How joyful to be out in the low golden sun, gathering willow branches, hugging trees and looking at our long shadows. It is fun to wrap up in warm clothing and feel the warmth of the sun on our faces. We love to run our hands across the rough skin of the tree bark, and tread the soft green grass under our feet. The willow branches are soft and supple and bend easily to make our new hut. The grey shadows will make a good topic to go and paint in the art room later on when we go back into our cottage. We feel refreshed and exhilarated and alive by being outside on a lovely calm winter's day.
Our annual Nativity Play will be held on Thursday 13th December at 10.45am in Ruthven Community Hall. Please come and celebrate the story of the first Christmas with us; do bring family and friends and everyone will be welcome. After the (short) performance there will be tea and coffee and some festive treats.
Ruthven Community Hall is the former church in Ruthven which is a couple of miles along the road from Alyth to Kirriemuir. It is a lovely venue with plenty of parking and an ideal place for a Nativity Play.
We had a really wonderful farm visit to West Jordanstone Farm. A huge thank you to Peter Marshall Farms and Jennifer for being so welcoming and generous and showing us around. The children loved picking the raspberries and blueberries and meeting the pickers in the poly tunnels. They also really enjoyed clambering around in the tractor, forklift and tele-handler and you can see that really loved the ride in the minibus!
We were blessed at the end of term with a lovely sunny day for our Summer Concert and Leavers' Ceremony. The children performed songs and poems based on a popular Space theme - earlier in the year, the children had been very interested to learn about our Solar System and Planet Earth's place within it.
We said a fond farewell to our leavers and all joined in wishing them every success in the future.
Perth and Kinross Council have issued an updated version of their Guide to Early Learning and Childcare.
The document can be accessed by clicking HERE
SAVE THE DATE ! Saturday 10 November 2018
The Scottish Montessori Collective is marking the 80th anniversary of the Seventh International Montessori Congress in Edinburgh with a conference dedicated to using Montessori’s own contributions to the 1938 Congress as a springboard for taking Montessori forward in Scotland in the 21stcentury. Fittingly, the Congress will take place in the venue chosen for the original Congress: Craigmillar Park Church Hall.
The day will run from 9:30 to 3:30 with more formal presentations in the morning and contributions from local Montessori schools in the afternoon following a pot-luck lunch.
The precise schedule and cost (modest) tbc.
Contact Irene Pollock, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to offer help, contributions or support.
It seems that we are really behind with our news! There really is lots going on at Netherton and there is probably at least one facebook post per week for current parents.
We will consider carefully exactly what function this news page has and for whom it is working and will report back...
Autumn Term Newsletter
The Autumn Term has been speeding along and we have been busy at Netherton learning more about the harvest which we have been watching all around us. There has been much interest in combine harvesters and several of the children know an awful lot about them! We were lucky enough to be at school to watch our landlords, the Barrons, harvesting the field next door. There is indeed something very pleasing and mesmerising about a combine harvester in a field of barley.
We have been learning about the different grains which are grown locally and talking about the related foods which we eat. Bread baking was a great success and there has been lots of art and craft work inspired by what the children have been exploring.
(see photos in the gallery at the bottom)
Everyone has settled into the new academic year with much enthusiasm and the pre school cohort are enjoying the responsibility of showing the younger children how we do things at Netherton. We have welcomed 5 new children to the school; Phoebe, Arthur, Hattie, Minnie and Henry and it is remarkable how quickly they have integrated into the group. We are always very conscious that as parents you often don’t get to hear too much about what it is your child is doing all day. “What did you do at school today?” and the answer comes back “Nothing”. Or, the other one, “Who did you play with today at school” and the classic response of “None one wanted to play with me”. We can assure you that neither is true! We are holding an informal Parents’ Evening on Monday 3rd of October from 7 to 8.30pm and we warmly invite you all to come along and we can dispel some myths. It is also an opportunity for you to meet other parents and find out a bit more about Montessori education.
It was very disappointing that our new nursery assistant Sarah was unable to continue in the post due to a sudden and unexpected change in her personal circumstances however we are delighted that Emma Holden will be joining us. Emma is currently undertaking a Montessori qualification and she comes highly recommended.
We thought we would share with you some of our positive language tips which we have been focusing on these past few weeks. Helen Prochaska from the Montessori Partnership wrote these wise words about words
SPITTING OUT OUR WORDS
A colleague many years ago was fond of saying ‘Spit your words into your hand and look at them before you say them.’
This is a good resolution to adopt for the new academic year. By taking an extra second to consider a response before saying something that can’t be unsaid, many tricky situations can be avoided, or handled better.
A classic example is saying to a child, ‘Would you like to …?’ And when they answer ‘No!’, which is a perfectly legitimate response to this closed question, where are you then? And where do you go from there?
Be very wary of this question. Only ask it if you are genuinely willing to include ‘no’ as a legitimate answer that you can respect by acting on it. But if you are really not offering a choice, rephrase your words. If you want the child to do something, and are not giving an option to refuse, there are lots of good alternatives:
We would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate once again that we are always very happy to discuss any aspect of your child’s development and education. Dropping off time in the morning isn’t the best time to chat as we find that a quick goodbye and exit works well for the children. We appreciate that pick up time can be a bit busy but we are always available for a quiet word in the office and equally are happy to talk on the phone between 3.30 and 5pm. With small children there can often be misunderstandings and a good working relationship between yourselves and the school is the basis for our partnership so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any concern or think there is anything that it would be helpful for us to know.
We look forward to welcoming you to Netherton on the evening of Monday 3rd October.
With best wishes
Jill and Verity
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In August 2013, the Government launched a consultation with childcare voucher providers, carers, parents and employers to discuss how a new scheme to provide support for working families with their childcare costs would work.
The Queen’s speech, in early June this year, included plans for this new scheme to help working parents with their childcare costs.
The new scheme, called Tax-free Childcare (TFC), will launch in autumn 2015 and will work very differently to the existing Employer-Supported Childcare (ESC) scheme, commonly referred to as childcare vouchers. At present, it looks like TFC will be run by the Government, through HMRC and National Savings & Investments (NS&I).
TFC will work very differently to how childcare vouchers work today
Both parents have to be in work to be eligible for TFC, unless they are a family with a lone working parent.
Unlike the current ESC scheme, TFC is also open to self-employed parents.
Both parents must earn less than £150,000 a year and not be receiving the childcare element of Universal Credit.
Parents take part in the scheme by going direct to the TFC provider and not through their employer.
The current scheme works as a salary sacrifice deduction, however parents will pay into TFC from their bank accounts.
Parents will contribute directly to the TFC provider (e.g. by BACS or Direct Debit) and, for every 80p a parent pays in, the Government pays in 20p, up to a maximum £2,000 per child, per year.
Parents will only be able to use TFC to pay for childcare for children up to theage of 12 (or age 17 for children with disabilities) – the current scheme is open to children aged 15, or 16 if registered disabled.
Funds will be ring-fenced on a per child basis, so parents will also have to operate a different sub-account for each child.
Parents will also have to reconfirm their eligibility for TFC on a quarterly basis or risk losing the Government top up payment.
The existing childcare voucher scheme will stay open for parents who use it now
Childcare voucher schemes will continue to run for parents already using them, but new parents won’t be able to join their employer’s childcare voucher scheme once TFC launches.
Some parents will be better off with the existing childcare voucher scheme
Over one in five parents (that would not be eligible for TFC) who took part in a recent survey by Computershare Voucher Services said that they or their partner would have to give up work if they did not have access to childcare vouchers. A further 38% responded that they or their parents would have to reduce their hours.