this, however we thought the child could nominate the member of staff they would like to read for them, or perhaps even invite a special guest, like a gran or even Mr Graham, our headteacher, to be their reader.

Laura also told us about a previous nursery, which had a policy of inviting parents in for the last half hour of the Friday session to taste baking, join in song time, play outdoors etc.  This allowed the children a chance to really show their parent round their nursery, and gave parents a chance to see what was being learned  in the nursery that week.  It was also a chance for parents to meet and get to know one another.  We love this idea, and although it will be a bit of a challenge, as we are an all day nursery, we are going to work out a way of doing this.

We also discussed the idea of a “Talking Box” – a cardboard box sent home for children to bring 5 special objects or photos back to nursery in.  The idea is that the child then opens the box at group time and shares with their group, why the things are special for them.  It is a really great way of encouraging confidence and language.  Lynn, our Senior Early Years Worker, liked it so much she had it all organised by the end of play on Monday.  We will be sending these boxes home with one member of each group, every week.  We would love to hear what you think of the idea.

We spent time discussing how we could make it easier for parents to leave comments and feedback for the nursery, both on general issues and particularly on Language and Communication Friendly changes.  We thought parents might find commenting easier with the Facebook page.  I will also put a “What do you think?” Box in the nursery hall with paper and pens in case people prefer this.  If you prefer to send a personal email my address is

We really appreciate all the great ideas and suggestions that were brought along to the meeting today.  It was a really productive and enjoyable experience.  The next meeting is scheduled for Monday 3rd December at 10am in the nursery.  Please let us know if you would like to raise anything in particular, and please come along if you can make it.  We really value our children’s and parents’ opinions  and know that you have amazing ideas which we can adopt to make Milngavie Early Learning Centre a really great place to be.

November 5, 2018
by K. Cameron

Happy Monday – its the beginning of another exciting week in nursery!

Today Angela has provided materials for making rockets, in the art area.  We have been talking about the noise that fireworks make and how it upsets pets (and sometimes wee people too!).  Carrie has been telling us about a “quiet fireworks display” which is dog friendly.  We also will be watching a CBeebies video on Diwali, to show the children how and why it is celebrated.

On Tuesday, Lynn and Eileen are out of nursery on special training.

On Wednesday we are celebrating the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali- a festival of light.  We will be having a special snack and decorating the nursery with diwali diya lights and rangoli patterns.

This week we are also raising the children’s awareness of the importance of good hand hygiene after visiting the toilet.  We are putting up a pictorial visual of what we do to wash our hands properly, and talking about what germs are, and how they can make us ill.  We are also displaying signs in the loos to remind our wee people to FLUSH!  This relates to our Health and Wellbeing learning outcome –

  • I am becoming aware of how cleanliness, hygiene and safety can affect health and wellbeing and I apply this knowledge in my everyday routines such as taking care of my teeth. HWB 0-33a

On Friday we are looking forward to seeing Susan, Mr Snappy and all the instruments for another great musical experience.  The forest kindergarten groups will also be taking to the woods- fingers crossed for a lovely day!

Last Friday, our students – Seonaid and Siobhan- looked at fireworks with the children.  We did not have real fireworks on the premises but we watched some fireworks displays on the big screen and learned a song called “Five Fat Fireworks” from the Sticky Kids “Rattle, rattle, shake, shake” CD.  Siobhan then got out the paints, and encouraged the children to make firework splatter paintings on black paper, and Seonaid helped them make 3d rockets using cylinders.  Great work everyone.

November 1, 2018
by K. Cameron

Parking around the school – Police now involved!

Today we had a visit from the police.  They had come to ask us to let parents know that there have been complaints from local residents, who have not been able to get out of their driveways as school/nursery parents have parked over the exits to their homes.

Parking around our school is a nightmare – it has recently become worse as the council have introduced a parking charge in local car parks, and this has driven commuters to park around the school, as it is within walking distance of the station.  This further reduces the amount of space there is around the school for parents and carers to park at drop off and pick up times.  Police are going to be patrolling the area around the school at these times and will book anyone who blocks driveways or parks on zig zags and double yellow lines.

