Lime Grove Day Nursery children celebrate National Storytelling Week

There were learning opportunities at every turn for children at Lime Grove Day Nursery in Hemel Hempstead as they celebrated National Storytelling Week with a series of activities.

 At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Park Road, children in the Ladybirds Room were delighted to be introduced to ‘Bernard the Travel Bear’, who will be passed around over the coming weeks to join families at home and on their weekend adventures. The children will record their experiences, which will then be collated into a book to be shared and recalled in special story time sessions to aid communication and language skills.

 To further this focus, children have been learning baby sign with the guidance of their expert practitioners, as well as books and resources, helping them to convey their emotions and needs more effectively whilst they develop all the skills necessary for speech.

 As part of the festivities, children showcased their creativity by drawing characters from their favourite books, including ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’, as well as exploring new words and phrases to encourage the use of small sentences.  

Lime Grove Day Nursery Team Leader, Robyn Shuck explained;  

“Storytelling is essential for developing language and listening skills and is wonderful for capturing the imagination. The children love books and have had a brilliant time celebrating this week, we are also very excited to see how the story of Bernard the Bear turns out.”

National Storytelling Week runs from January 28th – February 5th.

Lime Grove storytelling week



Childbase Partnership is Eco-Schools Early Years Provider of the Year

Eco-Schools winner

A new award was created for the employee-owned Childbase Partnership in the international Eco-Schools programme after it broke records by achieving at least one Green Flag – the highest accolade for exceptional environmental conservation and awareness – in each of its day nurseries.

Childbase Partnership was named ‘Early Years Provider of the Year’ and ‘an incredible Eco-Schools standard-bearer’ in the Eco-School Annual Awards because all 43-day nurseries in the South of England (2021/2022) not only achieved a Green flag but 23 achieved this with Distinction and 6 with Merit. This a record in Eco-Schools history.

Adam Flint, National Manager, Eco-Schools England and Education Manager, Keep Britain Tidy, said:

“We’ve decided to change the award this year to recognise your incredible achievement. It’s usually ‘Nursery School of the Year’. There wasn’t really any other choice given your incredible achievement.  You and your children can feel immensely proud of the great work that you’ve put in. We’re very lucky to have you engaged with our programme.”

Amongst the best Eco-Schools achievers at the company is the Ofsted-rated Outstanding Rowan Tree in Welwyn Garden City, which has achieved four consecutive Green Flags, and accepted the award via a video message at the on-line awards ceremony. 

The first Green Flag at Childbase Partnership was awarded to the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Lime Grove in Hemel Hempstead in October 2017.

There are Eco Committees in every nursery with practitioners and pre-schoolers leading activities which include monitoring recycling efforts, ensuring taps are not left running , unnecessary lights are switched off, and that knowledge about conservation is shared.

Childbase Partnership nurseries send zero waste to landfill and are powered by Green Electricity from falling water, the sun, wind and organic waste material.

Link: Eco – Schools Award Ceremony 2023 – YouTube

Rowan Tree video:




National Storytelling Week inspires Field House Day Nursery children

There were learning opportunities at every turn for children at Field House Day Nursery in Buckingham as they celebrated National Storytelling Week with a series of activities.

Focusing on the theme of ‘bears’, children from the award-winning setting on Tingewick Road enjoyed the stories of ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and ‘That’s not my Polar Bear’, before being immersed in a series of inspired sensory experiences to develop language.

As part of the festivities, children explored the characters from the stories and the textures involved in order to promote speech and the use of single words, as well as taking part in a muddy feet mark making activity on paper to represent a scene from one of the books.    

Field House Day Nursery Quality Manager, Kirsty Freshwater explained;

“The children have had a wonderful time marking National Storytelling Week. Lots of our families have been embarking on woodland walks on the weekends which has inspired our Bear Hunt interest, and this has been a brilliant tool for encouraging vocabulary thanks to the interactivity of the stories. We are continuing our focus on this and are looking forward to all the creative opportunities it will bring.”

Field House National Storytelling Week



West Downs Day Nursery mark Parent Mental Health Day

Practitioners from West Downs Day Nursery in Winchester turned their attention to mums and dads at the setting as they put together wellbeing bags for Parent Mental Health Day.

