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Woodmansterne Primary

Acorns Nursery




Hello and thank you for showing an interest in Acorns Nursery! We are the nursery class of Woodmansterne Primary School and we enjoy busy days full of learning and fun.

In our Acorns Nursery class, we aim to provide a happy, nurturing environment where your child can learn, develop and have fun. We offer 15 or 30 hour places plus optional half day top up sessions and wraparound care from 7.30am to 6pm.  We offer fully funded spaces or parents can pay fees if their child is not yet eligible for the funded hours.  

We cater for 3 and 4 year olds although have limited spaces available for children to start from aged 2 years 9 months dependent on availability.

We have a fantastic, experienced and well-qualified team overseen by the school's Early Years Leader.  The team are specialists in early years education and ensuring your child is ready for Reception when they move on.

Acorns is in our Early Years unit with access to a large, enclosed garden set in the 5.5 acres of school grounds.  Acorns pupils have full use of all school facilities (astroturf pitch, outdoor classroom, library, all-weather track, animals, specialist Music Teacher etc) and regularly visit our Reception classes which means children have an excellent transition to school as well as learning experiences that are tailored to each child.  

The school was awarded a 'Good' Ofsted rating in November 2016. 

A selection of Parent reviews (survey March 2021) :

"Excellent nursery with kind & friendly staff. Great links to Primary School and all the resources that brings."

"Encourages learning, fantastic and caring staff, great grounds and facilities, my son is really happy there and has thrived."

"Friendly, caring, fun interactive and engaging activities. Provides a good balance of indoor and outdoor learning."

"I would highly recommend Acorns Nursery. The Manager, Sue Bailey, is amazing, the entire team are so approachable and professional . My daughter has never been happier. In fact all the children when I drop her off are always happy and excited to start their day which speaks for itself."

Session Options, Funding & Payments

Our Nursery is open term time only. We offer 15 or 30 hour places plus optional (payable) Wednesday top up sessions and wraparound care (for 3 years+)  from 7.30am to 6pm.  We offer fully funded spaces or parents can pay fees if their child is not yet eligible for the funded hours.

Nursery Session Options 

  • 15 hours - Monday 9am-3pm, Tuesday 9am-3pm, Wednesday 9am-12pm *
  • 15 hours - Wednesday 12pm-3pm, Thursday 9am-3pm, Friday 9am-3pm *
  • 30 hours - Monday to Friday 9am-3pm

New September 2021: *We also offer optional payable top up half days on Wednesday so that your child can attend 3 full days*  

Funding and payments 

Your options:

  • 15 hours funded for all 3 and 4 year olds* (Click here for more information on Free Early Education funding)
  • 30 hours funded for eligible 3 and 4 year olds (Click here for more information on 30 hour funding).
  • 15 hours paid for by the parent for 3 year olds who are not yet eligible for a funded space**
  • 30 hours - 15 funded hours with a top up 15 hours paid for by the parent.
  • Optional 3-hour top up sessions on Wednesdays paid for by the parent (subject to availability)

We are registered with multiple childcare voucher providers as well as the government's Tax-Free Childcare scheme.  

For more information please have a look at our Acorns Nursery Information Pack - click here.

**When will my child be eligible to receive funded early education?

Children become eligible to receive the funding from the start of the funded period following their third birthday. These periods are set by the Department of Education rather than following school term dates.  

Child born between Can have a funded place from
1 April 2018 to 31 August 2018 September 2021 (Autumn)
1 September 2018 to 31 December 2018 January 2022 (Spring)
1 January 2019 to 31 March 2019 April 2022 (Summer)
1 April 2019 to 31 August 2019 September 2022 (Autumn)

 If your child is 3 but not yet eligible for a fully funded space, they can join Acorns with a parent-funded space.  You would then pay fees (£5.50 per hour) until the term their funding starts.

If your child joins aged 2, the fees are £6.50 an hour to take into account the higher staff:child ratios required for this age group.

Meet the Staff

80% of respondents in our Parent Survey (March 2021) mentioned our staff when asked about the strengths of Acorns Nursery. Comments include:

"Wonderful ,caring staff who all seem to genuinely know the children in their care."

"The manager & team run the nursery incredibly well."

"The staff are great, they are all natural and caring with the children which is important when they are so young."

"...the entire team are so approachable and professional..."

"Friendly staff that really look after the children."

