Nursery school is not just about learning and being introduced to the ‘classroom’. It is about so much more.

We ensure the children are settled in well when they join us and while they are with us it is all about preparing them for moving on and being ready for the next stage.

We believe that our traditional approach to manners and communication skills, our focus on outdoor activities and our use of the RULER method to build emotional intelligence helps build great resilience in life.

Emotional Intelligence

Through their daily life at The Willow the children’s self-belief and confidence in their abilities will grow. They gain an awareness of the community and people around them and importantly, through the RULER Programme, they begin to understand and recognise their emotions and those of the people around them. We believe that this gives them a resilience to go through life happily and confidently….

The RULER Programme

RULER has been created by The Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, it has been built on years of research and Lulu has been trained in implementing this unique system across the school:

RULER has been created by The Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, it has been built on years of research and Lulu has been trained in implementing this unique system across the school:

RULER is an acronym and stand for:

Recognising emotions in yourself and others
Understanding the causes & consequences of emotions
Labelling emotions accurately – if you can name it you can tame it
Expressing emotions appropriately
Regulating emotions effectively

The first anchor tool for the early years is called the ‘Mood Meter’. This helps the children think of emotions in terms of energy and pleasantness. Parents and teachers alike are delighted by how

easy the children find it to use colours to express their feelings and the feelings of others around them.

The second anchor tool is ‘The Charter’ – the children describe the way they would like to feel when they’re at The Willow and what they can do to help themselves and their friends feel this way.

Every two weeks a new” feeling word” is introduced, we talk about how that word feels, how to recognise it in ourselves and others and if it is a red or blue feeling how to manage our emotions to get to the right place.

All the staff are trained by a qualified teacher in the RULER method and parents will also have the opportunity to attend workshops to help them’ talk to their children in colour!’

For more information on the RULER Programme please ask at school or go to


Settling In

This is an important stage in children’s lives and we try very hard to ensure that this is an enjoyable and easy moment for both parents and children.

We make sure the children have visited The Willow prior to the start of term, ensuring that they have familiarised themselves with the setting, the teachers and some of the children.

Together with the parents we complete a Profile for each child which ensures that from the start we know as much about them as possible and how best to make sure their transition to school is a happy one.

We are a happy and nurturing team and will make every effort to ensure that each child’s start to school is fun and full of exciting adventures.

Moving On

We are proud of the feedback we receive from our feeder schools that our children move on to Reception extremely well prepared.

All Willow children moving on will be confident and able in the following which will make their transition to school all the more easy:

  • Are able to listen, communicate, share
  • and follow instructions
  • Are confident to have a try at anything
  • and not be scared to make mistakes
  • Are independent in using the toilet, putting on their coats and shoes
  • Are happy to separate easily from their parents and go and play games with the teacher
  • Have some knowledge of initial sounds
  • Have good co-ordination and fine motor skills
  • Have good social interaction
  • Are able to listen to instructions and have a go
  • Have excellent spoken English
  • Are able to answer questions and talk confidently
  • Are able to sit and listen attentively
  • Are good at sharing resources with
  • other children
  • Are responsible for own belongings and to dress independently
  • Know their colours
  • Recognise and ideally write their name
  • Have the correct pencil grip
  • Have good manners – pleases and thank yous
  • Have good listening skills
  • Are able to count to 10 and recognise quantity

Some of the schools our children move on to:

Clapham Manor Primary School, Broomwood Hall, St. Peter’s Eaton Square C of E Primary School, Parkgate School, Thomas’s Battersea, Thomas’s Clapham, Newton Prep, Dolphin School, Ecole de Wix Primary School, Eaton House The Manor, Eaton House The Manor Girls’ School, Macaulay C of E Primary School, Belleville Primary School, Belleville Wix Academy, Honeywell Primary School, Beatrix Potter Primary School, The Oratory Primary School, Corpus Christi Catholic School