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Welcome to our Nursery!

Our Class Teacher is Mrs Barbara Speer

Our Nursery Nurse is Mrs Gemma Smallpeice

Our Teaching Assistant is Mrs Lynette Walker



Welcome to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is how the Government and Early Years professionals describe the time in your child's life between birth and age 5.


All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours per week free early education from the September following their third birthday.


At Gade Valley, our Nursery is led by an experienced, qualified teacher and as such, we pride ourselves on delivering a high quality education experience that helps to prepare children for school life.


We currently (2023/24) provide 15 hour morning and afternoon Nursery sessions 5 days per week during term times.   In addition, we are pleased to offer 30 hour funded and non-funded places during term times.


Nursery Session Times

  • Morning Nursery 8.45 – 11.45 am

  • Pupils in receipt of 30 hours funding 8.45 am - 3:15 pm


Please ensure you drop off and collect your child on time from the Nursery Classroom.


We have one intake per year beginning in September, with 30 places available.  We would love to show you around, please call or e-mail the school office to make an appointment.


If you have any questions about our Nursery facilities or the application process, please visit the admissions page, or call or e-mail the school office.

The Parents' Guide link below will help answer many of your questions and help you through your child's future learning and successes.

Half-Termly Curriculum Letters

Our Learning Journey 2023/24

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

The children were very excited to see the butterflies take flight this week.  We took the out to the wild garden area and after taking a closer look at each of the butterflies, we watched them fly away.  It was very exciting!

Sports Week

We had so much fun with our families on sports morning using lots of different equipment.  

Thank you all for sharing this special event with us.

Book of the week: The Gingerbread Man

This week the children had loots of fun learning and acting out the story of the gingerbread man.  Some of the children man a huge gingerbread man by drawing around one child and then working together to paint it.  Once the paint was dry, they added eyes, a nose, and some buttons.  They were very proud to show their giant gingerbread man to the rest of the school in sharing assembly.

Book of the week: Little Red Riding Hood

We had lots of fun making maps to get to Granny's house which the children had created in the woods this week. 

During busy fingers, they worked hard to use their pincer grip to pick up matchsticks with tweezers, weaving strips of card to make their own baskets by weaving strips of card and threading fruit to put in the baskets.  It was great to make the most of the sunshine out in the Nursery garden!

Book of the week: The Tiger who came to Tea

We had so much fun this week enjoying the sunshine and making full use of the garden.  During busy fingers, the children used their fine motors skills creating plates of food for the tiger, making playdough cakes for a picnic, painting stripy tiger faces and going on a tiger hunt in the woods.  

On Friday, the children were very excited when a tiger came to join us at snack time.  He ate Mrs Speer's cupcakes and a carton of milk.  

Book of the week: The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch

This week we have been talking about our experiences of being at the seaside.  We all had lots of fun memories to share during carpet time and lots of our busy finger activities were linked to our learning.  Sadly, the beautiful weather at the beginning of the week did not last until Friday.

Book of the week: Superworm

On Wild Wednesday, we went to explore the changes that Spring has made to the woods.   The day before we had all watched two deer munching some of the plants in the woods behind the Nursery building.

The children were amazed to see how many Bluebells and Whitebells had grown over the Easter holidays.  Using the class iPad, the children took it in turns to take some pictures of them as we walked around.  Sadly, the deer were no where to be seen.


World Book Day

The children were very excited to come to nursery dressed as their favourite book characters.  We joined the rest of the school for Assembly and confidently walked around the hall proudly showing everybody our costumes. 

On Friday, we joined Year 3 for some buddy reading and in the afternoon we took part in the Police Community Day, talking to the Police Officers, exploring lots of vehicles and meeting some police dogs. 

What a great week!

Book of the week: Jasper's Beanstalk

The children enjoyed listening to the story and joining in with the days of the week.  During active learning, some of the children made a beanstalk picture by dipping their wellies in green painted and walking up a long piece of paper.  In busy fingers, the children planted their own bean in a bag and now they are waiting to see the begin to grow.  We visited the duck eggs each day and were very excited to see them hatch.

