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Queensdown Nursery is owned and run by Natalie Rayner
Natalie has a NNEB qualification, and is supported by a Deputy Manager Claire Taylor with a level 3 qualification, another Nursery Nurse, and a Nursery Ass level 2.

The Nursery is open during school term times.  We have a maximum of twenty children per session with an age range of 2½ to five years.

Session Times:          

Morning        8.30 - 11.30
Afternoon     12.30 -   3.30
Lunch Club    11.30 – 12.30

Children may attend a morning or afternoon session with an option of attending the lunch club for an additional fee, or stay for a full day.

The building consists of two linked rooms, with a separate toilet area.  The garden has an all weather surface, which allows us to go out everyday, it is equipped with a climbing frame, slide, sandpit and den.

During sessions there is opportunity for free play as well as adult initiated activities, we also have group time when the children have adult led activities and discussions on relevant topics.
We aim to provide a happy atmosphere and stimulating environment, which encourages the social, mental and physical development of your child, in a secure and stable setting, where all children are valued.

Registering your child

Please fill in and return the registration form if you wish to put your child down on the waiting list.
As the number of places available each term is impossible to predict, being on the waiting list does not guarantee a place.
Please feel free to make an appointment to visit the nursery, where we will be happy to answer your questions.
If a place is available you will be contacted during the previous term. You will be sent a contract to sign which will secure your child’s place.

Settling in

We want children to feel safe and happy in the absence of their parents, to recognise other adults as a source of authority, help and friendship.  In order to accomplish this we invite you and your child to visit the nursery prior to your given start date. When your child comes to their first sessions you are welcome to stay until you feel your child is comfortable to stay on their own.  We have found this approach works really well, calming feeling of anxiety in both you and your child.

Your child will be funded by the government the term after they are three, before that you will be charged for the sessions they attend.
We require a terms notice before your child leaves the nursery or a terms fees will be payable.                   


Within the nursery we aim to provide activities that lead to a well-rounded child ready to move on with the necessary skills and confidence.  We recognise that children have different needs and pace of development, therefore we work through appropriate play and planned activities to help each one to gain the confidence that will enable them to reach their potential.  We follow the government guidelines on planning for learning in the foundation stage. The three Prime and four specific areas of learning and development:

Prime Areas

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This is an important part of a child’s development and a happy and stimulating environment helps children to develop a positive self-image.  We encourage and reinforce positive behaviour and the children learn through example, activities and conversation how to express their feelings and to have respect for the feelings, beliefs and property of others.  We achieve this by having stable long term staff, Key workers and the nursery being set up in such a way that the children can access materials and equipment and organise their own play.

Physical development
Large and small equipment is used to help children develop their physical control and co-ordination.  Regular physical activities both indoors and outdoors increase balancing, climbing and hand/eye skills and develop their awareness of space.  The small equipment in everyday use helps to develop their fine motor skills and we encourage the use of pencils, scissors and other tools so that they learn to handle them appropriately and with increasing control.  We use our visits to the sports hall to use large balls and hoops and enjoy free running.

Communication and language
Children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening to each other and adults through play, group activities, stories, rhymes and songs.  In our group activities we discuss our interest and display shelves, introduce new concepts and listen to the children’s experiences.  We introduce story and fact books and have a well stocked book corner.  Each child has a name card which they find and put up each time they attend. Staff give time to listen and respond to the children appropriately.  We use weekly topics to encourage the children to bring in items from home to discuss at group times.  By using alphabet-sorting boxes we encourage the recognition and sound of the beginning of words.

Specific Areas

We place a strong emphasis on mathematical understanding, and use a variety of ways to reinforce this concept.  The children gain experience through play, games, sorting, counting, songs, rhymes and child and adult initiated activities.  Mathematics comes into many of the nursery activities in the use of language, space, shape, size, number etc, and the children are encouraged to use the correct mathematical terms.  Each day we achieve this by counting the children at register and finding the number to display.  We use sorting boxes for number and colour, and encourage the children to take turns and negotiate sharing.

Understanding of the world
We focus on the children’s developing knowledge and understanding of their environment and help them to explore and recognise features of living things, objects and events in the world around them.  We use appropriate television and computer programmes.  We have weekly visits to the local school sports hall using the opportunity to talk about and practise road safety.  Our display table provides opportunities for discussion and hands-on experience of different materials.  We use festival and events to discuss religions and cultures, trying foods and activities when appropriate.

 Expressive arts and design

A wide range of resources are used to help children explore sound, colour, shape, texture and form.  Painting, drawing, glueing and cutting using different materials are always available both inside and out. We listen to music, sing and use musical instruments.  Storytelling improves listening skills and imagination, and through imaginative play in the home corner and by dressing up the children learn to express themselves.

A wide variety of books are available in our cosy book corner and there is a story time in each session. Children are encouraged to bring in favourite books from home and to borrow our book bags. Songs and rhymes are incorporated in play. We give the children a gentle introduction to Jolly Phonics with actions and rhymes ready for their transition to school.

Children’s progress

Records are kept of the children’s progress so that we are aware of their strengths and can provide guidance to help them reach their potential.  These are used as a key part of our individual planning.  Staff are always available to discuss a child’s progress and parents can see their child’s records if they wish, but are kept up to date at parent consultations.

Summary of Policies, full policies are available on request


Children can attend the nursery once they have reached 2½ years old.  We operate a waiting list and parents are contacted approximately a term before a place is available.  If no place is available a child’s name may be left on the list for the following term if wished.

Natalie has a Nursery Nursing qualification and many years’ experience, along with many other qualifications.  All staff are trained well and we take advantage of courses to keep us up to date whenever possible.  We sometimes have students from the local schools and colleges who are engaged in bona fide childcare courses, these students are supervised at all times.

Equal Opportunities
All children will be respected and their individuality and potential recognised, valued and nurtured.  We are committed to providing equality of opportunities for all children.

Child Protection
Our concern is for the child, adults can protect and stand up for themselves, children are vulnerable and unable to do so.  The nursery provides an environment where children are safe, any suspicion of abuse is promptly and appropriately responded to.

Behaviour Management
We believe that children flourish best in an ordered environment in which everyone knows what is expected of them and children are free to develop their play and learning without fear of being hurt or hindered by anyone.  We aim to work towards a situation in which children can develop self-discipline and self esteem in an atmosphere of mutual respect and encouragement.

Health and Hygiene

We promote a healthy lifestyle and a high standard of hygiene in our day to day work with the children.  The children are offered a snack mid session of fruit, crackers etc and a drink of milk or water.  They have ready access to the toilet area and we find that any children who are not totally dry soon start using them.  We deal with any accidents in a sensitive and positive manner.

The safety of children is paramount and we are aware of the need to be constantly alert when dealing with young children.  Equipment is checked regularly for any faults.  The outside gate is locked at the beginning of each session and parents are asked to close doors and gates behind them.

Parental involvement
Parents are valued as the first educators of their children and we welcome parents into the nursery to help supervise cooking, sewing, computer work and other activities.  We are always available to speak to parents.

Selecting Equipment
The toys and equipment in the nursery are selected to provide opportunities for the children to develop new skills and concepts in the course of their play, and are appropriate for their age and developmental stage.

Special Needs
The nursery follows the DfEE Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs, and aims to provide appropriate learning opportunities for all.  

Any parent who is concerned about any aspect of the nursery should speak to Natalie Rayner, any cause for complaint will be investigated fully.  Any further complaints can be taken to OFSTED.


Queensdown Nursery,  64a Queens Road,  Thame,  Oxon,  OX9 3NQ
01844 213039 / 07908 243180