Milngavie Early Years Centre

news for parents

November 13, 2020
by K. Cameron

Please can we have your junk?

When you are recycling, please could we ask if you could keep us your boxes, kitchen roll tubes, milk carton lids and any other cartons we might be able to create wonderful inventions with.  We would also love any ribbons, buttons etc which we could add to our creations!

Due to Covid restrictions we will need to keep the bag you send your recycling in and quarantine it for a couple of days.  If you need the bag back, please tell the member of staff you hand it to, and we will get it back to you.

We love junk modelling – it stimulates imagination, exercises our fine motor skills, stretches our problem solving and is an exciting creative experience.  We also know how much mums, dads and grans love clearing the mantelpiece to display these fabulous works of genius!

We are also starting to use our woodwork benches next week, and would be very grateful for any wee offcuts of wood that might be lurking in your shed or garage.

All donations will be very gratefully received.

November 13, 2020
by K. Cameron

We are loving the new hot meals menu!

Last week the school kitchen started to cook our hot lunch options again.  These have been very popular with many of our children who say they are, “DELICIOUS!”  Our new housekeeping assistant, Angela McInulty, does a great job of serving them up and they look really tasty!  Sandwiches and soup are still available and a vegetarian option is also on the menu.  It is really nice to see our children sitting round the tables together, enjoying nutritious and healthy food.

Tasty home made soup is available every day!

A Friday favourite – Fish Chips and Peas

The curry was really yummy!


Katsu Chicken Curry with savoury rice and nan bread


Spaghetti Bolognese with garlic bread and salad!

Here is the menu for next week!


October 26, 2020
by K. Cameron

Soggy Autumn news

Meet “Big Scary Bird”- our new plastic falcon. We are hoping he lives up to the name the children have chosen, and scares our pigeon population away!

Super Eric is a brilliant tree climber. Here he is, up in the canopy wiring Big Scary Bird onto a branch!



Pigeon Update

We are going to try a couple of the suggestions made, to try to discourage our local pigeons.  Our plastic falcon arrived this week and we enlisted the help of Superman Eric to help us put him up in one of the trees near the gate.  Fingers crossed he is scary enough.  We’re also going to hang up some old cd’s to reflect light and blow in the wind.




Halloween’s Coming!

This is the week before Halloween.  As our children’s ability to party has been severely curtailed by Covid this year, we thought it might be nice to make all of next week a dress-up week.  If your wee one decides to come in dressed up, we will take a photo of them for their learning journal and also create a Halloween Parade powerpoint, which you will be able to access from our blog on our nursery’s private Youtube channel.  This will give the children a chance to see all their friends from both the Daisy and Rainbow bubble – something we are all missing!  It is perfectly acceptable to dress up as yourself- so absolutely no pressure!  We are going to have some sanitised fork apple dooking and make some Halloween biscuits.  We have been learning some funny Halloween songs and rhymes and are having lots of fun with scary spiders and bats.

As the dark nights are coming in, it is a great time to discuss our feelings about the dark, and things that scare us.  It really helps to teach our children to think about how they feel.  Managing our feelings is much easier when we understand what they are.  We are creating a new Emotions board in the hall so we can register how we feel on a daily basis.


As the weather gets worse, we have decided to change the Rainbow entrance.  The garden entrance has become soggier and slippier as autumn progresses,  despite our best efforts.  So from Monday if dropping off at the Rainbow Room, please bring your child to the bottom of the ramp.  The children will come up the ramp and in the front door.  The ramp is out of bounds for parents, but a member of staff will be at the top of the ramp between 8am and 9am to let children in.  If you are dropping off or picking up and there is no one there, please just phone the nursery, wait at the end of the ramp and we will be there!

Autumn Walks

We are hoping to start autumn walks this week, but we are still missing quite a few EV3 forms – the forms that give parental permission to take children out into the local area.  We cannot take children out of nursery without them.  If you have not returned one, your child will not be able to go.  If you have lost your form, ask staff at drop off and we will get you another one to complete.  Many thanks!!

