All 3 and 4 year olds are entitles 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 (2021/22) 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
Please ensure you drop off and collect your child on time from the Nursery Classroom.
Extended Provision is also available for an additional cost.
Lunch Club (15 hour places only) – 11:30am – 12:15pm (Children need to bring their own packed lunch)
After School Club (30 hour places only) – 2:30pm – 3:15pm
We have one intake per year beginning in September, with 30 places available. We would love to show you around and will be holding open mornings in February and March 2022.
The Parents' Guide link below will help answer many of your questions and help you through your child's future learning and successes.
Our Learning Journey 2021 - 2022
Book of the Week: What Makes Me a ME?
We have had a fantastic week learning about ourselves. We investigated how we are all similar but different. We looked at our faces in a mirror and talked about the colours of our eyes, skin and faces. We carefully chose the correct colours to paint our portraits.
During Busy fingers, we created our own family tree. We discussed the different people in our families: Mum, Dad and brothers and sisters. We enjoyed colouring in our family trees.
As a class, we measured ourselves on the class height chart to find out who was the tallest and who was the shortest. We were excited to find that some of us are the same size.
In PSED, we talked about our favourite toys and explained to our friends why we liked them. We noticed that we all like different things.
In PE, we used our balancing skills to balance a beanbag on different parts of our body. Our head, shoulders, knees and toes! We found balancing a beanbag on our knee very tricky as we had to stand on one leg.
Book of the week: We're Going on a Bear Hunt
The children thoroughly enjoyed listening to and joining in with the actions to our story of the week. We listened to lots of different versions of the story including a story song.
For busy fingers, the children explored different textures and by choosing and gluing different fabrics to their bear template. The practised their counting skills by matching the different quantities of bears to the correct numeral and shared lots of bear story books with their friends.
One Forest School Friday, we went on a bear hunt in the woods. We created our own story as we walked through the woods, crunching over the fallen leaves, going round the fire pit that crackled and banged and swishing through the long grass and bushes. The children hunted for pictures of different bears and then we created a tally chart to see which bear we found the most of.
The children took part in their first PE session in the hall. They made a great start at taking off their shoes and socks before working with a partner to pass a large ball from one to the other from different starting positions. Sitting, kneeling and standing.
Book of the week: Don’t Hog the Hedge
This week we have been learning about hedgehogs. After reading our story of the week, we learnt that hedgehogs make a nest using leaves which they snuggle into to keep warm and dry during the winter. During ‘Busy Fingers’, the children decorated their hedgehog pictures using the leaves we collected last week. We sang our song of the week: ‘Autumn Leaves are Falling Down’ and used the brooms to sweep the leaves on the playground into piles. We threaded leaves onto string to represent the autumn leaves falling down. It was very tricky, but we did a great job!
On Thursday, 11th November we talked about why we wear poppies. One of the children told us that the poppies were for soldiers who had died. We all decorated a poppy using finger paints and we didn’t talk for a whole minute at 11 o’clock.
Our phonics focus this half term is environmental sounds. We went for a walk using our listening ears to hear different sounds around the school. We heard children playing in the hall, teachers talking in classrooms, car driving along the road and birds singing in the trees. During our walk we stopped to see the Goldfish in the pond and the rabbit.
On Forest School Friday, after looking for signs of hedgehogs hibernating, we enjoyed using leaves to print patterns. We worked together to create a big autumn picture for the classroom.
Book of the Week: How Do Dinosaurs Go To School?
Last half term, the children loved playing with the small dinosaurs in our small world area. As a class we wrote a letter to the zoo asking if they could send us a dinosaur. The children told us what to write. On Tuesday, the children listened to our story of the week, How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? and agreed that dinosaurs are too big for school. When we opened the blinds, the children were very excited to see two dinosaurs looking through the windows. They had great fun playing with the dinosaurs and worked together to make a house for the dinosaurs in the construction area.
During our busy finger activities, the children used their fine motor skills to thread laces around different sized dinosaurs. They tried hard to squeeze clothes pegs to make legs for dinosaurs and counted how many legs each dinosaur had. They used our toy dinosaurs to make footprint pictures using different colours and explored how the colours changed as they were mixed. The children also enjoyed looking at different story books about dinosaurs and chose some of the stories to read each day. Finally, they practised their pencil grip when colouring in a dinosaur picture.
