At Poplars we provide a safe, happy, healthy and stimulating environment in which the children are encouraged to develop their social, emotional, physical, intellectual and creative skills.

We are a privately owned, unique childcare nursery designed to meet the needs of families living and/or working in the Swindon area. It is conveniently located just off the A419 to the east of Swindon, near to the A420 and M4 junction 15.

The nursery is divided into separate areas for different age groups. Each room is well equipped with age appropriate toys indoors and outdoors, as well as nappy changing areas, sleep areas and toilet facilities. We are able to care for children from 3 months to 14 years old.

Within Poplars we have around 50 members of staff. This includes management, admin, maintenance, chef and kitchen staff, qualified staff and apprentices. The management team work together to ensure the smooth running of the nursery. All staff members are known by his or her first names, thus creating a warm, caring and friendly atmosphere. Our qualified members of staff hold a minimum of a NVQ Level 3 qualification, with others going up to their Level 6 BA Honours. We also employ apprentices, who gain the knowledge and experience they need to complete their qualifications. All staff holds a first aid certificate, basic food hygiene certificate and safeguarding, which are updated as legislation requires. Staff are actively encouraged to develop their own professional development through training.

OFSTED (Offices for Standards in Education) are the regulatory body for schools and childcare providers – they set out the education framework and the conduct inspections to ensure each provider meets the required standards. An OFSTED inspection can take place at any time and without notice. It is their role to ensure we are doing our job properly.
We don’t just want to meet the OFSTED national standard we. We want to exceed it. Links to the OFSTED reports for Poplars Day-care Nursery & Pre-School are below…

As a childcare provider, we must meet the criteria of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), which is defined by the Department of Education. This means following standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old. Children are competent learners from birth and relationships with caring adults playing an important role in their development. At Poplars we strive to ensure we have a diverse and stimulating environment to promote all areas of development. We have both child-led and adult-led activities to ensure all areas of development and all requirements of the EYFS are being met.

We have free-flow play to ensure children can access all areas of provision including indoors and outdoors and can also access resources themselves. This promotes independent thinking and also models good self-help skills and thinking skills. We are at the forefront of new ideas and initiatives and see each child as an individual on their own learning journey. Our effective assessments and planning cycle ensures all children’s needs are taken in to account and that they reach their full potential. When this is achieved, the child is school-ready and able to make an effective and smooth transition to the next stage of their learning journey.

We do observations of all the children, which are linked in to the learning journals. This is then used to develop planning and to help ensure we are applying all areas of the EYFS. The learning journal will be used to help chart the progress and development of your child. The learning journal has photos and key pieces of work as evidence and is also a keepsake for parents when they move on from Poplars.

Parents/carers are asked to fill in our ‘All about Me’ form regarding the child’s likes and dislikes and also a bit about their current stages of development and a baseline assessment. This gives us an indication of their progress at home, i.e. cruising with furniture, pedalling a tricycle, using a paintbrush etc. We also provide “WOW” sheets for you to let us know if your child has done something that has wowed you at home.

All children have a learning journal. These are updated regularly by their key-person and we encourage parents to look at their child’s learning journal at any time (please speak to your child’s key-person or manager to arrange this). These hold vital milestones that your children have such as crawling, first steps, using a spoon, and drawing with a pencil etc. This means both staff and parents can watch the child’s development and is also a lasting keepsake for years to come! Learning journals are regularly monitored and any concerns the key-person may have would be discussed with the Manager and the Special Needs Co-ordinators and a meeting will be called with parents at their earliest convenience. If we believe your child to need any extra support we will look to seek any additional support, with your knowledge.

In all room’s we operate a key-person system. This is to ensure continuous care and development of your child and to make it clear that parents have a point of contact for any concerns/questions. This is also to make sure children have a constant member of staff to feel comfortable and safe with upon transition into and through the setting. The decision of who will be the child’s key-person is based upon which member of staff the child or parent creates an initial strong bond with.

The children are grouped into self-contained units according to their age and developmental needs. Each unit has a Senior Nursery Nurse and they are assisted by qualified Nursery Nurses and Trainees.

Our units are as follows:

Baby Unit – We work on a 1:3 ratio.
Willows & Cherries 3 – 18 months

In the baby unit we are registered for 24 babies made up of two baby suites. The baby unit has a balcony; this allows the children access to free flow and fresh air whilst we manage the different sleeping routines of the babies.

The baby unit has separate kitchens, the milk kitchen for preparing bottles and the food kitchen for meals.

Each child has their own individual routine; this is completed where possible by the child’s keyperson. This will include sleep patterns, feeding routine, allergies etc. At the end of each day all parents of children up to 2 years of age will take home a ‘Daily record sheet’. This informs parents of what their child has done throughout the day, such as sleep, nappy changes, food eaten, and activities taken part in.
Any additional comments can be displayed on these as well such as, noticing that your child has a rash or has had a temperature etc. All these comments would also be discussed with parents upon collection of their child.

Toddler Unit
Maples room – 18 months – 2 years, we work on a 1:3 ratio
Oaks room – 2 -3 years, we work on a 1:4 ratio
Conkers room – 2 – 3 years, we work on a 1:4 ratio

Pre-school Unit – We work on a 1:8 ratio
Palms room – 3 – 5 years
Acorns – 3 – 5 years

All rooms include a rich variety of child & adult led activities and provision areas to cover all areas of the EYFS. There are also dedicated areas to sleep and quiet areas for your child to rest. Children in all rooms are actively encouraged to participate in activities within their environment. Our staff provide a wide range of activities for the children, including messy play, creative activities and outdoor play. So it is a good idea to send your child in wearing “Nursery clothes” because exploring can be messy!
All children have a learning journals. These are updated regularly by their key-person and can be viewed by parents at any time. These hold vital “milestones” that your children have such as crawling, walking, using a spoon, drawing with a pencil etc. This means both staff and parents can watch the child’s development and is also a lasting keepsake for years to come! Learning journals are regularly monitored and any concerns we may have would be discussed with the Manager and the child’s key-person and then between parents and the key-person/Manager at the earliest convenience. We also offer parents the opportunity to come to 2 parents evening each year.

Every room in the nursery can be outside in separate garden areas at the same time. We make sure all children have the opportunity to go outside at least once a day. We also love to explore in all kinds of weather so wellies, puddle suits, hats, coats and scarves are a good idea.

Within our 3 acres of land we are lucky to have a woodland area and a large paddock.

The woodland is an ideal place for the children to explore nature. We like to do bug hunts, tree climbing, den building and bear hunts in the woodland. The woodland also has a wooden playhouse and a fire pit for our woodland sessions. We have some forest school trained members of staff for planned sessions.

The paddock is a large green area. It has lots of provisions for physical activity and learning; a cycle track, wooden climbing frame for the older children and climbing equipment, a willow structure and wooden fort. The paddock also has covered outdoor learning zones, pagoda picnic, an outdoor flushing toilet and a shed full of outdoor equipment