Our onsite nursery aims to provide the children in our care with a happy and secure environment, which stimulates and encourages their natural development. We encourage independent decision making by the children, supported by our team of qualified staff, and the emphasis is on fun, within the context of a structured day.


At Yeovil College Nursery, the wellbeing of all our children is paramount, and we aim to create welcoming, fun, and inspiring environments for all children and their families. Children, parents, staff and governors work supportively together in order to improve outcomes for the children. We also regularly consult specific outside agencies to help support children’s individual needs.

Children and their families’ individual differences, social and cultural backgrounds are valued and celebrated. We welcome parents, children and our local community to share and partake in the life of the nursery.

Our curriculum is ambitious, exciting and inclusive. It includes principles such as ‘In the Moment Planning’, ‘The Curiosity Approach’ and ‘Loose Parts Play’, with a high focus on outdoor play and exploring the natural world. It is consistent and carefully scaffolded from babies through to preschool. We support children to develop into independent and confident individuals, with an eagerness to learn new skills and tackle new challenges.

As a result, all children will be able to contribute to a generation who will acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to succeed in society today and in their future life.


Our Aims:

  • To provide a happy, fun, safe, secure environment which is inviting, stimulating and welcoming
  • To provide high quality education and care for all children regardless of race, creed, gender, background, ability or difficulty
  • To provide a broad, balanced, relevant and differentiated curriculum by responding to children’s needs and interests through planning in the moment, focus weeks and collaborative working with parents
  • To promote confidence and emotional literacy, self-discipline, perseverance, resilience and independence
  • To promote a culture of positive attitudes towards children’s learning and individual differences
  • To encourage children to explore, appreciate and respect their environment
  • To equip children with knowledge, skills and understanding so that they are confident and excited for their next stage in their education

We aim to give all children the cultural capital they need for future success, giving children the best possible start to their early education – that means giving each child access to a wide range of opportunities, to help them experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live. The children learn about values, engage in the culture they live in and understand the cultures of others – Fundamental British Values.

At the nursery we create opportunities for children to become effective communicators and to be able to communicate more easily through developing language and communication skills.  Children communicate in many different ways, including using objects of reference, gesturing and key signs with words. We use children’s family books as a tool to build confidence in early communication skills and give all children a sense of belonging. We focus on promoting communication and language to widen children’s vocabulary throughout the nursery.

All our staff are trained in supporting effective early communication, having recently achieved Elklan ‘Communication Friendly Setting’ status.



Our Curriculum ensures the gaps in children’s learning are identified quickly, and appropriate support is put in place, ensuring no child is left behind.

Every child is valued for their uniqueness, and differences are celebrated.

Our children are:

  • Resilient
  • Confident
  • Kind and caring
  • Polite and helpful
  • Funny
  • Cooperative
  • Independent
  • Creative


Our broad and balanced curriculum ensures that the needs of individual children including children with SEND, EAL, Disadvantaged and those in receipt of Early Years Pupil Premium are met. Adults’ high quality interactions, as well as a rich and stimulating learning environment, can be seen to have a positive impact on the children’s outcomes. From their different starting points our children can be seen to make good progress in their learning and development. Children are confident, resilient and independent. Their knowledge and skills are deeply embedded, ready for the next stage: from babies to toddlers, to preschool, fully prepared for their start in school and future life.


Nursery Opening times

The nursery is open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, all year round except bank holidays and Christmas week.


Contact us

If you’d like to discuss your child’s childcare arrangements, or you’d like to arrange a visit at a convenient time to suit you, please contact us as follows:

Call: 01935 845471

Email: nursery@yeovil.ac.uk

Or connect with us on Facebook.


Our curriculum is ambitious, exciting and inclusive. To find out more, click on your child’s stage of development below.
Babies —— Toddlers —— Preschool


Communication and Language – Implementation

  Pointing to objects or animals   Stories with props and visual aids
  Peek-a-Boo and anticipation games   Model back spoken words, linking words where appropriate
  Copycat games   Identifying sounds in the environment
  Finding hidden objects   Language-rich environment
  ‘What’s in the box?’   Quiet room time
  Family books   Using natural sounds as background
  Rolling ball back and forth   Time given to react and respond
  Silly songs   Allow time to process language heard
  Soundwaves   Language and flash cards
  Making up own songs, inclusing children’s names   One-to-one story time
  Small group circle time   Modelling animal sounds


Extra SAL support includes:

  • Key signs STC
  • Working closely with parents and other agencies – referrals and individualised strategies.


Communication and Language – Impact

  • Babies will engage and respond to pictures in story books
  • Babies make a connection between objects and words – between pictures and words – to form first key words
  • Babies respond to familiar sounds
  • Through meaningful relationships with adults, babies feel safe and confident to copy actions, sounds and words
  • Children become effective communicators through strong and positive relationships with key people


Physical Development – Implementation

 Natural materials to build with  Age-appropriate equipment with challenge
  Climbing and ride-on toys Developing awareness of needs
Messy play in the garden – including digging areas Bubble play
Malleable activities: sand, Playdough, water, paint, goop Block play, shape sorting etc.
Dressing up with hats, scarves, glasses etc. Positive images of eating and hygeine, including oral hygeine
Scaffolding independence Independent feeding, using feeding cups and cutlery
‘Tuff Spot’ trying activities Mark making using the body
Simple tools and large brushes Spatial awareness play, using tunnels and big boxes
Music and movement, action songs Free expression to sound