The children loved dancing at the disco, moving to the music in different ways and singing along to some familiar tunes.
This week we celebrated Diwali by making hand prints out of clay and using a range of tools to create different patterns. Our Friday Forest School activity was to work together to collect leaves of different colours, shapes and sizes. We are already excited about using all the leaves we collected in our busy finger activities next week.
Book of the week: Room on the Broom
This week, the children enjoyed listening to the story 'Room on the Broom'. After hearing the story each day, they were able to join in with the repeated refrains and recall the story in detail. The children could name all the characters in the story and remembered the correct witches belongings that they found. Most of the children enjoyed explaining how the characters scared the dragon at the end of the story and saved the witch.
At the beginning of the week the children were introduced to our song of the week. 'The Ghosts in the House'. As the week progressed, the children suggested new verses for the song. These included zombies in the house, mummies in the house and people in the house.
Our 'active learning' took on the theme of witches and wizards. The children enjoyed finding lots of different items to put in the cauldron. Sticks, leaves, stones, slugs and snails, to name but a few. The children chanted the witches magic spell, iggety, ziggety, zaggety zoom!
Using the dressing up box, the children chose items of clothing and the garden brooms to become witches and wizards flying around the play ground.
Our 'busy finger' activities included using our scissors skills to make a face for the pumpkins, rescuing bugs from the spiders web, wrapping up mummies, making spiders with long legs and googly eyes and exploring the texture, smell and insides of a real pumpkin.
We hope you all have a wonderful half term break and look forward to seeing all the children on Tuesday, 2nd November 2021.
Book of the week: The Three Little Pigs
The children enjoyed listening to the familiar tale and joined in with the repeated refrains. We talked about which was the best material to use to make a house and during our active learning, we tried to make a house for a pig using straw. When we visited the woods on Forest School Friday, we worked together to gather a pile of sticks and then made animal shelters. Sticks are better for making houses but we all agreed that bricks are best because they are stronger.
Our Busy Finger activities included exploring shaving foam. We used our fingers to spread the shaving foam around and described what if felt like - slimy, soft and sticky. We also used playdough to make piggy faces, different 2D shapes to create pictures and practised drawing using stencils. For PE this week, the children were very excited to explore the Trim Trail. They used different ways to travel along, over, under and climb. Some of the equipment was very tricky and we had to be brave to walk along the balance beam and the wobbly bench.
Book of the week: Stanley's Stick by John Hegley
After reading Stanley's Stick, the children were challenged to find a stick in the nursery garden and were asked what their stick might be. They had some very creative ideas. The most popular was to use their stick to catch some fish and to make a flag on a pirate ship. They had great fun finding suitable sticks and building a pirate ship big enough for everyone to play in. We couldn't find a stick big enough for the flag pole so we used a piece of pipe. The children re-made the pirate ship everyday, adding planks, blocks and crates where necessary.
Some children managed to find sticks to make fishing rods and tried catching fish in the buckets but in the end, found it much easier to catch a fish in a net.
Our 'Busy Fingers' activities included using sticks to make a house, using tweezers to pick up match sticks and using straws to blow paint to make sticky shaped paintings. The children also used their fine motor skills to create shapes with elastic bands on the geoboards and join construction pieces together using nuts and bolts of different sizes.
In P.E. this week, the children had great fun throwing bean bags into hoops. They had to concentrate and throw accurately to get their bean bags into hoops placed at different distances.
Our Forest School activity was to make muddy pictures. We made muddy playdough by digging the ground and adding water. Used our hands to shape and mould the mud and then used a stick to add eyes, a nose and a mouth. The children used lots of interesting words to describe how the mud felt including sticky, cold, soft, wet and smelly! We were very proud of our pictures and enjoyed sharing them with our friends.
What a busy week we’ve had!!! The children worked really hard during busy fingers this week practising their scissors skills by cutting along wavy and zigzag lines, using play dough to represent numbers, sorting the compare bears by colours and working together to create a track for the trains.
For PE the children had to make their hoop move in lots of different ways. We tried rolling and catching our hoop, twisting and spinning, hula hooping around our waist and spinning the hoops on our arms. In Forest Schools the children explored some new areas. We walked along the secret path and listened carefully for the special Forest School call. When the children heard the call, they had to run back to the big tree. The children have also been trying to put their shoes on by themselves and are becoming much more independent. Lots more practise at home would be really helpful!
