Our philosophy

Our Philosophy

Southernwood is a home away from home. The children play happily here and feel safe and secure. We aim to provide a stimulating and enriching environment that encourages the children to become independent and free thinking, creative, reflective and caring. Parents often comment on the homely environment where all the age groups are mixed and in which their children thrive. We believe that children learn through play, from each other and with the support and encouragement of skilled adults. We place equal emphasis on every area of development, caring for and nurturing the children as if they were our own. We prefer to spend time with the children, supporting their development, not constantly recording what we see but using our observations immediately and dynamically to then support their developing skills and talents. Their achievements are a real cause for celebration.

Working with parents

We feel that genuine partnership with parents is vital to a child’s success. We have a monthly newsletter to keep you updated on the latest and a parent information board that tells you what we are doing and what we are eating (very important!). We also send this out by email every week.

We share a child’s day through informal discussions and have more in-depth discussions each term during a parent consultation week and other key times such as the two and half year check. A weekly evening parent appointment session is also available if time is short during the day… We are as proud of your child’s achievements as you are!


Planning is done on a monthly basis and is in accordance with the foundation stage (EYFS) which is in preparation for school. Our planning is usually topic based and we send home a newsletter keeping parents informed of the following months planning. We also have an information board on the nursery wall where parents can seek more information.  Activities are done on a rotational basis so that every child, whenever they attend, will experience the full range of activities. All children, from the age of 2, take part in small group sessions daily which have a maths or language focus


We plan for a consistent child/adult ratio of 1:6. (1:4 for 2 year olds and 1:8 for older children) We employ highly qualified and skilled staff, who have many years of experience working with young children in a range of settings. Our experience includes working in a wide range of schools and early years/charity play settings and teaching children with special needs. All staff are DBS checked and first aid trained. Training is updated regularly and all staff have the opportunity to attend professional development workshops throughout the year.

Special Educational Needs and Disability

Our policy is to be inclusive and welcoming to all children no matter what our developmental or learning differences. Pippa has had over 20 years of experience in primary schools specialising in this area. We work in close partnership with all parents, and with other professionals if relevant, to achieve our agreed aims for all children.