Adventure Days on Tuesdays and Fridays for home schooled children.
Stay and Play sessions for children with their parents and childminders on Mondays
10am-12noon. Please phone for full details on 01444 455081.
Please click below for our booking form.
A combination of a traditional nursery school with a forest school ethos offering
lots of space both indoors and outside, makes this venue a firm favourite for many
Acorns children and their parents.
Based at Westmeston, a small hamlet on the Lewes Road between Ditchling and
Plumpton College, it is a hidden gem. It is slightly off the beaten track, but well
worth seeking out. Here, the children are cared for and nurtured by an Acorns
team passionate about providing the best outcomes for the children who join us.
Having established The Acorns at Lindfield in 1985, Janet Irwin, the owner,
found this new, idyllic venue at Westmeston in 2001. Having seen at first hand the
best practice in early years that other countries offer, Janet wanted to bring the
excellent standards that she had witnessed to The Acorns. She wanted Acorns
children to have the opportunity to have plenty of space to learn through nature. Over the years she has developed the forest school ethos with an introduction to science and an awareness of the natural surroundings and the importance of caring for our environment. She feels it is important for children to have time to stand and stare, time to think and reflect and to use their imagination. Here at Westmeston, the children enjoy a balance of indoor and outdoor learning. The outdoor opportunities for play , sport, exercise and learning through discovery complement the more traditional Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Janet believes that this helps the children to develop holistically, fostering independence of thought and a lifelong thirst and excitement for learning.
Very quickly the benefits of Westmeston were recognised by children and parents alike and The Acorns is now open at Westmeston five days a week with many parents whose children go to The Acorns in Lindfield choosing to access days at Westmeston too.
Monday - 9am - 2:30pm
Tuesday - 9am - 2:30pm
Wednesday - 9am - 2:30pm
Thursday - 9am - 2:30pm
Friday - 9am - 5pm
Every day the children arrive with a ride-on toy from home. Most children become very competent cyclists and can ride a two-wheeler bike without stabilisers before they go to school. On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays we are open from 9am-2.30pm with childcare offered before and after nursery in Lindfield. On these days we offer the traditional nursery school curriculum including a gentle introduction to phonics, a reading scheme for those keen to participate, plus an introduction to French for those who are starters and French conversations for those who are bilingual.
Fridays remain our special extended adventure day when we are open from 9am-5pm. Children have plenty of time to become expert cyclists, learning to ride their bikes on the tarmac of the integral car park. 100% waterproof wet weathers and wellies are a must for this special extended day. We go on a long walk in the surrounding woods and countryside, when the children have fun exploring, playing together, team building, splashing in puddles, building dens, finding animal tracks, identifying trees, birds and flowers, listening to sounds and collecting all sorts of treasure.
Children thrive in this wonderful environment which gives them the firm foundations in all the key skills. Our Westmeston home 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. Setting high standards in terms of behaviour, independence and achievement the children thrive in this supportive atmosphere.
We attract 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 go to school locally either in the state or private sector in the September following their child's fourth birthday, but we do have a registration for children up to 8 years old and some children do stay with us for longer as their parents are choosing either to defer school entry or to home school.
Please contact us to find out more or to enrol your child.