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Little Robins Nursery

Ages 6 months to 4 years


Little Robins Nursery, formally Sunninghill Nursery, is located in the heart of Dorchester, Dorset. We are delighted to offer education and care for children from the age of 6 months old until 4 years old.

Every child has unique abilities, needs and characteristics that make them special. At Little Robins Nursery, our team of qualified and experienced educators nurture, support and guide every child to become curious, confident and compassionate young learners.

We are open 51 weeks of the year with the option of year-round or term time contracts to cater for different families’ needs.

Our Rooms

Aims & Values


Daily Routine



Our Rooms

Little Robins Nursery at Sunninghill has three rooms:

  • Hatchlings – 6 months – 2 years old (opening September 2024)
  • Fledglings – 2-3 year olds
  • Bobbins – 3-4 year olds


Our baby room, which open in September 2024, will be connected to the rest of the nursery and share an outdoor garden area so children can transition smoothly from room to room as they move on to the next stage of their development.


In Fledglings, our 2 year old children have a lovely, light and calm space to explore their interests and inspiring open-ended resources that will help them develop in all aspects of their learning.


At 3 years of age, they move up to ‘Bobbins’, a bright and spacious room which is attached to the Reception class. This close proximity to the Reception class and teachers makes the transition into Reception seamless. The focus of this preschool room is very much on promoting independence.

The Bobbins classroom and beautiful garden are purposefully open so children can freely flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces and learning through play can take place in all weathers.

Staff Ratios:

We will always ensure we have a high ratio of qualified and experienced staff in each room. Our staff ratios are:

  • Babies under 2 – 1:3
  • Toddlers under 3 – 1:5
  • Over 3 years old – 1:8 or (1:13 with a qualified teacher)

Aims and Values

Our Aims:

  • Create a warm and stable environment for our children so they are happy, safe and secure.
  • Provide opportunities for children to grow into confident, capable and independent young learners.
  • Connect with parents and families to ensure we are working together with each child’s best interests at heart.

 Our Values:

Sunninghill has 4 key values, that are followed in the nursery:

  • Courage
  • Commitment
  • Creativity
  • Compassion

Our Early Years Educators support and guide children to follow our values in an age-appropriate way.


At Little Robins Nursery, we want our children to develop a lifelong love of learning from the very start of their educational journey.  We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage framework and Development Matters guidance and deliver an exciting and engaging play-based curriculum.

Our carefully designed indoor and outdoor areas, provide opportunities for children to play and learn independently or with adult support. Our team of qualified and experienced practitioners prepare activities based on their knowledge of each unique child within their care  to extend their all-round development. Our continuous provision of open-ended materials enables children to follow their own interests, make choices and spend valuable time learning through play.

At Little Robins, children will explore the world and make discoveries, exercise options and express ideas, reflect on experience and information, share thoughts, make decisions, and engage in first-hand experiences.

Our curriculum is designed to be accessible for all children. We are inclusive and embrace diversity so we can support children with special educational needs and we make adaptations for each unique child.

We follow the EYFS framework by placing a strong emphasis on the three prime areas in the early years:

  • Communication and language – the foundation for all learning and areas of development.
  • Personal, social and emotional – crucial for forming relationships and fundamental to cognitive growth.
  • Physical development –   empowers children to lead active, healthy and happy lives.

Alongside these are four specific areas:



Understanding the World

Expressive Arts & Design

Children will have the opportunity to develop and extend in each of these areas under the guidance of our Early Years Educators.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning

“To learn well, children must approach opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm. Effective learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations. These abilities and attitudes of strong learners will support them to learn well and make good progress in all the Areas of Learning and Development.”  Birth to 5 Matters

Reports and Parent Consultations

Parents of all children in the Nursery receive an annual report and parent consultations are in the Autumn and Spring terms, but feedback is provided more informally on a regular basis. We hold an open door policy for our parents who are welcome to call or email to request a meeting with a child’s key person at any time.