We have ended each session this week with some familiar counting songs that the children might want to sing at home: 5 Little Ducks and 5 Currant Buns.
Just a reminder: Monday, 4th October - INSET DAY (Nursery Closed)
This week we read the story about Jack and Lily starting nursery school. We recognised lots of similarities between their nursery and our nursery. The children are becoming familiar with our daily routines and love singing our morning greeting together.
We started our busy fingers activities and enjoyed completing a different task every day. We have been learning to recognise our names and decorated them using the autumn colours we are beginning to see in the woods. We used our creative skills to make a collage of shapes and colours and our counting skills to match the correct number of bears to represent the digits 1 - 10.
During our visit to the woods on Forest School Friday, we used magnifying glasses to look for lots of different mini-beasts. We had to lift logs and move leaves to find them hiding in the dark. We found slugs, millipedes, beetles and worms to name but a few. We had a great time.
The children were really excited to have their first PE lesson this week. We used a range of different sized balls to practise our rolling, throwing and catching skills.
We also started our Forest Schools sessions. We explored the woods to find a variety of leaves. Once we had filled our basket we looked at each leaf carefully and talked about their shapes, colours and texture. We noticed that the ivy, holly and laurel leaves were very shiny and had beautiful patterns and colours. We left the leaves in a big pile for the animals and creatures in the woods.
During our morning ‘busy fingers’ session, the children used 3D shapes to create colourful 2D shape pictures for our Maths display.
Our first week in the nursery has been fabulous! The children have settled in well and enjoyed exploring all the different resources and activities that we have to offer. The cars, painting and puzzles have been a particular favourite. We have loved playing outside, building in the construction area, catching fish in the water tray and rising on the bikes and scooters. On Friday we took a walk around the Daily Mile track and went to look for dragons in the woods.
As a class, we have been sitting quietly on the carpet to listen some stories and excitedly sing some familiar songs and nursery rhymes.
We are really looking forward to next week!
The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch
This week we have been talking about our favourite holidays. We all agreed that we love being by the seaside and playing in the sand. We also thought about the lovely sandwiches that Mrs Grindling made and shared our favourite sandwich fillings. They included: ham, cheese, peanut butter and jam. During snack time we all made our own sandwiches with strawberry jam. They were delicious!
The Train Ride
This week we have been listening to the rhythm and rhyme in our story. During busy fingers we have been practising our pencil control by colouring pictures of different trains. We had to concentrate and try to keep our marks within the lines. We created colour sequences by putting the engine driver's keys onto key rings and made railway tracks with our friends.
On Monday, we were visited by WildScience who brought along some very interesting animals and reptiles.
Amber, our expert, introduced us to Terry the Tarantula, Barry the Bearded Dragon, Hetty the Hedgehog, Kelly the Cockroach, Sally the Snake, Freda the Frog and Millie the Millipede. We found out lots of interesting facts about them all and we were able to touch or hold them. We were very brave!!! After the visit, we drew pictures of our favourite creature and explained why we liked them the most.
On Wednesday we were visited by a very hungry tiger. He rang the doorbell and then, when the door was opened, he drank water from the sink, ate all the tea cakes and tried to take some of the children’s lunch boxes. We were very pleased when he left!
During busy fingers, we all created a perfect dinner fo a tiger, thinking carefully about the food he might like to eat.
Finally, we were really excited to see our butterflies emerge from their cocoons. On Tuesday we had 2, on Wednesday another emerged then on Thursday the final 2 butterflies joined their friends. We fed them with fruit and sugary water. We can’t wait to see them fly away. 🦋
The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Last week children loved watching our caterpillars grow and this week we were surprised to find they have all wrapped themselves up in a cocoon. After reading our book of the week, we decided to count how many days it would take before the beautiful butterflies emerge. So far we have counted 5 days on our number line. In the story we found out that caterpillars stay in their cocoons for more than 14 days.
The children have also been painting and printing to make symmetrical butterfly pictures and using their maths skills to draw the correct number of fruit to match numerals. They also threaded large beads onto a lace to make their own caterpillars and cut out 2D shapes to create a butterfly picture.
