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Learning Through Play

Preschool boy and girl playing on floor with educational toys. Children toddlers at home o

Orchard Nursery School operates in converted barn buildings and is divided into four separate classrooms, each with access to the outdoor environment.

In each class we appoint a ‘key person’ for each child, who is a staff member in the room that will get to know their ‘key children’ in great depth in order to specifically support their development. We believe that children settle best when they have a key person to relate to, who knows them and their parents/carers well, and who can meet their individual needs. Research shows that a key person approach benefits the child, the parents/carers, the staff and the setting.  More information on key persons can be found in our policy: ‘The role of the key person in the setting and settling in’.

Each class is led by a room leader who manages the ‘key persons’ and also oversees all the children’s interests, needs and areas for development. The room leader ensures that each class caters for individual groups of children according to their age and stage of development. The room leader will lead the team of staff in planning activities based on each child’s interests.  All play opportunities are derived from the children’s next steps in order to support their development.

A cute young boy baby playing inside on colourful mat
children playing and painting


The Squirrel classroom cares for our youngest children aged approximately 3 months to 18 months.  We have an enclosed separate outside play space for the babies to explore. We aim to provide a home from home environment where the children feel happy and confident to explore a range of activities, with caring and supportive staff. We offer a range of craft activities and treasure baskets daily helping to develop the children’s sensory skills. We incorporate lots of signing and music throughout the day.

We follow your child’s sleep routine and welcome comforters and sleep aids from home to help your child settle to sleep at nursery.


The Rabbit classroom caters for children aged 18 months to 2 years. This is a slightly bigger classroom and enables children to begin to explore the wider world and lots of new experiences. To support this, we provide a wide range of stimulating activities and experiences to encourage children's development and imagination. Craft is offered daily as well as story time and lots of signing, music and movement activities.

Little toddler doing puzzle. Boy learns to solve problems and develops cognitive skills an
Preschool children with instruments in a music class


Our Hedgehog classroom caters for children aged 2 - 3 years. In the Hedgehog room, we provide a wide range of stimulating activities and experiences to encourage children's language development, communication skills, social skills and confidence. We gradually introduce and support children’s independence skills and include more structure into the routine. We have a home corner, which is set up as a kitchen and home environment to encourage children to role-play familiar routines and experiences. This classroom enables the children to start getting used to busier rooms in preparation for their preschool years.


Our Owl classroom caters for 21 children aged 3-4 years. This classroom plays a crucial role in preparing the children for their transition to primary school. As the year develops, we help to prepare the children for their transition to school by supporting them to hone their independence when undertaking self-care routines. We also focus on the skills they require to thrive at school such as recognising sounds, numbers, shapes, and early writing skills such as pencil control, in a fun filled and exciting way. We have great links with the local primary schools in the area and work closely with them to ensure all of our children are well prepared for the next step in their education. The children take part in a register time in the morning where they can discuss the weather, sounds, numbers and shapes of the week. Through focused activities and support from caring staff, they can begin to build and develop meaningful friendships with their peers and teachers. This builds their confidence in new social situations developing their social skills readying them for the next leap to school.

Image by K8


01603 813240



Orchard Nursery School

Church Road
NR18 9RS

©2024 by Orchard Nursery School.

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