This week we are welcoming a new, wee recruit who has severe allergies.  Please can we ask that you are really careful that your child does not bring any sweets or snacks to nursery in their pockets.  We have to monitor everything edible in our environment very carefully now to ensure that our nursery is a very safe place for everyone.  Thanks for your co-operation with this.

Warm clothing please- even inside!

We have recently received new government guidelines on increasing ventilation and airflow in our building.  This involves windows and doors being kept open all the time, whatever the temperature outdoors.  Please could you ensure that your wee one is warmly dressed, preferably with a couple of layers under their jacket or coat, so that as temperatures fall we know that they are cosy.  Please, please, please – labels or names on all items of clothing that are sent in to nursery.  Even just a biro initial on the inside label will help us match up any lost items with their owner.


We are still here for parents!!

Although we cannot meet up in person, our nursery staff are available for a chat or advice.  If you have any concerns, anything you want to share with us, or any questions about your child’s progress please do not hesitate to phone us.  We can arrange time for your child’s keyworker to phone you back, or offer parenting support on a wide variety of topics from our trained Triple P (Positive Parenting Program) practitioners.











October 22, 2020
by K. Cameron

Realising the Ambition- an interesting read

Our lovely Fiona is expecting a baby in December, and is currently working from home.  She has been looking closely at the newest document from the Scottish Government on best Early Years practice – Realising the Ambition.

Our staff really like this document as it focuses on, and fully endorses the child centred approach that we have always had at Milngavie EYC, and gives us the confidence to fully embrace the new Planning in the Moment approach we began to implement in August.  It emphasises the importance of  well being to a child’s ability to learn, and promotes child-initiated independent learning.

Here is Fiona’s summary of the document.


Realising the Ambition: Being Me


National practice guidance for Early years in Scotland.  (Education Scotland 2020)


Shaping the ELC sector this new document has been creatively designed to guide and support all those who work with babies and children in early years and beyond into the start of Primary school.


This guidance seeks to improve children’s futures and emphasises the importance of everyone playing their part in empowering all of Scotland’s children to

“Be me”.


It provides information and good practice for all working within the ELC sector, into the early stages of primary stages, and beyond.


“Ideas of ‘school readiness’ or what children ‘should’ be doing, place too much emphasis on concerns about the future.”

(Carlton and Winsler, 1999).


“When working with children, it is essential that we start from what a child can do rather than what they can’t do.  A skilled practitioner will use their knowledge of the individual child’s strengths appropriately, to build on small steps of progress.”



Below are some relevant points from the new document.

Being me from my earliest days

“It is important to consider the life-stories of children in our settings from their earliest days. Practitioners seek to learn from parents and carers the significant information about a child’s previous experiences.”


Me and my environment

“A key part of the environment for children is the human, social environment of positive nurturing interactions. Experiences are also part of the environment.”


Being a baby, a toddler and a young child

It is important for Early year practitioners to know:

  • How children develop and learn from the beginning
  • How they are developing at any point in time
  • How they might develop and learn in the future.

However, age alone is not the predetermining factor in children’s development. Each child will progress in their own way and at their own rate as there are no set rules.



Considering the interactions, experiences and spaces on offer we, as practitioners, add value to what children already know and can do.


Children need to learn things for themselves, but this does not mean they should always do so by themselves.

We can:

  • Follow and build on children’s motivations and interests.
  • Support young children to make the most of the environment for learning and development.



Building a secure sense of self does not come quickly.


We can see development happening most clearly in

children’s play.


  • Very young babies, through the first few months, begin to interact more obviously with their caregivers, exchanging smiles and expressions.
  • Toddlers will play with us, and often they will play “alongside” each other in what is sometimes called parallel play.
  • As children develop, they become more social, taking part in longer play sequences with different roles and rules.


Different aspects of development are interlinked.


Babies take a while to work out how to smile, not because they don’t want to, but because the muscle movements are complicated and new!



Co-operative play is just as complicated!

For a young child following instructions, staying focused and using self-control are important skills that are learned and built from an early age.


What I need from the adults that look after me


Schematic play


When children repeat patterns of behaviour this is known as schematic play.  Early years practitioners are able to recognise that these distinct patterns of behaviour (Schemas) are meaningful and accommodate opportunities for individual children.

