Acorns Nursery School

Last updated: 04/03/2024

The Acorns Nursery School is a small setting owned by a charity, and it originally opened in 1984. It operates from a converted house situated in a residential area of Calcot in Berkshire. Acorns Nursery School is unique in that it has 3 Primary School teachers on its staff, together with fully qualified and experienced Nursery Nurses. This means that we are able to prepare children very successfully for starting school. Children have access to the four large rooms on the ground floor, a patio for ride on toys, and a large enclosed garden. Our unique "home from home" setting is very beneficial for young children, who enjoy the variety and "cosiness" of our premises.

A maximum of 24 children in the mornings,  and 18 children in the afternoons, can attend Acorns Nursery School. Acorns accepts children between the age of2 years old and 5 years old. The nursery opens five days a week (excluding Friday afternoons) from 9.15 am to 3.45pm during term time only and offers sessional care.

We enjoy creating a caring and creative environment where learning and fun go hand in hand! One of our aims is to establish good relationships with both the children, and their families and carers. We have often been able to give help and advice to parents and carers when there has been a need. Acorns holds open afternoons regularly for interested families to join us for an afternoon of play and fun. We also give talks for parents about subjects such as, the importance of Nursery Rhymes, how to prepare your child for school and how to encourage your child to eat healthily.

Acorns Nursery school welcomes children from the local community, and all surrounding areas. Acorns Nursery School has a Christian ethos (whilst also welcoming other faiths) and values good manners and positive social interaction and behaviour. Our staff are always available to talk to parents at drop off, and pick up times.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Jane Mitchell-Baker
Contact Position
07703 102805
Acorns Nursery

Our Facebook site shows regular photos and updates of what we have been doing that week at Nursery. We also use the Tapestry software system so that Parents can see what their child has been doing during the week, and be kept up to date with their progress.

Where to go

Acorns Nursery School
St. Birinus House,
Empress Road
RG31 4QX

Acorns Nursery school is located in what was a family home but has been specially adapted for use as a preschool with child sized toilets and wash basins. It is a "home from home" for children  and has a variety of activities in separate rooms, rather than being in a large echoing hall. This helps children when developing language skills as it is not noisy. Children are able to move from one room to another as they wish. Children settle into Acorns readily as the environment is so similar to what they are used to.

Outside we have a Wendy house, mud kitchen, a large climbing frame, a covered area so that we can play outside whatever the weather. The garden is large with plenty of scope for play, we also have a patio area for bikes, scooters and ride on toys! 

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£6.50 per hour accessed above the 15 or 30 hrs funding.


Age Ranges

Age Range Notes

From 2 years 6 months to 5 years 0 months

Other notes

Acorns Nursery School is unique in having 3 fully qualified primary school teachers and 4 fully qualified and experienced Nursery Nurses on our staff. All of our staff have had their own children so understand how precious each individual child is. 

We seek to enable each child to develop their potential and to have a happy and successful time during their attendance at Acorns. We have been able to help children who have had to leave other early years settings owing to various difficulties to enjoy their time with us and move on to school with success. 

Parents have given us testimonials as to how happy they, and their child, have been during their time with us, and that they would always recommend us to their friends and neighbours.

We have developed positive relationships with many local schools including - Calcot Primary school, Birch Copse Primary school, St Paul's Primary School, Park Lane Primary school, Downsway Primary, Westwood Farm Primary school and Englefield Primary School. Teachers regularly comment on how well Acorns Nursery School make the transition to learning at school.

Inclusion Information

Dietary Needs

Has Provision

Childcare Information


Immediate vacancies
1 vacancy for 3 and 4 year olds, limited sessions at the moment - currently (January 2024) 4 vacancies for 2 year olds - currently (January 2024)
Date updated
Vacancy range(s)
Vacancy range(s)
PlacesStart AgeEnd Age
1 2 2
2 3 5

Funded Places

3 & 4 year old funding
2 year old funding

30 Hours Extended Entitlements

Are you intending to provide 30 Hours?
Are you registered to provide 30 Hours?
30 Hour Partner Summary
We work in co-operation with local childminders in order to provide wrap around care.

Waiting List

Do you have a waiting list?

Opening Times & Facilities

Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 09:15 12;15
Monday 13:15 15:45
Monday 09:15 15:45
Tuesday 09:15 12:15
Tuesday 13:15 15:45
Tuesday 09.15 15.45
Wednesday 09.15 12.15
Wednesday 13.15 15:45
Wednesday 9:15 15:45
Thursday 09:15 12:15
Thursday 13:15 15:45
Thursday 09:15 15:45
Friday 09:15 12:15
Friday 12:15 13:15

School Pickups

Offers pickups

Ofsted Information

Ofsted URN
Link to latest ofsted inspection report 
Inspection history
Inspection History
Inspection DateInspection typeInspection Outcome
25/02/2019Re-inspection (Early Years Register)Good
16/03/2018Re-inspection (Early Years Register)Requires Improvement
20/09/2017Inspection (Early Years Register)Inadequate

Local Offer


The Acorns Nursery School is a charity owned provision which opened in 1984. It operates from domestic premises situated in a residential area of Calcot in Berkshire. Children have access to the ground floor and a large enclosed garden.
A maximum of 24 children between two and five years of age may attend at any one time. The nursery opens five days a week during term time only and offers sessional care. The nursery school serves families from the local community and surrounding areas. Acorns Nursery School has a Christian ethos (whilst also welcoming other faiths) and values good manners and positive social interaction and behaviour.

