Our Nursery has been a place where many young people start their learning journey. We endeavour to work closely with parents to develop an open and positive relationship. As part of this we use Tapestry, an online learning record, which you are able to contribute to along with your child’s key worker.
The Nursery is a bright and vibrant environment which has its own outside area for the exclusive use of Nursery children. We also have the opportunity to explore the wider school grounds by visiting our Edible Garden and the large playing field.
The children are supported by an experienced team led by a qualified teacher who is in turn supported by Level 3 qualified Nursery Nurses.
We use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework to teach. Our curriculum is very child initiated and mainly play based, building on the children’s interests. This means we can go from learning about shapes to cats to spiders all in a short space of time! The main areas of learning include;
- communication and language,
- physical development,
- personal, social and emotional development,
- understanding of the world,
- expressive arts and design.
We are an inclusive nursery school where each child is given equal opportunity to discover and develop through high quality play based learning. We know and understand that all children are unique and learn at their own pace as well as in a wide variety of ways. As well as being a place of learning, we pride ourselves on ensuring that all children are coming in to a loving, caring environment where they are valued and listened to.
Together as a team built with healthy parenting and high-quality learning, we can provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they begin their learning journey
The Nursery caters for children aged 3 and 4 years old and forms part of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) within Birch Hill Primary School.
The Nursery sessions;
Morning session: 9:00am – 12:00
Afternoon session: 12:00 – 3:00pm
All Day: 9:00 – 3:00
The Nursery offers flexible hours, where parents can choose up to 30 hours per week.
Before your child starts in the Nursery we invite you to visit us for a tour and to find out more information about the setting.
While we follow the admissions criteria from Bracknell Forest council, we manage the admissions into the Nursery and also hold a waiting list of applicants. Children are admitted the term after their third birthday. We use the following criteria; date of birth, siblings and then proximity to the school.
The Nursery and the school are separate. While many of our children enter the Reception class of this school before their 5th birthday, attendance at Birch Hill Nursery is NOT a guarantee of a Reception place. Applications for a place in Reception class must be made through Bracknell Forest Admission.
All children are entitled to free 15 hours in the Nursery. Traditionally this has been either morning or afternoon sessions only. We now offer parents the flexibility to choose these 15 hours; morning or afternoon, or a mixture of all day to suit their needs. In addition, parents can pay for additional sessions, up to a total of 30 hours (5 full days). Please contact the office for more information regarding costs.
Each session follows the same routine:
• Welcome and self-registration
• Self-chosen activities inside
• Key group time
• Snack time
• Free-flow play (inside and out) alongside adult-led small group activities.
• Tidy up time
• Story time
• Home time
We offer a broad and balanced curriculum based on the requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). This enables children to acquire knowledge and skills and develop understanding and attitudes in each of the following areas:
• Communication and Language (CL)
• Physical development (PD)
• Personal, social and emotional development (PSED)
• Literacy (L)
• Mathematics (M)
• Understanding the World (UW)
• Expressive arts and design (EAD)
Communication and Language
Through everyday activities, children will have the opportunity to develop good listening skills, to express themselves clearly and to extend and enrich their spoken vocabulary. Children are encouraged to communicate and build relationships with both adults and their peers through play situations such as role-play and by simply playing alongside one another. We share news from home through small group discussions and key group times. We encourage children to listen attentively in a range of situations, including daily story time.
Through physical play the children will develop body awareness, co-ordination and control, manipulation and movement. Fine motor control is developed through small scale manipulative play, including dough, threading and using a range of hand held tools. Gross motor development is encouraged through the use of the outdoor play equipment and weekly sessions in the small hall where we move to music or play parachute games. Activities include riding on wheeled toys, using large apparatus and small (balls, hoops and skittles).
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
We will provide a happy, secure environment in which children become independent and grow in confidence. We support the children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others, and a positive disposition to learn. They will be encouraged to share and co-operate and are encouraged to develop warm and caring relationships with others. Through role play, imaginative play, ring games and circle time they will learn to care for and respect each other. We give the children time and space to develop their own interests. Children are given the freedom and appropriate support to learn how to express and manage their own feelings.
The Nursery is a language rich environment, both written and spoken. Children will enjoy listening to and sharing a wide range of rhymes, music, poetry, stories and non-fiction. They will be able to explore a wide range of mark making activities both inside and outside. Simple games are played to encourage the children to tune into sounds, including those in the environment and to identify similarities and differences. Children will take part in many ‘pre-writing’ fine motor activities to develop their coordination and will experiment with purposeful mark making and conventional script.
Children will learn to use mathematical language and develop an understanding of number, shape, space and measures through everyday situations, including; sand and water play, shopping, cookery, games and puzzles. They will sort, match and build with shapes and use measures for comparison purposes. Through number games, rhymes and songs the children learn to recite numbers in order and to compare amounts. These activities are all very practical, using mathematical terms which the children come to understand and use within their play.
Understanding the World
We provide an environment with a wide range of activities both inside and outside that encourage children’s interest and curiosity. We encourage children’s interest and curiosity and use open ended questioning such as ‘what could happen if…’ ‘I wonder why…’ and ‘how can we.’ The children use computers, interactive whiteboards, cameras and CD players with increasing independence.
Children will use simple tools safely, encounter creatures, plants and objects in their natural environment and explore and experiment with a range of materials. We learn about different places, times and cultures, exploring the traditions and celebrations around us.
Children will be encouraged to observe, ask questions and discuss what they have seen. Activities will include looking at ourselves and other living things.
Expressive Arts and Design
Creativity comes as children become absorbed in exploring their own ideas, through dance, music and movement, making and transforming things using media and materials or sharing their ideas in imaginative play activities. Activities include painting, modelling and drawing. Through singing rhymes and songs, listening games and making music with a variety of instruments, children will develop skills in composing, performing and enjoying music. We have role play areas throughout the year which are either linked to our topics or children’s interests. We encourage children to ‘have a go’, learn new things and be adventurous!
Inside Area: Whilst inside children can take part in a wide range of activities including:
• Imaginative play in our role play area
• Stories and puppets in the book corner
• Cut, stick and make bench
• Mark making and early-writing activities
• Manipulative area – dough, threading, pegs and other malleable activities
• Sand tray
• Art and Craft activities
• Construction and small world carpet area
• Messy play – including corn flour, bubbles, shaving foam and jelly.
• Counting activities
• Singing, action rhymes and music sessions.
In addition, we have access to the school Studio Hall and Library
The Outdoors Area: Our outside area provides opportunities for children to take part in activities such as:
• Riding bikes, trikes and scooters
• Building using a variety of construction blocks
• Imaginative play in the role play area
• Water writing/painting
• Exploring the bug garden and observing mini-beasts
• Large sand and water play
• Balancing on stilts
• Ball games
• Large-scale mark-making using chalks
• Small world play including trucks, dinosaurs and dolls house
• Counting activities and number recognition