Thursday 28 May 2020

Returning to nursery

So everyone, I hope you'll excuse the hurried writing of this blog. What with DFE advice coming in the middle of a bank holiday weekend and trying to get a short break before June, this has been yet another strange and difficult week. 

I am really privileged to lead a great team at Sheringham Nursery School and Children's Centre. 

Here's what we're doing about our re-opening. I'm sharing our information freely. Please let me know if you find it useful. But also, please let me know if you think it could be made better, or if you think anything is wrong. No-one has the monopoly of wisdom here. 

We know our young children can't learn to 'social distance' - to be honest, I would be worried if they could learn that. It would go against every grain of being two, three or four years old. So our way of minimising risks is through the 'bubbles', and careful cleaning and management of the spaces. We will continue to play with our children. We will continue to give them hugs and cuddles. If they fall over and hurt themselves, we'll be there with loving care. Our usual First Aid and other protocols are still in place to prevent any kinds of infections spreading. 

Here's how we are explaining this to families

Our general approach is that we are using three separate areas of the nursery school for three groups, or 'bubbles'. The bubbles will consist of up to 16 children in the morning and the same again in the afternoon. Most of our children are part time.

Children and adults won't mix between these bubbles.

We've staggered our drop-off times and pick up times. Where we can, these will now take place out in the garden.

Here's how we've explained that to families:

We're very aware of the children's social and emotional needs. Returning to nursery is going to be great for some - at last, a chance to see my friends and my key person! But for others, it might be distressing and difficult. I'm going to be sharing some thoughts about that as soon as I can. 

Where possible, we are keeping every child with their key person. Where that isn't possible, children will be with a member of staff they know well. We have colour coded that so we can see quickly that we have managed a good balance across our groups - so that there is a 'core' of children with their key person to give a sense of security and calm. 

Finally, we've listened to the voices of the parents who have been using our provision throughout the lockdown period. We've learnt a huge amount from them. They've been patient with us as we have 'road tested' different approaches and they've helped us to improve our Operational Plan. 

Here are some of things which parents have told us:

More on what we're doing:


  1. This is very helpful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you, useful and informative.

  3. Hello Julian,
    Sensible advice and similar to what we are doing. We have stayed open throughout and we too have three bubbles and are operating a full EYFS curriculum. Nothing is banned, however we have thought creatively how to minimise risk. So we still have sand, water, dough, sensory play, mark making, cooking etc and fingers crossed it's going well. What children need right now is for nursery to be as normal as possible and I think we have achieved this, whilst still be safe and reducing risk.

    Children's House Nursery School