Physical Development – Impact

  • Babies gain increasing confidence in using and developing their gross and fine motor skills
  • Babies develop good confidence in exploring new equipment
  • Babies feel confident to explore various malleable materials and textures
  • Babies gain core strength and balance, pulling themselves up and walking
  • Babies make connections between their movements and effects, such as marks or objects moving
  • Babies copy sequences of movements they are familiar with


Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Implementation

  Treasure Baskets  Strong transitions with plenty of visits and communication
  Heuristic play and objects of interest Mirrors
Tactile objects Simple, manageable routines with consistent expectations
Multi-sensory experiences with real fruit Predictable routines develop awareness of ‘now’ and ‘next’
Interesting and stimulating environment Positive images of children of all cultures and abilities
Social board displaying photos of focus weeks from home Objects of reference box – everyday objects
Special events to support social skills Simple dressing up
Positive interaction with children and guardians, including feedback at handovers Positive and consisten behaviour management – learning boundaries and behaviour in an age-appropriate way.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Impact

  • Babies build effective and trusting relationships with key people
  • Babies respond to familiar words/requests, and show emerging awareness of what is happening now/next
  • Babies are happy and settled in a familiar environment, and feel safe with their key people to explore new environments
  • Babies make effective transitions into toddler room
  • Babies recognize themselves and familiar people in photos in their family book, and enjoy looking at them with adults
  • Babies explore and learn to manage a range of emotions, with support from their key people


Characteristics of Effective Learning – Implementation

Positive relationships with key worker Sharing of family books, home experiences and with IMP
Keep routine simple and flexible to meet each childs’ needs Give new, fun, challenging experiences
Regular opportunities to explore through malleable materials – Playdough, gloop, paint and sand Constructive materials – block play and/or stacking cups.
Give praise, encouragement and scaffold learning Fine motor skill activities
Babies’ work and images are diaplayed and celebrated Open ended recourses to encourage imaginative play
Practitioners have strong knowledge of individual routines and needs No time constraints on activities where practical – encourages a deeper level of learning
Role play experiences mimicking familiar scenarios – tea sets, baby dolls, prams etc. Opportunities to play in both indoor and outdoor environments


Characteristics of Effective Learning – Impact

  • Babies are happy and confident, exploring new environments with interest and excitement
  • Babies explore and begin to make connections between cause and effect
  • Babies keep trying and practising new skills
  • Babies remember sequences of familiar events
  • Babies show autonomy and determination to do things
  • Babies begin to make choices within their play and daily routine



Communication and Language – Implementation

Simple, repetitive, clear but flexible routine Role play linked to home life, both planned and in the moment
Identifying actions as they are happening Understanding action words using real life and picture cards
Singing and rhyming, both planned and impromptu Silly songs
Cosy corners and dens for quiet time Books readily available, including factual and simple stories
Changing books available to sustain interest and motivation Always time for stories
Story time available one-to-one, or in small or larger groups Asking questions using modelling
Asking questions about books, actions, pictures etc Give time for answers when asking questions
Showing interest Modelling back words
Adding words to sentences Giving time to process


Extra SAL support includes:

  • Key signs STC
  • Working closely with parents and other agencies – referrals and individualised strategies.


Communication and Language – Impact

  • Children feel confident to express, explore and experiment with language and communication.
  • Children develop a love of learning using books sounds and music
  • Children develop confident communication skills using sounds, words, body language, gesture and objects of reference and begin to show interest in the play of others
  • EAL and SEN children are well supported and make good progress
  • Once language becomes established it develops rapidly. By age two a child can use up to 50 words, but can understand many more.
  • Children begin to use words for actions and feelings
  • Children are beginning to ask and understand questions.


Physical Development – Implementation

Messy play – sand, water, mud kitchen Indoor and Outdoor free-flow provision, including Forest School
Independence and self-care Scaffold and encourage self-dressing, including role-play dressing up and dressing for outdoors
Learning good hygeine practice Learning to drink from open cups, pour and use cutlery
Core strength and coordination activities Pushing and pulling opportunities
Building with large equipment Sensory exploration with both hands and feet
Foot painting, walking through water, sensory trails etc. Texture box and sense tins
Dancing and movement activities to music and soundwaves Developing awareness of healthy eating and drinking. Modelling and discussing at mealtimes
Modelling and discussing hygeine, including oral hygeine Activites to develop both gross and fine motor skills


Physical Development – Impact

  • Children begin to risk assess their physical play at an appropriate level.
  • Children confidently use toddler equipment to develop fine and gross motor skills, including frame and push along vehicles.
  • Children experience indoor and outdoor learning on a variety of terrains
  • Children develop early writing skills
  • Children begin to develop awareness of a healthy diet
  • Children can kick and throw a large ball and jump with both feet off the ground


Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Implementation

Emotional literacy, being able to name and explain feelings of yourself and of others Modelling kindness, respect and naming feelings, both in real life and with puppets, flash cards or visual aids
Tools for managing emotions such as sensory timers and modelling behaviour Individualised transitions and inductions with child and family
Each child has their own peg and basket and can share family books Praising positive behaviour and separating the child from negative behaviour
Children are listened to and valued as individuals to boost self esteem Using ‘now’ and ‘next’ to understand routines, alongside pictures and objects of reference
Pride in developing personal care, encouraging good hygeine and self-cleaning skills Private and dignified nappy changes, and potty use is encouraged when ready
Clear and consistent routine, with opportunity for flex so children know what to expect but still have a voice and opinion Weekly newsletter for families as well as regular meetings and daily handovers
Positive relationships and partnerships with carers and children Each child has a key worker


Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Impact

  • Bodily awareness and potty training become established
  • Children begin to learn to self-regulate feelings and emotions and learn to develop effortful control.
  • They learn to respect each other and the nursery environment.
  • Children begin to learn to use words to illustrate feelings instead of behaviour.
  • Children feel valued, develop confidence and high self-esteem.
  • Form good attachments with the keyworker and staff team.
  • Children begin to recognise themselves as an individual
  • Children begin to form friendships with their peers.