For example, children carrying all the bricks from one place to another in a bag.  This repeated behaviour could be described as ‘transporting’, one of the examples of schematic play.


It is important to understand that a child is not being disruptive when engaged in schematic play but to recognise this as early learning.  Help can be given to support the child by offering opportunities to test out their thinking.


The importance of play.


Play is not simple!

  • Play can mean many different things to children and adults.
  • We may describe activities we plan as ‘play’ whereas a child may not see these as play at all.
  • ‘Play’ is therefore both a tricky word and concept to describe. It can be fun and joyful or difficult and complicated.
  • We know that this is challenging as the act can be misinterpreted as ‘just play’.


Another challenge is to go beyond the word ’play’ and consider how play and learning are associated.

Through play, a child can:

  • learn to answer their own questions
  • learn new skills
  • learn to work collaboratively with other children or adults.



When playing a child:

  • tries out ideas and comes to a better understanding of thoughts and concepts.
  • Is learning to cope with reality through using their imagination.
  • Is practising new skills.


Curriculum for Excellence gives prominence to play, particularly across the early level and the transition between ELC and primary school.

This transition will likely be smoother for the child if play remains and continues as the main vehicle for their early learning in P1 and beyond.

As practitioners across ELC settings and schools we work together to plan for progression in learning and for continuity across a child-centred play curriculum.


The role of the adult is a balance of supporting, enriching and proposing on the one hand, and keeping back on the other to give the children space and time to build their own ideas.


Child-centred play (pedagogy) requires Early years practitioners to take the lead from the children. This approach actively responds to the individual and constantly changing needs of a young child.


A young child’s voice is interpreted by observations of their actions, emotions and words.  These observations are central to assessment and inform us what children need.


As previously mentioned, designing learning environments requires consideration of the interactions, experiences and spaces on offer.





At Milngavie, physical spaces, both outside and indoors, are constantly reviewed to incorporate a wide range of responsive, familiar, and exciting new play opportunities.

Staff observe how the children interact with their environment and respond to their interests and use of their spaces.


Observation can be noticing what it is that the children are finding interesting; noticing what they do and seeing how this might be changing over time.


“Learning is a co-operative process between children and adults, where children ‘borrow’ adult knowledge and skills, and at any given moment the lead and responsibility passes back and forth.

From the adult’s point of view, one can imagine this as a ‘ladder’ that they can go up and down, always aware of the child’s interest and initiative.”  Barbara Rogoff (2003)


As adults, think about how we can make something even ‘more interesting’.


This new guidance, Realising the Ambition: Being Me, reflects the original principles of Building the Ambition and complements the current policy direction of ELC and early Primary education. It aspires to support practitioners in delivering what babies and young children need most and how we can most effectively deliver this to give children the best start in life.

October 5, 2020
by K. Cameron

Monday morning news

Happy Monday- the beginning of another exciting week in nursery.  Many thanks for all the suggestions about scaring the messy pigeons away.  We will try hanging up CD’s and see if this makes any difference.

This week is a short week – our staff are on an in-service training day on Friday and our centre will be closed.  The following week (12th – 16th October), is a school holiday, but our nursery will be open as normal.  Please could you let us know if your child is going to be having a holiday week next week, or will be attending for their normal hours.

If you have not yet returned your child’s EV3 form which gives permission for trips in the local area, please can we remind you to return it.  We are hoping to start our Autumn walks and cannot take children out of the nursery without a signed form from their parent

On Friday 30th October we are going to have a Halloween Dress up Day in Nursery.  Children are welcome to come in dressed up, but please feel no pressure – every year we have a few wee people who just want to dress up as themselves.  No gory or scary costumes please – our staff scare really easily!!




September 29, 2020
by K. Cameron

Pigeon Poo! We’re looking for ideas!

We have a bit of a wood pigeon poo problem in our garden.  Our big feathered friends have earmarked the birch trees over the garden boardwalk as the ideal spot to relieve themselves, and they are obviously very well fed!!  This is making our staff members early morning garden set ups a nasty chore.

