Welcome to Whitchurch CE Primary School Nursery
We promote a safe and nurturing environment, enabling children to grow in confidence as individuals and to understand the need for kindness and respect towards one another. We provide a creative, broad, fun-filled and enquiry-based curriculum, tailored to suit each child. Our learning environment fosters children’s natural sense of curiosity and independence and encourages them to become critical, creative thinkers, who embrace challenges through purposeful play, underpinned by our growth mindset-based ethos.
Every child who joins our Early Years setting is welcomed into a community of children, their families and our teachers engaged in the wonder of childhood and the joy of learning.
Children only get one childhood and our school team are dedicated to ensure that children get the best of experiences and highest of standards. We welcome you to come and see for yourself how we nurture success.
For more information on learning in EYFS please see our school EYFS page under curriculum.
Our EYFS Intent
To provide an outstanding, nurturing and inclusive environment which gives children enriching and pertinent experiences to prepare them for their next educational phase.
Our Nursery Team
Our highly-qualified and caring Nursery Team are a valued asset to our school nursery, with years of experience. They are supported by the highly-skilled and experienced River Wye Federation Senior Leadership Team.
Our enthusiastic and dedicated staff have up-to-date training. As professional individuals, they place the needs of the children and the wishes of the parents as their top priority.
Stringent recruitment procedures are followed in respect of all staff who join the nursery, which include interviews, trial sessions, references and full DBS police checks. Staff receive a comprehensive Induction Program and undertake regular appraisals and CPD as part of the River Wye Federation's improvement cycle.
Kelly Smith is our Nursery Lead encompassing provision from birth through to four and is a Designated Safeguarding Lead. Kelly is a highly experienced practitioner and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Kelly has a detailed knowledge of child development and works closely with our health professionals to ensure early identification of needs. Kelly supports the nursery team to complete two-year-old Progress Checks. Kelly holds Paediatric First Aid and Food Handling qualifications.
Emma Davies is our Deputy Nursery Lead. Emma is a qualified teacher. Emma leads on under 2 provision and also takes the lead of our wrap-around care provision, bringing with her an understanding of how foster the holistic child and ideas that she brings from the New Zealand Early Years Te Whariki Curriculum.
Katie Knight is our cover Deputy Nursery Lead and leads on child health and nutrition. She plans the daily recipes for the children in nursery. Katie believes that the youngest children in our school should be given the opportunity to be independent and develop autonomy, she leads the Café Sano and free-flow snack bar. Katie keeps parents up to date on the latest health guidance from Public Health England, by posting updates on our parent online Learning Portal. Katie holds Paediatric First Aid and Food Handling qualifications.
Lucy Matthews is Elklan trained and is highly experienced in supporting children in speaking and listening development. She has recently trained to become a Talk For Writing practitioner and helps children to develop story telling skills in preparation for transitioning into school. Lucy has recently taken part in the Pete Moorhouse woodwork training course and is supporting colleagues to implement woodwork as part of continuous provision. Lucy holds Paediatric First Aid and Food Handling qualifications.
Evie Horlick works in Birch supporting our youngest children in setting. She has a passion for supporting physical development and has recently completed her level 3 childcare qualification. During her time with us she has transformed the Nursery environments both inside and outside and enjoys creating spaces which are engaging and meaningful for all children.
Sarah Hazelwood works in Sycamore Class and has joined us from our sister school Weston-under-Penyard. Sarah brings with her a wealth of EYFS experience. She has a great passion and knowledge for early communication and language and leads our Talk Boost intervention classes. She liaises closely with parents so they too can support early language development from home and shares resources so the child ha continuity in approaches.
Sonia Hale works in Sycamore class and is currently working towards gaining her childcare in education level 3 qualification. She works closely with our 2 year olds in our Beech group and brings her organised approach and skills to all she does in setting. Sonia has experience working with children across school during our wrap around PAWS provision and supports our school starters when the begin in wrap around provisions.
Becki Haile joins us on a Monday and Friday from our sister school Weston-under-Penyard. We really benefit from our staff working across the Federation bringing with them external expertise and ideas.
Kate Chandler leads on transitions from Nursery into Reception. Throughout the academic year, Kate spends some of her time, whilst she isn’t teaching in the Reception class, setting up transition opportunities and teaching sessions across Nursery and Reception. Kate trains Nursery staff to help prepare children in Nursery to be ‘School Ready.’
Our nursery staff undertake daily cleaning to ensure that we maintain the highest of standards. Our EYFS settings are cleaned to hospital-standard cleanliness, to reduce the spread of infections.