Chinese New Year - The Year of the Dragon

The children enjoyed taking part in lots of dragon dancing this week.  They worked together to make dragon head and practised dancing under material together.  In sharing assembly, the children made dragon masks and Chinese lanterns using collage.

Dragon Dance

Still image for this video

National Story Telling Week

This week we listened to the story, 'Mr Dad is a Grizzly Bear' and 'My Mum is a Lioness'.  The children were asked to think about which animal their Mum of Dad might be and they shared some very interesting ideas from Flamingos to Dogs.

The children enjoyed being visited by a secret reader each day who came to share a story and loved buddy reading with Year 2 on Friday.

Book of the week: Oliver's Vegetables

We were visited by Mr Masters this week who came to sing some songs and tell us a story from the bible.  The children took part in the story by creating sound effects.

We also learned where potatoes and carrots come from and had a go at peeling some carrots to make vegetable soup.  The children who wanted to, enjoyed some vegetable soup during snack time and we made a list of all the vegetables we could taste.  The children thought the soup was delicious.


Happy Birthday Winnie the Pooh!

This week the children enjoyed celebrating Winnie the Pooh's birthday.

They all brought in their favourite Teddy bears and cuddly toys which they took for a picnic in the woods.   We enjoyed tasting some delicious honey, singing Happy birthday and pretending to blow out all the candles.  We then played our favourite party game - Hide and Seek.

Book of the week: Happy New Year, Spot!

The children were excited to come back to school and share all their news about Christmas.  They each drew a picture of their favourite Christmas present which they shared with the class.

After watching the spectacular New Year fireworks on the interactive whiteboard, the children used chalk to create their own firework pictures on the Nursery playground.


Book of the week: Sleepy Jesus

The children enjoyed performing their song  for both the whole school in our dress rehearsal and all their parents and families.  During busy fingers, they used their fine motor skills to create Christmas pictures with buttons, create their own Christmas jumpers, make snowflakes using scissors, decorate our class wreath with leaves and played snowball skittles.   They were also excited to see Mr West who came and read a story. One Christmas jumper day, the children took part in sharing  assembly winning the class reading challenge for the most Golden Tickets and Roman won a Wonka Bar.  Well done Nursery!

Book of the week: The Snowman.

The children enjoyed listening to the story and were able to tell us all about snowmen they have made at home when it snows.  We also watched the film to make the story come to life.

The children were very excited to find ice in the garden and after spending some time exploring the ice they talked about how if felt such as cold, smooth and slippery.  They had great fun finding different tools to smash the ice with and then investigated how the hard ice changed into water when they held it in their hands.

Book of the week: Oh, Christmas Tree!

It’s nearly Christmas!  After listening to our story of the week, the children enjoyed putting up the class Christmas Tree.  We decorated it with every sparkly decoration in the box and placed the angel on the top.  In ‘busy fingers’, we have been making paperchains to decorate the classroom and working hard to learn all the songs for our Christmas performance.  We joined the whole school to decorate the school Christmas tree, placing our decorations carefully on the tree with the help of some or our friends in Year 6.  

Phonics Phase 1

This term the children has been focusing on their listening skills.  This week the children went for a listening walk around the school.  When we came back to the Nursery, the children shared all the things they were able to hear, these included: Children playing, bouncing balls, vehicles on the road and leaves rustling in the trees.  One group heard an aeroplane in the sky and another group heard pots banging in the school kitchen.

Next time you're out for a walk the children have been asked to listen carefully to what they can hear.

Book of the week: Owl Babies

The children loved hearing and joining in with our story of the week - Owl Babies.   Some of the children knew that Owls only wake up at night time and have big eyes to help them see in the dark.  During busy fingers, they used their counting skills to match the correct number of feathers to their owls using their fingers, created their own owls using toilet rolls tubes and playdough and practised their pencil control by drawing the outline of an owl.   They also painted their own poppy which will be on show in the school hall as part of our annual Remembrance Day display.