We are looking for practical ideas to deter them and move them elsewhere.  If anyone has tried plastic owls or birds of prey in their gardens and this has had an impact, please let us know.  We are very keen to encourage the pigeons to go elsewhere!!!!

September 29, 2020
by K. Cameron

This Week’s News- it’s National Maths Week!

We are back at nursery with our batteries recharged this morning, ready for a week of fun learning!  This week is National Maths Week,  so we are focusing on counting to 10 in our rhyme of the week which is 10 Green Bottles.  It is a useful way of learning the order of the numbers, backwards as well as forwards- important for developing a solid concept of number.  We will be celebrating maths all around us, in the garden and playground as well as in our playrooms with lots of fun activities.  Pictures to follow – watch this space!!!

Our lovely colleague, Fiona Drysdale is having her last day at nursery today for a while.  This is due to a very happy forthcoming event.  She and her partner are expecting a Christmas baby!    Her group – Fiona’s Foals- are going to join Debbie’s Ducklings group.  We will be keeping in touch with Fiona via Teams on the Playroom computer, so she will still be with us – just from home.

We have welcomed lots of new members of staff over the last few weeks.  We have some of the staff from the New Oakburn Early Years Centre, who will be with us until their building is ready.  We are really enjoying having such a large staff team- our new colleagues have brought lots of new and different skills into our nursery, and both staff and children are really enjoying getting to know them all.


Angela McInulty – our new Housekeeping Assistant, who helps run our kitchen and serve lunches.

Joshua Tennant-Milngavie EYCs new afternoon early years worker- works till 6 every evening!

Rong Biegus – [pronounced Rooni] Early Years Worker at Oakburn EYC                     

Elaine Campbell – Early Years Worker at Oakburn EYC                                   


We also recently welcomed Jennifer Fox, a new Early Years Worker for Milngavie EYC, who will be working mornings, and Elaine Jeffrey, Early Years Worker for Oakburn EYC, who will be working Thursdays and Fridays.  Glamorous photos This year our centre is closed for an In-service day on Friday 9th October, but will be open as usual, during the school’s October Week holiday.  If your child is taking this week off, please let us know.   We are keeping our fingers and toes crossed for some lovely autumn sunshine.



September 20, 2020
by Ms C McMenemy

August 2020 – Survey Results!

Towards the end of lockdown we issued a survey. The aim of the survey was to obtain feedback from children and families on how effective we were at achieving our lockdown priorities:  maintaining relationships, continuity of learning; and supporting key experiences such as graduation and transition. We would like to thank everyone who completed the survey. We are very pleased with the results.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Milngavie EYC staff team. Lockdown was a challenging period for everyone and the team continued to deliver a high quality service to our families. Their dedication, hardwork and innovative response to such an unprecedented situation is very much appreciated. We would also like to thank our children and families and the wider Milngavie community for their ongoing support.

Here are some of the key findings from our survey and some quotes from parents about our service.


September 15, 2020
by Ms C McMenemy

Parenting information workshops now online!

Last session our Tea and Talk Parenting Workshops were a big success! It was great to see small groups of parents getting together with Julie to discuss positive parenting approaches and share ideas. Things are a bit different this session. However, we are still very keen to continue to develop strong relationships with our parents, support families to get to know one another and promote positive parenting!

With this in mind we have decided to launch Tea and Talk Online. These 30 minute informal online chats are a great opportunity for parents (or grandparents/ carers) to find out more about positive parenting approaches. Based on the Triple P programme our first workshop will focus on six of the Top Ten Tips to Positive Parenting (see below). This session will be led by our Early Years Practitioner Angela Philip (pictured). During the session Angela will consult with parents to plan the focus of our future online workshops.

Angela Philip, Early Years Practitioner

We are delighted to work in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council’s new Supporting Families Worker Sharon Mitchell (pictured). Sharon will attend this first online session to describe her role and highlight how families can get in touch with her to access 1:1 parenting support.

Sharon Mitchell, Supporting Families Worker


So pour yourself a cuppa and join us online at 10.00 – 10.30 on Wednesday 23 September.

Email Caroline at to be sent the link to join the online workshop or ask a member of staff for details.

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