Throughout the week, our children have the opportunity to be taught by PE coaches. Subject leaders from across our Federation take a hands-on approach in supporting the progression of subjects.
Activate sports coaches support children across Nursery in developing key skills in Physical Development.
Angharad Welch is our private EYFS speech and language therapist and works with all children and staff from birth to the age of 4.
Ros Sweetingham is our private EYFS osteopath and works with all children and staff from birth to the age of 4.
Jim Herbert is our local farmer and our Farm School teacher. We visit his farm every fortnight to learn all about agriculture.
Sue Morris is our Church representative who runs our weekly 'Stay and Play' session. This lovely inclusive community group helps parents join up and make links within the community. Sue is great at helping to support our members of the community who speak English as an additional language and are new to our community.
The advantage of our nursery being on site is that children are included in whole school events, can make use of excellent facilities and have opportunities to transition well into the school family with their friends.
We have in-house support from agencies such as specialist speech and language therapy, health visiting and paediatric osteopathy, to ensure that your child progresses not just academically, but through ambitious developmental milestones.
Our nursery benefits from a well-equipped setting, consisting of indoor and outdoor classrooms. Our school sits in the heart of the countryside and children benefit from a wholesome curriculum of feeding the chickens, tending to our edible garden and taking a short stroll to our school woodland. We also love to go out exploring - the local shop, the River Wye and anywhere else that piques our interests! We make the most of visitors on-site, even if they are busy working! The children also enjoy using our school facilities - our school hall, lending library, sporting facilities, our reception classroom, school orchard and IT equipment.
Children from our Nursery transition to our Reception Class, where they benefit from already having formed relationships with their peers and school teachers. They feel secure in their surroundings and routines.
Throughout the year, our Nursery Team work closely with the Reception teachers, from joint planning and moderation through to organised joint events such as Christmas, Sports Day, transition activities and joint teaching and learning sessions.
Pupils from Year Six regularly join Nursery to help deliver mini workshops. These include computing sessions, where the children get chance to plan and deliver mini hands on learning sessions.
What makes our Nursery unique?
Story Telling School
Our wellbeing café offers children the opportunity to be involved in the preparation and eating of healthy food. Recently, we have made humous, healthy smoothies, vegetable wraps, and roasted squash as well as learning how to use a variety of tools and techniques. Throughout the year we use the Café space to introduce food from other cultures and celebrate festivals and special events.
The Wonder of Woodwork
Each of our EYFS classrooms has a workshop area. Children use these to design and create woodwork pieces, using tools and resources.
The experiential nature of woodwork involves the ‘whole’ child developing core dispositions and especially nurturing wellbeing, self-confidence, and a sense of agency – that ‘can-do’ spirit that develops as ideas are put into action. Creative and critical thinking skills are central to woodwork, both in terms of self-expression and problem-solving – as children make choices, find solutions, learn through trial and error and reflect on work. Children develop learning at their own pace and once they have mastered basic skills, they start to explore possibilities and express their imagination. Woodwork provides rich, multi-layered experiences with many opportunities to build on previous learning. The knowledge and skills gained can resonate throughout life.
Our Nursery offers dedicated spaces for construction, exploration, imaginative play, sand and water, mark-making and working with all the senses.
Spaces frequently change in response to the interests of the children and staff enhance provision through daily reflections.
Our community spaces are where children come together to celebrate, tell stories, sing, dance and celebrate. It is also used for large scale construction such as building blocks to create Rapunzel's tower or junk modelling an ice castle! The space changes and adapts to children's interests and needs. Every day we all join together for a wide variety of stimulating learning experiences.
We deeply respect the role that parents play as the principal carer in their child's life and we want to develop a close working relationship with you so that we are consistently meeting your family's needs. We find that open, two-way communication is the best way to handle this. We always make time to talk at the beginning and end of each day. You will also recieve information about your child's nursery day verbally, through photos and over Seesaw.
We believe in nurturing our environment and encouraging our children to consider their impact on the planet as they grow. We are on a journey to reduce single use plastic in our setting. We currently have milk from our local farm, have fruit boxes delivered and try not to use any new plastic in our craft activities.
Nursery Education Entitlement
The date you can start claiming depends on your child’s birthday.
When you can claim
1 January to 31 March
The beginning of term on or after 1 April
1 April to 31 August
The beginning of term on or after 1 September
1 September to 31 December
The beginning of term on or after 1 January
You do not have to use the full entitlement if you don't want to. The 15 hours entitlement can be shared with another provider if you wish, but you cannot claim for more than 15 hours a week in total.
The entitlement stops once your child starts Reception class in a state school.