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Lorenden Preparatory School - Nursery Unit

We have fantastic indoor spaces, and a large and exciting Early Years outdoor environment.

Children from Nursery up until Year 6 are all able to participate in the Forest School Curriculum which we are lucky to have enjoy in our extensive outdoor area and local Trustlands. 

Early Years have lunch with their teachers and Pre-Prep in the hall.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Nicola McIntosh
Contact Position
School Secretary
01795 590030

Where to go

Painters Forstal
ME13 0EN

When is it on?

When is childcare available
Term Time Only
Carescheme Age Range:
3 year(s), month(s) to 5 year(s), month(s)
Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 8:30 15:15
Tuesday 8:30 15:15
Wednesday 8:30 15:15
Thursday 8:30 15:15
Friday 8:30 15:15
Other Availability
After School Care is available from 3.15pm until 5.30pm for an additional charge.
Early birds is also available from 8:00am Mon-Fri for an additional charge.

Other Details

ECD Type
Nursery Unit of Independent School
Offers pickups
Cost details
Contact provider for cost details
3-4 Year Old Funding?
Total vacancies
Immediate vacancies?
Contact Provider for Vacancy Details?
Vacancy range
Vacancy Range
Start AgeEnd AgePlaces
3 5 10
Vacancy Information Last updated Date
Music, Literacy and Numeracy, Messy Play Area, Outdoor Adventure Play Area, Toys/dolls, Dressing Up, Nursery, Outdoor Activities, Environmental Area, Trike, Tv/video/dvd, Play House, Parks/playgrounds, Gym, Water Play, Games / Puzzles, Visits and Outings, Garden, Walks, Sandpit, Scooter, Reading, Languages, Books, Car Parking, Songs, Sleeping Area, Slide, Library - Children's Library, Climbing Frame, Stories, Sports
Languages Spoken:
Wheelchair Access

30 Hours Extended Entitlement

Registered to provide up to 30 hours entitlement
30 Hours Partner Details (These are details of any other childcare provider(s) that this provider will work with to offer the 30 hours entitlement)

Parents can access 15 hours of Free Early Education funding between the hours of 8.30am and 3.15am Monday - Friday. 

Service status


Local Offer


Please see the 12 questions below for details of our arrangements for SEN support.

Special Needs Support

Prior to joining Lorenden Nursery, families are invited to ‘Stay and Play’ sessions to familiarise themselves with the environment, the teachers and children who may also be in their new class. Parents have the opportunity to talk to the teachers and share any relevant information. If a family is unable to attend the ‘Stay and Play’ sessions, the Nursery staff will arrange a visit to the family home or other childcare setting.. Lorenden nursery staff liaise closely with the families of the children attending the provision. Staff are available at the start and end of the day, providing a way of sharing information and asking questions. Further meetings can also be requested, in addition to parents’ meetings, to discuss children’s progress and wellbeing. Regular observations (using Tapestry - an online learning journal) and assessments from key staff create a detailed, holistic understanding of the child, including strengths and areas which may require more support. The Nursery is a small setting and, with both staff members being full time, they grow to know the children extremely well. They are able to support each child as an individual, making sure that resources and activities available in the classroom and garden provide the opportunity to develop skills and challenge and stimulate learning. In Nursery we enjoy child-initiated topics, independent learning and teacher-directed activities covering all seven areas of the curriculum.

The SENDCo team is available to be part of the observation and discussion process. Lorenden attend the EY LIFT meetings, have access to the Equality and Inclusion Service, can request advice from Speech and Language and the Specialist Teaching Service as well as signposting to private methods of assessment. Training tailored to the needs of children within the school is sourced and both members of the SENDCo team have previously worked within specialist settings.

The Nursery teacher is Deputy Head of Early Years, and is the first point of contact. The small classes ensure a high level of supervision and support and the staff working with the children remain constant throughout the week. Any additional support that is provided, will be explained by the class lead and SENDCo team. When additional external support is sought, it will be with the consent of the family. Termly pupil progress meetings enable the school to track the progress being made and identify any areas which require additional support. There is a named trustee with SEND responsibility who meets with the SENDCo team. Parents receive a detailed report in December and July, covering the seven areas of the Early Years curriculum.

Each child is considered as an individual and all their strengths, areas for development and learning styles, as well as identified needs are taken into account. Regular observations by staff mean that the curriculum provision is closely tailored to meet next steps in a child’s learning. This information is shared with the Reception class teachers to ensure a secure transition to the child’s next year of learning. Tapestry is used to record and collate observations, highlighting any areas of learning which require further support. The classroom and garden are organised and set out in a way that makes all resources easily accessible to every child. Independent learning is highly valued and the teachers engage with each child on their chosen activities, observing their interests and ability before planning next steps.

We recognise every child as an individual with their own needs and interests. As a result, any child with specific learning difficulties or additional needs would be able to continue his/her learning journey by accessing their choice of activity in the same way as his/her friends. The classroom is extremely well organised and activities can be used in a variety of ways in order to challenge the child as he/she reaches the next stage of development.

A range of teaching strategies are used, in accordance with the learning that is taking place and the preferred learning style of an individual. Manipulatives, visual support, the development of fine and gross motor skills, opportunities to over learn and apply learning in new contexts, as well as including recommendations from any external agency reports are all a key part of planning. Next learning steps will be based upon where the child currently is; meeting them where they are. There is a large outside area, which children have access to daily, as well as a well resourced classroom.

Regular parents’ meetings, as well as the opportunity for additional meetings and daily handover chats will inform parents of the progress their child is making and how learning at home can support and tailor with the learning in school.

