Our day is always action packed and full of fun!
Here are some more details of what we do and when we do it, as well as info about how we teach and learn at The Burrow, with a link to the Early Years Foundation Stage:
The Burrow Sessions:
Little Bunnies (Afternoon Sessions) – For children rising 3 years old, starting the term in which they turn 3, to rising 4 years old. Some children may start the term before they turn 3 if we feel they are ready!
12.30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Thursday (Autumn and Spring Terms)
Friday sessions are offered in the Summer Term, subject to demand
Children in Little Bunnies are currently required to attend for a minimum of 3 afternoons per week.
Big Bunnies (Morning Sessions) – For children rising 4 years old to rising 5 years old (the pre-school year)
8.30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Monday – Friday
Children in Big Bunnies are required to attend for all 5 morning sessions.
Big Bunnies Lunch Club
12 noon – 1p.m. Monday – Friday
This is a great chance for Big Bunnies to get used to a longer day, and learn about hygiene, healthy eating, and group table manners, in a smaller, quieter environment than the school canteen, but is also a good opportunity for you to have a little more time to get things done before pick-up…
Parents provide a packed lunch for their child, and there is normally time for a few quiet games once everyone has finished eating.
Big Bunnies Afternoon Sessions
12 noon – 3.45 p.m. Monday – Friday
These sessions are intended as an addition to the morning sessions, not an alternative, and provide a continuation of Early Years care, as well as an afternoon of activities with friends. Children join in Lunch Club as above, then enjoy additional fun and games as a group.
Places for these afternoon sessions are limited and are booked on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. Parents eligible to receive the Government ‘extended hours’ funding can use this funding towards the cost of these sessions. To check eligibility for Extended Funding please click on this link.
Children’s Learning & Development – how we teach your child
At the Burrow, we put the children, our ‘Bunnies’, at the heart of everything we do. Children start to learn from the moment they are born, through their interaction with everyone and everything around them; life at The Burrow helps them continue to do this by providing unique learning opportunities, with totally age-appropriate activities and experiences tailored to their individual development, needs and interests. With fresh and inspiring teaching, we create a wonderful, exciting journey of learning, with children very firmly at the centre, even leading the way!
Provision for the development and learning of young children is guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and the ethos and practice of The Burrow reflects the key principles of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (DfE 2012), details of which, and all other aspects of the EYFS, can be found using the following link:
At The Burrow we feel that care and education hold equal importance in the experiences we offer to our children, and child-centred play is key to teaching and learning here. We always do our best to ensure that the opportunities making up our day:
- help each child feel that they are a valued member of the nursery community
- help children gain from the social experience of being part of a group
- provide them with exciting opportunities to learn and, just as importantly, help them to value their own learning
- develop independence and confidence in our children as they grow and learn in all areas
- ensure the safety of each child and teach them how to keep themselves safe
- give everyone heaps of fun and laughter!
In the house
Our house, one of the original gate-lodges to Ashtead Park, is very cute and cosy, with a series of rooms offering different free-flow experiences; construction and small world in the Holt, all things number and mark-making in the Den, role play in the Snug, quiet reading and chat in the Nook (complete with fairy lights and cushions!), creative/arty things in the Studio, and ‘messy play’ and technology in the Conservatory!
Activities are largely child-led (we provide the resources, they provide the ideas!) as children generally learn best when they are actively engaged in something of their own choosing; we just offer a helping hand when the moment is right.
There is also always an array of totally child-initiated, self-selected activities which introduce different experiences such as independent decision making and planning, choosing resources to help with a plan, and getting things out and tidying them away again when you have finished….always a very important skill!
Each day there is an adult-led ‘small group’ activity, planned by the teaching team to develop specific and relevant ‘pre-school’ knowledge and skills. These short sessions help children learn to work closely with each other, as well as focus on an adult-directed task, with a specific learning target in mind.
Whatever the activity, in any room, staff are always on hand to ‘scaffold’, or build on children’s learning, teaching them ‘in the moment’, encouraging and enabling them to take things higher (sometimes quite literally!), and helping everyone rise to achieve their full potential.
In the Garden
Free-flow indoor/outdoor play happens every day, in all weathers (the right clothing is essential!), with a wide array of different activities in every session. Learning outside is now widely recognised as hugely beneficial to children’s learning and development, and with all our outdoor facilities, The Burrow provides endless opportunities to extend minds and bodies, giving a unique sense of freedom of expression and giving rise to much greater creativity and challenge in all activities.
We have a very pretty (big!) garden, with a patio and all-weather deck area, so there’s always the chance to get outside to learn, with the added benefit of fresh air! Larger physical skills are obviously encouraged outside, such as scooters, hoops, balls, water play, and mud kitchen, but the deck area also enables us to provide activities which might not be possible inside (bigger, noisier, messier….?!), covering all the same areas of learning on offer in the house, but with outside resources.
But don’t be fooled; learning outside is not the same as outdoor learning! That requires a whole new set of skills, unique to a natural, outdoor environment, and for that we have a wood…..
In the wood
We are extremely proud of our outdoor learning ethos, in particular the teaching we offer in our wood. Much is said these days about ‘forest schooling’, but The Burrow is quite unique in owning its very own piece of woodland, just on the edge of Ashtead Park, which allows us to offer a full range of ‘forest’ learning experiences every day, without ever leaving the comfort of our own nursery! Learning in the fresh air is even more exciting when everything you use is natural, part of the environment, sourced from nature and the things you find around you. With trees to climb, log dens to build, bugs to find, mud to dig in, to say nothing of the huge potential of using stones to count, sticks to write, and mud to paint, the children have amazing woodland learning opportunities all year round. There’s so much new to see in the wood every season, especially with a campfire to keep us warm, or to toast marshmallows! What better way for children to experience the environment and discover the wonders of learning…..outdoors?
As a final touch, to complete the ‘back to nature’ experience, our rabbits, guinea pigs, ducks and chickens mean children learn how to care for animals, while handling them, feeding them and collecting eggs. We also have stick insects, fish, and plenty of bugs, so caring for wildlife is very well covered!
In all this, our aim is to help children learn HOW TO LEARN, so they can go on and learn ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that life shows them, WHENEVER and WHEREVER the moment arises!
We trust you can see how our unique combination of a home-from-home nursery environment and outdoor/woodland learning opportunities provide the children at The Burrow with the very best of all aspects of Early Years Education. You really need to come and visit us to see all the great things we get up to, as the list is very long, but you can feel assured that our children are at the heart of everything we do at The Burrow, and our passion for helping them all develop a true love of learning is second to none!
We are very proud of our nursery and all that we achieve here, and hope you will be too.