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Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo

Day nursery

Coronavirus status: OPEN

Kids Love Nature Kindergarten Marwell Zoo 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Michelle Hibberd
Contact Position
Kindergarten Manager
01962 777403
Kids Love Nature Website

Where to go

Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo
Accessible changing, Secure environment, Wheelchair access, Accessible toilets

Childcare Information


Contact provider for vacancy details?

Funded Places

3 & 4 year old funding
2 year old funding
Registered to provide 30 hours entitlement

Ofsted Information

Ofsted Inspection Report
Link to latest ofsted inspection report 
Inspection history
Latest Inspection
Inspection DateInspection typeInspection Outcome
13/09/2017Inspection (Early Years Register)Outstanding

Local Offer

Local Offer

Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo provides an inclusive environment and uses differentiation so that all children can learn and develop at their own pace. We value each child’s unique strengths and challenge them to fulfil their learning potential through tailored activities. If a practitioner or parent identifies a barrier to a child's learning, we are guided by the graduated approach as detailed in the SEND Code of Practice 2015.

The first step will be a discussion between the parent and the nursery Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). We work according to the Kids Love Nature Approach ( and within the Early Years' Foundation Stage ( We wish for all our children to be confident, have great language and communication skills, be emotionally secure, sociable, happy, and resilient, be willing to try new things and take risks, be caring and develop a love for learning. We do this through being child-centred in everything we do.

The sensorial and natural environment is designed so children can be independent and lead their own learning. The kindergarten has experience of working with a range of Special Educational Needs, including: autism, visual impairment, sensory needs, attachment, and global developmental delay. Practitioners have experience with sing-a-long, and augmentative communication systems such as Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and with positive behaviour support.

For further information and to receive a copy of our full SEND Local Offer please contact the kindergarten:

Contact Name
Michelle Hibberd
Contact Telephone
01962 777403
Contact Email
Local Offer Age Bands
Early Years (0-4 years)
How does the setting/school/college know if children/young people need extra help and what should I do if I think my child/young person may have special educational needs?

Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo works with all children as unique individuals, and places a high priority on observational assessment. Staff complete end of term monitoring , in which observations of children’s learning and development are assessed against the developmental guidance given in the Early Years Foundation Stage.

If a practitioner or parent identifies a concern about a child's learning, the first step will be to discuss their observations with the nursery Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) and they will work together to identify the child's strengths, achievements to date and to identify any specific support that may be necessary. The child’s key person will discuss their observations with the parent, with the support of the nursery manager or SENCO. If a parent has any questions about their child’s learning or development the first step is to request an appointment with their child’s key person.

When parents identify specific areas of need, practitioners respond to this by analysing the child’s observations and development checks and working in partnership with Parents and other agencies with further advice being sought by the parent and nursery from the Area Inclusion Coordinator (INCo), Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT) or from the child’s G.P. or health visitor.

How will early years setting/school/college staff support my child/young person?

The Kindergarten SENCO will oversee the progress of a child with Special Educational Needs or a Disability, or any child who needs additional support. Children needing extra support will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in place. This is usually written by the Kindergarten SENCO with input from the Key Person, Parent, any other agencies involved (such as Speech and Language), and from the child.

Each child’s Key Person is responsible for keeping their children’s Famly Learning Journal up to date: these contain observations of the child as well as assessments and planning for supporting learning and development.

Parent meetings are planned twice yearly and additional meetings are available on an ad hoc basis at any time (these can be requested by the parent or the Kindergarten). The Kindergarten manager ensures all children are being effectively supported by tracking their progress; and updates of children’s learning and development are discussed regularly in staff meetings and supervision (practitioner support) meetings.

How will the curriculum be matched to my child's/young person's needs?

Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo works according to the Kids Love Nature Approach ( and within the Early Years' Foundation Stage (

Each child is planned for on an individual basis, with child-initiated learning being at the heart of our approach. Practitioners are trained to observe children at work and play, and to plan their next steps based on these observations. Regular planning meetings are held at the Kindergarten to ensure a joined up approach to planning. The Planning Board is a key tool in enabling us to follow each child’s individual interests and these are recorded in their Famly learning journal.

At Kids Love Nature Kindergarten we offer children a wide range of experiences, including an engaging indoor classroom, daily cooking groups, zoological sessions in Marwell Zoo, trips to the forest, our Kindergarten garden along with yoga and relaxation activities for children.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child's/young person's learning?

Parents are encouraged to contribute to their children’s learning by sharing and uploading moments to Famly. We value regular meetings with parents, and these take place at least twice each year, and more regularly if requested by the parent or Kindergarten. A private space is available in the Kindergarten meeting room for confidential meetings (please note that general bi-annual parent meetings take place in the classroom with three meetings taking place at the same time – please ask in advance if you require a private meeting space). 

Your child’s Key Person will carry out the Two Year Check somewhere between your child’s second and third birthday. When appropriate Individual Plans are written by the child’s Key Person in conjunction with Parents, the child and the Kindergarten. These plans are child centred and can be written to cover all aspects of a child's development including supporting Social & Emotional well-being. These plans are reviewed with the parents by the SENCo and Key person half termly and next steps agreed or changes made to enhance effectiveness.

Kids Love Nature Parent Talks are held throughout the year, covering topics such as: Building a Positive Relationship with your Child, Bringing Home Learning to Life, Mindfulness and Relaxation for Children and The Kids Love Nature Approach to Early Years' Education. Home learning activity ideas are shared with the parents, through the Famly newsfeed and our monthly parent’s activity newsletter.