Contact Name
Jane Mitchell-Baker
Contact Telephone
0118 9420475
Contact Email
Recent Ofsted report March 2019
SEN Provision Type
Medical, Specific Literacy Difficulties, Speech & Language Difficulties, Behavioural, Emotional & Social Difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Physical Disability, Hearing Impairment, Moderate Learning Difficulties, Visual Impairment
Local Offer Age Bands
1 to 4
Needs Level

Early Years Private, Voluntary & Independent Settings

1: How does the setting identify children with additional needs or SEND?

 A child is described as having special educational needs or difficulties (SEND) if:

“They have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special education provision to be made for him or her.”
Acorns Nursery staff identify children with additional needs by:

• Careful observation of each child and noting their behaviour, speech, play and interaction with others.
• Referring to the average developmental stages for their age and noting any differences.
• Discussion with parents both by appointment half termly and as concerns arise.
• Co-operation with other professionals e.g. health visitor, speech therapist, etc.

2: How will I be informed / consulted about the ways in which my child is being supported?

Acorns policy is to:
• Tell parents if we are making special provision for their child
• Staff give parents regular updates regarding their child’s progress in different areas.
•  Acorns will advise parents regarding individual targets which have been set for their child.

3: How will the setting adapt the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum for my child's needs?

Acorns Nursery school has experienced staff who are proficient in adapting the EYFS curriculum to meet the needs of individual children.
We will set smaller steps for children in areas of difficulty e.g. speech and language. We focus on building up the child’s vocabulary and understanding.
We differentiate the curriculum to cater for the needs of the individual child and set targets accordingly for that individual.

4: What teaching strategies does the setting use for children with additional needs or learning difficulties?

We can help your child by using a wide variety of different methods, for example by using:
•  visual timetables (pictures which show what activities are happening when).
• photos and written signs for different toys and activities.
•  simple hand gestures and signs.
•  social stories (a story which features the child and a situation they may find difficult, with strategies to help them cope).
•  PECS : A system designed to help children who have problems with spoken language.
• Regular routines which are adhered to.
• Simple instructions are given to children as required. 
• Health professional support is also sought to cater for any medical needs.
• Small “nurture” groups for children to work with adults.
•  Modelling social skills, positive behaviour and clear communication for children to copy.

5: What additional support does the setting provide for children with additional needs or SEND?

Acorns supplies:

  • 1:1 support (an adult who works on an individual basis with a child). 
  • Referrals can be made to other professional bodies.
  •  Acorns staff are experienced in working with various specialists where necessary.
  • SAPP (Support and Achievement Play Plan) will be written in consultation with parents.
  • Physical aids, special toys can be provided as appropriate.
  • Special needs children work in “nurture” groups with an adult and other children.
  • Acorns Nursery has a higher staff to child ratio than many other settings.
  • Our staff are very experienced and qualified to a high level.
6: How will the setting monitor my child's progress and how will I be involved in this?

Our staff do this through different methods:
• Ongoing observations and individual progress records for each child.
• Programmes and targets tailored to the individual child are reviewed in weekly staff meetings with all staff.
• Consultations with other professionals where appropriate.
• Regular updates with parents.
•  Regular reviews of  each child’s progress.

7: How do you ensure children with additional needs or SEND can be included in the same activities as other children, including trips?

Acorns Nursery school seeks to ensure each child can access every area of the curriculum and every activity being provided. This is done by:
• 1:1 support for SEND children means an adult is available to provide additional help when needed.
• The Nursery provides physical aids, pictorial signs, behaviour support, visual clues and SMART (small, measurable and achievable) targets.
•  Risk assessments of trip locations are carried out to make sure there is provision for children with additional needs/SEN/mobility issues.

8: How accessible is the building for children with mobility difficulties / wheelchair users?

 Acorns Nursery is  situated in a private home but has a wheelchair-accessible toilet.

9: How will you support my child's transition to a new setting or school?

 Moving to a new setting is a big step and we will help your child with this through providing:
• Supported visits where nursery staff accompany the children on visits to the new setting.
• Visits by the new teachers to meet the child at Acorns nursery.
•  Visual record, i.e. photos of the new setting and staff which can be used to talk through the move to the new setting with the child.
• Additional visits can be arranged if needed.
• Meetings can be held including parents, Acorns staff and staff from the new setting. to consult in detail about the child’s needs.

10: How does the setting assess the overall effectiveness of its SEN provision and how can parents / carers take part in this evaluation?

Acorns monitors how effective the SEN provision is by:

  • Weekly meetings where all staff review the progress individual children are making measured against their targets.
  • Ongoing discussions with parents about their child and seeking their views.
  • Discussions with other professionals involved to assess progress.
  • SMART targets set are regularly updated and amended when needed.
  •  Acorns has often received positive feedback from other professionals concerning the work done with SEND children.
11: Who should I contact if I am considering registering for a place at the setting?

Acorns is happy to receive a phone call on 0118 9420475 initially:

  • Parents and carers are welcome to view the setting.
12: What arrangements does the setting have for feedback from parents / carers, including compliments and complaints?

Acorns receives regular feedback from parents/carers by:

  • Informal chats at drop off/pick up of children.
  • Letters/emails/phone calls are received to talk through any positive or negative issues.
  • We have a complaints policy which is detailed in our policy statement.
  • There is an accident and incident book where any concerns can be recorded.

Nursery has always been delighted to receive many letters and cards of thanks when children leave or transfer to new settings!

Quality checks

  • DBS check

West Berkshire Council do not promote or endorse any of the services listed in this Directory. For more information on this please read our disclaimer.

Back to top of page