about us

 

Natural Nurture is a nursery school for children aged 2 to 5 years. Based in the heart of a 33 acre, family farm in West Sussex, we offer a new and innovative approach to teaching young children. Every day, our children are engaged in outdoor activities inspired by the day-to-day life of the farm and its beautiful, natural surroundings.

 
 

Our ethos is simple: we want to improve the world we live, in whatever way we can. We also believe in stimulating the imagination of children (and their parents) through engagement in creative and productive activity, accommodating the changing season, routine and weather patterns.

 
 

session times

Open Monday – Friday, Term Time Only

 

Arrival Times

8am, 9am, 12pm or 1pm
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Pick-up Times

12pm, 1pm , 3pm or 5pm
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fees

2yrs

£8 per hour
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3yrs+

£7 per hour
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Breakfast

£1.50
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Lunch

£2.50
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Register Fee

£50
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Farm Gear

£50
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sibling discount of 5%
 

minimum sessions

2yrs

Two (2) half day sessions

3yrs

Two (2) half day sessions

free entitlement sessions



9am – 12pm

1 x 3hr session

9am – 3pm

1 x 6hr session

2yr
Free Entitlement Sessions


Funding is available for some eligible 2 year olds. It allows some 2 year olds access to free, good quality, flexible early education or childcare. To find out more and to apply…

Click here

3yr & 4yr Universal
Free Entitlement


All 3 & 4 yrs are entitled to 15 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year from the term following their 3rd birthday. To apply fill out the Parent Declaration Form and return it to us. To find out more and to apply…

Click here

3yr & 4yr Extended
Free Entitlement


Eligible working parents of 3 & 4 yr olds will be able to access a further 15 hrs a week on top of the Universal FE hours. Parents must apply online with the government to confirm their eligibility. To find out more and to apply….

Click here

a day in the life

 
  • Connector.Connector.

    08:00am

    Breakfast Club opens

  • Connector.Connector.

    09:00am

    Nursery Opens
    Get ready to go on the farm

  • Connector.Connector.

    09:30am

    Feed animals

  • Connector.Connector.

    10:00am

    Wash hands for snack

  • Connector.Connector.

    10:10am

    Snack time!

  • Connector.Connector.

    10:30am

    Outdoor activity / Play

  • Connector.Connector.

    11:30am

    Circle time

  • Connector.Connector.

    11:50am

    Wash hands for lunch

  • Connector.Connector.

    12:00pm

    Lunch time!

  • Connector.Connector.

    12:45pm

    1pm departures for Fun Bus

  • Connector.Connector.

    1:00pm

    Outdoor activity / Play

  • Connector.Connector.

    2:30pm

    Walk up to Fun Bus
    Free play in Fun Bus

  • Connector.Connector.

    3:00pm

    3pm session children leave

  • Connector.Connector.

    3:05pm

    Wash hands for snack

  • Connector.Connector.

    3:10pm

    Snack time!

  • Connector.Connector.

    3:30pm

    Outdoor activity / Play

  • Connector.Connector.

    4:45pm

    Go back to bus ready to go home

  • Connector.Connector.

    5:00pm

    Nursery closes






 
 

Although our days are timetabled and planned this does not mean we are not flexible. Spontaneous play is an important part of children’s learning and can always be accommodated. We will utilise the weather conditions to their full and anything the children are interested in we will go along with.

 

key persons

 

Key persons are in place to ensure that every child is supported emotionally and helped to cope with any disruptions, upsets, & uncertainties that come their way, but with this in mind all staff are well informed and involved with all the children and there are always lots of cuddles to go around.

It is our aim to make their days as enjoyable as possible and that they feel happy and secure when they are away from you.

 

curriculum

 

Play underpins everything we do at Natural Nurture enabling children to learn and develop in every aspect.

Through play, children explore, take risks, practice skills and try out new experiences.

