Our Background

About us

Why choose us?

Outdoor Learning

Outdoors is where children will experience a sense of freedom, engage with the changing seasons and nature, and develop friendships.

Individualised Care

We focus on individual care and closely interact with every child, toys and activities are carefully selected to encourage and stimulate each child’s curiosity and development

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Skilled People

Friendly, highly qualified, with many years of experience in providing your child with the best nursery learning experience possible.

Friendly & Fun

We aim for your children to have fun and enjoy themselves while we teach them new skills.

The Core of our approach

The Orchard provides a homely atmosphere for children from the ages of 6 months to 5 years and takes pride in its exceptional standards of quality child-led education.

Set within private landscaped grounds, with the River Pang running through the picturesque surroundings and overlooking adjacent fields, The Orchard is a small setting based with a huge outdoor space to the rear and a separate, purpose built log cabin to provide a calm and homely learning environment for its younger age group.

We have two large fully enclosed and safe garden areas with access to the adjoining farmers field.

We are ofsted registered to take 24 children per day and we pride ourselves on our child initiated and  focused outdoor learning ethos.

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What, why & how we do it

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The orchard day nursery thatcham activities
childrens nursery school kindergarden activities thatcham
  • To provide high quality care and education for all children within our care.
  • To work in partnership with parents and external agencies to help and support your children to learn and develop at their own rate.
  • To prepare  your children thoroughly for their transition into primary school by promoting a high level of independence.

We are a privately owned day nursery open 8:00 am to 6pm daily offering both full year and term time only contracts.

We offer full day care to all children.

The Orchard offers learning opportunities through a variety of activities to co-ordinate with the EYFS curriculum such as;

  • Messy Play
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Role play
  • Letter and Sound activities
  • Puzzles
  • Cookery
  • Music and Movement
  • Imaginative Story telling
  • Heuristic Play
  • Physical Education

As a nursery our learning ethos is especially promoted within our outdoor learning environment.

The children can play and explore in our secure garden areas which have been designed to encourage children to engage in physical activity, along with discovering the natural environment and resources within the world around them.

To coincide with our outdoor learning ethos, we are lucky enough to own our own nursery minibus which takes our children out of the nursery to places of interest and we ensure that these excursions are based on child learning opportunities around their individual interest.

We visit local farms, parks, woods and nature reserves.

Nursery Care: 6 months – 2 years
Pre-School Care: 2 years – 5 years
Rockets Holiday Club – 5 years +

Full and part time nursery care with a child-centred approach to education is offered for children aged 10 months to 5 years.

Holiday Care is available for children throughout every school holiday.

We have a dedicated team of professionals with extensive experience of working with and educating children. Please get in touch with any queries or for an informal chat or to arrange a visit at any time convenient for you.

School Readiness means that a child is ready to enter a social environment that is primarily focused on education.

 Research suggests that many aspects of children’s lives influence their preparation for formal school learning, including intellectual, social, emotional and motor development and most importantly, early home and pre-school experiences.

 In deciding if a child is ‘ready for school’ all of these factors have to be considered, as well as schools willingness and ability to adjust to individual differences in young children’s development, personalities and backgrounds.

 There is much that you as a parent can do to give your child a good start to school life, helping him or her to meet new experiences with confidence and with an enquiring mind.

 Here at The Orchard Day Nursery independence is at the heart of our daily tasks and routines, when looking at school readiness, can your child:

– select their full name from a group
– wash and dry their hands independently
– Able to follow simple instructions

These are just to mention a few, As Parents, we recognise you as the first and most important educators of your children.  All Staff see themselves as partners with Parents in providing care and education for your child. There are many ways in which you can take part in your child’s learning journey, when you get to this point in your child’s development we will be here to support you.

As the owners of the nursery we have three grown up and successful children (and now our first Grandchild); all three of which have their own, unique way of expressing themselves and achieving their ‘Personal Best” everyday.

A great deal of the philosophy and approach we adopt at our nurseries is based on this experience.

Too often nurseries and Pre-schools only concentrate their time and effort on academic progress and a measurement of success that is cemented in “being the best”; not “being the best you can be”.

We focus attention on individual learning for each of the children entrusted to us. We fervently believe, and work towards the belief, that vocational progress is just as important as academic achievement.

