All of our classes are small with an excellent adult to child ratio. Our staff are highly experienced and extremely well qualified. Our Nursery teams hold qualifications that include a PGCE, Early Years Teachers, Graduates in Early Years and Child Development and Level 3 and 4 in Children’s Care, Learning and Development. We are proud of our very carefully selected, knowledgeable staff, and of their contribution to the children’s excellent levels of achievement.

Our Baby Unicorns room offers places for children from 9 months old and offers a natural play based and explorative experience for children to learn and develop. We follow the Early Years curriculum and here we focus on the three Prime Areas of learning.

As we move into our Unicorns Nursery we have two classes, one where children over two turning 3 enter, namely our rising 3’s and the other our preschool. Our preschool class is led by qualified teachers and both classes continues to follow the Early Years curriculum but broadening the teaching and learning to cover both the 3 prime and 4 specific areas to build an excellent foundation of learning before they transition into Reception.

Our classes are themed around popular children’s books and give the children a sense of identity and belonging upon starting with us.

Progression through Sancton Wood Nursery is as follows:

Baby Unicorns’ Nursery

Baby Unicorns’ Nursery (Spot the Dog) provides a warm, caring and stimulating environment which offers a natural play based and explorative experience for children to learn and develop for children from 9 months to two years. These children have access to free flow decking area to foster their love of the outdoors!

Rising Three’s Unicorns’ Nursery

Rising Three’s Unicorns’ Nursery Class (Elmers): provides a nurturing area for children of approximately 2 years old onwards. The children in this room have access to a large garden area and forest school where they can consolidate learning across the curriculum and continue to learn with curiosity in the natural world.

Pre-School Unicorns’ Nursery

Pre-School Unicorns’ Nursery Class (Tigers):  This class caters for children who will be four years of age by the end of the academic year (August 31st). Led by qualified teachers, here and continue to follow the EY curriculum but broaden the teaching and learning to cover wider areas of the curriculum to build and embed an excellent foundation of learning before they transition into Reception.

More Information

Spot the Dog

Baby Unicorns is the first step in the wonderful, life-long learning journey that Sancton Wood School offers.  Each day we support our children to develop their love of exploration and to spark their passion for learning. We have a wonderful learning space which offers outstanding education and care to best support a gentle start into nursery life. For these children, who are aged from 9 months, it is often the first time being away from their parents and main carers so staff liaise closely with each family to work out a programme of settling in sessions. Where possible, home visits or other special arrangements are made to ensure that all children and families feel comfortable and supported by us as a team.

Each child receives the support and care of our dedicated team of teachers and nursery nurses.  All children and their families get to know their key person, building a relationship of collaboration and ensuring a strong link between home and nursery.

We believe that children learn best through play and first hand experiences.  Children are supported and encouraged to take part in a broad, challenging and stimulating curriculum which takes account of the children’s interests and experiences at home.  Activities vary throughout the day and throughout the week; helping all children to develop a sense of the world around them while experiencing enjoyment and inspiration at the opportunities on offer.


In the year children are turning three they progress into our Elmer room for an academic year to build on the excellent foundations provided by Baby Unicorns and further develop their learning. With continued emphasis on the three prime areas of the Early Years Foundation stage curriculum: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language, children will experience play based learning in a safe, happy and challenging environment both indoors and outdoors. They will also begin to branch out into the four specific areas of learning: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design. The children particularly enjoy our wonderful garden area, and have great fun building dens and working busily in the ‘mud kitchen’, all the while learning new skills and building social interaction. This is a super basis on which the next preschool class builds.


Within the small, friendly and welcoming environment of our Tiger class we endeavour to help each preschool age child become aware of their innate qualities and skills, and to develop these to full capacity.  The children learn through play in a planned, progressive way based on the children’s interests. Within Tiger class the emphasis is put on preparing the children for our Reception class by providing opportunities to access all seven areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Maths and Pre-Reading skills are given prominence this year. This is also the year a specialist language teacher engages the class in regular Spanish lessons. By the end of the Summer term in Tiger class the children are fully equipped to embrace the next stage of their learning and move with confidence up to Reception.

'The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is OUTSTANDING. Staff have consistently high expectation of what all children, including the most able, can achieve. All staff have a thorough knowledge … of how young children learn, and they engage them in purposeful activities which captures their interest and imagination.'
Independent Schools’ Inspectorate Report 2016
'There is a culture of mutual trust and respect throughout the setting. Children are helped to form strong relationships with their key person and all adults. The warm family atmosphere that pervades the school gives all children a sense of belonging, and they learn to care for and respect each other in a safe and secure environment.'
Independent Schools’ Inspectorate Report 2016.