They encounter and try to solve problems, they use their imagination, develop creativity and discover their immediate world.

They learn to work alongside and with other children, developing language, social and intellectual skills and learning about their emotions.

Most children are able to play spontaneously, although some children may need some support from experienced adults.

We plan, using the Early Years Foundation Stage and use your child’s interests to develop their learning across the 7 key areas: (please click on each heading below to see how we promote each key area)

At Natural Nurture, we place high emphasis on respecting every child as an individual and support each child to become independent, resilient and confident.

Children are encouraged to put on their boots and assist initially with their waterproof kit with the aim of dressing independently at a later stage.

They learn toileting and hygiene skills, also promoting independence and developing a sense of achievement.

Through various activities, routines, stories and discussions they learn to respect themselves, others and the environment.

Children learn to take turns and share resources such as waiting for their turn on the rope swing or sharing digging implements in the sand pit.

They help with tasks such as tidying up, fetching wood for the fire, feeding the chickens or sweeping the restaurant floor, building their self-esteem and learning to take responsibility.

We use various tools to communicate with children from speech to visual aids or signs.

We respect children’s attempts at talking and understand that for some children, talking in a group situation is very daunting.

Using inspiring resources such as talking stones, walkie-talkies, songs, games, stories, rhymes or puppets and lots of fun and humour, children are motivated to listen to others, speak, discuss, negotiate, compromise and solve problems.

We introduce new vocabulary to enable them to become effective and confident communicators.

With almost 33 acres to run around in, children’s physical skills at Natural Nurture usually develop very quickly.

We have an amazing physical area with reclaimed resources where children can design and build large climbing and balancing challenges, using large muscles to move resources around and experimenting to find out what works and doesn’t work.

They are able to develop large arm movements through climbing trees and using the rope walk or hauling themselves up slopes with ropes.

We have a variety of hills and slopes where children can climb up and run, roll or even slide down again.

The hay bales are a popular activity where children develop confidence and the necessary skills to jump, run, climb, and slide.

With adult supervision they develop the fine motor skills needed to enjoy activities such as woodwork, sawing logs, using whittling knives, spreading bread or toast, using pens, feathers, charcoal or other writing tools, using scissors etc.

We use music and movement activities to refine physical skills such as practising delicate dance movements with streamers.

We promote healthy eating by growing fruits and vegetables and talking about healthy foods. Children help to sow and care for plants and learn about composting and recycling.

We encourage children to be as independent as possible so they learn to handle their own toileting needs, wash their own hands, feed and eventually dress themselves independently.

They learn about taking risks and risk-assessment and through activities such as being a ‘danger detective’ they identify potential dangers and learn how to minimise or eliminate them.

Before children can read or write, they need to develop certain skills.
Literacy at Natural Nurture encompasses activities to promote theses skills which then lead into early reading and writing. Activities such as making large arm movements with brushes or mops or copying movements in the air, making and using clay, or dough and picking up tiny objects all promote the development of the muscles needed for writing.

Going on listening walks, making up our own stories, doing rhythmic activities and teaching nursery rhymes and songs all promote reading skills.

Alongside these, we always have available the usual resources for mark-making such as pens, felt-tips and pencils as well as charcoal, nature brushes – using leaves or splayed sticks etc as brushes, – sticks in sand or mud, or paint, shaving foam etc on the ground where children can explore mark making in various forms.

We use sticks, leaves, clouds and other natural objects to identify and make letters.

We have information sheets around the farm so children can spot wild flowers, insects, butterflies etc and learn that the print under each item relates to the picture and carries meaning.

We read stories and make up our own using our imagination or story stones so children have a good concept of the art of storytelling.

We have various storytelling trees and story lines situated around the farm so children can access books easily, enabling them to handle them carefully and identify both pleasure books and information books.

Through rhythmic activities such as using claves or clapping to beats, children become familiar with the rhythm needed for reading.

We will act out stories such as ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ using our natural environment or using music and dance bringing the story to life.