Finally, on Friday we had our first 'Buddy Reading' session with Year 5, sharing books and stories.

Book of the week: Don't Hog the Hedge

The children enjoyed listening to our story of the week and finding out that some animals sleep all through the winter like Hatty the Hedgehog and her friends.  The children used leaves that had fallen from the trees in the garden to decorate their own hedgehog, threaded leaves onto a piece of wool using a needle and decorated autumn pictures with colourful buttons.  After singing our song of the week, the children worked together to sweep all the leaves from the playground and starting making piles for animals to use to make their winter homes.

Book of the week: Room on the Broom

We had so much fun reading our book of the week and pretending to be witches.  We enjoyed joining in with the story every morning and knew the story really well by the end of the week.  We also dressing up in the nursery garden and pretending to be witches on broomsticks.  Our busy finger activities included: wrapping up mummies with wool, creating witches faces, decorating pumpkins and making handprint spiders with googly eyes.  

We hope you have a wonderful half term break and look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, 31st October.

Book of the week: Stanley's Stick

We have been finding sticks in the garden and the woods and using our imagination to decide what our stick will be.  Our busy finger activities included: painting with sticks, comparing the size of sticks, making sticky hedgehogs and drawing pictures of our stick creations.

We also carried out a number hunt in the big school, looking for numbers up to 10.  

Book of the week: This is our House

Our story of the week taught us about the importance of sharing and being a good friend.  During busy fingers we talked about and learnt to recognise emotions.  We all made sad faces and happy faces and then we made our own pictures.  In maths the children talked about how many people lived in their house, drew and counted them.  We also created different 2D shapes using playdough.



Book of the week: What makes me a ME?

This week the children have been thinking about how we are all similar but different.   We recognised that we all have two arms and two legs but we are  different sizes.  We all have hair and eyes but they are different colours.

In P.E. we enjoyed running around the playground and flying our streamers in the wind.  Finally, we dug up the carrots planted by last year's class. We washed them and took to show some of the children in school.

Book of the week: Hairy Mclary and Friends

During their first full week in the Nursery, the children have had lots of fun making new friends and exploring many of the activities we have available both inside and in the garden.  They have been learning some of our daily songs and routines and had their first trip to the daily mile track where some of them were motivated to run round the track more than once.

Our Learning Journey in 2022 - 23

Book of the week: Starting School

We've had a great last week in the Nursery completing our busy finger activities with excitement.

We gave our vegetables lots of water to help them continue growing through the holidays and are looking forward to next year's nursery children digging them up and showing them in assembly.

The children enjoyed eating their ice lollies in the garden and dancing at our mini-disco.

We have had a wonderful year watching the children's confidence grow.  We will miss them all but look forward to hearing about their many achievements in the future.

Thank you for all your kind wishes, cards and gifts, we hope you all have a wonderful summer break.

Book of the week: The Lighthouse Keeper's Lunch

This week the children have enjoyed learning about the job of a lighthouse keeper.  During active learning, some of the children tried to make to a zipwire to send a basket of fruit from one side of the playground to the other.  They also used the gutting and pipes to move water to make a pond in the tuff tray.

Our busy finger activities included making bubble pictures, match quantities of shells to the correct number, catching a fish game and decorating sea creatures and fish using coloured buttons.

In our music session, the children used the shakers they had made to accompany the song 'The Grand Old Duke of York'.

Book of the week: Little Red Riding Hood

This week the children have been listening to our story of the week and learning about the importance of not talking to strangers.  

During busy fingers, the children have been developing their fine motor skills by using tweezers to pick up matchsticks and weaving baskets for Little Red Riding hood to carry her treats for Granny in.  They have been perfecting their pencil control by tracing the path to Granny's house using lots of different colours and sharing lots of traditional tales with their friends.  

