Based at Westmeston, a small hamlet on the Lewes Road between Ditchling and Plumpton College, The Acorns Westmeston combines a traditional nursery with a strong forest school ethos, in a beautiful idyllic setting at the foot of the Downs. Open between 9-2:30 with an extended 'adventure' day on Fridays, our Westmeston setting is open to children from age 2, also offering forest school sessions for home educated children, and also hosts our popular holiday play scheme over the summer.
Our forest school approach recognises the importance of outdoor play, and subsequent impact on physical and mental health, confidence, and connection to the natural environment. The children spend a large proportion of the day outside, cycling, climbing trees, den-building and enjoying the time and freedom to marvel and explore the natural world around them. Organised activities such as planting, insect spotting and extended walks out in the surrounding area provide structure and variation between each days, and enables the children to develop resilience, fine-motor skills and their understanding of the natural world around them.
Our Westmeston indoor space is the bright, warm and airy Millenium Hall, which is set out each day with activities which support our theme of the week and reflect the children’s current interests. The Millenium Hall provides an indoor space to offer our traditional nursery school curriculum, including a gentle introduction to phonics, a reading scheme for those keen to participate.
Our Westmeston setting attracts children who live in the vicinity of Wivelsfield, Plumpton, Hamsey, Ditchling, Chailey, Hassocks, Hurstpierpoint, Bolney, Balcombe, Burgess Hill, Cuckfield, Staplefield, Brighton, Westmeston, Haywards Heath, Ardingly, Lindfield and some from further afield, in Lewes and Shoreham. Most of the children start school in the September following their child's fourth birthday, but we do have a registration for children up to 8 years old where parents are choosing either to defer school entry or to home school.
'The Acorns Nursery and Forest School was recommended to me by several friends, and now that I am sending my two boys there, I can see why. The staff are very caring and it's evident that they are well "tuned in" to the needs of each child. Communication with parents is excellent, and staff are always available for a chat. My two boys love that they get to spend so much time outdoors - riding scooters, going on woodland walks, etc. The setting couldn't be more idyllic.'
Westmeston opening hours
Monday - 9am - 2:30pm ('stay-and-play' sessions 10am-12pm)
Tuesday - 9am - 2:30pm (Open to home-educated children)
Wednesday - 9am - 2:30pm
Thursday - 9am - 2:30pm
Friday - 9am - 5pm (Open to home-educated children)