School Logo


Welcome to Nursery

We provide an adventurous, outdoor-based, experience-rich setting. We work with you and your child to ensure that they are happy and thriving in our nursery. We have frequent formal and informal meetings with parents to support all aspects of your child's development. The photos below will give you an idea of the type of exciting, hands-on play and learning that children enjoy in our nursery.

We work closely with the Reception class teaching team to prepare your child for their next steps. 

Our Nursery Goals

By the time they leave nursery, most children will be able to…

1 Complete four laps of the big playground.

2 Make playdough following a recipe card.

3 Send a message to a friend and “sign” it.

4 Re-tell a story using key story telling vocabulary.

5 Enjoy Quiet Time and be able to express how they are feeling.

6 Identify the common birds and flowers in our nursery garden.

7 Make a model independently.

8 Climb the cargo net.


Meet the Team

We are fortunate to have a very enthusiastic and experienced nursery team.
Mrs Hawthorne (class teacher) Monday - Thursday

Mrs Gratwick (HLTA)Monday - Friday 

Mrs Rees (TA) - Monday to Friday 

Miss Kelly (TA) - Fridays



Our Approach

At Cherry Hinton Nursery we want children to be happy and engaged.  We are fortunate to have an expansive nursery garden and a wooded Nature Land where the children can learn through uninterrupted self-chosen play. We believe that most children feel happier and more open to talk when they are outdoors in a natural environment.  In our nursery garden the children can play with sand, mud, water and sticks.  We actively encourage them to build dens and take measured risks. We carefully introduce open fires into our forest-school inspired play and regularly enjoy building bonfires and cooking over open flames. The children are encouraged to observe and name the trees, plants, birds and bugs in our garden and to notice the seasonal changes outside. 

 We have regular visitors to nursery – including musicians, pet owners, artists, craftsmen and women and people who work in the community (postal workers, firefighters, police officers). We also take the children on trips into the local area e.g. to the baker, church, allotments, library, supermarket.

We are proud to serve a diverse community.  We have many different  languages spoken in our setting. We encourage language development through visual support and Makaton signing.

We welcome you to our nursery and hope your child will enjoy a happy and creative time here!


We are very lucky to have a specialist PE teacher, Mr Chris. He delivers EYFS tailored lessons every Tuesday at 9am covering areas such as ball skills, balance and team work. 

We focus on several class books and rhymes every term. In the summer term we will be enjoying some traditional tales including:  The Little Red Hen and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We will be learning rhymes including “Chook, Chook Chook-Chook-Chook” and   “When Goldilocks Went to the House of the Bears.” 



We love our nursery. Our parents love it too! This is what they say...

"Very kind teachers and staff helpful with all my child's needs."

"I love this [outdoor] approach. It leads to loads of formal learning i.e. counting, initial phonic sounds, exploration of the world and investigation of properties of objects and processes."

"We love the fact that our child is able to learn life skills like fire making, problem solving, exercise and academic support."

"So friendly, children love it! Thank you!"

"We love the atmosphere and ethos of the nursery...there is so much outdoor imaginative play and focus on nature, exercise, meditation, healthy eating and being given the freedom to develop interpersonal skills and increasing confidence and independence."

"I think this nursery is simply fantastic and I'm glad our daughter is coming here."

"Excellent learning and child-centred teaching. Friendly staff and a very happy child."

Our Favourite Activities in Early Years

Helicopter stories

Every week we take part in helicopter stories, this is where the children write their own stories. These are scribed by an adult before all the children help to bring their stories to life by acting them out:

“Helicopter stories is tried, tested and proven to have a significant impact on children’s literacy and communication skills, their confidence and social and emotional development.” Trisha Lee

 Dough Disco

What is dough disco?

Dough disco involves moulding play dough in time to music and performing different actions such as rolling it into a ball, flattening it, putting each individual finger into the dough, rolling it into a sausage and squeezing it.

Why do dough disco?

This activity helps to strengthen children’s fine motor muscles to enable them to develop their pencil grip which in turn will help to develop their writing skills. But most of all it’s fun!

What do you need to do a dough disco?

  • Music – any song will do! We have had Abba, Frozen, Musicals and TV themes to name a few of our favourites.
  • Dough – You can buy pots of dough or make your own with your child. See the recipe below.
  • A set of moves – These can be done in any order and you don’t need to include them all.

What are the dough disco moves?

  • squeeze it
  • roll it into a ball
  • roll it into a sausage
  • poke it
  • flatten it
  • pinch it

Here’s a simple recipe for you to make play dough at home:


  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • Half a cup of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Food colouring (optional)


  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a saucepan. Stir the mixture over a low heat until it comes away from the sides of the pan.
  2. Tip the dough out and leave it to cool slightly.
  3. Store the play dough in an air-tight container or plastic bag and let your child use it every day (it should keep for about a week).

Here is a link to a video that shows how to do dough disco:



Squiggle Whilst You Wiggle

Squiggle whilst you Wiggle is a kinaesthetic approach to stimulate early writing. It encourages children to focus on making large scale movements to music. The children then mirror these movements using pens on paper. It is the first stage in handwriting practice delivered in a super fun, lively way and it has been shown to increase handwriting confidence and progress.


Scribble and Drawing Club

Scribble club in Nursery is an amazing way to explore early drawing and mark making through scribbling.  The children invent their own magical adventures and take us to many magical places such as treasure island where the pirates are hunting for all the jewels or to unicorn world where unicorns and mermaids play together.

In Reception the children explore drawing club through the magic of stories.  They are immersed in new vocabulary and are inspired to draw pictures and messages based on stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Not Now Bernard and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.



We enjoy exploring numbers and numerical patterns through play.  The children enjoy counting activities every day and are learning how to subitise numbers.

What is subitising?  (A parent’s guide to subitising is in the documents below.)

Subitising is the ability to instantaneously recognise the number of objects in a small group without the need to count them.  An example often used to explain this, is to think of a die – we immediately recognise the number of dots without having to count each one individually. 


Talking Time

We know how important talking is in EYFS. We try to ignite children’s interest and encourage them to talk, inspired by objects brought in from home or by staff. They enjoy sharing their special things and hearing about others’ treasures which sparks great conversation.

In Reception we have a toy who takes turns to visit each child at home and the children love to recount what adventures they have had together.

Availability of Nursery places

Children can join the nursery in the term after their 3rd birthday  All 3 and 4 year olds have access to the ‘universal entitlement’ of 15 free hours of nursery education. Working parents of 3 and 4 year olds may also have access to the ‘extended’ entitlement of 30 free hours of nursery education.

If you would like to be on a waiting list please contact the school office.

If you are interested in a place from Sept 2024 please call the school office 01223 568834 

Further information about extended entitlement is available from the Council’s website: hours-childcare-for-working-parents/

Developing Hand strength

 Many skills are required to develop an efficient pencil grasp. These include the ability to move fingers in isolation of each other, adequate hand muscle strength, & good wrist stability.


  • Encourage your child to pop bubble wrap using the whole hand and individual fingers
  • Use dough to “work out” fingers and the whole hand. Encourage your child to squeeze, poke with individual fingers and thumbs, roll and pat the dough with the whole hand
  • Place dough in rubber/latex glove, encouraging your child to manipulate and squeeze the gloves
  • Add shaving foam and food colouring to a zip lock bag, encouraging your child to make marks and patterns by using the flat of the hand  and individual fingers
  • Encourage your child to pour water using a small jug, plastic bottles and watering cans

Oral Hygiene

Our Nursery Day