In preparation for our Music session next week, the children each made and decorated their own shaker.  We are looking forward to some noisy music next week.

Thank you to everyone who came to open evening, it was lovely to see the children proudly showing you their classroom and their work.   


Book of the week: The Gingerbread Man

The children enjoyed listening to the story and joining in with the repeated refrains.  We learnt our song of the week: 5 Little Gingerbread Men, and had fun taking turns to be the Gingerbread Man who ran away.  During busy fingers, the children developed their fine motor skills, putting buttons on the pictures, making play-dough gingerbread men and practising their pencil control by colouring pictures.  We carried our a science experiment to see whether a gingerbread man would sink quickest in hot water or cold water.  Most of the time our predictions were correct.

Some of the afternoon children had a go at making their own gingerbread men using salt dough.

We all managed to catch lots of duck in our Hook-a-duck sponsored challenge, the children showed lots of perseverance and determination.

Finally, we were excited to see our butterflies emerge from their cocoons.  After observing them in our butterfly house, we watched them fly away across meadow to find some flowers.



Book of the week: The Large Family Sports Day

We have had lots of fun taking part in a variety of sports events this week.  Some of our favourite activities were jumping, throwing and the obstacle race.  During busy fingers, we created flags for our House Team and read some books about different sports.  We loved taking part in sports day and seeing our mummies, daddies and other family members cheering us on. 

On Monday, the children were surprised to see a new climbing frame in the garden and had a great time exploring the climbing wall and netting before sliding down the slide.

On Friday, we were excited to see that one of our caterpillars had emerged from their cocoon and as beautiful butterfly.  We hope to the rest of the butterflies next week and look forward to letting them go and watching them fly away.

Book of the week: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The children were very excited to see some caterpillars arrive in the nursery this week.  We have been watching them grow and measuring them everyday until on Friday, they had all spun their cocoon's and were hanging from the lid of their little pot.  Over the next couple of weeks we will be waiting for them to emerge as butterflies.  Our 'Busy Finger' activities included making edible caterpillars using cucumber and tomato which tasted delicious, threading all the different food the hungry caterpillar ate onto a piece of string, painting symmetrical patterns on butterfly wings and creating a butterfly life cycle using different types of pasta.

Book of the week: What the Ladybird Heard

We have been enjoying the sunshine this week and making the most of all the activities in the garden.  After reading our book of the week, lots of the children decided to look for bugs.  We found spiders, ants, slug and worms but we didn’t see any ladybirds.

During busy fingers, the children used stencils to make bug pictures and matched numbers on ladybirds to the correct number of spots.  We used our scissor skills to cut out bug pictures and had our first go at programming the BeeBots.   In PE, we practised our running races.

Book of the week: Dear Zoo

The children loved reading our story this week and thinking about the animals they would like to have from the zoo.  They each wrote a letter to the zoo asking for their favourite animal.  During our music session, the children sang about all the animals included in the story, added a few of their own and making the animal noises.  

They also explore animal camouflage by using cotton buds as paint brushes to copy the patterns.  


Enterprise Week

Book of the week: Superworm

Continuing our theme of superheroes, this week the children learnt all about Superheroes who don’t wear a mask.  We discovered that being kind, caring and helping our friends makes us all superheroes.

For Enterprise Week, the children have been excited to have their pictures taken in our Photobooth choosing funny props to wear and making funny faces.  They were also keen to share their photo’s with the rest of the school in sharing assembly.

During busy fingers, the children made pasta worms by threading the tubes onto shoe laces, practised recognising and matching numbers to the correct quantity of worms and were challenged to make worms of different sizes using playdough.  


Still image for this video

Book of the week: Supertato.