Putting the focus on the children’s primary caregivers, colleagues from the award-winning setting on Romsey Road gifted parents with a hygge booklet to promote the ‘small joys in life’, wildflower seeds, a recipe card, mindfulness bingo, sweet treats and a quote from their child with their favourite things about their parent and activities they enjoy doing together. 

As part of the occasion, children showcased their creativity by making a handprint heart display, which was proudly hung in the foyer for parents to admire during pick up time.

West Downs Day Nursery Business Administrator, Anna Kenrick explained;

“We have such a fantastic network of busy nursery parents at West Downs, so we wanted to take this opportunity to make something that is solely for them. We are truly grateful for all of their continued support and wanted them to know they’re doing an amazing job.”

Parent Mental Health Day was held on 27th January and encourages understanding and awareness of the importance of the family as a system where parent mental health is as important as youth mental health.

Parent Mental Health Day at West Downs



Windmill Hill Day Nursery children enjoy exciting ZooLab visit

Windmill Hill ZooLab

There were exciting learning opportunities at every turn for children at Windmill Hill Day Nursery in Swindon as they received a special visit from the ZooLab.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Windmill Hill Business Park, pre-schoolers were delighted to get up close and personal with an array of creatures including a snake, rats, centipede, snail and tarantula, all whilst learning facts from the expert animal handlers.

As part of the experience, children were able to hold and stroke the creatures, before learning about their basic needs and care routines, including diet and habitat, as well as copying the animal movements in an activity to develop their gross motor skills.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery Manager, Lora Worthington explained;

“Our ZooLab visits are always hugely popular and the children were captivated by the experience. These sessions not only provide the group with the opportunity to meet and learn about creatures they wouldn’t usually see in everyday life, but knowledge on the responsibility that comes with owning a pet and caring for other living creatures.” 



Woodlands Day Nursery Kitchen Team awarded ‘Elite’ hygiene status

There was cause for celebration at Woodlands Day Nursery in Milton Keynes as the setting received the ‘Elite Award’ from the Food Standards Agency, the highest ranking in the scheme, following another five star rating and inspection of the premises.  

After reviewing key areas such as food handling, storage and preparation, the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Byerly Place was awarded the ‘Elite’ status, having received three consecutive five star ratings, with praise going to Nursery Chef, Tracy Miller and Kitchen Assistant, Emily Snook for their attention to detail and rigorous processes in place.

Whilst the ‘Elite Award’ was newly introduced by ‘Scores on the Doors’ in 2021, Tracy boasts a record of nine successive five-star inspections at Woodlands, dating back to May 2011.

Woodlands Day Nursery Chef, Tracy Miller explained;

“We are thrilled to receive the Elite Award as we are hugely passionate about the food we serve in nursery and pride ourselves on the high standards we maintain. It’s incredibly rewarding to hear the feedback from the staff, parents and most importantly the children, as to how much they enjoy the meals that are being provided.”

Food plays a key role in daily activities at the setting, from celebrating diversity in marking multicultural festivals with traditional ingredients, to growing herbs and vegetables in the garden outside, where children also learn key maths, science and conservation skills.

The nursery is also accredited with the sought-after ‘Food for Life Served Here’ award, which acknowledges the use of ethically sourced ingredients in home cooked meals; including the children’s home-grown produce, in addition to use of suppliers committed to environmentally friendly and ethical production.



Winnie the Pooh Day celebrations at Woodberry Day Nursery

Children from Woodberry Day Nursery in Winchmore Hill were delighted to celebrate ‘Winnie the Pooh Day’ with a series of activities themed around the beloved character.

After reading a selection of the famous stories, Bumblebees children from the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Church Hill discussed the different characters and their individual personality traits, before coming up with ways to help them overcome their problems, linking to the strong theme of friendship which runs throughout the books.

Inspired by Winnie the Pooh’s love of honey, the children then showcased their creativity by making their very own candles using beeswax sheets and candle wicks with a honeycomb texture, as well as creating honeycomb effect prints on paper using bubble wrap.

To round off the festivities, children were able to bake a special honey cake and cookies with the help of practitioners, where they followed recipes and used their motor skills to mix and pour, before using Winnie the Pooh themed cutters to decorate their culinary creations.