Literacy – Implementation

Reading comprehension with books and made-up stories Still life painting and drawing, using a range of tools and objects
Circle time tailors to the day’s events and children’s interests Stories one-to-one or in smaller groups
Modelling back speech, adding words and correcting where appropriate Variety of reading and mark-making tools and resources available
Sensory mark-making experiences provided including modelling pencil grip Narrating actions and acting out words
Role-play experiences and acting out songs/ and stories Animal Sounds
Identifying circles, lines and shapes in drawings Making cards for special occasions


Literacy – Impact

  • Children develop an interest and love of books, stories, rhymes and music.
  • Children learn words in songs and rhymes and copy actions.
  • Children will notice print, number and pictures in the environment.
  • Children will ask and answer questions about a book.
  • Children will readily explore mark making activities using their bodies and a range of tools.
  • Children begin to learn how to hold a pencil correctly
  • Children will begin to ascribe meaning to some of their marks


Mathematics – Implementation

Learning about capacity with water, sand and mud play Counting experiences with songs, games and physical and visual aids
Positional languaged modelled in real life, activities and games Shape recognition, sorting and counting with consruction blocks
Timers to develop awareness of time periods such as one minute Recording numbers using various mark making tools
Identifying and creating patterns, including matching, painting etc. Nature walks to find shapes and numbers in the evironment
Spatial awareness with dens, tunnels, obstacle courses etc. Puzzles, both inset and floor.


Mathematics – Impact

  • Children will begin to learn that objects and actions can be counted
  • Children will develop awareness of positional language and be able to translate this into their daily life.
  • Children will develop confidently to explore shapes, patterns, early measuring, sorting objects and the concept of time.
  • Children will start to develop awareness that numbers can be recorded with marks
  • Children will be keen to try estimating, experimenting and comparing mass and volume.
  • Children will begin to recognise numbers 1 to 5, initially those of personal significance.


Understanding the World – Implementation

Role-play of real-life scenarios, including small world role-play with dolls and pets Open-ended activities and props available to encourage imaginative play
Celebrating familiar national events such as Red Nose Day, Christmas, Diwali ITMP linking with families and current events happening in the children’s lives, including pictures
Practitioners demonstrate interest and questioning about children’s findings in the environment Examining, discussing, and then drawing both natural and manmade objects
Range of diverse books available including stories and pictures Exploring the natural environment, seeking out bugs
Natural loose parts play, pinecones, shells etc. Adult-led senses tins, lightboxes, nature and interest baskets


Understanding the World – Impact

  • Children will be eager explorers in a variety of environments inside and outside.
  • Children are interested to comment on and investigate the natural world.
  • Children develop a strong self-image and are proud of who they are and their families.
  • Children learn kindness and respect to animals and insects.
  • Children are confident to express excitement and interest for natural phenomenon such as a rainbow or the moon!


Expressive Arts and Design – Implementation

Mark making tools available throughout each session as well as open ended resources such as scarves and boxes Create with a variety of different tools and media: paint, pencils, chalks, dabbers, leaves etc.
Expressive dance as well as acting out action songs Creating and listening to diverse music with instruments and natural objects
Acting out stories and songs Role-play linked to home and familiar experiences
Creativity led by children’s interests Sensory experiences with Playdough, water, glue etc.
Lightbox play with colourful objects Construction using natural objects, blocks etc.
Discussion about the creations we have made, ascribing meaning to the creation Loose parts play


Expressive Arts and Design – Impact

  • Children will learn songs, rhymes and actions and become confident to join in. They will move to music.
  • Children will experience a range of instruments and learn how to play them. Beginning to copy a beat and simple rhythms.
  • Children will start to develop role play
  • Children will enjoy investigating mark making using a variety of media
  • Children will enjoy investigating mark making using a variety of media.
  • Children will be eager to investigate and create with natural and man made construction materials.


Characteristics of Effective Learning – Implementation

Positive relationships between key workers, families and children Sharing of family books, home experiences and celebrations
Simple, consistent, yet flexible routines allowing for predictability but adds the element of choice. Discuss ‘now’ and ‘next’ Practitioners demonstrate interests in each child’s creation or discovery and asks questions to scaffold
Risky play and self-chosen challenges are monitored, allowing children to make and learn from mistakes safely Time is given for children to engage or return to activities, free choice of play
Praise and encouragement given for meeting or attempting goals Role-play experiences witha  mix of defined and open resources
Equipment is monitored and circulated to keep excitement. Additional resources are always welcomed Construction and mark making activities using a range of natural and manmade tools and objects
Encourage and model how to tidy up and look after resources Reange of resources are always available
Key workers are aware of each child’s level of learning and how best to support their learning Children’s work, images and discoveries are displayed and celebrated.


Characteristics of Effective Learning – Impact

  • Children become very engaged in activities and seek out their own challenges
  • Children achieve deeper levels of learning
  • Children retain their knowledge and can use it on other occasions
  • Children develop a can-do attitude to their learning.
  • Children develop their own ideas in their play, they make links from past experiences and develop methods for doing things.
  • Children become confident individuals with a high self-esteem.



