Orchard Day Nursery & Pre-School

Top Cats After School and Holiday Club


Orchard Day Nursery & Pre-School

Top Cats After School and Holiday Club


Orchard Day Nursery & Pre-School

Top Cats After School and Holiday Club


Orchard Day Nursery & Pre-School

Top Cats After School and Holiday Club


Founded in 1989, the Orchard is set in beautiful half acre gardens situated on the edge of Caversham in Reading.

Freshly Made Hot Meals
Open 8am – 6pm
52 Weeks a Year
After School & Holiday Club
We provide a happy, safe and stimulating environment in which all children feel secure and valued. There is a homely and welcoming atmosphere for all, with excellent facilities and a highly skilled team of professional practitioners.
We are open from 8am – 6pm throughout the year.

We are building something
powerful together.


Their future depends
on what we do today.


Empathy cultivates wisdom.



Care and Education are indivisible. Orchard staff are inspired by an eclectic range of educational approaches to ensure every child’s immediate interests and personal learning style lie at the heart of the teaching programme that reflects the cultural diversity of the Orchard community.

Observations and Assessments

Skilled practitioners observe and analyse children’s play and interactions to assess their stage of development and then use this knowledge to plan purposeful play experiences. A combination of keepsake paper journals and online Parent Portal helps us keep track of and communicate each child’s unique story from day one at Nursery through to their transition to primary school. Parents are invited to discuss in depth the termly progress reports and contribute to their child’s development plans.

Planning in the moment

The Environment is the Third Teacher. Designed around what we understand of our children’s current needs and interests, each area enables children to engage and learn without an adult guiding every step. Adults then spot teachable moments throughout the day, spontaneously scaffolding children’s choices and extending their knowledge in the moment.


Orchard is committed to raising the next generation of Early Years Educators through a well-structured apprenticeship programme. By the time an Orchard learner qualifies they will know what kind of practitioner they are and in what direction they wish to take their career.


The Orchard reaches out, magpie like, to all corners of the world for inspiration. Dr Maria Montessori taught us how to create a neutral environment and to raise our expectations of what each child is capable of. Reggio Emilia values guide us in our goal to be a community hub for hardworking families who value creative education. Vivian Gussain Paley gives us permission to share stories as a reminder of who we are. Heuristic Play helps adults understand more about the inner world of babies and the neuroscientific research findings into the positive impact of Play on the developing brain filters into our daily practice.

Forest School and The Great Outdoors

The Orchard is an outdoor setting with fabulous indoor facilities for when the weather is truly against us. Children spend most of every day outdoors building their relationship with the natural world. Adults promote risk taking, resilience and confidence and invite the numerous physical health benefits that come from playing in the fresh air. Orchard parents champion this outdoor philosophy and instil confidence in practitioners to keep developing the provision.


Orchard reinforces growth mindset values through concrete policies developed and shared by team members.


Happy and healthy in body and mind. Orchard takes an holistic approach to ensuring children are safe and secure, well-nourished and adequately rested in order that they are physically and mentally prepared to engage in deep level learning.

Key Person Approach

This relationship between the Orchard and its Families is built on the trust that is earned when a Key Person takes the time and care to get to know their key children and be first point of contact for parents. Orchard staff work in family-style co-caring groups to safeguard children and facilitate their learning journey.

Daily Routine

The Orchard’s daily routine revolves around our meeting the primary care needs of the children. Mealtimes, naps and toileting create structure while skilled practitioners find fun ways to draw out the curriculum and make opportunities for teaching and learning to take place. There is a rhythm to each day reflecting the natural energy levels that young children display and we work with this naturally and with ease.

Food and Sleep

We need food to live. We need rest in order to heal, grow and embed new learning. Integral to Orchard’s provision, mealtimes are social occasions where British Values and new sensory experiences sit alongside physical development and increased independence. Using motherese, massage and white noise and taking parents lead, Orchard adults skilfully create a soothing atmosphere in which children can safely rest for as long as they need.

Personal Care and Hygiene

Care comes first. Every child is tended to with love so they are warm, clean and cosseted during their day at Orchard.  Practitioners help children to help themselves. Orchard graciously honours parental preference wherever practicable.

Physical Activity and Nutrition

Physical literacy is embedded within the Orchard Community. Children move freely, and often exceed their limits. Even the youngest child is taught to tend their bodies with exercise, food and water in order to achieve great things. Children cook, bake, grow and harvest, celebrating ingredients and the super powers they receive from food. Orchard Families adopt active and healthy lifestyles and influence us to be likeminded partners.


A good beginning is half of the whole. At Orchard we work perceptively to support the whole family when a child first starts nursery and during any potentially unsettling phase of change or disruption they may encounter.

First Aid and Medication

Orchard is committed to maintaining an environment where all children thrive. All its employees are First Aid qualified and receive regular training to remain secure in their knowledge. Orchard Families are diligent in keeping our community safe and healthy. All children are welcomed to Orchard and we devise effective individual health care plans where needed.


It takes a village to raise a child. Children thrive best when teachers and families work together, sharing wisdom and offering kindness and support. Partnership with Parents is high on Orchard’s agenda. Orchard Families’ community spirit is strong and welcoming.

Partnership with Parents

The respectful relationship between teachers and parents is vital to ensure the sound emotional health of children and those who care for them at home or at Nursery. There are a number of ways that communication can flow between home and Orchard and the influence of parents as stakeholders continues to grow.

Settling In

We offer free stay and play sessions, tailored to each family, as part of the settling in process. Taking time to establish good foundations and build trust sets the tone for future successes.

Open Door Policy

Orchard’s fingerprint entry system allows parents to arrive at nursery at times to suit them and to observe their children playing naturally. Senior staff make time to meet with parents who want to arrange a more detailed catch up on their child’s progress and development.


Communication and Social Support Network

The Orchard Family mirrors the global community. Many children from international backgrounds do not have extended family living nearby. Orchard has created a support network through social media and other happy gatherings. Described as a lifeline for some during the challenges of 2020, we are delighted to have founded a worthwhile community facility that is still evolving and one that directly influences who we are as practitioners and educators.

Attachment Theory

Infants form attachments with those people around them who care for them sensitively and consistently. Most children are embedded in a network of carers and Orchard plays its part through acknowledging the importance of helping children learn how to relate to others, to themselves and to the wider world.