Daily Routine

Across the nursery, the day begins at 8am. Some children stay for morning sessions only, while others stay for the full school day or later into the evening as Little Robins stays open until 6pm to accommodate longer days. A consistent, reliable schedule helps children feel stable and secure so we recommend at least three full days of attendance or five morning sessions per week.

Session Times

At Little Robins, we offer the following session times:

Morning Session – 8:00 to 13:00
Afternoon Session – 13:00 to 18:00
Full Day – 08:00 to 18:00

In all of the rooms, the children enjoy a balance of free play and more directed activities according to their age and development stage, as well as plenty of indoor and outdoor exploration. Our daily routine is kept deliberately flexible so that we can cater for each child’s individual needs. Each child spends time during the day with their key person who supports their development and plans activities that will help children reach their next milestones.

All meals and snacks are prepared and cooked on site by our fabulous catering team and all individual dietary needs are catered for. Our youngest children eat all their meals in their own familiar surroundings. Once they reach the Bobbins room, our 3-4 year children eat their lunch time meals in the dining room which familiarises them with the children, staff and routines of the Prep School.

From two years old, children benefit from specialist lessons in subjects including Gardening, Music and Movement. Once they reach three years of age, they also have specialist P.E. and French lessons.

We encourage the children to ‘have a go’ whilst maintaining a positive, caring and supportive environment. Positive reinforcement, alongside close links and communication with parents helps us embed these codes of behaviour and expectations. We see a huge change in each child’s independence and learning during their time in Little Robins, with every individual developing bags of confidence, firm friendships and plenty of new skills and knowledge.

We also organise trips to explore the local area and make connections with the wider community and we regularly  welcome visitors to the school including theatre companies, key workers, scientists from the Space Dome and many more.


The admissions process will usually start with a tour of the Nursery. Tours will also include those facilities in the Prep School which the Nursery children use on a day-to-day basis. Full tours of the main Prep School can also be arranged.

Following a tour of the Nursery, children will usually return for a stay and play with their parents. Once a place has been accepted there will be a further period of settling-in which allow children to feel familiar with the Nursery before they formally start.

To book a tour, please email or call 01305 262306.

2024 Nursery Fees

Settling in with new children

All children experience a transitional period whenever they move between home and school but each child reacts differently. While some children can adjust very easily, others may take a little more time. No matter how your child responds to this change in their life, we can offer support and will work with you to ensure they make a successful and comfortable transition to nursery.

In the beginning stages of starting nursery or school, children might take a little longer to manage the initial separation. We can therefore offer a gradual transition and settling-in period so children get used to the environment and learn that no matter how long they stay at nursery, parents will always come back.

We recognise that working parents may need to drop off and go, so we encourage you to plan ahead and be available for settling in sessions a month or so before returning to work. Having another authorised family member who can pick up your child if they are not settling is also recommended.

We will work closely and honestly with you to make the whole transition process positive and successful. We are entirely flexible as the needs and wellbeing of the child and their family are our greatest concern.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the settling-in process work at Little Robins Nursery?

Does Little Robins Nursery offer EYEE (Early Years Educational Entitlement) Funding?

Does the food for Little Robins Nursery all get prepared on site?

Yes, unlike in many nurseries, all the food is prepared by the dedicated catering team in Sunninghill Prep School who are used to tailoring food for each different age group’s needs and can cater for all dietary requirements. An additional benefit of accessing the main school’s dining facilities, is that as children move through the Nursery they are able to eat over in the School’s dining room, learning how to eat independently and of the importance of structured meal times. The nursery children eat at separate times to the main Prep School.

If my child is teething or feels a little under the weather, are nursery staff able to administer basic pain relief?

What if I am potty training my child?

How do I receive feedback about my child?

Can I take my child out of the Nursery for holidays at any time?

If my child does extra activities, such as dance or tennis or Kickboxing, do I have to pay extra for these?

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