Acres of Fun consists of two separate buildings.
Our Nursery is based in the original house and provides full and part-time care daily from 8am to 6pm for children aged from two months to, approximately, three years. The house remains largely unchanged from the time when it was a family home and many visitors comment on the warm and welcoming atmosphere that greets you when you walk through the front door.
Our purpose-built Pre-School is only across the patio and was built in 2008, with the aid of a grant from West Berkshire Council, in order to help provide more pre-school places. Our children move across to the Pre-School when they are three years old, or rising three, and remain there until they start school.
At Acres of Fun we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, catering for the individual needs of all children. The children in our care are very young and so learning through play is essential, and must be fun. The nursery is extremely well resourced (as commented on by Ofsted in their Inspection Report) with new additions continually appearing in the house or in the gardens.
Children eat really well at Acres of Fun! All meals are freshly cooked on the premises using local produce and, where possible, vegetables from the Nursery garden. Fruit and vegetables are purchased from Fishers in Newbury and all our meat is sourced from Vicars Game Ltd (Casey Fields Farm) at Ashampstead.
Our Baby Room is bright and airy and has its own safe and secure Garden. Children spend lots of time outdoors at Acres of Fun and this begins in the Baby Room, where all of our babies sleep outside (just like Nicola’s own children used to do) in Silver Cross style prams, under close staff supervision. Indoors there are lots of stimulating toys and activities that encourage the children to learn through play. The staff involve the babies in lots of stories, singing and musical activities. Within the room there are dedicated eating and nappy changing areas.
The Toddler Rooms at Acres of Fun comprises of a light and cheerful carpeted room for sleep and play and a spacious conservatory, for messy play and eating, leading on to the Toddler garden area. This purpose-built area has been especially designed to allow free-flow access for Toddlers all year round in addition to the time they spend in our two acres of fantastic grounds. The Toddlers’ have their own discreet nappy changing room and cloakroom. Their days are filled with fun, play, singing, music, stories, painting, water play, sand play, messy play and loads of toys!
The Explorers occupy an entire floor in the main house, with two bathrooms for changing and toilet training, as this is the age that children tend to come out of nappies. Rooms are light and colourful with plenty of opportunity for art and craft, music, singing, painting, messy play, construction and, generally, learning everything through play. Like all the children at Acres, the Explorers spend lots of time outdoors. The children in Explorers are gently prepared for when they move to Pre-School when they are three, or rising three, years old.
The Pre-School welcomes children once they leave Explorers until they go to school.
Pre-School is split into two classes of Lower Pre-School and Upper Pre-School. Children join Lower Pre-School when they are 3 years old or rising three and move into Upper Pre-School in the September of the year before they go to Primary School.
Our bright and spacious Pre-School building offers excellent facilities for learning through play. The large decking area overlooking the garden allows free-flow access for the children at all times and is ideal for all sorts of activities, from painting and messy play to planting seeds and caring for our animals. On the decking there is an amazing upstairs/downstairs role play area which the children adore.
The lovely big, light and airy Garden Room which occupies the upstairs in Pre-School is used as a classroom as well as the Dining Room for Pre-School. This stunning room has a huge picture window and provides the perfect facility for music and movement, dance sessions and indoor soft play when the weather prevents us from going outside.
All children are offered lots of opportunity to take part in pre-reading and pre-writing activities in preparation for primary school. We also offer French, dance, gardening, football and music sessions in Pre-School. Specialist teachers attend Acres for the dance and football sessions.
Our intention is for our children to be confident youngsters prepared and ready for when their time comes to go to “big” school.