The Nursery is registered with OFSTED for children between the ages of 1-5 years old.
Bright Sparks is located in Heath End, just 4 miles south of Newbury, Berkshire
We are open during the term time from 8.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday.
Bright Sparks is jointly run by Cherida Daniel the owner and Lesley Smith the manager.
Bright Sparks Nursery School was founded in 1996 by Cherida Daniel.
The Nursery has gained a very good reputation over the years with local families and primary schools.
“There is an excellent focus on play and learning in the outdoor areas. Children access a wide range of equipment and natural resources and this enables them to develop many new skills. Children like being able to direct their own play, make decisions and explore for themselves.”
“Children are excited and motivated by the wide range of stimulating activities that take account of their learning needs and interests. They are engaged in their learning and make excellent progress, taking into account their starting points and capabilities.”
“Children are highly valued as unique individuals. Staff make thoughtful and accurate assessments of children, which are constantly monitored, challenged and adapted to secure timely interventions and support where needed.”
“The leadership and management of the provision are outstanding. They have high aspirations for continuous improvement, and this underpins all aspects of care and education.”
Our Opening Times & Term Times
Flexible Morning and Afternoon sessions are held from Monday to Friday from 9am to 12 noon and 12 noon to 3pm with the option of an early morning start at 8.30am and a late finish from 3pm to 3:30pm.
It is possible for children coming for the morning session to stay for lunch until 1pm or for children to arrive at 12 noon for lunch and the afternoon session.
We follow the Hampshire school holidays and term dates timetable.
The Aims of the School
We aim to provide a happy, secure and stimulating environment, prepared to meet the varying needs of the individual children at the different stages of their development, where they can gain a love of learning, a broad understanding of the world around them, develop socially and emotionally through their interaction with others and grow as individuals to reach their full potential.
“Bright Spark’s ethos of nurturing confidence and self-esteem means that staff support children in embracing new challenges and acting with initiative.”
We introduce the children to a wide range of activities, stimulating their natural interest to learn facts and to acquire and perfect skills. We encourage the children to be active and to choose equipment that interests them.
We have special sections for books, language, number work, computers, puzzles, games, construction, practical life, a home corner with dressing-up, painting, drawing, cutting and sticking, modelling, nature and science, sensorial material, and sand and water.
The equipment has been chosen to aid development in specific areas, which include: Concentration, Co-ordination, Sense of Order, Hand Dexterity, Independence, Play and Social skills.
The children also have plenty of opportunity to develop their creative, imaginative and investigative skills. They always have a project to follow which includes many art and craft tasks, and opportunities to investigate aspects related to the topic. When possible we have visitors or organisations, linked to the project, come to the school. We try to respond to each child’s individual needs.
“Staff encourage children very effectively to be independent in their personal care routines and to make choices in their activities and resources. They have good manners, and are frequently praised for their exemplary achievements. This gives them a highly developed sense of self-esteem and confidence.”
Bright Sparks Nursery School is run by:
Mrs Cherida Daniel who has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Design and the International Montessori Teaching Diploma for children 2 1/2 to 6 years as well as the Early Years Professional Status. In addition she has gained the level 3 BTEC advanced award for Forest School Leaders.
Mrs Lesley Smith who has a Bachelor of Education and has obtained her Early Years Professional Status.
We have a team of qualified teachers and nursery assistants, many of which have been with the nursery since its foundation. The staff build up strong relationships with the children and parent/carers through our key person system.
The Early Years Professional Status is aimed at providing well-skilled and highly motivated graduate practitioners with the expertise to lead high quality practice.
“The very highly trained staff continually improve teaching by checking that they provide extremely stimulating activities.”
“The manager selects staff astutely to maintain the ethos of the nursery and the seamless teamwork.”
Bright Sparks is located in the rural village of Heath End. It occupies the East Woodhay Village Hall, which is a light, attractive and spacious building providing excellent facilities inside and outside. There are two classrooms both of which allow for disabled access.
The Butterfly Room
Our main classroom is a light, attractive, spacious and stimulating environment.
The main space is called the Butterfly Room. The internal layout of equipment is carefully arranged, everything having its place within easy reach of the children. It is big enough to allow rainy day activities like assault courses, parachute games, PE and music and movement. There is also a good kitchen with a counter allowing the children to partake in cookery safely. It also has the bonus of a large stage ideal for our nursery school productions. Every year we have a Christmas Nativity Play and an Easter Concert.
The Caterpillar Room
This smaller classroom, at the back of the building, caters for groups of younger children.
The Caterpillar Room is located at the back of the building, looking out onto the garden. This provides a cosier space, ideal for small group learning, and is used by the younger children. The learning equipment is age appropriate and is carefully arranged so the children can have freedom of choice.