There is no doubt in our minds, that when we say goodbye to our 4 year olds, we arm them best and prepare them more thoroughly, by ensuring they have a fabulous grounding in the EYFS goals, but also that they are happy, confident, well adjusted, friendly and generous human beings.

The ability to question without judgment, to form idea’s without criticism, to laugh without ridicule and to love without fear, is both fuel to the flames of learning and a suit of armour to the slings and arrows so often loosed by less secure individuals of any ages.

We believe that it is often not just what we do, but how we do it, that ensures we continue to succeed in our mission to turn out smart, energetic, inquisitive and likeable young people that are ready for school and ready for life

We offer 2 types of contract here at The Orchard Day Nursery, Term Time and Full Year.  The Nursery is open between 8:00am – 6:00pm, we only offer full day sessions.


 Term Time only contracts cover 39 weeks per year, we follow West Berkshire term dates.  Fees will be charged for 51 weeks in the year with a 20% discount on full time fees.  Bank Holidays will be charged.  Full Year contracts cover 51 weeks per year.  Nursery will close for 1 week between Christmas and New Year, dates to be advised.  Bank Holidays will be charged.  Where two children are placed in the nursery full time by parents on a full year contract a 10% discount will be offered to the eldest sibling.  Childcare voucher are accepted as well as tax credits for working parents.  Fees will be charged according to the current rates which will be reviewed annually. 


We are registered with and inspected by Ofsted. In order to achieve an Outstanding Ofsted Inspection report we are focussing on staff development and inspiring teaching and learning.

We aim to ensure that every one who works at the Orchard, whether they are an entry level apprentice or an experienced Early Years Professional, feels they are truly meeting their potential and improving outcomes for children.

We are very pleased with what Ofsted has said about us over the years and know we must continue to develop as much as we can in order to maintain our good reputation and continue to improve provision.

We have excellent partnership with parents and this vital relationship plays a huge part in the ethos of the setting. We believe that we are just one component of a child’s safe and successful development and endeavour to work together with parents and carers to provide an excellent early years experience for all the children in our community.

Latest Ofsted rating

In our 2016/2018 Ofsted inspection, the overall quality and standard of the early provision was rated Good.

“Children are happy in this nurturing environment. Calm and caring staff effectively reinforce the boundaries to contribute to children’s understanding of how to behave. This helps to support children to respect others and to develop good self-esteem.”

The rating is based on four areas

Effectiveness of the leadership and management – Good

Quality of teaching, learning and assessment – Good

Personal development, behaviour and welfare – Good/Outstanding

Outcomes for children – Good

“There is a strong focus on outdoor learning. For example, children learn about nature and the world around them as they enjoy a range of activities, such as making dens, digging and planting, and road safety using pedal cars on a track.”

Orchard Day Nursery welcomes children from all backgrounds and abilities.

We care for children aged from 6 months to 5 years old and provide a holiday club for children in Reception and year 1 classes. Places are subject to availability and allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Show Round 

We are delighted to show prospective parents around the nursery and encourage parents to look at more than one nursery whilst making this important choice for their family. Each setting has its own strengths and character, as do families, and it is important to choose one which you feel is right for you and your child. It is a good idea to bring your child with you when you visit as it will be informative for both of us to observe their initial reactions.

Booking and Fees

To take up a place we require a completed registration form and a non refundable registration fee (see current fees schedule). The form provides us with contact details and other information required by law, which assists us to respect parental wishes and fully meet the needs of every child.

Introductory Visits

Before your child starts, we arrange three free introductory sessions of which parents are encouraged to stay for the first short visit then are encouraged to leave for the two longer visits. The first short visit lasts approximately one hour where we welcome you and your child to spend some time in the nursery. This enables your child to become familiar with the setting and some of the staff and children with the security of having you present. It is also an opportunity for you to meet your child’s Key-carer and to exchange information. The details of these will be discussed and worked out with you.

During introductory visits your child’s Key-carer will complete our Initial Child Profile with you. This provides information on the levels of development and learning that a child has achieved at entry to the Nursery. It should be emphasised that the profile is not a test. The abilities and skills of all children vary. The information from the profile helps ensure that Nursery staff value each child’s previous learning and effectively build on the child’s existing skills.

Get to know us better!