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Meet our staff

 There are five practitioners Sandra, Catherine, Janice, Lauren and Tracy.

  We are all very experienced in working with children, have relevant childcare qualifications and are continually enrolled on further courses. We all regularly update our safeguarding training. Our Designated Lead Person in safeguarding has completed level 3 safeguarding and safer recruitment training to ensure that all adults who have contact with the children are thoroughly vetted and suitable to do so. All staff attend training courses in a wide range of subjects, and we all have current pediatric First-aid certificates. We see continual professional development as extremely important and each year we run courses to help parents to learn the most effective ways of supporting children in the early years. We also all hold food hygiene certificates.


 Sandra, the preschool manager, has a Masters' Degree in Early Years Educational Improvement Development and Change, a BA in Early Childhood Education and has Early Years Teacher Status. She has attended courses in Autism Awareness, understanding two year olds, Skills to Train adults, Parents Early Years and Learning (PEAL), and inclusion training, and has visited Denmark and Italy to work in and learn about international early education. Sandra is our named person in behaviour management and can advise on behaviour issues. She is our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (Senco). Sandra is also a part time tutor of adults who are studying towards Early Years Teacher Training. 



 Catherine also has a Diploma in Preschool Practice and is our designated lead person in safeguarding, updating her safeguarding training annually. She is also our lead practitioner in language and communication having attended a full year's course called 'Every Child a Talker' (ECAT) and has a strong knowledge of children's language acquisition and development. Catherine has a Mental Health First Aid certificate which means that she has trained in having the knowledge and skills to support children, parents and staff with mental health well-being. 








Janice has a Diploma in Preschool Practice and has recently completed courses in Autism, early maths, health and safety in early years settings, Food Hygiene, Behaviour Management and understanding and supporting 2 year old children.







Lauren started working with us at the start of the Summer term 2015. She finished her level 3 childcare diploma in 2014, gaining an A grade. She did some of her work placements during her course, at Acorns, and we were delighted that she has come back to work with us permanently. Lauren has recently been on a behaviour management course, and has also completed Safeguarding training at Level 2, meeting the needs of boys, and supporting vulnerable children. She is qualified in Pediatric first aid. 




Tracy has recently qualified as an Early Years Teacher with a grade of 'Outstanding'. She also holds primary QTS. She has completed comprehensive training across all age ranges from 0-5 years and completed phonics and maths training. She is a qualified first-aider and has completed safeguarding training. 




 We have a key person system and each member of staff has around 10 key children for whom they are responsible. As key people we aim to get to know each child and work with their whole family to support them in all aspects of learning and development. Key people ensure that children are learning, developing and achieving. Progress is checked against expected development and if we have any concerns about your child's development we would talk to you and explain why we are worried. Then we would work closely with you and your child in order to set simple targets which aim to support their progress and development. If you have any concerns, please talk to your child's key person or our SENCO, Sandra Matthews. See the Special Educational Needs page for further information.

We accept all children into our setting, whatever their needs and we aim to reduce any barriers to learning or inclusion. We believe that all children have the right to be valued and included in every aspect of our setting.

"The quality of teaching from all staff is of the highest calibre. Staff know when to intervene in play and carefully intertwine questioning into play opportunities. Children enthuse at the challenges set them."

Ofsted May 16








We are now taking registration forms for Sept 2021. We accept 2 year old funding, and 15 hour funding, and have a limited number of 30 hours funded places. Please telephone 07952 963186 to arrange a visit.


Welcome to  Acorns


Acorns Playgroup Curriculum - we work within the Early Years Foundation Stage, and our curriculum intention is to focus on and support the development of; 

  • Social skills, self-confidence, independence, and behaviour and attitudes to learning

  • Strong communication, language and literacy skills, including a love of books.

  • Physical skills, including self-care, how to be healthy, and gross and fine motor control

  • An understanding of the world around us, which includes maths, science and nature, geography and history at an age appropriate level of understanding, as part of play.

  • Creative and imaginative play


 Acorns’ Educational Ethos;

At Acorns children learn through adults’ intentional pedagogy. This means that in interactions between adults and children, we identify learning opportunities and use them in order to intentionally move children’s learning and development forward, either at that moment, or by planning and providing resources, experiences or knowledge to support children’s next steps at the earliest opportunity. This ensures that we are meeting children’s learning and development needs throughout their day, at all times, whether it’s during lunchtime, group work, or one to one time, indoors and outdoors. We record significant learning through 'Learning Stories', which can be seen in children’s files. However, what is more important is what is ‘recorded’ in children’s development and ways of thinking. This can be seen in the children’s progress, their problem resilience, perseverence, problem solving skills, their attitudes, their ability to concentrate, their excitement about and willingness to learn, their ability to ask good questions, their critical thinking, confidence, and their social and communication skills. Each child learns at their individual level and each adult supports their specific needs and interests at that moment, which enables them to achieve the deepest engagement and learning. Through intentional pedagogy children make the quickest progress in their learning and development, and develop positive attitudes towards learning.  If you have any questions, please see your child’s key person.

Our Vision and Aims

We aim to continue to be an Outstanding preschool which welcomes and values every child in our care, and their family, so that each individual can learn, develop and achieve to their full potential. We work to promote equality and we value diversity.

We believe that children learn best through play and playful experiences, which are self-chosen and open-ended. We provide a safe, stimulating and caring environment in which children learn the dispositions and attitudes which are needed in order to become effective communicators, and competent, creative, independent and reflective learners. We have high expectations of all our children, and challenge them to achieve to the very best of their ability. We aim to involve all parents and carers as partners in helping each child to learn and develop.



 "Arrangements for safeguarding are effective. Staff know their roles and responsibilities to keep children safe. They update their knowledge through regular safeguarding training and know how to report any concerns regarding the welfare of children and their families."  Ofsted May 16


  Our Ofsted report in May 16 can be seen on

For further information please telephone us on 07952 963186 or email at

For details of session times and charges, please see the information page in the About Us section. 

To find out more about what children do at Acorns, please see our weekly blog page.


Brochures and registration forms now available by email.

For information about our Safeguarding Children Policy see 'Further Information'.

See Special Educational Needs page for our Local Offer.