Fri, 16 Oct 2020
AFTER what has been a very challenging period for everyone, The Rocking Horse Nursery is now almost back to full capacity, with the sound of lots of happy children running around.
The nursery has been so grateful for the support it has been shown by parents and families along with the fantastic staff over the last six months.
Throughout lockdown, the nursery remained open, looking after the children of key NHS staff and essential workers, which has allowed staff time to put in place essential Covid safety measures and the nursery is delighted to have been able to start the new academic year.
Extensive Covid safety measures have been introduced across the site along with new operating procedures based on Department for Education advice.
The nursery is constantly reviewing and updating its procedures based on guidance from as many scientific and official bodies as possible as well as reviewing lessons from abroad.
Subject to further Government directives and guidance, the team are confident that the current procedures offer the best possible levels of protection for all the children under their care.
The Rocking Horse Nursery looks after little ones from babies until they start school and is based within the beautiful, expansive Newbury Racecourse estate.
Established in 1992, the nursery moved into a specialist designed building, which includes six age- related playrooms, landscaped gardens, a library, sensory room and a children-sized kitchen.
Staff remain committed to ensuring all the children under their care continue to enjoy their daily routine, despite the ongoing restrictions.
The children play outside in the gardens all year round which is a hugely important aspect of the day, with each playroom enjoying direct access to outside and age-relevant toys. There are mud kitchens, sandpits and shade in all areas.
Staff pride themselves on a ‘green fingers’ approach and under usual circumstances the greenhouse would be filled with fresh produce, which the children have grown and harvested and then prepared in the kitchen and eaten for lunch and tea.
One of the great features of the nursery is the children’s kitchen. It has been specially designed with surfaces and equipment at the right size and height for the children. It makes the environment incredibly safe and interesting for the little ones.
The greenhouse and outdoor space is just one valuable way they are developing open-ended and natural resources to encourage language development, creativity and problem solving.
The children have been enjoying the texture of logs and chopped wood. The bark is very tactile and makes great pictures and play experiences.
July always brings with it elements of joy and sadness.
The joy comes when reports are written highlighting the achievements and progress for the children leaving to go to school, the children feel the joy of the graduation or leavers party.
Sadness mingles in as those children leave the nursery to go to big school.
In autumn there are lots of new faces in the pre-school. Wearing the Rocking Horse red uniform is a big and exciting step.
It is one way the nursery starts to prepare the children for the next big step – school.
Babies at the Rocking Horse Nursery are nurtured by the team of highly qualified staff, looking after their needs from breakfast through to tea, including the all-important morning and afternoon naps.
Playtimes are fun and teach the little one's social skills and introduce them to their first best friends.
Each of the playrooms is light and airy, some with high ceilings and lots of natural light, with increased cleaning and hygiene taking place on a regular basis.
The nursery has a well-stocked library, with fiction and non- fiction books and magazines as well as story and rhyme stacks.
The staff love to take the children to the library for story time or to search for something specific and from here encourage a love of books in the children.
The purpose-built sensory room is loved by children across the nursery.
The babies can crawl around the soft tactile environment, learning and taking in all the new feelings, while the older children enjoy the room to let off steam, see visitors such as Zoolab, but also take some time out for quiet activities.
Sadly, both the sensory room and library are temporarily closed due to the current restrictions in place, but hopefully it won’t be long before both are back in action.
As a result of the ongoing restrictions the nursery is unable to offer open mornings during the week to show you around, but they are operating weekend open mornings for any parents who would like to see the space.
There are limited places available, but you can go on the waiting list for your baby or even your bump.