Houses and play areas – Bath Spa University

The nursery is comprised of two houses and one large outdoor space.

Little Acorns provides care for children aged between 6 months – 2 years, although children can continue to attend this house until they are 30 months.

Big Oaks provides care for children aged between 2 – 5 years, although children can attend after they turn 18 months.

There is also a large outdoor play area where children can explore nature, look after plants and vegetables, test their theories, climb, build and balance and much more.

Little Acorns house

For children aged 6 months to 2 years old.

This house has one main playroom for mobile and non-mobile children. The area gives 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 quiet 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.

Our latest Ofsted inspection noted that "staff get to know babies quickly and understand their needs".

Big Oaks house

For children aged 2 – 5 years old.

This house cares for children in one main play room. Practitioners prepare children for school and build on children’s confidence, self-esteem and independence.

Practitioners use Development Matters Non-statutory curriculum guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) 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 with various group activities such as visiting the Bath Spa library and Refectory, walking to the farm shop in Newton St Loe, visiting the local park, walking to the local village church.

Outdoor area

The nursery garden has a protective surface area, a large grass and bark area and a tarmac area. The outdoor space is well equipped with climbing and balancing apparatus, large scale building blocks, swings, a large sandpit and open ended resources.

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.

Children have the opportunity to go out for walks around the campus exploring nature, learning about road safety and celebrating diversity amongst our university community.

Explore the nursery

Take a tour around the nursery, meet the team, and see the excellent setting children attending the Oak Tree can explore.

Nursery Manager, Kerry Edwards, talks you through some of the activities, the two ‘houses’ we have on site to support the different age groups attending Oak Tree, and explains just some of what your child can do on a typical day, ready to bring home lots of fun stories to tell you about.

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