The Learning Environment

Settling In

We believe that children flourish best when their personal, social and emotional needs are met and it is extremely important for a child to feel safe and secure in the Little Chestnuts environment. Before children start, we visit you at home. This is an opportunity to get to know your child in an environment where they feel comfortable.

We will then offer stay and play sessions and staggered starts at the beginning of term where:

  • We will start to build relationships with you and your child
  • You will be able to meet our team and your child’s teacher
  • The children will meet one another and explore the environment
  • We will be able to find out your child’s likes and dislikes
  • We can discuss any questions or concerns you may have

The Learning Environment

In Little Chestnuts we have two learning bases (Classroom and Garden) which children will be encouraged to move between throughout the day. Both areas have resources which encourage all areas of learning. The children have access to all resources and can self-select activities. The resources get refreshed per topic but they will always have opportunities for all areas of learning. 

Children are also able to access a separate kitchen for cooking activities with a member of staff, the school hall, the large playground, the adventure playground (with climbing frame), the eco-cabin and the school field.

Little Chestnuts Classroom

Inside the classroom there is a home corner, topic based role play area, sand/water area, creative area, puzzle corner and construction area. Within each area, there is wide variety of different resources. There is also a comfortable ‘reading den’ with a range of books and puppets for storytelling. The ‘tuff tray’ is refreshed daily with different sensory and malleable activities.

The Early Years Garden


This area is open during all activity times and regardless of weather conditions (unless conditions are unsafe).  All of the  opportunities offered inside are reflected on a different scale outside and include large scale building equipment. There is also a  ‘mud kitchen’ and a large gardening area where we grow our own fruit and vegetables throughout the year.


Your child will participate in PE sessions each week to develop gross-motor skills, strength and coordination.  We will advise you of which day PE takes place when your child starts.  All children come to school on their PE day wearing black jogging bottoms or leggings, a white or red polo shirt and school sweatshirt or cardigan.  School shoes should be worn and their plimsolls kept in the cloakroom.  Please ensure all of your child’s clothes are clearly marked with their name.

Cooking Sessions

Once a week we dedicate some time to following instructions and making a hot or cold dish, including looking at foods from different cultures. We hope this will promote and encourage children to use good communication skills, learn new exciting vocabulary as well as develop curiosity about new foods. It is essential that you keep us updated with any dietary changes or concerns.



At Little Chestnuts, we send home a selection of library books and reading books which get changed weekly.  When your child starts with us we will confirm with you which day they will change their book.  This book is to keep at home to share with your child. We use a range of books such as wordless picture books to encourage children to start talking about the characters, setting and what is happening, in their own words.  It helps to develop essential comprehension skills which will support all levels of reading.

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