Haltwhistle Academy Nursery

Who are we?



Session Times

Morning Session 8.45am -11.45am

Dinner: 11.45-12.15 (Lunch is served in the hall supported by members of staff from Early Years)

Afternoon Session: 12.15pm-3.15pm

Our learning

Our learning is delivered through play and the staff valuing the importance of play in developing independent and effective learning.

Although we will run with an overarching theme from our Cornerstones curriculum we alter and adapt on a daily, minute by minute basis depending on the individual needs of the children in the class. What we aim to achieve:

  • Allow child initiated, real time, learning through play based on capturing the interest of the children.
  • Children have a natural desire to explore and learn. Practitioners can support them in doing this by creating an enabling environment and using quality interactions.

 ‘Teachable Moments’

Teachable moments are about recognising that children often learn in an unconscious way during casual or less formal interactions. Within this style of teaching, we are looking for opportunities to allow learning to take place through child initiated play. We carefully observe and assess whether children require adults to jump into the play or whether this would disrupt the child’s level of engagement. It is a careful balancing act.

What we do:

We provide opportunities and environments that stimulate curiosity.

* We observe and listen closely and take the child’s lead

* We pick up on things that have sparked the child’s interests.

*We use open ended questions

* We praise and reinforce positive learning experiences

Alongside these times we have some small group sessions with key workers, we ensure a balance over the week to ensure all children access a broad and balanced curriculum. These cover:
Launchpad to Literacy

People often think that reading begins with learning to sound out letters. However, children are learning to read long before they learn that letters are representations of sounds. Reading actually starts with children ‘tuning in’ to the sounds of spoken words, developing their listening skills and ability to differentiate between different sounds. We practice these skills throughout the school day through our play and exploring together.


Number Fun

The children love the songs and rhymes that we use to develop early concepts of number and counting. We use a range of resources to support and you can often hear the children singing these at home.

Early language Storytelling

We use a range of core texts to inspire and develop the children’s love of stories and books. We act out, retell, sequence and become fully immersed in the stories we read so that the children can develop their love of reading and imagination.

Dough Disco/Squiggle While You Wiggle

This a physical input whereby the children use their whole bodies to create marks and develop control and coordination for later handwriting skills.

How do we record learning?

We use an online system called Evidence me (similar to tapestry that is used at our pre-school settings).  We value your contribution to this and are keen to develop the two way communication between home and school. We plan the classroom provision around your child’s interests and learning styles/schemas that we have observed or through parent contributions from home. We have a folder within the classroom where you can add photos, experiences and interests as well as the online journal. The children love looking back at past experiences and sharing these with adults and friends in the classroom.

What your child needs:


  • Sky Blue polo top
  • Navy school jumper of cardigan.
  • Any trousers/skirts that are easy to pull up and down to support the children to be as independent as possible when using the toilet.

School jumpers can be purchased from https://emblematic.co.uk/schools/hwa./

-Spare change of clothes

-Suitable clothing for outdoor play- caps when it is sunny, woolly hats and gloves for the colder days.


 (Please make sure everything is named- continue to check that the names haven’t worn off as the year has progressed.)

In school we have aprons in the craft area and all in ones for outside, we do have some spare sets of wellies as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Use the tabs below to find answers to  our  most frequently asked questions.

If your child is staying all day they will have dinner in the hall between 11.45am and 12.15pm. This is supported by members of the Early Years team who serve them and support with the social aspect of the dinner time routine and developing their skills to use cutlery. Dinner money is payable in advance either by cash in a sealed envelope with your child’s name on the front or online via parent pay. (Parent Pay accounts will be set up once your child is registered on the school system) Dinner is £2 per day. If your child meets certain criteria they may be entitled to Free School Meals. If at any point you think you might be eligible please contact the school office. Free school meals cannot be backdated.

Pupil Premium

The pupil premium grant is funding provided to schools to help all pupils reach their full potential, regardless of their background or financial situation.

Pupils may be eligible if they:

  • Are registered for free school meals
  • Have been registered for free school meals at any point since May 2010
  • Are, or have been, in care
  • Have parents in the armed forces

 If you think you may be entitled to pupil premium please let us know.

In previous years pupil premium has been used to provide a range of interventions aimed at a specific need, to go to tiny tumbles at the leisure centre and to provide resources for specific groups of children.  More information can be found on the school website.


If you accept the funding to access 15hrs or up to 30hrs and wish them to be delivered by our setting, we have a duty of responsibility to ensure regular attendance. County guidance states that if a child is absent for more than 2 sessions we need to know why. Please contact us on 01434 320467.

Communication with Home

To reduce the amount of paper that we use in school, we have a range of methods to communicate with you including; text messages, Facebook and the school website. Please make sure that the office staff have the correct mobile number and email address for you to make sure you are kept up to date with all events.  

You can also download the My ed app from either playstore for android phones or App store for Apple. It really is a great way to keep in touch with everyday school information. If you would like more information Please watch the video at the following:


Special Educational Needs

The key workers are very experienced practitioners and deliver a high standard of teaching through first hand experiences. They are continually observing and assessing the children through their engagement, motivation and thinking throughout the nursery session. Achievements are recorded using the Early Years Foundation Stage guidance enabling the staff to see if the children are making progress in line with age related expectations. The progress of the children is monitored on a regular basis. From this monitoring process staff bring any concerns to the SENCO.  Parents will be informed of any concerns and any additional support that is deemed necessary. We pride ourselves on establishing excellent partnerships with parents and all lines of communication are encouraged. If you have any concerns about your child please contact the school SENCO which is Sarah Banks, if we can’t offer you the right support we will point you in the right direction of further support you can access.

Staff have a range of training to support pupils including; Lego therapy, Talkboost, Early Talkboost, phonics, Level 1-3 Awareness and support for pupils with ASD, ELKLAN (speech therapy) training. For more information on SEN please see SEN information report on the school website.


If you have any concerns regarding a child please raise these with any member of school staff.

The designated members of staff responsible for safeguarding are:

Susie Drake ( Headteacher)

Sarah Banks (Assistant Headteacher)

Thank you for taking the time to look through this information. If you would like any further information please get in touch either by phone 01434 320467 or email  haltwhistle@wiseacademies.co.uk