Smartys Little Willows Nursery

Our Pirehill Pre-School "Smartys Little Willows Nursery" environment promotes learning through play in an educating and caring way. We look after children from the ages of 3-5 years.

Our pre-school is well equipped with wonderful opportunities for our pre-school children to explore and become independent within an environment with a hive of activity.

Our children who join our Pirehill Pre-School have the access to all of the wonderful facilities Pirehill First School has to offer, this is an ideal choice should you decide to enter into full time education at Pirehill, they will already feel “at home” with us.


School Readiness

Our pre-school nursery operates from within a single storey classroom environment caring for energetic and enthusiastic pre-school children from the age of 3-5 years.

As with our younger age groups our staff, ask parents about their child and how they have been. This ensures positive relationships with parents and promotes communication and consistency between the care given at nursery and at home.


    Our younger pre-school children are encouraged with the choice of wanting a rest after lunch. Rest encourages growth and development and also recharges their mind. However most of our children have grown out of this and are full of energy throughout their busy day.

    Our children who are not resting will be invited to join in with quiet activities whilst their friends have a sleep such as jigsaws, play dough or colouring.

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    In the pre-school most of our children are fully toilet trained and we encourage independence when going to the bathroom however staff provide close supervision and are on hand to support all of the children.

    Although we have specific nappy changing times, where needed we check all nappies regularly and change them when necessary and throughout their time with us the children begin to toilet train. This is done with the upmost sensitivity ensuring that parents and carers take a similar approach to ensure consistency throughout this period of change. The children are rewarded for their successes with praise, stickers and rewards.

    We follow parent’s wishes as to where and when the babies sleep. We have a variety of cots, bouncers and sleep mats. We do not have set times for sleeping. Babies sleep as needed but also in line with their parents wishes.

    Our babies nappies are changed regularly throughout the day or whenever needed. The carers check the babies’ nappies regularly. Each child has their own box where we store your child’s own nappies, wipes and creams (we do ask for parents to provide these).

    Our babies are encouraged to explore and become mobile as they begin to cruise, crawl and walk around the rooms.

    We encourage our pre-school children to become as independent as they can, we enjoy a variety of different activities to promote this from finding our teddy bear names as we arrive in the morning to choosing what we would like for breakfast. We enjoy circle time where we talk about the weather, days of the week using laguage as a powerful way of meaning, we share our feelings and experiences along with our thoughts.

    The children are taught makaton sign language throughout their day to enhance their language and communication skills. They also share access to tablets developing their knowledge on the latest technology.

    We like to get messy too and as we become more creative and knowledgeable we begin to combine movement, materials, media and marks. The activities provide the opportunities for the children to get involved in new experiences that may challenge their expectations.

    The children throughout their time with us have plenty of sensory experiences and activities available to them throughout the day. Not only do they benefit from this creative play but also the children enjoy playing with one another in small groups where they can let their imaginations run free.

    All of our activities are planned to stimulate the children’s existing interests. Adults may take a leading role during some of these where as the children may take the initiative with others and take the activity in a direction of their choice.

    All of our activities throughout the pre-school follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). All activities are also carefully planned around themes that promote children’s interests and overall development.

    As our children progress through the pre-school nursery their busy day aims to promote behaviour at all times through carefully planned resources and ideas, child choice activities and by seizing spontaneous- opportunities when they arise. Our children can be creative with the cars in the sandpit or prepare tea in the role play cafe.

    Our pre-school children experience the same opportunity of care and personal contact as the younger age groups, however our room is designed to encourage the children’s independence and decision making skills in preparation for school whilst they are secure knowing that there are staff close by to attend to their needs at all times..

    In our classroom environment we are keen to establish a balance between educating the children academically whilst nurturing their developing personalities and ensuring their individual emotional needs are met. All activities are designed with one thing in mind – FUN!

    Although we have routine in our pre-school it is impossible for this to be linear as the children are able to influence the day to a certain extent in a direction to suit them, with the exception of meal times which here at the pre-school we feel are very important social event each day. The children are able to dip in and out of various pools of activities in and out of the rooms throughout the day.

    Upon arrival the children find their name on the teddy bear board to show they are here, this encourages name recognition. They are then able to choose which activities they want to take part in both indoors and outdoors as staff are situated in both areas with some activities that the staff supervise where as there are others which the adult will lead and direct with the children.

    The children are actively encouraged to play in the themed role play area based upon the children’s interests and our themes at the time. They are encouraged to use their imagination to play creatively both independently and as part of a group.

    We love our mud kitchen

    There’s also plenty more fun to be had when they go around the world practising their French and expanding their knowledge and understanding with a wide range of activities.

    The staff continually acknowledge and praise positive behaviour; the children receive rewards through verbal praise, a smile, or through stickers, wrist bands and certificates. Although the day may be busy and hectic the quiet corner is always available to the children where they can sit calmly and read a book. Some even indulge in a little snooze on the cushions.

    Both our morning and afternoon routines run similarly with the children accessing a variety of activities making sure that children are not repeating the same activity over and over again. Although there are set times for meals and snacks it is important that the children know they can help themselves to fresh drinking water at all times.

    Upon collecting your imaginative pre-schooler you will always have the opportunity to view the daily report board by the door along with being provided with a full detailed hand over informing you of their day, their achievements and the fun they’ve had along the way!


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