We operate a Day Nursery, Pre-school as well as ‘Top Cats‘ After School Club and 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.
Healthy, nutritious meals are freshly cooked on site by our own cook so you can be assured your child will be nourished throughout the day.
We are open from 8am – 6pm throughout the year.
Nursery Care: 10mths – 3yrs
Pre-School Care: 3yrs – 5yrs
Top Cats: After School & Holiday Club
Full and part time nursery care with a child-centred approach to education is offered for children aged 10 months to 5 years.
After School Care and Holiday Care is available for children in Reception and Year 1 classes every week day during term time and throughout every school holiday.
We offer a safe collection service from Caversham primary schools Monday to Friday during term time.
We have a dedicated team of professionals with extensive experience of working with and educating children. Please get in touch with any queries or for an informal chat or to arrange a visit at any time convenient for you.
Our ethos is underpinned by a profound love
for children and a belief that meaningful, two-way relationships are vital to life-long learning.
We work with parents to enable children to:
Be positive and emotionally well balanced individuals
Develop a thirst for knowledge and an enthusiasm for learning
Feel confident to take risks in order to be the best they can be
Embrace and demand increased independence
Harness a sense of respect for themselves, for other people and for the environment
Experience equal opportunities regardless of gender, race or ability.
To achieve this we provide a…
Strong partnership with parents and carers that contributes to each child’s successful development
Rich and stimulating environment that, through the continuous provision, promotes increased independence and develops children emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially and in ways that are meaningful and that build on what they already know
Curriculum that is thoughtfully planned around children’s interests, well organised and carefully structured by the staff who understand the needs of the young children
Well qualified, highly skilled team of hard working professionals who receive excellent ongoing training, and who are driven to remain abreast of new developments in child care, child development and education. (Link to Staff Team)
CATERING FACILITIES PAGE
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At the Orchard meals are freshly prepared on site every day. We have developed menus in partnership with parents and children and provide food which meets and exceeds the government’s compulsory minimum nutritional requirements, which include:
• A balanced diet with plenty of variety
• Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
• Plenty of food rich in calcium and iron
We develop our seasonal menus to incorporate lots of fresh ingredients. You can be confident that the meal your child will receive each day is nutritionally well balanced and will provide them with all the goodness they require for healthy growth, mental development and the best possible start in life. If a child attends for a full day we confidently say that they will have eaten at least four out of their recommended five fruit or veg a day. Therefore, we encourage parents to top up with fruit at breakfast or supper.
Our menus run on a six-week cycle offering a different range of meals each week, so that your child has the varied diet required to help them develop their tastes and make healthy choices in the future.
In addition to the guidelines we also:
Use no artificial additives or salt in the preparation of our meals
Offer a varied menu which will help to develop children’s tastes
Cater for all dietary & cultural requirements
As part of a significant refurbishment project last year we transformed our dated but cosy family style kitchen into a super shiny stainless steel professional meal prep space. Steel is an extremely hygienic material and all the units are designed by us and made by a fabricator to our specifications. We felt it so important to invest in our kitchen as a major part of the extension. The old kitchen was the in the centre of the house and as such was the heart of the home. In the early years it would not have been uncommon to find the postman having a cup of tea with the cook while the nursery dog snoozed in the corner by the radiator. As a company we have also grown in size and age range so while having the sights and sounds of the kitchen as part of the backdrop to the teaching and learning was a delight, it did break up the childcare space as it was. The space is more fluid now and staff can rearrange it to suit the needs of the children on an almost daily basis.
We took the old units out, knocked down one wall and built another, stole a bit of the old baby room to make a walk in larder and turned the messy room around so it now runs from front to back of the house. What our new modern kitchen allows us now, is to take receipt of deliveries through the front windows rather than ever having to interrupt the childcare.
The kitchen is small but designed in such a way that micro groups of children can work in there with their adult and create some yummy stuff.
Special Dietary Requirements – We cater for all dietary and cultural requirements including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free & nut free.
With the noticeable rise in food allergies among children, it is not unusual for Wanda to prepare five separate meals for one lunch sitting. It is NEVER too much bother to make the sauce without celery or to use goats milk not cow’s or create a fun fruity but filling pud with strictly no gluten or dairy. It is our pleasure to feed our Orchard children so they are satisfied, full, happy and ready to play or sleep deeply. If you are a parent of a young child with special dietary requirements we know you will be concerned that a nursery setting can provide the right nutrition for them. Hear what some of our parents have to say about how we embraced food challenges and allayed their worries. Then get in touch with us and talk through your concerns and requirements.
