Kingsmead Day Nursery was opened by Mrs Helen Gaskell on 3rd September 1989. That year, there were 11 children on the register, and the nursery was based in a large Victorian house on the other side of the city to its current location. Mrs Gaskell is still the owner of the nursery, which relocated to its present site in December 2010, and is still much involved with the day-to-day running and decision-making. She meets regularly with the team and oversees both child and staff development.
Over the years, the nursery has evolved to accommodate young babies right through to preparing children for school. We have cared for thousands of children over our 33 years and are now welcoming the children of children who attended the nursery in those early days.
Our Baby unit is for children aged 0-2.5 years and is situated on the first floor of the nursery, offering a homely, warm environment.
We have a very spacious baby unit: the ceilings are high, and there is a huge paned window allowing daylight to flood the two large open-plan rooms.
The unit has been carefully designed and equipped to enable our children to develop at their own pace. In this unit, we focus on the three prime areas of the EYFS: PSE, or personal, social and emotional; Physical; and CL, or communication and language.
Our Badger unit is for children aged 2 years until the beginning of their final pre-school year. The unit has three clearly defined rooms together with a separate nappy changing and toilet area, and continuous access to the outdoor space.
One room has a well-stocked home corner with dressing up and an interesting book corner. This is an area where children can develop and use their imagination as they wish, or quietly sit to read a book. There is a role-play zone, in which the children love to dress up and play make-believe, acting out family life and using their imaginations.
We also have a dedicated construction and small world room, where children love to build.
The Pre-School unit is situated on the ground floor and covers four bright, airy rooms.
The home corner room has a fitted kitchen with authentic kitchen equipment, a table and chairs, the children’s den where they can spend quiet time on their own or with peers, looking at books or just chatting. This role-play area allows children to re-create scenes from home life and their own experiences.
There is a creative room where children are able to access a wide variety of material and media to create their masterpieces. It is fully equipped with items to develop their fine motor skills, together with a large, purpose-built painting easel which provides the opportunity to encourage gross motor skills. There is a play-dough table which allows children to progress their fine motor skills further.
Jemma Nicholson – Nursery Manager
We have worked hard on our purpose-built garden at Kingsmead Day Nursery. We’re lucky enough to have a large outdoor play area whilst still being in the centre of Winchester for easy access for parents. Included in our outdoor area is:
- Rubber Race Track
- Climbing Mound and Tunnel
- Children’s Vegetable Garden
- Baby Zone
- Fire Pit
- Reading Nook
- Cookery Garden
- Mud Kitchen
- Wooden Playhouse
- Pirate Sand Pit
- Music Wall
- Canopy For Shaded Play
- Construction Zones
- Buggy Park
- Mark-Making Areas (e.g Painting)
- Theatre Zone
- Outdoor Classroom