Woodberry Day Nursery Quality Manager, Nikol Moravova explained;

“The children had a fantastic time marking Winnie the Pooh Day and this provided so many exciting learning opportunities. The children were so proud of their candles, and this was a brilliant new experience for them. We love to mark a wide array of events throughout the year in nursery and the team always make these occasions hugely memorable.”

Winnie the Pooh Day is marked annually on 18th January.

Woodberry Winnie the Pooh



Inspiring architects of the future at Hertford Barns Day Nursery

Hertford Barns construction

Following an interest in construction, pre-schoolers from Hertford Barns Day Nursery in Hertford were delighted to venture outside wearing their warmest clothing and protective high-vis vests to observe the exciting refurbishment works taking place in the garden.

With new decking areas, paving, astroturf and exciting outdoor play resources currently being installed at the award-winning setting on Cole Green, children were captivated as they watched the diggers in action, before having the opportunity to help the workmen with small tasks and learning why wearing safety gear such as hard hats is so important.

Once completed, the new garden space will also play home to a special digging and growing area where children will benefit from harvesting their own fruit and vegetables, which will then be used as ingredients in meals by talented Nursery Chefs and as part of learning experiences, linking to the Eco-Schools curriculum which is followed at Hertford Barns.

Back inside, children were inspired to create their very own structures using an array of building materials, as well as role playing as construction workers with dress up clothing, helping to develop team working, mathematics, communication and fine motor skills.

Hertford Barns Day Nursery Manager, Jenny Pratt explained;

“We love to follow the children’s interests in nursery and the garden renovations have provided the perfect opportunity to further learning. We are lucky to benefit from such a large outdoor space which is set against a beautiful backdrop and were keen to ensure our garden reflected the amazing nature that surrounds us. We are all hugely excited for the works to be finished and all the new experiences this will bring in time for the warmer weather.”



Grasshoppers Day Nursery children celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day

Grasshoppers Winnie the Pooh Day

Children from Grasshoppers Day Nursery in St Albans were delighted to celebrate ‘Winnie the Pooh Day’ with a series of activities themed around the beloved character.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on York Road, the youngest children in the setting’s Caterpillar Room were immersed in the world of author A.A Milne as they explored the animals from the story using ‘loose parts’, decorated as the characters by talented practitioners to inspire imaginative play and evoke natural curiosity.

From Winnie and Piglet to Tigger and Eeyore, the group were able to gain a visual representation of the Hundred Acre Wood characters, before learning of their individual personality traits and the strong theme of friendship which runs throughout the stories.

Grasshoppers Day Nursery Manager, Claire Greaves explained;

“Winnie the Pooh Day provided the opportunity for some excellent open-ended, child-led play experiences and the group were captivated by the colourful characters. We love to mark a wide array of events and the team always go above and beyond with their creativity.”

Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated annually on 18th January.



West Downs Day Nursery children celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day

Children from West Downs Day Nursery in Winchester were delighted to celebrate ‘Winnie the Pooh Day’ with a special teddy bear’s picnic tea, themed around the beloved character.

Complete with bear-shaped honey sandwiches, pastry pinwheels and colourful vegetable crudites, children from the award-winning setting on Romsey Road enjoyed the treats on offer, before learning more about the famous bear and author of the books, A.A Milne.

As part of the festivities, children discussed the different animals in the stories from Tigger the Tiger to Eeyore the Donkey and their individual personalities, before heading home with a handmade Winnie the Pooh shortbread biscuit, courtesy of the talented Kitchen Team.

West Downs Day Nursery Manager, Jack Meekings explained;

“We love to mark a wide range of events in nursery to give our children an array of rich learning experiences. The team always go above and beyond with their creativity in order to make these occasions memorable and the children had a fantastic time immersing themselves in the world of Winnie the Pooh.”

Winnie the Pooh Day is celebrated annually on 18th January. 

West Downs Winnie the Pooh


Cedars Day Nursery - Leighton Buzzard

We prioritise the importance of outdoor play at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard. All children at our Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery have access to our large, natural garden area on a daily basis as we recognise the impact that being outdoors has on a child’s social, emotional and physical development. The children enjoy planting vegetables and tasting their produce, served by our dedicated Nursery Chef.

Cedars Day Nursery, Mentmore Rd, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2PA

Tel:  01525 850200