During PE with Miss Layman, we have been practising our races for Sports Week. This week we learnt to pass the baton in our relay race.
We have enjoyed being outside in all weathers this week. We cooled ourselves down in the hot weather by dipping our feet in the paddling pool and investigated different flowers in our rain-soaked woodland.
This week we have been talking about what makes us special and unique. We used our self portraits to identify our features and compare them to our friends. We used our maths skills to match the Ladybird’s numeral the correct number of spots. In ‘Busy Fingers’, we had great fun drawing 2D shapes in shaving foam.
We have had so much fun being Superheroes this week. After reading Supertato, we used big tongs and our fine motor skills to rescue the veg, we investigated 2D shapes and patterns by making our potato printing pictures and used tweezers to free the Evil Peas from the strawberry jelly traps. Finally, we practised all the phonics we have been learning by searching for Evil Peas around the Nursery garden.
Book of the week: Dear Zoo.
After reading our story of the week we had a visit from a Bearded Dragon. We thought it might be a fire breathing dragon but he was very calm. We were told by Lee, his owner, that Ozzy loved wandering around her house. We thought about different questions we could ask.
What does he eat? Apples, cucumber and insects.
Where does he sleep? On an old T-Shirt to keep him warm.
How old is he? About 9 or 10 years.
We decided that, much as we liked Ozzy the Bearded Dragon, he wasn’t a good pet for the Nursery, so we sent him back!
Please come and see us again soon Ozzy!
We have really enjoyed learning Archery with Miss Layman in P.E. We are really good at hitting the target.
We are also enjoying taking part in outdoor assemblies with our friends in Reception Class and KS1 and sharing some of the exciting work we have been doing in the Nursery.
This week we have been reading ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’. During Busy Fingers, we design a new pair of shoes using lots of colours and patterns. We measured our feet by carefully drawing around them and joining multilink cubes to the same length. We compared our multilink towers to see who has the biggest feet. We also practised lacing some shoe templates.
In the woods we worked together to make a house for the elves. When we returned to the Nursery someone rang the doorbell. It was the elves! They gave Mrs Hale a letter to say thank you for building them a new house.
What busy week we’ve had!
After reading our book of the week - The Three Billy Goats Gruff - we worked together to make bridges with the wooden blocks in the Nursery, different loose parts in the construction area and logs in the woods. We enjoyed acting out the story and pretending to be the billy goats and the ugly troll.
On Earth Day, we planted our sunflower seeds and made grass caterpillars. We are looking forward to seeing the sunflowers and grass grow.
This week we have been reading Little Red Riding Hood. The children have enjoyed joining in with the repeated refrains and acting out the story during Child Initiated Learning.
Before going on our Wellie Walk, Mrs Hale showed the children how to make a map to Granny’s house. They excitedly made their own maps to follow in the woods. On Thursday, the children made some cookies for Granny. They each took turns to mix the ingredients before rolling out their cookie dough and choosing their favourite cookie cutter. We are looking forward to telling Reception class how we made our cookies before gobbling them up.
Book of the week: Jasper’s Beanstalk
We enjoyed listening to our story of the week about growing a beanstalk. We planted our own beans and we can’t wait for them to grow so that we can go looking for giants. We practised writing our letter of the week ‘i’, repeating the rhyme, ‘down the body and a dot for the head’.
During Child Initiated Learning, we decided to make a long beanstalk by painting and printing. We explored mixing the colours to make different shades of green.
On Friday, we meet with Reception class to create a garden of flowers on the playground. We used chalk to draw flowers then added lots of petals. We loved working with our friends in Reception and the flower garden was beautiful.
We were very excited that Father Christmas came to visit us before our Party. He was very jolly and gave us each a present.
Our Learning Journey 2019/2020
The Big Bird Watch
This half term we have been observing the different birds who visit our school grounds. We made bird feeders to help the birds and placed them around the trees and bushes. We practised our cutting skills by making a collage showing some of the birds we saw. We loved showing our work in assembly.
We had great fun exploring muddy puddles after the rain.
The children have been working very hard to make Christmas cards for their families. We used sparkly finger paints and carefully wrote our names inside.
Growth Mindset Day
We can’t put our shoes on YET! But we have made some instructions to help us learn.