Rothiemay and District Playgroup – ‘SHANARRI’ Bear

The following blog post was submitted by Jackie Stewart, CALA Childhood Practice Manager:


The children at Rothiemay found a visitor in their garden and have used this as an opportunity to learn about SHANARRI – we hope you enjoy seeing what has been happening.

Read more about the children of Rothiemay and their newfound friend by downloading this report [MS Word].

Ardross Nursery – November Newsletter

Tracy from Ardross Nursery has sent over their latest newsletter, which includes details on what the children have been up to, important dates for the diary, and other news from the centre. Thanks Tracy!

Click here to download the newsletter [MS Word].

Kinlochbervie, Scourie and Durness Pre-School Raise Money for Children in Need


Well done to Kinlochbervie, Scourie and Durness pre-school and toddler groups, who recently took part in fundraising for Children in Need! The children brought in teddy bears and wore spots, in tribute to Pudsy, the Children in Need bear. There were fundraising games, and a bouncy castle. The children and staff all had lots of fun, and raised money for a worthwhile cause. A big ‘well done’ from CALA to everyone involved!

CALA Christmas Competition!

Our Christmas competition is still open to entries! To celebrate ‘Year of the Dad’, we are looking for men to film themselves and a child (or group of children), singing one of their favourite Christmas carols. The winning entry will win £100 to spend on their Parent and Toddler Group! Have a look at the flyer for more information:


TRACC out of School Care Build some Bird Boxes!


The children of TRACC out of school care have been making their own bird boxes! They are planning to add their bird boxes to TRACC’s new Eco Garden.

Alison has sent through a Powerpoint presentation that shows the fantastic progress they’ve been making with their bird boxes. Click here to download.

Frugal Fun Friday – Christmas Glitter!

Another Christmassy Frugal Fun Friday for you today! This week Mairianne shows us how to make a glittery Christmas decoration. Click the picture below to play the video.


Thanks Mairianne!

Play Like Share – helping eight-to-ten year olds to stay safe online


Play Like Share is a series of three videos produced by Thinkuknow that aims to educate eight-to-ten year olds on staying safe online. From the Thinkuknow newsletter:

“Play Like Share helps children to identify the signs of pressurising and threatening behaviour in an age appropriate way. This is explored through highly relatable characters and non-frightening peer-on-peer scenarios, where children recognise tactics such as flattery or bribery or that feeling you might get when something’s not right. The resources aims to develop children’s confidence and skills to respond to these situations and get help when they need it.”

To download these videos and the corresponding resource pack, head to Thinkuknow’s resource website. To access the resources you’ll have to sign up for a (free) account with Thinkuknow.

Nessie’s Nippers go Camping!

The following blog article was submitted by Julia McNeil, CALA Childhood Practice Manager:


Nessie’s Nippers had a wee adventure camping in the woods, pitching their tent, collecting fire wood, and having a snack.

The children were learning about how to keep safe, to respect the environment, and have some fun telling stories around the fire and singing some songs

We all had a great day! 🙂

-Julia McNeil

To see more of the Nipper’s escapades in the great outdoors, click here to download a Powerpoint presentation that Julia sent through.

Bogadh airson Ùbhlan (Dooking for Apples)

The following article was submitted by Maree Nicolson, CALA Gaelic Parent & Toddler Development Worker, on behalf of Ceuman Beaga Inbhir Nis (Inverness)
dooking1Faodaidh fear de na geamaichean Samhna as sine againn ‘Bogadh airson Ùbhlan’ a bhith rudeigin doirbh dhan fheadhainn bheaga. Aig Ceuman Beaga Inbhir Nis, sheall fear de na Dadaidhean dhuinn mar a bu chòir dhuinn a dhèanamh. ’S math a rinn thu Iain!

Nuair a tha sinn a’ coimhead gu dlùth air na cur-seachadan sìmplidh a tha sna buidhnean 0-3 againn, tha beartas de ionnsachadh ri fhaighinn air culaibh an spòrs. Ann an seo chi sinn gu bheil an inbheach a toirt taic dhan leanabh airson pàirt a ghabhal ann an cur seachad nach eil i eolach air.

English Translation:

One of the oldest Halloween games, ”Dooking for Apples’ can be a little tricky for our little ones. At ‘Ceuman Beaga Inverness’ one of the Dads didn’t need much persuading to give a little demonstration. Well done Iain!

When we look closely at simple activities at our 0-3 groups, there is a wealth of learning behind all the fun. Here we see that the adult is encouraging the child to take part in an activity that she has never seen before by showing her what to do.



Congratulations to Stephanie Campbell and Emma MacLeod for passing their SVQ3 Social Services

The following blog article was submitted by Debbie Campbell, Staffbank & Childcare Manager


We would like to offer huge congratulations to Stephanie Campbell and Emma MacLeod who have recently completed their SVQ3 Social Services (Children & Young People) !

Not an easy task to balance work, life & study, but well worth the hard work ! Fantastic achievement Ladies !

Our congratulations are also extended to all of our practitioners who recently completed our “First Aid Training”…..well done all.

This was one of the first of many paid training opportunities which feature as part of our “Training Pathway”, full details of which are available from the office.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Sandra Tucker and her team at “HiMATS” for their continued support in the delivery of this training. This is a valuable training opportunity appreciated by all…Thank you !

If you missed out on the opportunity in October, and need to complete or refresh your First Aid Training, please contact Amanda at the office to request a place on our next available training.

National Health and Social Care Standards Review


The National Health and Social Care Standards are in the process of being reviewed. A consultation is underway to get people’s views on the standards that have been developed.

“We want to know whether the new Standards are fit for purpose, the extent to which they are directed at supporting improvement in care and support and ultimately, whether they will achieve better personal outcomes for everyone.”
– Care Inspectorate

To find out more, and take part in the consultation, click here to be taken to the website for the National Care Standards Review.

Frugal Fun Friday – Christmas Sensory Bottles

It’s FFF time! Here’s Mairianne to explain this week’s Christmassy creation:

This week we are making Christmas trees, a simple idea that is perfect for babies and toddlers alike. Sensory bottles are a calming and mesmerising activity, your toddler can get involved in making their sensory bottles and for babies you can leave off the star and use the bottle to encourage tummy time and pre crawling skills. Check in next week for more Christmas fun!

Click the image below to play the video: