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A Day at Deerness Valley Nursery

We tailor what we do to the children we have in each session, their interests, needs and next steps, so each session can be different to the next. However, there are some things we do every day or almost every day. These things below form the core of our early years education.

Eat a meal

Everyone sits down to eat together. The meal may have been prepared by your child in this session, or may have been prepared by their friends in a previous session.

We plan meals to meet the nutritional needs of your child and make them in collaboration with children. We are working in partnership with REfUSE, Durham’s branch of The Real Junk Food Project, to reduce food waste and subscribe to their Waste Not Box scheme


Play and learn outside

We spend more than 1000 hours outside each year, and firmly believe that play in the natural environment of the garden is benefical on all levels to all children. 

Outside we play with water, mud, grass, and flowers, and watch the chickens in their run, look for deer in the woodland, run, jump, climb, build and work with an adult in our allotment garden.


Play and learn inside

We have a beautiful custom build bespoke log cabin building. Inside we change what we offer for children to use according to their interests, but we almost always offer construction with wooden blocks, some thing for our youngest children to play with, books, and things to use when taking on a role (like "mums and dads" or "super heroes").

Most of what we do uses resources from or inspired by the natural world – many of our toys are made of wood, and most are open-ended so rely on your child’s creativity to make them “come to life”. You won’t see much plastic here, or much technology. We use tablets and phones to take notes about your child’s learning, but you won’t find “iPad time” on our day’s schedule. We love technology, but it isn’t good for children’s brain and visual development to spend time on screens every day. There will be plenty of time later in their lives to sit at computers. However, we do explore technology in other ways such as using remote-controlled toys and cameras.


A short group activity

Tailored to the age and stage of your child this includes singing, counting, listening, speaking, taking turns, playing instruments, playing games, discussing, planning, and praying.

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