About Lydalls

Lydalls Nursery School Handbook for Parents and Pupils

(Handbook Appendices)

Lydalls Nursery School Uniform (Optional)

Lydalls Nursery School is a Local Authority maintained nursery school, which has existed on its current site for over 70 years. The current building was opened in 1995 and it was further developed in 2001 to provide Daycare facilities for children aged 2-5. Lydalls Nursery School receives a regular full school Ofsted inspection.

What is a Maintained Nursery School and what makes them different?

A Maintained Nursery School is a local authority school that specialises in early years education. Like other schools, it is led by a Headteacher and a Governing Body with teaching and learning delivered by a team of teachers, nursery nurses and teaching assistants. Like all schools we are subject to regular rigorous Ofsted inspections. In a Maintained Nursery School the Headteacher and the teaching team are all early years specialists. This makes our provision very special indeed.

Children’s well-being and involvement is at the heart of our work. We use our deep understanding of how children learn to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and ensure that children make great progress from their starting points by using our assessments to plan for next steps in their learning.  Our knowledge of child development means that we think ‘stage’ rather than ‘age’. This means that we can support and challenge the wide range of children who we work with.

Maintained Nursery Schools also focus on developing and supporting children’s dispositions and attitudes to learning at a time when they are actively curious and questioning. Staff are highly skilled at extending children’s learning ‘in the moment’ by making a comment, asking an open ended question or offering an alternative point of view.

Maintained Nursery Schools place a great deal of emphasis on developing a high quality, stimulating environment for early learning, both indoors and outdoors, through play, problem solving and exploration. The environment and the Nursery routine is very carefully planned to provide a balance between child initiated and more structured, adult led learning. At Lydalls Nursery School we have invested very thoughtfully in fixed outdoor equipment that allows the children to challenge themselves physically in a carefully managed way. We have also created special areas inside, such as our sensory room and our book den. Pictures of the learning environment at Lydalls are regularly posted on our Facebook page.

There are six Maintained Nursery Schools in Oxfordshire and we work increasingly closely together. As specialists, we often lead and deliver training for colleagues in other settings across Oxfordshire. At Lydalls Nursery School we have particular expertise in speech, language and communication and literacy.

The Nursery School offers a funded education place for children from the term after their 3rd birthday until the term during which they turn 5 years of age. Children’s names may be placed on the waiting list for Nursery from their 2nd birthday. The Nursery provides 60 places per session. The Nursery is open from Monday to Friday during term time. Term Dates and Holidays are displayed in the entrance hall and on this website.

Children are offered a part time place of either 5 mornings or 5 afternoons per week for a total of 15 hours per week. We do not split the 15 hours universal entitlement with any other setting or provider. Limited additional sessions are available – breakfast club and lunch club, which are provided in an integrated way by our Chameleon Club. There is a charge for these sessions. If your child has taken up the 30 hours offer there are limited sessions available for breakfast club and a top-up charge for lunch time (11.45-12.45) will apply. You have the option of collecting your child and taking them home for lunch if you prefer.

There is no charge for Nursery School sessions, although we do request a weekly, voluntary donation of £1.50 to help purchase expendable resources.

We work closely with, and receive regular visits from a range of support agencies, including educational psychologists, speech and language therapists. Lydalls Nursery School works in partnership with local pre-schools and the Didcot Partnership of Schools. The Nursery is used as a training placement for teachers, nursery nurses and work experience students. We are also used as a model of good practice by the Local Authority. Parents and members of the local community are encouraged to come in to school to support our work.

“We are very grateful to all Lydalls Staff for making our child’s journey easy and joyful. She found her first friends here, she learned that playing with a friend is more joyful than playing alone” Parent Comment 2023

“I don’t think there would have been a better Nursery for him to live the experiences he had. Thank you to all the staff. You are amazing” Parent Comment 2023

“We are so grateful to everyone at Lydalls Nursery who have encouraged my child to be happy, confident and sociable. He leaves Lydalls with a great deal of Foundation knowledge which will without doubt shape his future learning at school and despite being the youngest in his peer group he is ready to tackle primary school with those children a full year older then him” Parent Comment 2023

“The reputation of Lydalls is amazing and it has not disappointed” Parent Comment 2023

“We are so lucky that we got a place in Lydalls” Parent Comment 2023

“Brilliant Nursery, family feel as soon as you walk in, very good reputation, excellent Forest School” Parent Comment 2023

“Lydalls was recommended by parents on Facebook. We had a choice between 2 nurseries and opting for Lydalls was the best thing that ever happened- I don’t think we’d have been as happy anywhere else” Parent Comment 2023

“Highly recommended. Children of family and friends have always left with confidence and a step ahead” Parent Comment 2023

“All my children have been here and we’re happy with the staff and what the nursery has to offer. Forest School has been amazing this year! Thank you for all the hard work” Parent Comment 2023

I looked around a lot of nurseries- Lydalls is the friendliest, safest and cleanest – I wouldn’t want my kids anywhere else!” Parent Comment 2023

I feel the nursery has a great ethos and strives to meet the needs of the children” Parent Comment 2023

“Office staff were extremely helpful and quick to respond to questions and emails” Parent Comment 2023

“My first draw towards Lydalls was how easy it was to enroll and how responsive the team was!” Parent Comment 2023

“My child settled in so well due to having stay and play sessions; it made a huge difference and I was able to feel more relaxed and calm knowing she knew who was going to be taking care of her” Parent Comment 2023

“We considered ourselves lucky that we got a place at Lydalls” Parent Comment 2023

“School and teachers are outstanding and very helpful” Parent Comment 2023

All Lydalls staff are friendly and more than helpful all the time! Always seems like they’re going above and beyond for you – nothing is too much trouble!” Parent Comment 2023

“It’s so lovely to see what my child has been doing at Nursery and to see photos and observe how happy the children are” Parent Comment 2023

“There is a wonderful range of things to do and play with. Forest School is brilliant too” Parent Comment 2023

“Nursery has been brilliant with my children and they have helped my eldest with his move to “big school” Parent Comment 2023

“My child always comes home excited to talk about his day at Lydalls” Parent Comment 2023



Our website will provide you with introductory information about our aims and values. They will explain how we work and how the children will learn during their time with us.

Additional information will be displayed in school, published on this website or sent home in Newsletters. At all times, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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