What support will there be for my child's/young person's overall well being?

Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo has a complete set of policies and procedures to ensure each child’s safety and well-being. These include an administration of medication policy, health and safety policies, safeguarding policies and promoting positive behaviour policies. The Kindergarten has a healthy eating ethos, with home cooked, organic meals provided. Daily risk assessments ensure a safe environment for all, these are reviewed termly.

Emotional well-being is extremely important at Kids Love Nature. We ensure that we support all of our children to be able to form secure attachments. We do this through providing relaxation and mindfulness sessions, activities designed to promote emotional literacy and an ethos of positive communication. 

Safeguarding and Paediatric first aid training are regularly accessed by all staff. Children’s voices and views are reflected in the observations carried out by staff, and as they get older, we actively seek their input when planning for individual children and for the setting as a whole. When individual children require specialist medication or support we work closely with their family and health professionals to ensure all staff are fully trained and an accurate Health Care Plan is in place, these are reviewed regularly with input from parents.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by the setting/school/college?

The Kindergarten has experience of working with outside agencies including Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational & Physio Therapy, the Area INCO and Portage.

The natural and sensorial based environment of the Kindergarten is particularly beneficial to those with a sensory impairment. If we do not currently have links with a professional or agency who would be valuable in supporting your child, we will endeavour to make these links as soon as possible.

What training have the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had? Are any being trained currently?

Our Kindergarten SENCO has attended the SENCO Induction training. Our SENCO previously worked in a special needs setting, and has experience working with the following: autism, downs syndrome, speech language and communication, cerebal palsy, epilepsy.  

The Kindergarten behaviour coordinator has experience of working with families and practitioners in supporting challenging behaviour. She works alongside our central team to ensure that we are supporting the children in the best way possible.

Staff are trained in epi-pen administration and will be trained for individual children's needs where appropriate.

How will my child/young person be included in activities outside this classroom including school trips?

Risk assessments ensure all steps are taken to provide a safe and secure environment for children whether this is inside the Kindergarten, or outside.

Regular trips are taken into Marwell Zoo and to the forest. We endeavour to ensure such trips are accessible to all children (for example through the provision of additional members of staff). If the Kindergarten was concerned about accessibility, we would ask the parents to accompany the child, make alternative provision within the Kindergarten and seek external advice from Health Professionals involved.

How accessible is the setting/school/college environment?

The indoor environment is accessed via a small step through the main entrance; suitable for wheelchair access. The toilets are accessed from the classroom at ground floor level. The garden is accessible via a ramp from both classrooms.

The outdoor environment involves uneven terrain (for example, gravel, bark chippings, grass and an uneven woodland floor with tree roots etc). The zoo and forest are accessed through a small gate; these are both wheelchair accessible.

Other than physical restrictions inherent to the building and environment, we are open to making whatever adaptations would be necessary (within reasonable financial constraints) to accommodate a child with additional needs. We are also able to provide dual language books, visual timetables and prompt cards and have experience of supporting children to be able to access these.

How will the setting/school/college prepare and support my child/young person to join the setting/school/college or the next stage of education and life?

When a child joins Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo, the practitioner will ask the parents to complete an ‘All About Me’ section on their Child’s online Famly journal. This would be discussed with the Child’s key person during their settling in sessions. 

Pre-start settling in sessions are then arranged according to each child’s needs. During the settling in sessions we would get to know you and your child and begin to develop an understanding of their needs, likes and dislikes. We would ask you to complete any health care plans prior to your child starting with us to ensure that any necessary training can be undertaken.

When it is time for the child to transfer to school, we liaise with the school to ensure a smooth transition. Teachers are invited to come into the Kindergarten to meet the child and key person. The key person would also write a report about your child’s development and learning styles that would be shared with parents and the new school. We have experience of organising transition meetings with schools and support with completion of the Inclusion partnership agreement.

How are the setting's/school's/college's resources allocated and matched to children's/young people's special educational needs?

Our kindergarten classroom is set up with the appropriate resources for the age/ stage of development of children aged 9 months to two years and two to five years. If a child needed additional resources we would ensure these resources were in the room for them to access freely, in keeping with our child-led approach.

In the past we have been able to access additional funding for children with Special Educational Needs or with a Disability, although this additional funding cannot be guaranteed. We endeavour to ensure that all children’s needs are met to the best of our ability with the funds available.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child/young person will receive?

Your child’s key person, SENCO, Area InCo, parents and any other outside agencies will work together to discuss the support that is appropriate for your child’s individual needs. Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo monitors the effectiveness of the support we have provided in terms of how it is supporting each child’s progress. We have regular meetings with parents to discuss their progress.

It may be appropriate for the Kindergarten to withdraw additional support if we believe that your child has made significant progress and is no longer in need of this additional support.

How are parents involved in the setting/school/college? How can I be involved?

At Kids Love Nature Kindergarten at Marwell Zoo we actively involve parents to work in partnership with us in supporting children’s learning and development. We encourage parents to share and post their Child’s experiences outside of Kindergarten onto their Famly account.

We invite parents to attend our social events twice each year (summer and Christmas). Individual parent meetings and group talks are held regularly. Parents with skills to share with the children are welcome to come into the Kindergarten, for show and tell.

Kids Love Nature Kindergarten Parent Talks are held regularly throughout the year, covering topics such as: Building a Positive Relationship with your Child, Bringing Home Learning to Life, Mindfulness and Relaxation for Children and The Kids Love Nature Approach to Early Years Education.

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