With the arrival of the Covid pandemic came the first lockdown sadly causing pre-school to close its doors until September 2020. The staff did a grand job of trying to support and keep in touch with their key children and their families with regular ‘well-being calls’ to them as well as doing lots of on-line training to expand their knowledge and skills. Transitions and home learning packs were sent to children’s homes so that they could keep learning and developing key skills and it was lovely to see all the photos of their efforts and fun times posted by parents. In September it was great to see our children returning happily and with excitement to spend time with their friends and with us. It was fantastic to see parents/carers coping with and adhering to all the new and ever changing rules and routines we had to put in place to keep everyone safe. As Christmas was coming we practised our nativity play and managed to film it for the parents to view before having to isolate, closing early before the Christmas break. Christmas arrived and once again we were all in another lockdown and pre-school, although open, there were only a few children and staff members that returned. In March 2021 we re-opened fully to the children and it was lovely to hear all the noise of their excited chatter and laughter in the hall and garden. It was a busy term with some special days to make presents and cards for as well as deliver Easter Eggs to the children. For Mother’s Day the children made a special tea-light holder and for Father’s Day they made a BBQ plate. In the afternoon school readiness sessions the older children began PE lessons, show and tell and our reading project. They took part in fun activities and games to help them develop the skills needed for Big School such as listening skills, following instructions, writing, numbers/counting, shapes, sitting still, following rules and independence. As the weather eventually warmed up, in addition to all the regular outdoor activities, the children also enjoyed lots of water play including washing cars, bubble making, water squirting, fence painting, mud kitchen, paddling, floating boats and water pipes and we all got very wet! The older children began some transition visits to Big School, coming back excited and full of stories about their exploits. As the end of term beckoned and we were preparing for Gradution, sadly three members of staff were pinged by the NHS app so had to isolate. Graduation Day finally arrived and the children arrived in their finery looking so grown up! With Karen missing it fell to Annette to step into the huge void left and present the children with their sashes and PE bags before enjoying a huge last hug from each child, who then went on to give lovely hugs to Emma, Chris and Jayne. Needless to say there were a few tears from staff and parent/carers! The children made a short video for Karen, Sharon and Aimee saying “Goodbye, we miss you” so that they didn’t miss out totally! After lots of photos it was time for party food before Papalarney arrived to entertain the children. The children sat beautifully and enjoyed the fun and games and it was so delightful to hear such belly laughter from them after such a year of disruption and craziness to their young lives. At home time there were lots more hugs as Goodbye’s were said and with some parents coming to the end of their association with our little pre-school. Many thanks from us all for the presents and for allowing us to look after your lovely children. A big thank you to the Committe Members for all your help today and over the years! Good Luck to all of the children going to Big School in September!