Communication and Language – Implementation

Simple, repetitive, clear but flexible routine Role play linked to real life, both planned and in the moment
Visual timelines and ‘now’ and ‘next” boards available Photographed labels with print to identify objects
Singing and rhyming Jolly Phonics and letter or sound of the week
Cosy corners and dens for quiet time or dedicated reading High-quality fiction and non-fiction, including real-life examples of language such as recipes in role-play
‘Show and Tel’ time for children to share and discuss home life Range of types of play available to children
Adults model language via narration, extension (adding words), facial expressions and gestures Give children thinking time to respond – ten seconds


Extra SAL support includes:

  • Key signs STC
  • Working closely with parents and other agencies – referrals and individualised strategies.


Communication and Language – Impact

  • Children become effective communicators through strong and positive relationships with key people
  • Children feel valued and safe, sharing stories about themselves and their home, as well as show interest in others
  • Children understand the concept of now, next, later
  • Children enjoy stories and rhymes, recall them and use them in their own imaginative play
  • Children expand their vocabulary and understanding of new concepts
  • Children with SEN or EAL are making good progress to close the gaps,


Physical Development – Implementation

Messy play – sand, water, mud kitchen Indoor and Outdoor free-flow provision
Core strength and coordination activities such as hammering, building dens, threading, balance beams etc Independent dressing, including role-play dressing up and dressing for outdoors
Sensory exploration including hand and foot painting, hot/cold activities, tasting our homegrown fruits and veg etc. Weight-bearing equipment such as large buckets, wheelbarrows, den building and obstacle courses
Group ring games, including using the parachute/lycra Risky play is available safely, such as obstacle courses
Physical activities in our Sports Hall including running and expressive dancing Confident use of pencil grip, learning to use tweezers and scissors
Construction, cooking and mark making available Activites to develop both gross and fine motor skills


Physical Development – Impact

  • Children gain the skills to be independent in their self-care needs, enabling them to move around more freely and feeling empowered and capable to tackle challenges
  • Children develop their gross motor skills effectively, including core strength, balance and sustained energy levels, enabling them to use a wide range of equipment and apparatus
  • Children develop effective fine motor control and hand-eye coordination, and understanding of cause and effect through hands on exploration of a wide range of tools and one-handed equipment
  • Children make sense of different textures and sensations, through a wide range of sensory activities and exploring the outdoor world


Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Implementation

Emotional literacy, being able to name and explain feelings of yourself and of others. Discuss how we are feeling today Modelling kindness, respect and naming feelings, both in real life and with puppets, flash cards or visual aids
Tools for managing emotions such as sensory timers and modelling behaviour Positive relationships and partnerships with carers and children – weekly email and regular parents’ evenings
Sense of self-promotion from ‘Show and Tell’, family book sharing and having a personalised peg Induction periods to develop strong relationships before attending
Valuable and meaningful adult-child interactions throughout Independent tasks for children to carry out
Work closely with parents for a consistent approach to toileting – scaffold hand washing and be empathetic and encouraging ‘Rainbow Rules’ are consistently reinforced in discussion times. Positive behaviour is praised.
Encourage and scaffold independent dressing, including zips – role-play dressing up Providing healthy food choices and tasting experiences, and discussing the benefits of healthy and hygenic habits.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Impact

  • Children build strong and effective relationships with adults and peers, learning and understanding the importance of cooperation, kindness, compassion and respect
  • Children are confident, resilient and have a ‘Can Do’ attitude
  • Children are very aware of their own feelings and others, and know practical solutions for dealing with negative feelings, for themselves and others
  • Children feel valued and appreciated within their community, and are respectful and kind towards one another
  • Children know and understand routines and boundaries, showing respect and care for their environment


Literacy – Implementation

Reading comprehension with books and made-up stories Sound of the week to focus on, awareness of syllables and sounds
Book borrowing to encourage home reading Range of reading materials: fiction, non fiction, real life examples such as recipes etc.
Model speech by emphasising and/or extending phrases, narrating play or pointing out objects/pictures Mark making tools available – modelling pencil control as well as having sensory experiences to practice writing
Children surrounded by language, labels on objects and their pegs etc. Cards are created for special occasions such as Christmas, Diwali, Mothers’ Day etc.


Literacy – Impact

  • Children develop a love of books and stories, and deep familiarity with phrases and text, recalling, retelling and making up their own stories
  • Children develop a keen interest in letters and sounds, showing increasing recognition of logos and letters
  • Children develop a love of rhymes, rhythm and sounds, and a repertoire of sounds and corresponding words (Jolly Phonics)
  • Children develop awareness that text has meaning, and begin to understand the concept of names/labels/words
  • Children develop a good pencil grip and manipulation, and a keen interest to form letters, e.g., from their name or others’ names/words


Mathematics – Implementation

Introduce ‘tens’ frame with various objects, songs, rhymes etc. Compare Bears and dominos to see numbers represented differently
Nature walks to recognise numbers in different natural environments Construction play with a range of resources, inlcuding building dens and obstacle courses
Celebrating birthdays, counting and clapping ages Hide and seek and object memory games
Puzzles and number and shape games, such as hopscotch, as well as recognising and following numerics in recipes Use timers to help with understanding of time frames and time limits


Mathematics – Impact

  • Children have a deep understanding of numbers 1-5: counting, recognising the numeral, and matching the corresponding quantity
  • Children use numbers in their play effectively, counting, sharing, and problem solving
  • Children understand shapes, their properties and can use them effectively in their play, such as construction, making models and drawing objects/people
  • Children understand the concept of time frames, using timers to turn take, and anticipating events in the routine
  • With the use of tens frames and objects, children learn the concept of subitising


