The Nursery is located on the Newton Park's beautiful campus and in two adjoining houses. One house provides care for children aged between 6 months - 2 years, although children can continue to attend this house until they are 30 months. The other provides care for children aged between 2 - 5 years, although children can attend after they turn 18 months. Whilst the nursery is situated in two houses children spend the majority of their day accessing learning opportunities outdoors. This supports the UK physical activity guidelines for Early Years that children should receive 3 hours of physical activity each day. The continuous provision that we offer reflects what is available for children both outdoors and indoors.
To support the government's Change for Life initiative the nursery is working towards a number of awards one of which is the Active Play Award. This award focuses on promoting an active lifestyle for children. The nursery’s Active Play Policy is implemented to ensure all children are physically active throughout the day and the amount of time that is spent on sedentary activity is minimised. The enabling environment fosters, encourages and provides physical activity for all children.
The nursery is also working towards the Healthy Eating Award. The nursery’s four week menu has been developed by the nursery manager with input from the catering team. Using fresh ingredients, all dishes are prepared by the catering team each day and portion sizes follow the Eat Better Start Better guidance.
The nursery provides a snack for children twice a day which consists of fruit, sandwiches, crackers, rice cakes, breadsticks, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and cheese. Children also prepare and cook their own snack once a week using healthy and wholesome ingredients, for example salmon dips with vegetable crudités or soup. Children have a choice of milk or water to drink at snack time and are offered water with lunch. Children are supported to serve themselves and independent feeding is encouraged. Parents/carers are asked to supply a water bottle for their child that children can access throughout the day. The water bottle is kept at nursery and refilled with water at the beginning of each session.
Working in partnership with parents/carers
Nursery practitioners at Oak Tree Day Nursery are committed to working in partnership with parents and carers. It is essential that parent/carers and practitioners work together to support the child to progress to their full potential and to ensure the child’s individual needs are met. Parents/carers are encouraged to be involved in nursery life through the nursery adopting an open door policy; whereby parents/carers can visit the nursery throughout the day to spend time with their child. Parents/carers can also arrive early to collect their child and between the hours of their agreed sessions.
Nursery practitioners work in partnership with parents/carers to obtain the knowledge and expertise of the parent/carer when planning for the provision and care for their child.
The key person
Each child is allocated a key person who has special responsibility for a group of children giving them consistent care and support. The key person works closely with the child’s parent/carer and is the parent/carers first point of contact when sharing information about the child’s progress, any changes to the child’s care and wellbeing.
The key person maintains Learning Diaries for children which documents the child’s learning, development, areas of interest and achievements. The key person uses the Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to support the growth, learning and development of children.
The Little Acorns House (children aged 6 months-2 years)
This house has one main playroom, with separate play areas for mobile and non-mobile children. The two separate play areas give children the opportunity to learn, explore, discover and develop their skills at their own pace. This room has a relaxed happy atmosphere where children feel confident and happy to leave their parents.
The house has a quite area where children can sleep and relax away from other children who are engaged in other activities.
Children are offered a wide range of resources that are organised into different areas of interest and children can access these throughout the day. Areas of interest include:
- Building and balancing resources which includes mega blocks, bricks and open ended resources, such as boxes, tubes and other recyclable materials.
- Exploration of malleable materials such as jelly, gloop, water, sand, play dough and other sensory materials.
- Painting, sticking with glue and using resources such as instruments and small world which enables children to express themselves through creative play.
Practitioners are trained to use different methods of communication, such as Makaton, to support children's, communication and language. Story sacks and voice play is used to support children's communication, language and literacy as well as counting and shape recognition.
The Big Oaks House (children aged 2-5 years)
This house cares for children in two main play rooms, one of which is located upstairs and the other is downstairs. Practitioners prepare children for school and build on children's confidence, self-esteem and independence.
Children are given the opportunity to rest or sleep during quiet time which takes place after lunch. Children in the 2 - 5 year old house join together for lunch, quiet time, and at the beginning and end of each day.
Practitioners use the Statutory Framework and Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage to support children's learning, growth and development and to provide high quality childcare and education to all children.
Children explore with open ended resources, such as boxes, tubes and other recyclable materials. Children are supported to share their thoughts, ideas and thinking through art, music, movement, dance, role-play and design and technology. Materials and resources are offered to reflect the children's individual interests.
Children experience a rich language environment that supports their communication and literacy. This is achieved through quality interaction, voice play and story making activities which also supports the letters and sounds framework. Practitioners use Makaton to support communication and language development.
We become involved with the local community by visiting the mobile library, the BSU library and refectory where children engage in learning opportunities such as cooking with the chef.
Mathematics is explored throughout the day during all activities. When out for walks or when engaging in adult led activities, children explore numbers, shape, space and measurement.
Outdoor Play Area
The nursery's garden has 3 main play areas, a protective surface area and a large grass area that is well equipped with slides, tunnels, climbing and balancing apparatus. There is a separate tarmac area that is used for bikes, cars, scooters and push-along toys. The nursery has a variety of outdoor equipment available to children. The nursery also maintains a vegetable patch where children have the opportunity to grow their own vegetables. The garden is a secure and well maintained environment.
The nursery also provide Forest School experiences for children, please refer to the Forest School section for more information, and children take regular walks around the campus where they learn about road safety and the natural environment.