If further professional support is felt appropriate, staff will discuss this with parents and possible next steps will be explained and agreed. The school is developing the range of SEND resources which they hold, so these are available for trial, so parents can be informed of the specialist resources which are particularly beneficial for their child.

The school has a SEND policy, which encompasses the early years and nursery, which is agreed with the trustees. Individual education plans (IEPs) can be put in place for academic support, whilst Wellbeing support plans (WSPs) provide a clear plan when the challenge to accessing learning is of a different nature, e.g. anxiety or social, which can then lead to behaviour concerns such as avoidance. These WSPs help all staff to support children in a consistent manner, thus lessening the route to exclusions. 

Children are enabled to contribute their views through, ‘pupil voice’ meetings. Class spokespersons are elected and are responsible for gaining the views of their classes.

The team has a team that focus on the development of Wellbeing and Mental Health. We have a member of staff that is trained in, ‘Drawing and Talking’ as well as a SEND teacher that comes into the school to provide additional 1:1 sessions, when requested and funded by parents.

There is a SEND team in place, who liaise closely with class teachers, are part of the pupil progress review cycle and, work with outside agencies, support the updating of individual education plans and are available to meet with parents. We have a new Mental Health and Wellbeing team and one member of the team is Mental Health First Aid trained. 

The nursery is led by a fully qualified and experienced teacher and the TA is Level 6. Tapestry is used to record observations and evidence progress which is shared with the families using the secure site. Videos and photos are taken of the children as they play and learn and parents can share these images with their child at home, talking about the activities and their friends. Short notes are made describing the activity, its purpose when exploring a specific skill and recognising the personal, social and emotional development experienced. Parents/carers are able to add their own Tapestry observations of activities enjoyed at home so sharing more information with the Nursery staff about each child's particular interests and family events. Using the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and Characteristics of Effective Learning, parents/carers are informed of the outcomes and their child’s approach to learning. Nursery staff observe each child as they play and learn and next steps are discussed and put in place. Activities, set out in an organised and attractive way, are extended so skills are continually supported and able to develop. The nursery staff work alongside the SENDCo team. Private professional reports are read by all key members of staff and form part of the planning and assessment process. A SENDCo attends the early years LIFT meetings and the support of the Equality and Inclusion team can be requested.

The school benefits from three minibuses, which makes transportation to venues much easier and therefore potentially less worrying and stressful. It means that shorter, local trips can be carried out as a familiarisation process, before a whole day trip occurs. Additional adults, including any 1:1 support are always a part of trips. Pre trip risk assessments will take account of children’s additional needs and requirements and these are used to help decide upon the level of staffing required for a trip. Packed lunches are provided and children choose sandwich fillings etc beforehand so that everyone leaves knowing that they have food which they enjoy.

The school benefits from spacious grounds, as well as extensive ‘Trustlands’ bordering the grounds, which are used for Forest School sessions. The Nursery staff are paediatric first aid trained.

The nursery benefits from its own separate entrance to the school and is on the ground floor. There is an accessible entrance to the school grounds and ramps are available. The new build, containing KS1 classes and the school hall is entirely accessible, including a wheelchair accessible toilet. The extended Trustlands would not be completely accessible and, as the building is old, the upstairs rooms would not currently be accessible for a wheelchair user. Music sessions can be provided in an accessible room. Disabled parking is provided. Wherever possible, reasonable adjustments would be made to meet the needs of children, parents and staff.

Many families choose to make the transition from Nursery facilities to the Lorenden Reception class and then Pre - Prep. For these children, there are transition days, where they are able to meet their new teacher and become familiar with their new classroom. For those children whom it would especially benefit, additional transition opportunities can be put in place. During their time in Nursery, the children enjoy lessons and activities in other parts of the building and in the grounds so they are very familiar with the environment as well as other members of the school community. For children moving to a different setting (including those moving countries) assessments, strengths, areas for development and support strategies would be shared. Where SENDCo involvement had taken place a member of the Lorenden SENDCo team would contact the receiver school. When a child leaves Nursery to attend a new school for Reception, the Nursery teacher is able to speak to the  child’s new class teacher over the phone so has the opportunity to share any relevant information regarding abilities, progress and special educational needs prior to their joining the new setting.

Lorenden is currently rated as, ‘excellent’ by ISI. Our recent Regulatory Compliance ISI inspection, which included a SEND focus, continued to find the school compliant. Policies, including SEND, are reviewed annually and ratified by the trustees. The SENDCo team meet regularly with the SEND trustee. Pupil progress meetings monitor the progress of all children and Individual Education Plans (IEPs), Wellbeing Support Plans (WSPs), as well as access to SEND teacher provision ensure that both academic progress and learner wellbeing are fully monitored. This documentation is shared with parents and carers through meetings with the class teacher and SEND team.

At Lorenden we believe that happy children are able to learn best. We would therefore encourage you to contact the school office, as a first port of call, to arrange a visit to the school to meet the Head (Mr McIntosh) and see how the school runs. Any SEND questions can then be clarified during this visit. 

The Headteacher is available on the gate each morning, to welcome pupils and speak with parents. The school secretary, and other members of staff, can be contacted by telephone or email and meetings can be requested. A visitors book is available by the front door, where comments can be left and the complaints procedure is available on the school website. We have an open-door policy and encourage parents to give constructive feedback. We use the Tapestry app for communication between parents and school. Our complaints procedure is available to view on our website. Parents are also able to review the Nursery via the Day Nurseries website.


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