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A Place to Grow

Acorns Nursery is fortunate to have two bespoke classrooms and a large outdoor learning space. Our learning environment is organised to invite children to explore all the different activity zones carefully planned to draw them into purposeful play.

Continuous provision is enhanced to support the weekly topic and the environment is designed to support our children's current interests and fascinations and gives our children opportunities to take risks and explore.

We use high quality, core texts which help children to make links to the topics and provide exciting learning experiences. Children develop their imagination and make learning connections through our offer eg through role play, modelling and mark making. Story time encourages a love of reading as well as ensuring all children develop excellent early literacy skills.

We teach children the importance of being independent and doing things on their own. They are taught how to use our resources, knowing where to get them from and returning them independently.  Within the classroom and outdoor settings there is a range of equipment and materials available for our children to independently access, some are familiar and always there to select whilst some resources are introduced at different times to ensure all areas are exciting and refreshed to further encourage exploration within each zone. 

Examples of different areas in the learning environment

Mark Making and Finger Gym: Mark making is the foundation of early writing. Providing a range of resources in an exciting environment enables our children to become confident writers. A well resourced mark making area and finger gym encourages the development of fine motor skills and, with the right stimulation, children mark make in a developmentally appropriate way and begin to form letter shapes.

Role-play: Will we be doctors, pirates or astronauts today? Our role-play areas excite our children and allow them to act out familiar stories and everyday activities that help them to make sense of themselves, each other and their world.

Mathematical learning: Through play, children explore mathematical concepts and adopt positive attitudes to problem solving. Children have access to a variety of mathematical resources to support their early mathematical thinking.

Investigation Station: Here we tap our children’s natural curiosity to explore and investigate the world around them. Activities encourage children to investigate and explore using their blossoming scientific skills.  

Small world: Stimulates our children’s independent play and curiosity. We enhance small world scenarios to reflect real life scenes and the topic we are learning to support imaginative and language development.

Creative Area: Children start to express their thoughts and feelings through their creations. Free expression with an emphasis on process and exploration supports children’s problem solving skills and imagination through the tactile engagement of materials.

Malleable and sensory materials: promotes children’s natural curiosity. Malleable play and sensory play fosters imagination and allows endless play opportunities and our children develop both fine and gross motor skills as they explore what’s on offer eg using pinching, pouring, balance and body awareness.

Acorn's bespoke nursery playground, nestled within the larger EYFS playground, has extensive zones including the Sand Kitchen, Construction Area, Story Circle and Sensory Garden. Our own Nursery Playground’s outdoor provision provides an extra area for planned learning activities and has a place for children to ride, climb, balance and explore a range of physical activities. Our children also have access to water and sand trays, a mud kitchen and a wooden playhouse providing exciting places to learn and to encourage imaginative and creative play.

Extended learning opportunities

Mini Musicians: Singing and music making stimulates our children whether in their day to day learning or with our music specialist. Our children enjoy accessing a range of musical instruments or are happy to create their own.

Love of reading: from day one we want our children to have a love of reading. Every area has an inviting reading zone where our children can snuggle with a book or share a book with their friends. Story time is a favourite part of the day. Our children are encouraged to vote for their favourite story each day. Acorns visit the CPS library to further promote reading.

Mini Woodies: Our bespoke woodland area, Mini-Woodies provides unbounded adventures in a natural wild setting. Daily sessions enable our children to learn about the natural environment and to experience forest school type activities in a fun and exciting way. Our children are allowed to take safe risks, planned by our qualified experienced woodland learn lead.

Gymnasium: Acorns develop their balance and coordination and enjoy opportunities to develop gross motor skills with our indoor gymnastics and soft play equipment.

CPS Grounds

Guinea pigs and chickens: provide opportunities for our children to learn about animals and how we care for them, and are great for a hug!

Mini orchard: the school has a variety of different apple trees including our very own Claygate Pearmian apple trees, which produce a bounty of apples for us to enjoy.

Allotments: we encourage our children to learn about the passing of the seasons, how to grow and harvest produce and thereby understand where different foods come from.

Fields: CPS' large fields and playgrounds provide our children with the freedom to develop physical skills and a great place to get involved in a wide variety of games.