Nursery Provision

Now your child has turned 3 years old
Here is some information about our Nursery Provision


At Hormead Hedgehogs we recognise that each family and child are unique; the decision to send your child to a Nursery maintained by Hertfordshire County Council or our privately run Pre-School/Nursery should be based on your individual needs and what will suit you & your child best.

Here we would like to share with you what we can offer your Nursery aged child:

Our achievements

Hormead Hedgehogs (previously Leapfrogs) was graded as Outstanding by Ofsted in 2019 in all areas.

At Hormead Hedgehogs we have a holistic approach to each child’s learning, development & care; placing the same level of focus on each child’s health and well-being as the 7 areas of learning & development. Our EYFS provision is led by Roxanne Smith.

High ratios of staff to children

There is a high ratio of staff at Hormead Hedgehogs; all of whom are either Level 3 qualified, working towards their Level 3 qualification or above. We operate at (at least) 1 member of staff per 8 children aged 3-4.


Nursery Group

We have a dedicated Nursery Group. We work closely with our Nursery aged children and their parents to deliver appropriate learning opportunities and to prepare them for the transition to Reception class.

Letters and Sounds Programme

At Hormead Hedgehogs we offer a Letters and Sounds programme for nursery age children that teaches high quality phonics.

Phase One falls largely within the Communication, Language and Literacy area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. In particular, it will support linking sounds and letters in the order in which they occur in words, and naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet. It also draws on and promotes other areas of learning described in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), particularly Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Creative Development, where, for example, music plays a key part in developing children’s language.
The activities in Phase One are mainly adult-led with the intention of teaching young children important basic elements of the Letters and Sounds programme such as oral segmenting and blending of familiar words. The aim is to embed the Phase One adult-led activities in a language-rich provision that serves the best interests of the children by fully recognising their propensity for play and its importance in their development.

Hormead Hedgehogs staff provide daily speaking and listening activities that are well matched to children’s developing abilities and interests, drawing upon observations and assessments to plan for progression and to identify children who need additional support, for example to discriminate and produce the sounds of speech.
Our rich and varied environment support children’s language learning through Phase One. Indoor and outdoor spaces are well planned so that they can be used flexibly.
Oral blending and segmenting the sounds in words are an integral part of the later stages of Phase One. Whilst recognising alliteration (words that begin with the same sound) is important as children develop their ability to tune into speech sounds, the main objective should be segmenting words into their component sounds, and especially blending the component sounds all through a word.
Exploring the sounds in words occur as opportunities arise throughout the course of our day’s activities, as well as in planned adult-led sessions with groups and individual children. Children’s curiosity in letter shapes and written words are fostered throughout Phase One to help them make a smooth transition to Phase Two, when grapheme–phoneme correspondences are introduced.

Phase One activities are arranged under the following seven aspects.

■ Aspect 1: General sound discrimination – environmental sounds

■ Aspect 2: General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds

■ Aspect 3: General sound discrimination – body percussion

■ Aspect 4: Rhythm and rhyme

■ Aspect 5: Alliteration

■ Aspect 6: Voice sounds

■ Aspect 7: Oral blending and segmenting

Activities within the seven aspects are designed to help children:
1. listen attentively;
2. enlarge their vocabulary;
3. speak confidently to adults and other children;
4. discriminate phonemes;
5. reproduce audibly the phonemes they hear, in order, all through the word;
6. use sound-talk to segment words into phonemes.

We pride ourselves on a strong parent partnership and a personal approach. Our dedicated team of staff are always available during session times to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns you may have.


We have created an enabling environment which challenges, stimulates and meets the needs of children aged between the ages of 2 and 5. We recognise that all children are individuals and develop at their own pace; there is no requirement for children to be fully toilet-trained when attending our setting. Our high levels of staff mean that we are happy to fully support children and their families who are working towards achieving this important developmental milestone.

A flexible approach

As a privately run Nursery with extended hours, we have the ability to allow you to use your 15 and 30 hours of free Nursery Education flexibly, during the hours of 9am-3pm, Monday – Friday.

Our extended hours are particularly popular with working parents.



There is no doubt that transitions can be stressful for children and parents alike. By choosing to leave your child at Hormead Hedgehogs for their nursery year, you will be reducing the number of transitions they experience during their Early Years. Children get the best from an Early Years setting when they feel secure, happy and relaxed.

Of course, if you do choose to send your child on to a different Nursery School, we fully respect that decision and have a number of strategies in place to reduce the impact the transition will have your child and yourselves as a family, including visits to Hormead Hedgehogs by the Nursery School Teacher, Transition Books which include photographs of all of the local School Nurseries and their Nursery staff teams.

Outside agencies

We have developed close working partnerships with a number of Early Years professionals/agencies including the local Children Centres, Inclusion Development Officer, Speech& Language Therapists and Health Visitors. We have lots of in-house experience and knowledge but also have a wide range of external resources and contacts available to us.

What next?

If you decide Hormead Hedgehogs will be the Nursery place for your child, please contact us as soon as possible so a place can be reserved. Once we have confirmed the place, please return the registration form to us.