Sue Bailey

Nursery Manager

Lisa Davis

Orange Owls

Vanessa Vickers

Red Rabbits

Gracie Pritchard

Nursery Practitioner

Lucy Cook

Yellow Squirrels

Key Person

(Monday to Wednesday)

Laura Gowland

Yellow Squirrels

Key Person 

(Wednesday to Friday)

Emma Phillips

Lunch Time Supervisor & Nursery Assistant

Anna Crier

Nursery Practitioner


A Day at Acorns Nursery


This section is about a typical day at Acorns Nursery.

This is the uniform that you will wear.



A green Acorns jumper and t-shirt.

Black bottoms and black shoes. 

You can have your own wellies and

wet play suit to wear outside too.


Why don’t you practice dressing and

undressing yourself ready for nursery?

When you arrive at school, you will…

Put your lunch box on the lunch trolley. Your water bottle and snack will go in your Acorns tote bag on your peg. 



Next, take off your coat and put your coat and bag on your name peg. Take your acorn picture from your peg.




Then you will put your acorn picture on to the welcome tree, so everyone knows you are in nursery.


Next you will say hello to your teachers! Here are some of the teachers you will see:

Sue Bailey

Nursery Manager

Lisa Davis

Orange Owls

Vanessa Vickers

Red Rabbits

Gracie Pritchard

Nursery Practitioner

Lucy Cook

Yellow Squirrels

Key Person

(Monday to Wednesday)

Laura Gowland

Yellow Squirrels

Key Person 

(Wednesday to Friday)

Emma Phillips

Lunch Time Supervisor & Nursery Assistant

Anna Crier

Nursery Practitioner

Once all the children have arrived, we will split into two groups:

The older children will go with Vanessa into room 2  to practice their phonics and writing.




     Writing Practice                     Sound Table

    The younger children will go with Lisa into room 1 to take part in singing and stories.



After group time, we have free play. There is lots to do in the nursery:

Playing with toys…







...and role play.


Messy Play...




...and baking.


We like to look at books:

With our friends......


 ...and with teachers.


In our garden we enjoy:

Bike riding......






...and scooting.





...the mud kitchen... 


...playing in the sand...



 ...and playing with friends.



Walks around the school grounds are so much fun!

We visit our school chickens...


...and investigate muddy puddles...


...we explore nature...




 ...and play on the MUGA.



At Acorns Nursery:

We play nicely with our friends big and small...


 ...and are kind to each other.



We try to always remember our Golden Rules!

Sometimes we may even have exciting visitors!

Fire Brigade




Police Dogs



Guide Dogs




You will have lunch at nursery and you can bring your own lunch box.

We sit with our friends to eat our lunch together.








You can ask one of your teachers for help until you learn to eat your lunch independently.

After lunch we split into groups again to learn some maths or more literacy skills.



Then we have either free play or outdoor learning until it is time to tidy up.


Once we have tidied all our toys away, we sit down on the carpet and sing some songs together.

Then your Mums, Dads or carers arrive to collect you and take you home. You sit until your name is called and then you can go and tell your parents all the exciting things you have done in nursery that day!



Applications and Visits for Prospective Parents 

To visit, please check our Open Events found here: https://www.wps.org.uk/Prospective-Parents/

The closing dates below are the dates at which we look at each new batch of applications and allocate places based on our admissions criteria.  We contact parents to confirm the places shortly after the closing date.  

Start date

 Application closing dates

January 2022

 Monday 7 June 2021 - round 1 - expired

Tuesday 14 September 2021 - expired

After these dates, any remaining places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 

April 2022

Tuesday 12 October 2021 - round 1

Tuesday 4 January 2022 - round 2 

All applications received after 4 January 2022 will be dealt with on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis.

September 2022

Tuesday 4 January 2022 - round 1
All applications received after 4 January 2022 will be dealt with on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis.


We accept applications after these dates and on a rolling basis.  If we have space available, your child is welcome to start at other times.  For example, if you move into the area in October 2021 and would like your child to start straight away, as long as we have space available they could start mid-term.

The Information Pack for Nursery including how to access your free funded hours can be found here. 

The answers to frequently asked questions can be found here

The admissions criteria for the academic year 2021-22 can be found here.

** Please note that we are changing our admissions processes.  From 5 January 2022 all applications will be dealt with on a first-come, first-served basis ** 

To apply for a place, please complete this application form.  If you have any queries please contact the nursery on nursery@wps.org.uk.  