This week the children have really enjoyed being superheroes.  During busy fingers they created colourful pictures of superheroes, rescued vegetables that had been taped to the Tuff Tray and used tweezers to remove the evil peas from the jelly.  On Friday, the children completed a number hunt looking for Evil Peas showing the numbers 1 - 10 that had been hidden around the classroom.  In the afternoon, the children loved running around the track in their superhero costumes.

Book of the week: The Colourful Coronation

This week the children had lots of fun learning about the Coronation of King Charles III.  We learnt a special song for the celebration afternoon, made bunting to decorate the classroom and nature crowns using foliage from the woods.


Book of the Week: Duck in a Truck

The children were very excited to see the ducklings on Monday and each child held one of them in their hands.  They were very cute and soft.

After reading our book of the week, the children were motivated to find rhyming words in the story and learn our 'Silly Soup' song.  During busy fingers, they practised finding rhyming pairs and suggest other words to make a rhyming string.  They also used different shapes to make animal pictures, created pictures by painting with mud and used nets to catch the ducks in the water tray.

In PE, the children have been developing their hand/eye co-ordination using hockey sticks to move their ball around the floor.

Finally, Andrew Masters visited the afternoon children and told them a story from the bible and played his guitar.


Book of the week: The Ugly Duckling

The children have had lots of fun this week, sharing their news about the Easter break and comparing Beanstalk pictures to see who's plant has grown the tallest.  We have had lots of fun in the Nursery garden, enjoying the sunshine, planting our vegetable plants and seeds in our new growing area and seeing how many laps we could run during Track Time.

The children were excited to see the duck eggs arrive on Tuesday and have been visiting everyday to see how many have hatched and watch them grow.  After reading our story of the week, the children have been learning about what makes a good friend and how we can be kind to each other.

During busy fingers, the children made bird feeders which we hung in the woods for the birds and squirrels to share.  We also practised writing our names and colouring ducks ponds which we shared with the school during Friday assembly.


Book of the week: We're going on an Egg Hunt

This week, the children have enjoyed learning about Easter and completing lots of Easter themed activities and had great fun dancing at our little disco during PE.  They all took their beanstalks home to continue growing and we are excited to find out which one grows the tallest when we return to school after the Easter holidays. 

We hope you all have a wonderful Easter break.

Book of the week: The Train Ride

This week the children enjoyed listening to the story and indentifying rhyming words. During active learning, they decided to build their own trains both indoors and in the Nursery garden, using old cardboard boxes.  Lots of children used their drawing, writing and scissor skills to create wheels, tickets and flags for the train and then had lots of fun pretending to go to the seaside.  

In Busy Fingers, the children practised matching and naming 2D shapes, matching coloured keys, building train tracks and ordering the days of the week.  They also planted the beans they have been growing in bags, ready to take home next week and continue growing.  

Book of the week: I Love My Mummy

This week we have been thinking about their lovely mummies and all the wonderful things they do to help us. During busy fingers, the children wrote their name in their Mother's Day cards, created butterfly suncatchers to decorate their cards and planted a pretty flower.  

We learnt out song of the week about Mothers Day and shared it with the rest of the school during assembly.

In our group time, the children shared why they love their mummies so much.

We wish all our lovely mummies have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Mother's Day Song

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Book of the week: Wakey, Wakey!

This week the children have been thinking about spring and the animals that come out of hibernation. 

During 'busy fingers', they used their scissor skills to cut up wool to make nests and thread pasta onto string to make wiggly worms.   They also used tweezers to rescue bugs from the spiders web and have been working hard to write their names independently.   

During active learning, some of the children chose to paint daffodils after seeing lots of them start to bloom in the Nursery garden and had fun using them to learn our rhyme of the week, '5 Little Daffodils'.


World Book Week: The Smeds and the Smoos

What an exciting and busy week we've had.  Everyday, we have shared books and stories with a different class from year 6 to year 1.  The children loved seeing their brothers, sisters and friends.

In Busy Fingers, we completed lots of activities  relating to the book using our fine motor skills and developing our maths skills.  