Understanding the World – Implementation

Role-play of real-life scenarios, including occupations and diverse celebrations Wordly resources available, such as maps, globes and photos of local and global landmarks
Celebrating familiar national events such as Red Nose Day, Christmas, Diwali as well as school leavers’ and Christmas parties Show and Tell linking with families and current events happening in the children’s lives, including pictures
Exploring the natural environments around us – forest, herb garden, college, nature walks Children help plant, water, and care for seeds. Discuss and observe growth during circle times and encourage discussion of
Range of diverse books available including stories and pictures. Encourage celebration of diversity Natural loose parts play, pinecones, shells etc.
Cooking experiences Daily weather chart, discuss and observe seasonal changes at circle times


Understanding the World – Impact

  • Children feel valued and important within their community
  • Children are aware of and interested in their wider community, and enjoy learning about different aspects of it
  • Children love celebrating a range of events, familiar/personal ones as well as culturally diverse
  • Children have a positive attitude towards differences in people, and explore these through stories and roleplay
  • Children love the outdoor environment, and have a deep understanding of seasons, weather effects, animal and plant life cycles
  • Children are eager and have the confidence to explore new environments and experiences


Expressive Arts and Design – Implementation

Free choice of creative materials available throughout Create with a variety of different tools and media: paint, pencils, chalks, dabbers, leaves etc.
Nursery rhymes, songs, story bags, props and Soundwave music sessions Outdoor creative play with obstacle course building and racing, sports games, ramps, den building and more
Sensory mark making experiences with playdough and more Role-play linked to real life, occupations, diversity, home life etc
Adults to model or follow child’s lead, depending on learning level Small world play includes animals, people, houses, tracks and open ended extention of a child’s ideas


Expressive Arts and Design – Impact

  • Children explore and create freely, and show pride in their own ideas and achievements
  • Children plan their own projects, and know how use materials and problems solve
  • Children happily collaborate with others, or ask for help to realise their ideas, e.g., large scale modelling, outdoor or roleplay
  • Children can manipulate materials as intended and enjoy working out how things work
  • Children are expressive in a variety of ways of their choosing, through music, dance, roleplay, crafts, mark making and storytelling


Characteristics of Effective Learning – Implementation

Consisten daily routines and boundaries Positive relations between child – family – key worker
Sharing of books, home experiences and celebrations during Show and Tell Praise and encouragement for attempting or meeting goals
Construction materials including natural, manmade and junk modelling Role-play experiences based on the real world
Encouraging rainbow rules, modelling tidying up etc Free choice of play available to children
Give support and guidance when trialling and erroring, show empathy Wide range of enticing materials, equipment and environments for children to explore and challenge


Characteristics of Effective Learning – Impact

  • Children have a positive outlook on life, and a ‘Can Do’ attitude towards learning
  • Children accept failing is a part of learning, and are resilient to keep on trying and practising skills
  • Children are confident to make their own choices, and voice their preferences
  • Children show deep levels of engagement and concentration in activities of their choice
  • Children can make links in their learning experiences: noticing patterns, predicting, sequencing and changing strategies

In the Moment Planning

(a principle by Anna Ephgrave)

In 2019 we adopted this approach to the way we help children develop their skills. Rather than pre-planning activities for each child, this approach centres around following the child’s lead, and finding ‘teachable moments’ within their play. This captures the child’s focus and attention better, and learning is more meaningful as it is in the context of what the child is trying to do or achieve there and then. This way of teaching is applied all the time by all staff, and we have really seen the benefits of this approach since day one.

As our approach is very hands on, and we believe time spent playing and engaging with the children is more valuable than excessive paperwork, only a fraction of these teachable moments will be recorded in the child’s profile, along with photos and artwork, but rest assured they are happening all the time, throughout their play, day-to-day routines, and more specific/focused work.

We want your child to feel safe and secure during their time at nursery so we encourage at least two, one hour settling in sessions with a parent/carer to help them get to know us and settle themselves in. Following this we recommend you leave your child with us for a third one hour settling in session, this short session helps your child to begin to settle into the nursery.

On their first day your child will be welcomed by their key person who will be there to support them during the early days and help introduce them to new friends. If your child has a special teddy or blanket please bring them in as this often helps them to settle during those first few days. However, most children settle in quickly, make new friends and look forward to their time at nursery. 

Family Books

Your child’s key person will ask if you can make up a family book for your child to keep at nursery. This helps them to settle in and talk about key people in their family life. These books also encourage speech and language development and help your child to develop a sense of belonging. You can include pictures of grandparents, siblings, family friends and pets, familiar places such as their bedroom or special toy or teddy. If you need help then please speak to your key person or the manager.

How can we help you?

Before your child starts coming to the nursery, talk to him/her about it. Tell your child that you will be leaving but coming back to take them home!

We do encourage parents/carers to spend as much time as possible ‘settling in’ their children. These times can be arranged to suit your needs, visits can be booked with the supervisor in each room.

Is parting a problem?

If you are worried about leaving your child, do speak to the manager about it. This is very natural and very common. Do try not to show your child that you are apprehensive, as you may transmit this negative message to the child.

It is also quite normal that your child may be upset. If you have visited us together and talked positively about what is going to happen, this will help a lot.

Before you leave your child, please say goodbye. It may result in tears but, reinforced with the message that you are coming back soon; it will help them to cope.  If you leave when the child is not looking, this could create a problem of mistrust, making it harder for the child to settle and for us to care for them. Do ring us if you are worried after you have left.  We do not mind answering the phone and this will help to reassure you.

What you will need to bring?

