Greygates Nursery occupies a large Victorian house, so there’s plenty of room for everyone.
We have three separate groups on two floors: the Baby Rooms and Toddler Room are downstairs and the Big Ones – mostly 3 and 4-year-olds – are upstairs. There’s also a dedicated kitchen where meals are prepared plus, of course, nappy changing areas and low-level toilets and sinks on both floors.
We’re also lucky enough to have an unusually large garden where the children can play games, let off steam and build their muscles! There’s a special area for babies, plenty of shade for when it’s sunny, a nature corner and all sorts of outdoor toys, from swings and slides to sand pits, dolls prams and scooters.
Greygates Babies can look forward to lots of smiles, cuddles and chatter as well as plenty of toys and games. They’re also introduced to songs with actions, and activities from painting and sticking to water play and modelling with cooked pasta. We only take four children under a year old so younger babies get all the attention they deserve. Sleeps are based around each child’s needs, though most have a long nap after lunch. Parents are given individual feedback on their baby’s activities each day.
Toddlers are more independent, so alongside play we promote social skills such as sharing and taking turns, introduce more construction activities and enhance their coordination through climbing and jumping games. Theme-based activities include stories, songs, dancing, imaginative play, painting and drawing. We also take the strain (forgive the pun!) out of toilet training when your child is ready.
Our Big Ones – the pre-school children – follow the Foundation Stage curriculum, which emphasises the importance of learning through play. Theme-based activities and resources are planned around the children’s interests to encourage them to become active learners in the set fields of maths; language and literacy; knowledge and understanding of the world; creativity; and social, emotional and physical development. As importantly, we develop their social interaction skills, particularly when it comes to good manners, sharing, taking turns and respecting others.
"At Isabella’s first, posh nursery, everything – from the food to the toys – was based on corporate rules, not the children’s needs. Any issues I had were just referred to head office. It’s totally different here. Denise isn’t some faceless manager on the end of a telephone – she’s there, chatting with parents, changing nappies, playing with the children and planning the menus. Greygates doesn’t have a carefully branded ‘designer’ environment. But you can feel the happy atmosphere the minute you walk in."
Suzanna, mother of Isabella, 4, and Alexandra, 1