Outdoor Play Area
Children can explore the natural world and have fresh air and excercise.
Outside the main class room is a large all weather play area with the garden beyond. This allows for the free flow of children, giving them the choice to play inside or outside.
The large fenced garden can also be accessed from the back of the building and here the children have plenty of opportunities to play, investigate, explore and be in touch with the natural world. This garden also has the bonus of lots of shade from an assortment of trees. The children also enjoy using a well equipped adventure play ground, where they can practise climbing and balancing. We use the enclosed tennis court for ball skills and the adjacent open area for Forest Fun activities.
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development (confidence, relationships, concentration, independence, sensitivity and expression)
- Communication and Language (expression, listening and vocabulary)
- Mathematics (colour, shape, pattern, language, numbers, practical problems, number rhymes and songs)
- Understanding of the World (awareness of family, home, living things, objects, events, materials, technology)
- Expressive Arts and Design (imagination, music, art & craft, senses)
- Literacy (sharing books, letter shapes and sounds)
- Physical Development (co-ordination, small and large motor movements, spatial awareness)
We carefully observe and keep detailed records of each child, a summary of which is passed on to their next school. We have contact with the local state and independent schools to help ease the transition between nursery and school.
We aim for the children to be able to move on to the next stage of their education, confident in their own abilities, interested in the world about them and aware of the needs of others.
“Children are engaged, confident and extremely eager to learn. Highly impressive staff work very well together as a team and in each room to plan around children’s needs and interests“
Basic soccer skills including dribbling, passing and shooting are learnt. The children have a huge amount of fun during these professionally run sessions.
French songs, games, numbers, colours, animals and books are part of a wide range of activities covered during these sessions.
Free expression is combined with simple sequences and learnt movements like learning to skip.
The children love being outside, being in touch with nature and often making lots of mess!
The activities involve catching, bouncing, throwing and aiming. The children really enjoy playing with balls of different sizes, colours and textures. They also further develop their hand to eye coordination using bats and rackets.
Learning to sing really well and to use percussion instruments form the basis of these sessions. The children take great delight in sharing some of what they have learnt with their parents during the Christmas Plays and Easter Concerts.
Sensory activities stimulate the children's senses: touch, smell, taste, movements, balance, sight and hearing. These activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.
Write Dance and Drama
The activities use movement, drama and music as a means to help the children acquire the gross and fine motor skills needed for handwriting.
Our Catchment Area
We are located close to the Hampshire/Berkshire border and have children attending from the following areas
- Wash Common
- Woolton Hill
- Ball Hill
- Gore End
- Hampstead Marshall
- St Mary Bourne
- Hurstbourne Tarrant
- East Woodhay
- West Woodhay
All children need to bring a coat and boots (hats and gloves if cold and sun hats and cream if hot) to nursery everyday.
Water proof clothing needs to be provided for Forest Fun, which takes place in all weather conditions.
Policies and Procedures
We have policies and procedures to cover all areas including Safeguarding, Special Needs, Equal Opportunities, Complaints and Confidentiality. These are available for parents to read and are displayed on our parents’ notice board.
Minor injuries are recorded on accident sheets. When the child is collected the parents are notified and asked to sign the sheet. In the case of a more serious accident every effort will be made to contact the parents. In an emergency a doctor or an ambulance will be called. The main team of staff have taken first aid courses.
A child with sickness or diarrhoea should be kept away from the School for at least 24 hours after the last occurrence. In case of infectious disease, a child should only return to the School when the doctors say it is safe to do so. Any allergies or health problems should be reported to the staff. Please tell the staff of any changes in family circumstances as this may affect the child’s behavior and emotional state. If a child is unwell at school the parents will be contacted.
The Nursery has a no smoking policy. Fire Drill is regularly practised. The procedure is displayed on the notice board.
Parents are required to fill in a collection consent form. Children can only be collected by someone other than their parent with their parents consent.
“The arrangements for safeguarding children are exemplary. The provider and manager have extensive experience and are highly knowledgeable about child protection issues. Robust recruitment and induction procedures ensure all staff are suitable.”
The staff value the daily contact with the parents and carers and welcome them into the school to see what the children are doing.
We have induction mornings and find out detailed information concerning each new child.
We conduct two year old checks and discuss in detail each child’s development at Parent’s Evenings.
We are also available on an ongoing basis to discuss the progress of each child.
We appreciate any contribution that the parents would like to make to the school’s activities, especially with the project work.
“The highly effective partnership with parents is based on mutual trust and respect. Parents are passionate about the nursery, actively seeking out the inspector to share stories about the great impact the nursery has had on their own and their children’s lives. Parents speak with high regard and admiration for the staff and of the wonderful opportunities experienced by their children at this exceptional nursery.”