As a small community we spend a lot of time cooking, eating, talking while sharing a meal, talking about food, about produce and its origins, making pretend versions of real food in the home corner or mud kitchen. As educators food and drink gives us a rich palette of teaching opportunities and our new kitchen really helps us make the most of those. Interestingly, the whole curriculum sits within the act of sharing a meal and the best of us try not to waste a single teachable moment.
We simply enjoy our meals. We use a wide range of flavours, textures and colours in our cooking to make eating our meals fun and enjoyable. This is essential because what children eat at an early age determines their choices and eating patterns in later life. Mealtimes are social occasions and the childcare staff sit with the children, eat the same food, and promote good manners and conversational skills.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
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The Great Outdoors
“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood” (“The Sense of Wonder” Rachel Carson, 1956)
Nowhere is that sense of wonder so apparent than outdoors and in nature. At The Orchard we nurture that sense of wonder so natural to children and so integral to their thirst for learning.
Young children need outdoor play. When given the choice, the outdoors is where most children want to be and play outdoors is what they want most. Since its foundation 27 years ago, learning at the Orchard has always emphasized the importance of the outdoors, nature, and the natural environment. Young children thrive and their minds and bodies develop best when they have free access to stimulating outdoor environments where they are able to learn through play and real experiences.
The pioneers of Early Years Education such as Jean Piaget and Maria Montessori believed whole heartedly in the value of outdoor learning and in more recent times there has been a lot of interest in, and influence from, forest schools, derived mainly from Scandinavian Early Years practice. This is also now reflected in The Foundation Stage Curriculum in the UK.
In The Orchard’s early days we kept a menagerie of rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens and pygmy goats. The children practised their counting skills by seeing how many eggs the chickens had laid each day. They grew flowers, fruit, and vegetables, and particularly enjoy eating their produce!
We still do all these things, except the animals have now gone as we have developed their living space into a rich and diverse environment for the children. There are spaces for growing, areas for imaginative play, room for boisterous physical play, climbing, running bike riding and more. The outdoors is complementary to learning indoors and enhances and extends what we are able to offer children inside.
Orchard Day Nursery welcomes children from all backgrounds and abilities.
We care for children aged from 10 months to 5 years old and provide After School Care and Holiday Care for children in Reception and year 1 classes. Places are subject to availability and allocated on a first come, first served basis.
We are delighted to show prospective parents around the nursery and encourage parents to look at more than one nursery whilst making this important choice for their family. Each setting has its own strengths and character, as do families, and it is important to choose one which you feel is right for you and your child. It is a good idea to bring your child with you when you visit as it will be informative for both of us to observe their initial reactions.
Booking and Fees
To take up a place we require a completed registration form and a non refundable registration fee (see current fees schedule). The form provides us with contact details and other information required by law, which assists us to respect parental wishes and fully meet the needs of every child.
Before your child starts we arrange with you a number of free introductory visits. These are short visits of approximately one hour when we welcome you and your child to spend some time in the nursery. This enables your child to become familiar with the setting and some of the staff and children with the security of having you present. It is also an opportunity for you to meet your child’s Key-carer and to exchange information. The exact number and timing of these visits will vary according to the individual needs of each child. The details of these will be discussed and worked out with you. Usually 3 or 4 visits are arranged; on the final visit we encourage you to leave your child for a short time at the setting.
During introductory visits your child’s Key-carer will complete our Initial Child Profile with you. This provides information on the levels of development and learning that a child has achieved at entry to the Nursery. It should be emphasised that the profile is not a test. The abilities and skills of all children vary. The information from the profile helps ensure that Nursery staff value each child’s previous learning and effectively build on the child’s existing skills.
Current Fees Schedule
TOP CATS HOLIDAY CLUB
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Top Cats Holiday Activity Clubs runs every half term and school holiday
Two boys play on a climbing frame on a sunny day
Top Cats is for active and creative boys and girls aged 4-8 years, and includes all meals and snacks prepared in our own 5* kitchen
The holiday club runs every half term and holiday in line with Reading Borough Council term dates.
All inclusive fun and games
Small group activities tailored to every child
Delicious home cooked meals and snacks
Highly Skilled and Qualified Play Leaders
We run many fun activities throughout the summer including:
A little girl is face painting African drumming
Art and drama projects
Contact us to book your child’s place or to ask us a question about the Top Cats Club.