It is very difficult to see how we can improve this situation, without more people just walking to school.  We can all appreciate that this is not always an option, but would ask you to consider parking further round Hillhead Street and walking back down to nursery, as there are generally more spaces there.  The streets around our school were never designed to take the amount of traffic they now have.  If you have to bring your car to nursery, please park considerately and legally – getting a parking ticket is never a good way to start a busy day!!!  Many thanks!!

October 29, 2018
by K. Cameron

What’s happening this week?

Happy, sunny Monday!!!  We have another action packed week in nursery to look forward to.  At the weekend, a hardworking bunch of volunteers spent a sunny Sunday afternoon clearing debris and building the new supports in the garden.  Giselle, Emile’s mum, made an absolutely fabulous job of sorting out the polytunnel and has the nettle stings to prove it.  Many, many thanks to all the helpers.  Our outdoor areas at Milngavie are amazing and this is down to the hard work of our garden and orchard volunteers- without them, we would quickly be surrounded by a wilderness.


Last week the children risk assessed the orchard and came up with a really good list of things we need to think about when we are out there.  We will be working with them on thinking of the rules we need to put in place to make sure we are all safe, and also looking at ways we might change some things to make them safer.  Great job everyone!!

Today we are having photos taken and Angela has temporarily taken the black paint out of the art area, so we don’t mess up our clothes before our photos!  Pam is out of Nursery on a First Aid Course.

On Tuesday Valerie is attending a Mentally Healthy Workplace Training Course.

Wedenesday is Halloween and we are looking forward to a great Magic Show with Primary 1, in the infant gym.  If you have not already bought your child’s ticket there is still time – please just hand the £3 to any member of staff.  Many thanks.  Dressing up is completely optional, but if you are – please remember – nothing too gory or scary – our staff scare very easily!!!!!

On Thursday some of our staff are having training from Speech and Language Therapists to help us effectively support children with speech difficulties within nursery.

Friday is Forest Kindergarten day and also our next Promoting Alternative Thinking Skills ( PAThS)- session.

Next Monday – at 10am – we are holding a Parents and Carer’s Focus Group.  If you could come along we would love to see you.  We are hoping to discuss what parents think about the changes we are making to nursery and to see what more we can do to make it easier for parents to become involved in nursery life -(only if they want to be, of course!!)  There will be tea and coffee and even a biscuit!  Please come along if you can!!!!

October 26, 2018
by K. Cameron

Times for photos

We just heard from the photographers that family groups will be taken first- from 9am onwards and then nursery individual photos at 10.10am.

We have all weekend to practise our winning smiles!!!

October 26, 2018
by K. Cameron

Say Cheese! Individual Photos – being taken on Monday 29th Oct

Sorry about the short notice – Tempest photographers are visiting the school to take individual portrait photographs on Monday.  If you do not normally attend on a Monday, you can bring your child in to have their photo taken.  This is being done in the Upper School Gym hall.  We do not yet have a time slot for the nursery but will send this out on a group call when we know.  If you want to have your nursery child’s photo taken with a big brother or sister and are bringing them in for this, there may be a bit of waiting about as groups,  are usually done all  together.  We will take any children who are to be in family photos, and are in nursery on Monday, over to have them taken.

October 25, 2018
by K. Cameron

Our Smart Nursery Uniform is now available!

Last year we held a competition to design a logo for our nursery as it was changing it’s name to Milngavie Early Learning Centre.  All the children drew their ideas and one of our lovely parents – Andy Brunton- spent lots of his own time helping make these into graphic images for us.  In the end, the logo chosen was actually designed by 2 of our pupils – Keziah Low, who drew the lovely tree and Lauren Brunton who designed the rainbow and the flowers.  We love the result and have now managed to have it put onto our new uniform.