On World Book Day, the children were proud to show their costumes to each other and the whole school, confidently walking around the hall during sharing assembly.  On Friday, we joined KS1 and Reception class to explore lots of outdoor activities including painting on the playground and making rockets. 

Finally during snack time, we all enjoyed some pink milk just like the Smeds. 

Book of the week: Jasper's Beanstalk

This week the children have been learning about growing plants, during busy fingers, they all planted a bean in a bag.  We stuck them on the windows and now we are waiting to see our beanstalks grow.

some of the children bought in seeds from home so we planted those as well:  Carrots, courgettes, tomatoes and brussel sprouts. 

On Shrove Tuesday, the children pretended to make lots of pancakes using play dough and tried flipping them in a pan.  In the afternoon, we went over to the big school to make some real pancakes.  They were delicious.

Book of the week: Oliver's Vegetable's

We have had so much fun this week learning about vegetables.  We used vegetables as our 'Busy Finger' theme, creating repeating patterns, weaving baskets and threading.  One of the children brought some carrot seeds in and we planted them in a pot to see how long they take to grow.  We practised our scissor skills, cutting along wobbly lines and the afternoon children prepared some carrots by peeling and chopping them before boiling and mashing them.  They were delicious.

In PE, the children worked together to keep some balls on top of the parachute and loved lifting the parachute up in the air and running underneath.  On Friday, we watched a video about making vegetable soup and then, during snack time, we all tasted some vegetable soup.  Most of the children loved it and had a second helping.

We hope you all have a lovely half term holiday.

Book of the week: Oliver's Fruit Salad

The Nursery children have enjoyed learning all about fruit this week.  We talked about where fruit came from and how some fruit only grows in hot countries.  During 'busy fingers' the children used fruit to print patterns and funny faces.  In snack time, the children chopped up lots of different fruits to make their own fruit salad, just like Oliver and they loved trying lots of fruit they had never tasted before.  Yummy!

Book of the week: The Chinese New Year

This week we have been learning about Chinese New Year, in PE we worked together to dance like a dragon.

Winnie the Pooh's Birthday

This week the children celebrated Winnie's birthday with a Teddy Bear's Picnic and made our own sandwiches.  The children started by deciding whether the were going to make a jam or honey sandwich.  After spreading the burring on their bread or cracker, they put on their favourite topping and folding the bread in half.  We joined Reception class in the dining room for our picnic and we were joined by Mr Barron.  When all the children had finished their sandwiches we sang Happy Birthday to Winnie the Pooh and blew out the candles on his cake.  In P.E. the children were challenged to keep their birthday balloons off the ground by tapping them their hands, feet and knees.  Some of the children were able to stick their balloon to their head.  The afternoon children also enjoyed running round the track with the Teddy Bear's they brought into Nursery.      

Book of the week: Happy New Year Spot!

This week the children have been sharing what their did at Christmas and drew pictures of their favourite present.   After reading our story of the week, the children thought about what new skill they would like to learn to do this year.  During 'busy fingers', the children practised writing their names and recognising the numbers of the new Year 2023.  

After watching the firework display on New Years eve, the children used chalk to create their own firework display on the Nursery playground. 

It's been a great start to the new term and the children have had lots of fun.

Book of the week: Sleepy Jesus

This week the children have been busy creating lots of Christmas decorations.  They enjoyed playing in the snow and carried out an experiment to see what happened to snow when we brought it inside the Nursery.  The children discovered that the snow melted inside but when they put some in the freezer it stayed frozen.

The children had a great time watching the KS1 Christmas performance and in our music session had lots of fun playing instruments to accompany their Christmas songs.

On Thursday the children showed their friends their Christmas jumpers and were excited when Father Christmas came to visit them with a bag full of presents.  We also had 'Buddy Reading' with year 1.  The afternoon children loved watching the Panto 'The Three Bears' and we shared our song of the week during Friday sharing assembly.