For Babies:

  • A small photo of your baby for their coat peg;
  • Feeds made up in covered bottles (named please);
  • Weaning foods (named please);
  • Any foods or additional drinks required;
  • Disposable nappies and wipes (The nursery will supply cotton wool if preferred);
  • Change of clothing, hat and coat (named).

For Older Children:

  • A small photo of your child for their coat peg;
  • A named drawstring type bag (Nursery bags are available at a cost of £6.50);
  • Disposable nappies and wipes if still needed;
  • A change of clothes and extra pants (especially if toilet training!);
  • Sun cream when needed;
  • Sun hat or coat, hat and gloves depending on the weather;
  • Pair of wellies for the garden.

What to wear

In order to feel free to explore and experiment with all kinds of materials, including messy ones, it is advisable to send children dressed in clothes that are easily washable and preferably not new.

It is good for children to practice the skills which will make them independent. Simple clothing which they can handle themselves will enable them to go to the toilet unaided and to put on and take off their outdoor clothes without being too dependent on other people for help.

The nursery also requests that each child is provided with a pair of wellington boots and a waterproof coat for wet weather, which are clearly labelled.


Yeovil College Nursery is aware of all the risks your child may be exposed to whilst in our care and we will endeavour to maintain a secure environment at all times. The nursery team must be notified if your child is being collected by a relative or any other nominated person.  Where possible please fill out the appropriate form available from the office in advance.

For your child’s safety, we would ask you not to admit unfamiliar persons when entering or exiting the building. By being vigilant you are helping to enforce our safeguarding procedures. We will not let children leave until we are satisfied who they are going with.

Health and Safety

The name of the designated Health & Safety Officer is on the main notice board. Any health and safety queries please arrange to meet with the nursery manager. We would ask all parents to make sure gates and doors are closed when entering or leaving the building and that they are mindful of little fingers.


It may be necessary from time to time for your child to receive medication.  Providing your child is well enough to attend nursery and is not contagious the nursery team are happy to administer appropriate medication as long as we are given prior written consent on the appropriate form.

Medication will only be administered by our qualified nursery team and witnessed by a second qualified team member.

Please see our administration on medication policy online for more detailed information.

If your child is unwell

The nursery has the right to refuse admission to any child who they feel is unwell or has an infection which could be passed on to others. Parents are requested not to send their child to nursery if they are suffering from any infectious diseases. This includes high temperatures, vomiting and diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, impetigo, obvious rashes or if they are not feeling well enough to attend.

Children suffering from diarrhoea and sickness must be kept at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have cleared.

The nursery will do all that is possible to care for children who become unwell while at nursery.  We do understand that it is difficult for working parents/carers to leave work early, but if a child becomes too distressed or unwell to remain at nursery we will ask for them to be collected.

Please refer to our Health and Illness Policy for more detailed information.

Accidents and incidents

The nursery makes every effort to provide a safe environment for your child and carries out daily risk assessments to remove any hazards. Despite this accidents can happen, all accidents and incidents are recorded, monitored and parents/carers informed. You will also be asked to sign an accident form.

If the accident is of a more serious nature we will contact the child’s parent/carer or emergency contact to advise what has happened and action we have taken. If necessary we will contact the emergency services. It is nursery policy to always ring you if your child has had a bump to the head.

Arrival with existing Injury

If your child has had an accident at home please let the nursery team know and tell us what happened, you will be asked to complete an existing injuries form.

Our curriculum encompasses the statutory requirements of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. Our aim is to provide children with a highly ambitious, broad and rich curriculum across the seven areas of learning, through playing and learning with practitioners and other children. High quality interactions with our experienced practitioners promote learning and development, thus ensuring children make good progress.

We ensure the content of the curriculum is differentiated to meet the needs of all children and is taught in a logical progression or sequence so that children build on prior learning. We regularly check that children consolidate and deepen their knowledge, understanding and skills across the 7 areas of learning:

Prime Areas:
  1. Communication and Language
  2. Physical development
  3. Personal, Social & Emotional development

The prime areas outline the foundation for effective learning in the specific areas.

Specific Areas:
  1. Literacy
  2. Mathematics
  3. Understanding the World
  4. Expressive Arts & Design

At Yeovil College nursery, children demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding through the characteristics of effective learning. These are:

Playing and exploring:

Engagement – Practitioners encourage:

  • A ‘can do’ attitude so children are willing to take a risk in new experiences.
  • Encourage curiosity about objects, events and people
  • Encourage children to initiate and interact with others
  • Extend children’s learning
  • Develop children’s language
  • Provide new vocabulary and challenge children’s thinking
  • Children are confident to try out new ideas and are not afraid to ‘have a go’


Active learning – Children will be able to:

  1. Concentrate for a sustained period of time
  2. Persist with activities when challenges occur
  3. Pay attention to detail
  4. Bounce back after difficulties
  5. Be proud of how they accomplished something – not just the end result.


Creating and thinking critically – Children are able to:

  • Have their own ideas
  • Find ways to solve problems
  • Make links and notice patterns in their experiences
  • Make predictions
  • Choose ways to do things.


We plan ‘in the moment’, teaching children skills in ‘teachable moments’ whilst working alongside them in the continuous provision.  Learning through play is vital, and we see their learning environment as the third teacher. Through careful planning and assessment, we ensure the environment facilitates and challenges children’s learning. We incorporate themes, seasons and special cultural events into our planning, to enhance, rather than restrict, children’s play following their individual interests and choices.

