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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. 

Our Nursery Team

Our highly-qualified and caring Nursery Team are a valued asset to our 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 Programme and undertake regular appraisals and CPD as part of the River Wye Federation's improvement cycle. 

Kelly Smith leads our provision from birth through to three and is a Designated Safeguarding Lead. Kelly has a detailed knowledge of child development and works closely with our health professional to ensure early identification of needs. Kelly oversees all the two-year-old Progress Checks. 'Sign Along' allows Kelly to engage with the youngest children and deliver daily Sing and Sign sessions, which supports communication. Kelly holds Paediatric First Aid and Food Handling qualifications.    

Charlotte Goodman joins Kelly Smith in our Birch room caring and educating our youngest children. Charlotte is incredibly patient and caring and she takes a lead on baby care and sleep routines. She is always on hand to help support parents in developing child-led practices. Charlotte helps to plan our Forest School sessions for children in Birch. Charlotte also holds both Paediatric First Aid and Food Handling qualifications. 

Emma Ravenhill is incredible at motivating and engaging children, she gives the best hugs and children enjoy her fun nature.  Emma is very practical and she helps children in their woodwork learning and outdoor play.  Emma understands and supports children and families with social, emotional and behaviour needs.  Emma holds Paediatric First Aid and Food Handling qualifications. 

Lucy Matthews leads Early Literacy in our Nursery.  She 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 holds Paediatric First Aid and Food Handling qualifications.

Katie Knight 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.  

Sue Birchall leads on transitions from Nursery into Reception.  Throughout the academic year, Sue spends some of her time, whilst she isn’t supporting in our Reception class, setting up transition opportunities and teaching sessions across Nursery and Reception.  Sue trains Nursery Staff to help prepare children in Nursery to be ‘School Ready.’ Sue is our ELSA trained practitioner who supports children 1:1, and their families with emotional support. 

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. 

Specialist Teaching

Throughout the week, our children have the opportunity to be taught by a variety of specialist teachers in Spanish, Music and PE.  Subject leaders from across our Federation take a hands-on approach in supporting the progression of subjects.    

Ellie Merriman is our school's Sport Coach. She supports children across Nursery in developing key skills in Physical Development. 

Jenny Hill is our resident Spanish Teacher who supports children and staff engage with Spanish. 

Abbie Birchall, our Nursery volunteer,  is also our school's Artist in Residence.

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.

Seamless Transition

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. 


What makes our Nursery unique?

Partnership with Unicef Rights Respecting Schools

Research School 

Story Telling School  

Forest School

Farm School- starting in Spring 2022

Café Sano

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.


Each of our EYFS classrooms has a workshop area.  Children use these to design and create woodwork pieces, using tools and resources.

Partnership with our Community

Each week our Nursery hosts a community ‘Stay and Play’ session.  Families and members from our church community join together. 

Our community spaces are where the class can come together to 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 and every day we all join together for a wide variety of stimulating learning experiences.

Parent Partnerships

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 so we always make time to talk at the beginning and end of each day and you will receive information about your child's nursery day verbally, in writing or through photographs.

We share our observations of your children with you using an online learning journal called ‘Seesaw’ and you can see these anytime you choose and access our observations at home to share with your family.

All around the nursery you will see documentation of children’s experiences and evidence of their work. We keep you to up-to-date with events at nursery through our parent newsletter.

We are always looking for helpers from our community who can share a range of skills with our children.  We currently have parents who help support weekly Forest School sessions and craft activities. 

We hope to resume visiting our local care home, when Covid-19 restrictions allow. 

Eco School

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 the local farm, have fruit delivered in boxes, and don’t use any new plastic in craft activities.

Come & Meet Us

We always welcome visits from parents and carers who wish for their child to attend Whitchurch CE Primary and Nursery School. If you wish to make an appointment to have a personalised tour with our Head of School, Mis Wisden, and to meet our nursery staff,  email nursery@whitchurch.hereford.sch.uk