Little Denes Nursery

Children can start in our teacher-led nursery class from the term that they are 2 years of age. Full time or part time places are available from 8.45am until 3.45 pm.

15 and 30 hours Early Years funding is accepted.

In Little Denes our main focus is to encourage the children to become active learners through playing and exploring and through creating and thinking critically about their own work and ideas, in readiness for school. All parents are encouraged to be involved in their child’s learning and to take an active role both at home and in Little Denes therefore aiding a smooth transition to school.


In Reception we build on the strong learning foundations established in Little Denes by continuing the progression through the expectations of the EYFS statutory framework and working towards the Early Learning Goals.  All teaching staff deliver an EYFS curriculum through immersion in high quality teaching alongside an enriched environment. Our philosophy is to nurture every child’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, developing both skills and confidence as they take their first steps on their own unique journey of lifelong learning.   

The intent for our children is to enter the next stage of their education ready to tackle new challenges with confidence and a positive mindset. We endeavour to engage our pupils in a stimulating environment led by the children yet carefully organised and managed by adults in order to provide a curriculum responsive to individual starting points and needs. We support our children to take the lead in their own learning, encouraging confidence to explore new ideas, think about problems, take risks, make links and seek challenges. Provision is underpinned by a complementary relationship between adult led, adult-initiated and child led learning. Utilising both the inside and outside areas the EYFS team develop high levels of engagement, curiosity, collaboration and cooperation. Our intent is to guide children to become highly adept at managing their own behaviour in the classroom and in social situations, learning to express themselves with confidence in a meaningful way whilst respecting the opinions and values of themselves and others

At Wellesley Haddon Dene we follow the statutory Early Years Framework and every child has their own Learning Journal to document the progress they make through the year.  Observation forms a fundamental aspect of the pedagogy of EYFS at Wellesley Haddon Dene. Observation and responding to children’s thinking informs our planning of experiences and opportunities, how we create our environment for thinking, the strategies the adults use to extend learning (modelling, scaffolding, questioning, discussion, shared sustained thinking) and how we capitalise knowledge of children’s interests to ensure high levels of engagement. All adults record ‘Wow!’ moments – when a child does or says something that demonstrates progress or skill in a particular area. In addition to the continuous cycle of observation and formative assessment which informs each child’s next steps, summative assessments are carried out for phonic development and an assessment of each child’s stage of development for each of the 7 areas of learning. These take place termly and inform planning of subsequent teaching and learning.

Towards the end of Reception year, we work closely with Year 1 to ensure children are prepared for the transition to Key Stage One and that this is as comfortable for them as possible. It will be a key priority to ensure all children make a seamless transition from EYFS to Key Stage 1.  

Years 1 & 2

In Year 1, we start to increase the independence of the children whilst maintaining similar routines to Reception. We follow the National Curriculum and the children start to work more formally in set lessons for all subjects enabling them to get used to writing at length and thinking more independently. Reading, phonics, writing and understanding of mathematics are prioritised to allow children to have the best possible start to their academic journey in Key Stage 1. Outside of the core subjects, children start their discrete learning of Science, Geography, History, RE, PSHE and Computing in separate lessons every week. They also continue to enjoy specialist teaching in Art, Music, Drama, PE, French and Swimming lessons as part of an extra-curricular program of learning. 

We use both summative and formative assessments to check progress and identify any gaps in learning. Towards the end of Year 1, we work closely with Year 2 to ensure a smooth transition for September. 

By the time they get to Year 2, children have developed a wide range of core skills across all curriculum areas.  The priority for Year 2 is to start extending those skills so that children are demonstrating how they can transfer knowledge and skills across subject areas and show much greater independence in their approach to learning. They will have strengthened their ability to reflect on their work, learning from mistakes. Year 2 children are encouraged to be independent thinkers and decision makers and we strive to inspire and nurture all their talents.  Literacy and Numeracy are paramount to a child’s education and it is the approach to these subjects that determines learning success and the enjoyment for our pupils. Throughout the Pre-Prep department this is through the use of creative, cross-curricular topics that will fire the imagination and give opportunity to use real life tools.  The curriculum is broad, balanced and engaging, offering depth and challenge. Differentiation is crucial and, therefore, embedded into every key subject.. All Pre-Prep children eat meals together, with their teachers, in the main dining hall. As well as swimming and PE, the children in Years 1 & 2 begin coaching in the team sports of rugby, football, hockey and cricket.Children can take advantage of the Prep School activities programme including individual music tuition, golf, tennis, riding, Code Kids and swimming.

Contact Us

For any further information or answers to questions you might have, please don’t hesitate to contact us