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[Learning Journey] [ WOW moments] [Keyperson] [Observations and schemas] [Meals and Snacks] [Sleep] [Clothing] [Library Books] [Government Funding] [Additional Needs] [Admissions] [School Transitions] [Joining us]

Puzzles are great for developing skills as indivduals and with othersAcorns is our pre-school age group for children aged 2¼ to school age.  The children  have the opportunity to gently settle into a more formal educational routine, concentrating on the essential social disciplines working individually in small and large groups with a selection of child initiated, and adult led activities. Our curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage, more specific details on the activities undertaken can be found in the curriculum page of this section.

Acorns are separated into three rooms between  known as yellow,  red  and blue group. Learning about size is great fun

Yellow group is predominantly for children aged 2¼ upwards. The spacious room offers a variety of well equipped play areas designed to support learning.

Red and blue group offers more table-based activities for children whose concentration and interest levels are more targeted to these types of activities.

Learning about scienceInterests and stages of development will also help to determine your child’s group. This enables us to plan differentiated activities to ensure the best learning opportunities for your child. The groups offer children the chance to be with children of similar interests. Activities are specifically geared to suit each group of children. This allows children the opportunities to explore their own interests with like minded children.

To arrange a viewing of the nursery please contact Sarah or Nick on 01473 652249. If you would like to join us here at Birch Farm you will need to complete a Acorns registration pack.

Please return your signed registration pack to Sarah Sharman/Nick Leeder. Places are subject to availability and will be confirmed in writing.

AcoWriting and drawing about what we see helps us to learnrns playrooms both offer a variety of learning areas and their own toilet facilities. Yellow room also has a separate dining. A cosy room is also available which offers children from all groups a quite area for a nap, and can be used as a sensory area with coloured lights and soft cushions. Our cosy room also acts as a central point for our library allowing children to borrow books and games to share at home.

Acorns operates all year, or termly inline with the Hadleigh pyramid term dates.  Parents may choose which option they would prefer. Please note the nursery is closed between Christmas and New Year and all Bank Holidays.

As parents you are your child’s first and most important educators.  We want to continue the good start that you as parents have already made.  Your views and involvement in your child’s time with us are valued.  There are termly newsletters emailed, a parents open week is held termly as are parents evenings. Staff are always available before and after sessions to briefly discuss any concerns.  Longer consultations are available by appointment. If you wish to add comments to your child's learning journeys WOW moment boxes for you to pop your observations into are available in the Yellow room. Your comments are invaluable and help staff to plan activities that build on your child's home and nursery interests.

In order to support children as individuals we operate a keyperson system and staff undertake daily observation to help them plan for your childs learning experience. Staff will monitor and record each child’s progress regularly. These progress files known as learning journeys  are available for parents to see.


A Learning journey is a written record of individual progress for each child. Learning journeys contain all observations made by staff, photographs of your child's nursery experiences and an area where parents comments and observations can be added. In addition to these basic ongoing pages the file also contains 6 weekly progress reports, termly reports written jointly by parents and staff and a record sheet that is completed when a child moves to a new section of the nursery or leaves Birch Farm. This will enable your child's new facility to continue with your child's present interests and see their present stage of development.Your child's Learning Journey is always available for parents to view at our parents evenings or other times by request. When leaving Birch Farm you will be given your child's learning journey this should be handed to your child's school to be continued here. We will also send a transition form directly to the school.

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A special WOW moments box has been placed in the yellow cloak room area for parents to add their comments and key development moments from home to their child's learning journey profile. Parents written comments an also be added to the termly reports that are written for parents evenings.

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A member of staff will be allocated to your family as a keyperson. This person will help your child to settle into the nursery, they will develop a bond to ensure your child has a safe, friendly, secure person with whom they can spend time if they require. Within the keyperson role staff will also get to know you as a family and they will be the person who meets you for parents evenings undertakes regular observations, write reports as well as changing nappies if required.

