Our Learning and Playing

We give our little ones the best possible start on their educational pathway, supporting our families as they travel through their time with us, ensuring a happy and productive journey for all. The small numbers that we care for means that every child receives outstanding individual attention and education from specific members of staff, responsible for their care.

Through excellent pastoral care, fun play and discovery activities, in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage, we deliver progression for all our children. This ensures happiness and exploration that will increase skills and confidence as the children grow through the stages of development. Our team observes, evaluates, assesses and delivers well-planned, age-appropriate activities, thereby developing independence and building up self-esteem, in preparation for confident progression to the next level of learning and for big school ahead.

We plan the curriculum in line with the EYFS and look closely at the needs of the individual child. We support every child to progress successfully through the developmental stages; having a go, discovering, and thoroughly enjoying learning alongside their friends.

Educational Play

The children start to explore the world around them in different ways. We introduce the names of colours, explore more mark making and engage in active role-play and construction activities. The children are slowly starting to become more independent and enjoy hanging up their coat on their peg and placing their art work in their drawer ready to show their loved ones at home time.

We encourage sensory and messy play, providing a range of fun, hands-on learning activities; from manipulating playdough, small and large construction, a large variety of mark making and craft activities, sand play in our outdoor pit whilst increasing independence and the ability to follow instructions alongside. We offer our children new and varied experiences that will extend vocabulary, motor skills, imagination and their ability to think creatively.

We place a strong emphasis on dressing up and role play, small world play, and take every opportunity to include stories, singing and music.

The children start to explore letters and numbers and gain confidence in their ability to communicate with their peers and teachers about their wants and needs. We pursue early reading and writing, as and when our older children are ready.


Duchess Nursery has been designed with little people in mind, with a variety of areas to explore, play and learn in. It has been completely redecorated in bright, fun colours and keep your eyes out for our Duchess dragon around the nursery. This stimulating environment incorporates:

  • dedicated role play area
  • themed cubby hole
  • treehouse
  • climbing and soft play platform
  • small, outdoor, all-weather play area
  • sandpit
  • outdoor platform reached by a ladder


Our aim is to encourage independence across the children’s learning and their self-management. When they are ready, we want the children to make choices and decisions for themselves and will support them taking more control during their time at nursery. The age of two is a prime time for toilet training and we are here to support parents through the transition. We ask parents to let us know when they are considering training so we can help. From the minute children arrive, we encourage the children to help themselves as much as possible with self-dressing, starting with coats and shoes, as well as choosing the resources they would like to explore.

Early Years Foundation Stage:

Curriculum areas are::
Prime:  Personal, Social and Emotional; Physical Development; Communication and Language.

Specific: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the world; Expressive Arts and Design.

The Characteristics of Learning:  Playing and Exploring; Active Learning; Creating and Thinking Critically; they are the ways in which your child engages with other children and adults and their environment, and they support your child to become an effective and motivated learner.


Griffins (Under 3s)

Our little ones begin to learn and explore through play & fun daily activities. We cover different themes every month and help the children to progress through the Early years Foundation Stage Curriculum with a particular focus on sensory activities. Our children discover a range of stimulating experiences; mark making, messy play, role play, small world and construction play with lots of support from the staff team.

We encourage our children to increase their ability to do things for themselves such as shoes, getting dressed and potty training.

Each morning we have a circle time to say good morning to each other and the teachers, we enjoy singing and nursery rhymes as well as interactive games. We then encourage a focus activity set out by their key worker, whilst a host of exciting activities are available for continuous provision. This is where sensorial play with a range of materials such as sand, corn flakes or shaving foam are used to find letters or numbers, to explore texture, shape and movement.

Role play is a valuable part of all activities both adult and child led, free choice and themed in our tree house, play platform and generally around the classes with a selection of outfits and props. We have a range of small and large construction to support fine and gross motor skills and love all kinds of art and craft activities getting messy and being creative!

Stories and books are very important to us as we develop the early skills of listening to and understanding stories and we enjoy acting out our favourites!


Dragons (Over 3s)

Our children are encouraged to become more independent both in their self-care and their approach to learning. They are given activities to consolidate and challenge their abilities. Following the Early years Foundation Stage Curriculum, we being to prepare the children for the skills they will need at the start of ‘big school’, focussing on the prime and specific areas through carefully planned activities and ensuring next steps are set for each child.

We use Read Write Inc to develop phonics, led by a staff member encouraging children to recognise their letters through visual cards, toys and songs. We consistently support strong fine motor skills through early mark making, dough activities and water play; beginning to form and write their names correctly.

We explore shape, space and measure as well as a variety of number games and activities to promote 1:1 correspondence (accurate counting) and matching numerals to amounts and learning mathematical vocabulary.

All children are encouraged to help themselves as much as possible with self- dressing, potty training and being able to independently choose an activity.

We encourage independence through self-registration on arrival, placing their individual items on their own pegs, being able to do their own coats and shoes as well as being able to choose activities for themselves. We also support them to become independent in completing familiar activities and approaching new experiences.