Our Rooms

Baby Suite – we call it Baby Choo Choo’s 

Baby Choo-Choos is separated from the main building and has its own garden.  This means that it is extremely tranquil.  There is a separate and beautifully decorated sleep area.  This is comfortable and warm. We have a separate milk kitchen for bottle preparation. We operate a no-shoes policy on carpeted area of the baby suite so that we minimise the chances of grubby stuff getting into the building.

The baby garden is accessed from the baby suite through double doors.  The grass is artificial and so there’s no chance of the babies getting muddy whilst they explore.  The external fence has been covered by a mirrored wall so that babies can’t get splinters if they try to pull themselves up.  The room will take a maximum of nine babies.  We operate a 3 baby:1 staff ratio.

The steam trains puff past on a daily basis and so the babies get the chance to get really close to the magic of the train.  We encourage them to wave to the drivers who always respond enthusiastically – sometimes with an extra toot of the horn!

More important than all of this is the quality of care that we bring.  Even before your baby starts we will visit your home in order to get to know you and to find out more about your baby’s individual needs.  This makes the transition to the nursery less daunting for both baby and parents!  Whilst at nursery our staff (and particularly the ‘key person’) will offer your baby love and attachment.  You will feel confident that as a parent you have a partnership with us to ensure we focus on every aspect of your baby’s care and development.

If you require a particular milk variety, then we will get it in.  If you’d like us to follow your regime for recycling nappies, then we will be happy to do so.  If you’d like us to follow a particular sleep routine, then again that’s fine.  We’ll follow what you’d do at home.

The Toot-Toots Room

We will discuss moving your baby to Toot-Toots once your baby becomes a toddler.  Before the move, your toddler will have a handful of play-dates in the new room.  A new key person will be allocated and they will also get the chance to get to know your loved one as part of these play-dates.  This ensures that the child and parent feel settled when it’s time to transition to the new room.

The room is in the main building directly opposite the Baby Choo-Choo suite.  At the toddler stage, we develop more and more activities for the children to enjoy.  If they are interested in something, we’ll use this to extend their learning. 

Meal times are taken together in the room and children will increasingly be used to the social life that this engenders.  This means that they will try new foods because every one else seems to be doing so. 

Activities in the room are age-appropriate and we’ll try lots of new and exciting things from making , building , rolling , bouncing, dressing up and so on.  There’s lots of fun!

We also have a large ball-pit in the room.  We use the balls for counting, rolling, understanding colours and the ball pit for generally crashing around and having a blast! 

We also have a wig-wam in the room on its own piece of artificial lawn complete with  it’s own BBQ set.  This allows for plenty of role play opportunities.

Little Locos

Your child’s development is further extended in Little Locos. Children continue to gain their independence and with ongoing support and reinforcement will try new activities and apply themselves to new challenges whether it’s dressing up, making mud pies or balancing on boards.  If it’s fun, then there’s a potential for a new learning experience.  Our staff are trained to respond to interests and to create learning opportunities around them.

We have a stage in the room complete with back-lights and curtains.  The dressing up options are to stage right and the children put on their own informal concerts. 

We formalize this drama and dance at Christmas time and we invite parents to join us for a mini-extravaganza of entertainment.

We want our children to explore their creative and dramatic sides and the stage creates a fabulous opportunity to gain confidence and have a go.  We know that few if any of our children are going to become the next Laurence Olivier, but the ability to present and be imaginative will set them in good stead whatever their leanings in life.

Little Locos has access to its own garden area.  This has Teletubby mounds complete with tunnels.  These are located right next to the railway line (albeit behind the fence!), and children are encouraged to climb onto these mounds as the steam trains rattle by.  It’s all great fun.

Little Engines

Little Engines is our pre-school room and we focus on giving children all they need to ensure that they make the smooth transition to school. 

The room is spacious, light and colourful.  It has separate areas for different learning themes such as  writing and drawing, numbers, science, literacy and a wonderful reading and home corner.   There are also many role play opportunities from a Punch and Judy puppet stand to market stalls and a fully stocked kitchen.

It also has access to the fourth and largest garden area.  This also has a Teletubby mound so that the children can get a great view of the steam trains.  Resources in the garden are designed to allow the children to create their own games.  This could be making a castle from the rubber bricks in the construction zone, or moving the large black pipe onto the Teletubby mound so that they can slide down it (assuming the crocodiles are not there!}

We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) principles.  This covers a broad range of knowledge and skills.  However, learning is still child-led and our staff will allow children to learn through play.

The EYFS is also used in the first year of primary school and so we believe that nursery will give your child a head-start when going to school because they will be used to the principles applied at school.  Your child will be ready and able to learn.  We have over the years developed great links with the local primary schools and can advise you on this when the time comes.

The EYFS covers three Prime areas and four Specific areas of learning that are all interconnected:  Personal, social and emotional development, Communication and language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the world and Expressive Art and Design.  These areas support and develop the Three Characteristics of Effective Learning: playing and exploring, active learning and creating and thinking critically.  We ensure that these are incorporated into your child’s routines through a variety of activities – both indoor and outdoor.

My daughter is loving coming to her new pre school nursery. She is always excited when its a little Smarties day! She has so much fun and has already made some lovely friends. The staff are always friendly and informative and happy to chat to me about her day. The outside space is wonderful with the added bonus of the steam train going by.
We are very impressed. Great job guys x

H Whitters 26th September via Facebook

Our pre-schooler attends this setting and absolutely loves it! From a parent’s point of view we feel that we are placing our child in the care of people with a wealth of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for childcare. Each member of staff knows my child and us. We always feel welcomed, well informed and included in nursery life. The setting itself is brilliant – fully resourced, clean and bright with lovely outdoor space. Our baby is already booked in to start in a years time! We would highly recommend Little Smarties, Bishops Cleeve

K Dale on childcare.co.uk on 24.10.17

Our internal train carriages

We’ve created three internal train carriages.  These run alongside the three main rooms and take over what was once the skittle-alley in the Royal British Legion Social Club.

We use these carriages on a daily, but ad-hoc basis.  We’ll take children into them when they ask to go.  They are not used as core class-rooms but help us to add an extra spice to the day and to ensure that children are constantly active, excited and inspired.

The carriages are:

Sensory Carriage

This is also called the disco room given the number of light effects we have installed.  The room is pitch black – imagine a freight carriage with a black curtained door.  There are black carpets and black walls.  This enhances the light effects.  Children tend to either sit quietly marveling at the different effects, or have a dance and run around trying to catch laser-spots on the floor. 

Music and IT Carriage

We have collected a number of musical instruments  – with everything from rattles and xylophones to guitars and a piano.  Whilst we don’t expect children to be Mozarts by the time they leave us, we believe that learning to explore the fundamentals of how sound is made is really important – be it from learning how to position hands on a keyboard to making a beat with a rattle.

The room also has three computer terminals that we use for learning-based technology games.

Enchanted Reading Carriage

This is a special place.  The carriage hosts a couple of trees and the children use this tranquil setting for reading and for being read to.  We encourage parents and authors to come along and read.  For example, local author Phillippa Bailey read from her book “Noah, can I have a kiss?” just after we opened. 

The trees have a number of birds and nests (with eggs) on the branches and the base of trees have been formed from a carving of an old man’s face  – and he loves listening to the children during circle times.

It’s very different and very magical!