Communication and language development is at the heart of the curriculum and is always a consistent focus for development. We provide a rich communication and language environment, which includes:

  • high quality adult interactions and conversations
  • cosy cuddle times sharing story or family books with our babies and toddlers
  • objects of reference
  • family books
  • learning new songs and rhymes
  • sharing favourite stories
  • retelling, playing out and making up our own stories, with books, story bags and our interactive whiteboard


These are embedded in the daily experiences of all the children. Weekly lending library visits and a ‘story of the week’ help further develop language and increase vocabulary as well as gaining a love of stories and books. Children become familiar with these known texts so that they can remember and re-tell them.

We actively promote outdoor learning and place strong emphasis on the importance and value of outdoor experiences for children’s continued learning and development.  We recognise outdoor learning is essential to children’s health, development and well-being.  Close contact and observation of the natural world and seasonal processes are very much part of our daily practise, including forest school, mud kitchens, growing flowers, herbs, fruit and vegetables, observing insect life cycles, and experiencing all weathers. Our outdoor areas are stimulating, and provide the space for active play, gross motor development, as well as quieter areas for stories. Outdoor play supports children’s problem-solving skills and nurtures their creativity, as well as providing rich opportunities for developing imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness. All rooms have their own outdoor spaces, including our forest school. This helps support those children who learn best through active movement and helps create a love of being outdoors. Our children learn to assess risk and develop the skills to manage new situations.

At Yeovil College nursery we actively promote emotional literacy, giving children all the support and comfort they need if upset on arrival or during the session. Practitioners help to build awareness of and value children’s feelings and help to build resilience and the growing ability to self-soothe. In preschool the day starts with the children signing in on our self-registration board, matching their labelled photo to an emotion picture. Practitioners encourage children to name and talk about their feelings and help to find solutions for any upsets.

Yeovil College Nursery ‘Rainbow Rules’ underpin our ethos, and the children know these well. They teach children to be kind to one another and our environment. Children learn to begin to understand the effect their actions can have, both positive and negative. We teach children that its ok to feel a certain way, and ensure they feel safe, knowing that they will be supported by a trusted adult.

  • Facilitate time and resources for children to explore a wide range of different materials and media
  • Encourage children, including young babies and toddlers to explore new ideas and concepts with creative materials and media, and promote their own ideas and projects
  • Encourage the children to plan before embarking on a project, thinking about what materials and techniques they might need
  • Encourage children to explore and develop imaginative ideas, by modelling, demonstrating and asking open ended questions
  • Value children’s attempts, persistence, and effort
  • Encourage the children to suggest ideas for role play areas and help with the setting up of them
  • Provide a range of books that stimulate babies and toddlers developing senses – books they can feel with different textures, makes sounds or lift-a-flap books
  • In preschool, involve the children in choosing our story of the week, and making up stories around current events or the children’s own ideas
  • Encourage children to explore feelings and experiences through imaginative role play
  • Encourage children to use available resources to make their own models and props for roleplay
  • Heuristic play for babies and toddlers, to explore with all our senses, including different materials, textures, properties, functions, scents and sounds
  • Provide opportunities for the children to be active and use all their senses, including cooking, chopping herbs, digging in mud, colour mixing and other natural materials, potion making, playdough, clay, gloop, ice etc.


Soundwaves and Creativity

We at Yeovil College nursery place great emphasis on creative play and development, and we recognise its importance for acquiring skills in problem solving, fine-motor, manipulation, and critical thinking such as cause and effect. Activities such as sensory, malleable, messy play, paint, large and small construction, junk modelling, roleplay and small world sets are always available to the children. Practitioners continually introduce new, exciting, imaginative, creative activities and concepts to enhance the children’s play.

We also incorporate lots of music and dance into our regular practice, and as a setting have proactively expanded our horizon in musical education by participating in the Soundwaves Project by Take Art, an in-house training programme, consisting of weekly workshops with 2 skilled early years music leaders (MLs). The activities were mostly adult initiated but also heavily child-led, providing a range of musical instruments from around the world to provoke an interest in the children to explore these and the sounds they make. Practical activities included open exploration of instruments, practitioners mirroring children’s musical play, and group sessions led by the MLs and practitioners. Over the course of the programme MLs also taught practitioners a range of new and interesting musical games and songs, understanding of children’s musical development including rhythm, repetition, pulse and pitch match, but also the principles of musical education and how this translates in the early years. This helps support children’s holistic development and enjoyment of listening to and making their own music. This is firmly embedded in our daily practise, helping the children to develop a love for exploring music far beyond common nursery rhymes.

Every child’s key worker will spend focused time with each of their key children during a focus week. In our baby room focus weeks happen once they have settled in, and the key worker meets with the parents after to discuss progress and next steps.

In the toddler room, once the child has settled in a brief settling in check is completed and discussed with the parents. At around 26-27 months, children will have a focus week, which then feeds into their 2-year check, which is completed collaboratively with the parents, and then shared with their health visitor.

In the preschool room key workers complete a focus week for each child once over the spring/summer terms and once over the autumn/winter term.

The week before the child’s focus week we send a form home with the parents/carers, to let us know about any relevant recent events, interests and achievements at home, and any questions or concerns they would like to raise. We also ask for some photos of any recent events, special people or anything the child might want to share with us. These can be brought in in advance, or alternatively emailed to the child’s key worker. During their focus week, staff will document the child’s interests, learning, teachable moments and next steps. In toddler and preschool room parents’ evenings will be scheduled once in the autumn/winter term (after children have settled in), and once later in the spring term.  The child’s key worker will have a formal discussion with parents/carers, agree and record the levels of development for that child and identify any gaps in development where the child might need support and highlight those that need challenging.