 Aims and Values

We are very proud of our school and its values - Respect, Responsibility, Reflection and Resilience. At Woodmansterne we see our role as facilitators 'Growing Learners for Life'. We aim to provide high quality care and education for children and a secure foundation for learning in a nurturing environment, where there is an equality of opportunity and support for all and where staff and families work in close partnership.


Our aims are achieved through:

Unique Child

  • Development of personal independence, freedom to initiate activities and make choices
  • Development of self-discipline and self-motivation
  • Inclusion of children with special needs and the provision of support and resources to meet their needs
  • A growing sense of well-being, happiness and confidence for each child
  • Development of children’s self-respect and confidence in their abilities

Positive Relationships

  • Development of friendships
  • Development of relationships where adults and children accept, value and respect one another
  • Promotion of appropriate behaviour in different situations and how to manage their feelings
  • Good working partnerships between staff and families 

Enabling Environments

  • Freedom to express feelings, ideas and beliefs within a supportive environment
  • Having fun, laughing, encouraging the development of humour
  • Creation of a supportive and caring environment in which each child's potential can be nurtured
  • Provision of an inspiring environment including different types of outdoor learning where children can play freely and experience different learning experiences

Learning and Development

  • Enjoyment in learning through play and structured activities
  • Development of imagination
  • Development of expressive arts and design through music, dance, drama, role play and art 
  • Development of communication and language
  • Opportunities for exploring literature and developing reading and writing skills
  • Opportunities for mathematical development
  • Encouragement for children to explore and investigate the world around them and develop their understanding of it
  • Development of physical skills including both large and fine motor skills
  • Appropriate curriculum planning, taking account of children’s ideas and interests, to promote learning and development
  • Assessment for measuring progress through observations of children and the recording of each child's development in their Learning Journey
  • Respect for the existing stage of development of each child and use of this as a starting point for future development
  • Individual planning for next steps
  • Participation of parents in their child's learning

Safeguarding and Welfare

  • Keeping children safe in our care
  • Ongoing staff training
  • Implementation of health and safety policies

Development of Acorn Nursery Class

  • Professional development of the staff
  • Continued communication with other Early Years settings to exchange ideas and improve skills

Starting at Acorns Nursery?

We sing the Welcome Song every morning at nursery! Maybe you could learn it before you come to nursery so you can join in with us?

Reading and singing are vital to developing a child’s vocabulary and listening skills. Try to do some every day! Our nursery teachers have recorded lots of stories and songs for the nursery children to watch and join in with at home. You can find a list of links here.

Our booklet 'My Day at Acorns Nursery' will give you and your child a good understanding of what to expect when they start with us. 

Here are some independence skills that will be particularly important when your child starts in Reception, but it is never too early to start practising! Below is one of our children practising the coat 'flip trick' to put their own coat on.

We don’t expect children to start nursery with all of these skills, but they are very good things to start practising at home now. We will continue working on these skills with them once they start nursery and will celebrate every little independence milestone they meet!

Suggested Resources, Activities & Games

Alphablocks phonics A-Z

El Nombre! Learn to write numbers 1-10

I am a Shape! Mister Maker shape song

Barefoot Books – The Shape Song Swingalong

Cosmic Kids Yoga. We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

Dough Dance! Down in the Jungle (have your playdough ready! See recipe below)

Rhyming practise with Jack Hartman

Barefoot Books – Animal Boogie

Fine motor skills games 

Small toys and toys / games that require concentrated work with the hands are a great way to prepare your child’s hands for writing. Some examples could be shape sorters, threading activities, lego, puzzles and small world toys such as dolls houses.

Manipulating playdough helps to strengthen hand muscles and develop control over the fingers. Snipping playdough sausages helps develop scissor cutting skills.

I Spy!


I Spy doesn’t have to be played with just letters, you can insert shapes, colours, objects in the environment for example: “I Spy with my little eye, something the colour Red!”


Bug Hunt


There’s no better way to learn about nature than to go looking for it! Here is a handy Scavenger Hunt sheet you can tick off while you go on your bug hunt!


Water Painting

The clean way to practise mark making skills! Give your child a paint brush or paint roller and a bucket of water and let them paint the walls, fences, concrete etc around your garden. They’ll see the marks they make, gain confidence in their mark making skills and you won’t be left with permanent reminders! For added fun, let your child draw with chalk and then use the water as “magic paint” to make the drawings disappear!

Numbers and Shapes


You can incorporate maths skills into everyday activities. Why not count how many jumps your child can make from one side of the garden to the other? How many birds can they see? Is that a big bird or a small bird? Is your plate a square or a circle?