There are so many opportunities for maths at Natural Nurture. Using natural objects such as stones, sticks, leaves, mud and water children have opportunities to weigh, measure, sort, count, compare sizes, estimate and measure volume and capacity, identify shapes, talk about positioning and so much more. Many of these activities are carried out through spontaneous play in (for instance) the mud kitchens or the physical area, although we also have specific adult led activities to promote these skills.

Children learn to estimate by guessing the number of eggs the chickens have laid and then check by collecting and counting them, using chalks and a chalkboard to make lines or write numbers and matching laminated pictures of eggs to real eggs to compare quantities.

We use mathematical songs, physical and board games and puzzles to teach counting and sequencing skills.

Children make their own geo-boards and use them to make patterns using wool or elastic bands.

Through cookery, children also learn about weights and measures, quantities, estimating, changing consistencies etc.

Children learn to count, match and compare when laying tables for lunch, selecting their fruit or collecting cups and bowls at the end of snack.

Children at Natural Nurture have a wonderful, stimulating and unique environment to explore and discover.

They learn first-hand about the changing seasons, weather and cloud formations, the natural cycles of animals, fruits and vegetables, about how to care for animals by feeding the chickens and doves and sometimes the lambs if they need additional support.

The children learn to identify insects and their habitats and make bug hotels which they can explore at a later date.

They learn about risk-taking, making and using fire safely, gravity, differing sounds, light and darkness, floating and sinking.

We are in the process of forming a global village and so far the children have contributed towards making an African mud hut which has involved identifying suitable wood, staking, using tools such as spades, secateurs and loppers, weaving, making mud and applying it to the walls.

The children use walkie-talkies and learn about asking for help, identifying where they are should the adult become injured or unable to call for help.

They explore buttons and switches on an old tractor and a land-rover and see tractors being used on a daily basis and sometimes see tipper trucks in operation.

They take apart old ICT equipment to find out what is inside and how they work.

Children make maps for their own use or so they can programme the Bee Bot to move in various directions.

In the winter, torches are used, giving the children a completely different perspective of their environment.

We purposely have a reduced amount of plastic toys so children are encouraged to use their imagination to create resources for their play.

It has been said that a car is a car and it can’t be anything else. Whereas a piece of wood or bark can be a laptop, a boat, a spade, a fairy house or anything else a child imagines!

Resources are provided such as wood, hammers, nails and saws so children are free to make their own creations.

With adult assistance, children use whittling knives and bradawls to make wooden or natural creations such as acorn fairies or magic wands.

We have various musical instruments to explore as well as several music trees hung with natural or recycled objects which they can experiment with.

We hold adult-led musical activities to promote a richer understanding of music.

Other resources such as paint, glue, differing textures, paper, flour, play-dough, clay etc is provided for exploration and experimentation.

We have all sorts of equipment for making dens and shelters from the elements and children learn to use appropriate fabrics according to the weather conditions. Eg, using waterproof material when raining or a sheet to provide shade.

Dressing up clothes are provided to enhance role play and enable children to re-create roles they see everyday.

We provide children with the opportunity to engage with child-initiated activities and adult guided sessions taking into account individual needs and interests. This is done by using information gathered through observations and assessments and information provided by you the parents.


 
 

For more information on the Early Years Foundation Stage
please download full guidance

Download
 

learning journals

 

Our staff will make on-going focused observations on your child. These, along with photographs, will be recorded in your child’s own Learning Journal which can be accessed online using Tapestry.

 

meals

 

We use locally sourced ingredients as well as quality meat, fresh fruit and vegetables straight from our farm (seasonal), all of which is cooked in the nursery kitchen, meaning that everything our children eat is the best it can be.

We are happy to cater for children with food intolerances. All children have access to water throughout the day and are encouraged to drink regularly.

 

clothing & kit list

 

Dressing appropriately is essential especially in Winter. The more layers worn the warmer your child is and the more they will enjoy their time with us.