There is no pressure to buy the uniform – it is entirely optional.  We like it because it is a practical colour for playing outside, or in any messy environment.  It takes the stress out of getting dressed for nursery and it looks really cosy and smart!  The ladies are going to buy some too!

The items available are a polo shirt which costs £5, a sweatshirt at £6, a lightweight jacket at £14 and a heavyweight reversible jacket at £17.  Fleeces may also be also be available.  The sizes are 3-4, and 5-6.

Unfortunately the photo of the logo does not do it justice.  The colours are much nicer in real life!!!!! You can see samples of the uniform in the nursery hall, on the wall opposite the office.

There are several ways to order uniform.  You can order online at

You can telephone the supplier and place an order over the phone on 0141-777-8528, or you can visit the supplier’s shop- Baru – at 5 Cowgate,  Kirkintilloch, Glasgow,  G66 1HW.  The supplier will deliver your order free to the school, or to your home for £3.95.

We are really hoping that parents and children will like the uniform as much as we do!!


October 22, 2018
by K. Cameron

Halloween Magic Show

Nursery and Primary 1 Halloween Magic Show

Wednesday 31st October

As a special Halloween treat, we have booked Gary Dunn, a children’s magician, to entertain us with a special, spooky ,magic show.  Gary’s performance is very funny and interactive and he involves his audience in his tricks and jokes.  The show takes place in the gym hall in the lower school.

The morning performance starts at 10.15am and the afternoon performance, at 1.15pm.

The cost of a ticket is £3.00.  Please could you pay this to your child’s keyworker or class teacher if you would like your child to attend.  If your child does not attend nursery on a Wednesday, they can still come to the show, if you stay and watch it with them.  To add a really Halloweeny feel to the occasion, nursery children are welcome to come along dressed up.  This is, of course, completely optional and we nearly always have a couple of wee people that prefer to dress up as themselves!

Thank you

October 22, 2018
by K. Cameron

Monday news!

We are all back with batteries recharged and ready for the exciting run up to Christmas!  This is always a special time of year in Nursery with lots to learn about colder weather, longer nights and fun festivals to light up the darkness.

Our staff team have been very busy – on our in service day we looked at our Outdoor Policy, Five to Thrive and watched Suzanne Zeedyk’s youtube talk on the need to address Adverse Childhood Experiences when tackling Scotland’s Attainment Gap.  Kate also attended a really interesting LGBT awareness event and the rest of the staff went to a meeting to find out more about East Dunbartonshire’s plans for rolling out the new nursery provision required by the extension of hours from 600 to 1140, in 2020.  This increase in hours will have a very significant impact on all Early Learning and Childcare centres in Scotland.  We will hear more about the plans for Milngavie ELCC, and our staff, in the next two weeks.

This morning we had training on the Development of Language in young children, with Jade Brooker, our link Speech and Language Therapist and Gail Hendry, our Educational Psychologist.  This was part of our journey to make Milngavie ELCC a “Language and Communication Friendly Environment”.  We got lots of good advice and strategies to use to increase children’s confidence in the use of their language in the nursery setting.  We would like to share the things we are learning with parents and to ask for your opinions on the changes we are making within nursery, to encourage our children’s language.

Wednesday is gym day and two groups will be visiting the gym for some energetic fun and games.

On Friday we have a music workshop with Susan,  and Mr Snappy- the friendly crocodile with the interesting backpack. It is always fun finding out what he has brought to show us this week!!!

On Friday two groups of pre-school children will be heading to Barloch Moor for the first of six Forest Kindergarten  sessions.  All our pre-schoolers will be invited, over the course of the year, to participate in this very exciting and worthwhile part of our curriculum.  If your child is in this first group, you will get a letter over the next couple of days in their group tray.

Our group activity this week is to explore the orchard and list things we need to be careful of.  By thinking about our safety and creating our own rules about how to stay safe, the rules become much more meaningful and memorable.  We can have fun doing this (believe it or not!) and might just put the odd crazy rule in to make life more interesting.  We’ll let you know what the children come up with!



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