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Staff observe children to enable us to plan for children. These are also used to create a learning journey of your child’s life in nursery. We organise regular parents evenings during this time you can chat to the keyperson and review your child’s file. If you are unable to make a parents evening or would like to see the file at another time please make an appointment. We also observe children to help identify their present schemas. Schemas are patterns of learning that children explore. Often children will have 1 dominant schema throughout their lives. Schemas are children’s area of interest and by planning for a child’s schema we will ensure they are interested and highly motivated in activities and therefore developing their knowledge. Schemas can be supported in all areas of learning, this means that they support the Early Years Foundation Stage.  If you would like to know more about schemas please [Click Here].

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 Children who arrive by 8.30am can have a breakfast from our breakfast bar, there is a snack mid morning and mid afternoon, lunch at 12.00pm and tea at 4pm. Our children eat as a family group and serve themselves wherever possible with staff support. We are happy to work with you for any special dietary requirements your child may have but please inform us in writing on the registration form.  Written evidence is made each day of children's food intake this is available for parents to see on the desk.

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Children who wish to sleep are provided with sleep mats in our cosy room. They are checked regularly by staff and sleep times are negotiated with parents.  Children who wish to rest are also able to lay on the sofa in the quite areas of all pre-school rooms.

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Birch Farm do not have a uniform but polo shirts ,sweatshirts, fleeces, waterproof suits, woolly winter hats and reversible coats can be bought if you require just ask Sarah or Nick. Orders are usually placed once per term and payment is required in advance.

We recommend that children are dressed in practical clothes for a busy day in a pre-school.  Clothes that are easy to take off and put on (for swimming), different layers so that the children can accommodate different activities and finally clothes that can take the wear and tear of playing outside, painting, craft activities etc. – ALL NAMED PLEASE.

We encourage our children to become independent.  You can support your child by giving them clothing and footwear that is easy to manage – particularly on ‘swimming days’.  Simple name tags will soon be recognised by their owners and will also help us to ‘re-home’ lost items!  Overalls are provided but accidents do happen and a change of clothes in a named bag is useful.  A warm/waterproof coat and wellingtons are needed for outdoor activities in winter and sunhat and suncream in the summer.  Children may bring one toy/special item from home.  These are kept separate and safe in their trays or in our treasures box.

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We have a library scheme available where children are encouraged to take home books or games from our library selection to share.  However, we would be grateful if parent/carers would ensure that the books are returned. Each child is given a book bag and a reading diary you can use this to record your child's interest in specific books and will have a record of favorite books and topics of interest.

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Children will be entitled to 6 terms funding starting the term after their 3rd birthday. [Click Here for more details] 

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Our section Senco is Kirsty Barnes. Kirsty works with support from Suffolk County Council to assist any children who have additional needs and supports all pre-school rooms. Children with additional needs are met with understanding and support and encouraged to join in with all activities at a level appropriate to them. Should staff have a concern over a child's developmental progress in consultation with parents, outside professional advice is sought in accordance with the DfES Code of Practice 2001 on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs.

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Children can start Acorns from 27months depending on their individual stage of development.  Funded places for 3 and 4 year olds will be available in accordance with the Suffolk’s Early Years Development Plan.   No child will be refused admission in accordance with our ‘Equal Opportunities Policy’.  We have written policies for ‘Behaviour’, ‘Health & Safety’, ‘Child Protection’ and ‘Equal Opportunities’ – all of which are available to parents in the policy section of the web site  Should Acorns be full, Birch Farm will operate a waiting list, this is based on a first come first served basis with the exception of funded children who take priority in age order as in line with our agreement with Suffolk County Council.

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Birch Farm feed into a large number of schools who have a variety of admissions policies. In order to support our children upon this move we send a report individually written direct to each school. Additionally you are given your child's learning journey which you should give to your child's teacher.

If your child's new school teacher would like to visit them in the nursery we are happy to accommodate.

In line with the Suffolk school's policy of giving parents the option of either full or part time entrance to school we are happy to provide wrap around care, although we are unable to collect children from schools due to the high number that we feed into.

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To arrange a viewing of the nursery please contact Sarah or Nick on 01473 652249. If you would like to join us here at Birch Farm you will need to complete a Acorns registration pack.

Please return your signed registration pack to Sarah Sharman/ Nick Leeder. Places are subject to availability and will be confirmed in writing.


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Last modified: Friday, 25. April 2014