Key workers are always available to discuss any questions or concerns or other queries any time, and additional meetings are booked in if any child or their family needs extra support.

If the child is due to start school in September, the focus week of that spring term will be in the form of a school transition form, which sums up the child’s character and stage of development in all the learning areas, as well as next steps to focus on. Once read and signed, we will pass it on to the child’s future class teacher, to ensure a smooth transition for each child.

Developing confident and efficient handwriting is underpinned by sequenced physical development. As children explore and develop their skills using gross motor movements, they begin to develop increasing fine motor control throughout their early years.

Early gross-motor opportunities are essential for developing movement and pivot points in the shoulders and elbows. These can include:

  • climbing on trees
  • brushing the floor
  • pushing wheelbarrows
  • swinging on bars and other upper body equipment
  • painting upright such as on walls or an easel


Early fine-motor learning opportunities can include:

  • Using pincers to pick up objects
  • Mark making with a variety of tools
  • Using craft tools and materials, such as scissors and tape
  • Threading activities
  • Playdough
  • Peg boards
  • Construction sets e.g. Lego


Pencil Grip Development Stages and Motivation

The five stages of pencil grip development are:

  • Palmer grip, or whole-hand grip
  • Digital grip
  • Four-finger grip
  • Static tripod grip – most children will be at this stage when leaving preschool
  • Dynamic tripod grip

Children love to imitate adults, so ensuring children have lots of opportunities to watch you write is the best motivator. Involve your child, and explain what you are writing down, so they can build awareness of the concept of letters, words and their meaning. Great examples to support this are:

  • ‘To do’ or shopping lists
  • Postcards/letters/invitations
  • Birthday/special event cards
  • Calendar or diary entries
  • Labels
  • Charts

The first letters most children are keen to learn will be their own names, and they really enjoy and take pride in their developing skills to spot these familiar letters. At Yeovil College Nursery we support this interest early on, with individual photo and name cards on their pegs, and labelled family books for each child. In preschool each child has their own wooden name for our self-registration board, and a name pebble to find their seat at mealtimes. We also use a variety of letter resources, weekly phonics sessions, and regular writing activities such as setting up a post office or writing shopping lists.

Here at the Yeovil College Nursery, we understand that high quality childcare whilst getting value for money is important to all our parents and carers. We have therefore provided information on help available to support you and your family with paying your nursery fees.

There are many different schemes available from the Government for which you might be eligible for to get help. The new Government website Childcare Choices makes it easy for parents/carers to find out what they can claim for as it’s all in one place. You can use the Childcare Calculator at www.gov.uk/childcare-calculator to see what is available to help support you with your nursery fees.

Please feel free to speak to the nursery management team, Michelle or Jill, if you require further help with accessing any of this funding support.

Tax-Free Childcare

Childcare Choices also offers tax free childcare – this new Government scheme contributes towards your payments. For every £8 you pay in the Government will also pay £2, up to £2000 per child. For more information go to the Childcare Choices website – www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

Working Tax Credit

If you receive working tax credit you may be able to get help towards the cost of childcare. For further details visit HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits or talk to us for advice and guidance.

Funded Nursery Early Years Entitlement for 2, 3 and 4 Year Olds

All children are eligible for Funded Early Years Entitlement the term after their third birthday and are able to claim up to 570 hours of nursery provision per year up until they start school.

Funded 2 Year Olds

2 year olds who meet the funding criteria will also qualify for 570 hours of funded early year’s provision, if you would like more information about whether you qualify please ask the nursery manager for advice on how to apply. This is funded by the Local Authority and known as funded Universal Early Years Entitlement.

Funded Extended Early Years Entitlement (30 hours) for 3 and 4 year olds

If you are a working parent and meet the qualifying criteria for the extended Early Years Entitlement you are eligible to claim an additional 570 hours (1,140 in total) funded nursery provision a year until they start school. This is also funded by the Local Authority and known as Extended Early Years Entitlement.

How to apply

You can apply for the Funded Early Year’s entitlement, Extended Early Years Entitlement and 2 Year funding entitlement via the nursery. Please ask for a funded Entitlement Registration Form to complete. To apply for the Extended Early Years Entitlement you will require a 30 hour’s eligibility code and this this can be applied for online at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk.

When claiming this funding it is subject to the Government and Local Authority terms and conditions.

Please remember it is the parent’s responsibility to apply for the 30 hours extended entitlement and to re-validate the application every 3 months via the Government website above.

How can you use this funding at Yeovil College Nursery?

  1. Parents may choose to have the flexibility of stretching their funding so you can access your child’s funding all year round. This means they will receive 47.5 universal hours per month or 95 universal and extended funded hours per month if eligible. This helps parents to spread their monthly payments more evenly across the year;
  2. Term time only: You may also choose to use your entitlement term time only – up to 15 hours per week (Universal Entitlement) or 30 hours per week(Extended Entitlement) for 38 weeks per year. We only have limited places available for term time only children, please ask the nursery manager for availability. This can be accessed in sessions of 5 or 10 hours (8:00am to 1:00pm, 1:00pm to 6:00pm or a full day 8:00am to 6:00pm).

Learners Support Fund

Students attending certain courses at the College may be eligible help paying their childcare fees from the Learner Support Fund. Information can be obtained from the Student & Customer Services team at Yeovil College on Telephone 01935 845452 or you can ask the nursery manager for further help.

Care to Learn

Students aged between 16 years to 19 years requiring childcare to attend College may also be eligible for help with paying their nursery fees. This may pay for all their childcare fees and help with transport cost. For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/care-to-learn . The nursery manager is also available to help if you need support in accessing this funding.