Children WILL NOT be allowed to stay if they are inadequately equipped.

 
 

kit list checklist


 
 
  • 2 x pairs of thin socks
  • 2 x pair of thick socks
  • 2 x Underpants
  • 2 x T-Shirts
  • 2 x Jumpers/ Fleeces
  • 4 x Nappies and wipes
  • if applicable*
  • 2 x Trousers (not jeans)
  • Thermal Top & Bottoms (Winter Only)
  • 1 x Woolly / Summer Hat
  • Sunscreen (Summer only)
 
 
 
 


*If nappies aren’t provided there will be a charge of £1 per nursery nappy used.

Please label all of your child’s personal belongings.

The nursery provides your child with waterproofs, a fleece and wellies that for environmental health reasons need to stay on the farm. If you use hours over and above your funded hours than we ask for a small £50 contribution.

 

settling in

 

Before your child joins the nursery we have what’s known as a settling in period, when you and your child can come into the nursery and stay for a while together in order to get to know us, the other children and our typical daily nursery routine, etc.

The purpose of this settling in process is that when your child properly starts nursery both you and they will feel familiar with the environment and us which will put your little one much more at ease.

We normally have 2 or 3 settling-in sessions each lasting about an hour. Some children may need more or less visits and we will alter the number of sessions required dependent on your child’s individual needs. See below for more detail on settling-in sessions.

 
 
Go over the Settling in Photobook with your child, so that things will look vaguely familiar to them upon arrival.

Starting a new nursery can be just as nerve wracking for the child as it is for the parent, so please also read our Parents Settling in Pack, which gives advice and information on our daily routine.

To help our staff get to know your child quickly please also fill out the All About Me form and bring it with you on your first visit

For the first visit parents should stay with their child for an hour and talk to the staff about routines and anything else they want to share with us or ask us about. While there you will spend some time with your key worker and together you can encourage your child to play and explore and meet the other children and staff in the room. Both parent and child will then leave together.
Parents then leave child for part of the time. If your child is confident and relaxed we will encourage you to leave for about half an hour but if you wish to stay that is fine too.
Parents drop off their child and leave for the full hour.
Parents are invited to phone at any point during the day to check that all is well.


 

parent involvement

 

Parents are encouraged to become involved in every stage of their child’s development. We recognise the importance of the partnership with parents and strive to build and maintain a sound and effective relationship with each parent. Your involvement will contribute greatly to all aspects of your child’s wellbeing and education

Online Journals – We encourage parents to contribute to their child’s online learning journal by identifying children’s learning and development outside of the setting.

Daily Newsfeeds -­ Posted up on our FAMLY app, giving a summary of what your child has been up to that day

Parents Meetings – Twice a year a meeting will be arranged between the parents and their child’s key person. These meetings give parents and key persons the opportunity to meet and discuss children’s progress and share any concerns about their development

Annual Events – All family members are invited to join us at our Christmas Nativity and party as well as our Summer Teddy Bears Picnic

Annual Parent Survey – gives parents the opportunity to share their views on the nursery, and provides us with invaluable information that enables us to continue to provide the highest standards of care and early years provision for your child.

Parent Notice Board – which includes the planned activities and menu for the week along with any other important information we need to share.

Learning At Home – we regularly post ideas on FAMLY app that gives ideas to parents to support their child’s learning at home.

 

health & safety

 

Health and Safety are of paramount importance to us and with this in mind we have a comprehensive Health and safety policy and many risk assessments in place.

Our practitioners attend continual professional development courses, hold Pediatric First Aid Certificates, and are fully aware and work within all of our Policies and Procedures.

On enrolment, all parents/guardians are required to read all of our Nursery Policies and Procedures, and acknowledge that they have done so.

All staff including our farm staff have been DBS checked and we have CCTV in place for the protection of the premises, children and staff.