Bridge Nursery provides a home-away-from-home for our children. We pride ourselves on developing lifelong curiosity and confidence through play and adventure, and being a warm and caring environment that welcomes the whole family and takes care of their needs.
We offer outstanding care for children from 3 months to 3 years, with children enjoying access to four main rooms, each designed specifically for a child’s age and developmental stage.
Our Baby Suite
The Ducklings Room is where our youngest babies (3 to 12 months) start their adventures in exploring and discovery. It boasts a warm and loving environment with creatively designed stimulating areas for the babies to explore and learn. The designated sleep room also allows us to cater for individual sleep patterns throughout the day.
At the age of 12 months, when the children are moving confidently, they go into the Dragonfly Room. The room is always a hive of exciting and well-planned activities for the children to explore and play whilst developing essential skills. In this room children develop early language skills, embedding the ability to communicate with their friends and key persons.
The baby suite also boasts a Sensory Room, which provides a calm hub for children to explore and play through music, movement, touch, and vision. The activities set up in this area can be anything from baby yoga to messy play. Since sensory play is such an important part of learning in the early years, sensory activities exist through the Nursery and evolve as a child gets older.
Our Toddler Suite
Once our children are ready socially and emotionally (usually from 2 years old) they move to our Frogs and Turtles Rooms. At this stage the children’s enquiring minds are developing quite rapidly, therefore we create an exciting and stimulating learning environment for them to explore. We encourage children to make sensible choices about their own physical needs, helping them with secure decision making as they get older and adopting a healthy lifestyle. We ensure they have outside time, healthy food, positive experiences and visual displays of positive influences as they grow and develop.
Each child is supported by a key worker, while independence is encouraged through play. The children also form secure friendships, and an understanding of other children’s feelings.
Our Butterfly and Stars Rooms
The Butterfly and Stars Rooms are two additional rooms which the children visit during the day. Each room is set up to encourage children to explore their natural curiosity using independent skills, providing them with the autonomy to expand their play in any direction.
The children’s exciting and inspiring minds are nurtured and supported to ensure they develop to their best potential whilst having lots of fun. We encourage our children to be engaged, active and creative learners making sure their environment is set to build on existing knowledge and ensure progress and development.
Our Early Years Team
An experienced and dedicated leadership team oversee an excellent staff of Early Years Practitioners.
The level of care and development that your child receives whilst in our care is of the utmost importance to us here at Bridge Nursery. All staff are enthusiastic and passionate about their career, and hold professional childcare qualifications. They are committed to providing a positive learning environment for our children.
We feel strongly that we meet the emotional wellbeing as well as the developmental needs of the children in our care. We believe that if a child’s well-being is sound and that they are given a variety of options to explore, that they are likely to engage and learn new experiences individually at their own pace. Acknowledging children’s achievements with their friends and parents is an important part of their emotional growth, supporting them to be confident and self-assured.
Each child has a special member of staff, referred to as their Key Person, who will ensure your child’s specific needs and interests are met. We invite you to chat to us regularly to help us provide appropriate activities and opportunities for your child to support and develop their learning. These conversations may also provide you with some additional ideas and activities to provide at home.
Francesca Russell – Head of Bridge Nursery
Francesca Russell has been the Head of Bridge Nursery since 1997. She studied Nursery Nursing at Tonbridge College and then moved on to Nannying in London for a variety of high-profile families.
She moved away from Nannying when she had her own children and started a new chapter working in London schools, specifically with nursery and reception year groups. This formed a very important part of her experience in the provision of outstanding care for very young children, where she was able to consider the various building blocks that allow children to flourish and grow upon starting Prep School.
Francesca then moved to Ashford in 1996 where she worked as a SENDCo at a local school. The following year she was recruited by Ashford School (then an all girl’s school) to establish a Nursery for children aged 3 months to 3 years. Very quickly, Bridge Nursery became a huge success and has continued to grow and flourish, consistently rated ‘Outstanding’. Francesca attributes the success of the Nursery to the reflective and positive progression of the team that she leads.
Outside of work Francesca enjoys spending time with her family, walking her two dogs, skiing, and paddle boarding.
Sue Yeates – Head of Early Years
Sue Yeates is Head of Early Years at Ashford School and oversees all three settings within our family – The Stables & Bridge for the younger children, and the Prep School Nursery for those children aged three and four.
Sue has extensive experience of working and leading in Early Years as both an Early Years Practitioner and Montessori Teacher. Under her leadership the School has consistently achieved ‘Outstanding’ in its Early Years settings and she has been very much part of the success of Ashford Prep School at this age group. Sue has been instrumental in the development and design of The Stables and the Prep School Nursery, both of which she and the School are justly proud.
She has also worked with many schools within United Learning to support them in the quality of their provision and the development of their staff, showing total commitment to providing the very best start for all children in her care and in the care of others.
At Bridge Nursery we consider outdoor learning as important as the learning that takes place inside. We are fortunate enough to have a large garden in extensive grounds in which the children have the opportunity to discover and explore. Children can plant seeds and watch them grow, play dress up, make sandcastles, listen to stories, play instruments and participate in water play in a safe and fun environment.
Bridge Nursery is ideally situated in Ashford Senior School’s extensive grounds in the centre of Ashford. This is just a short walk from Ashford International Train Station and linked closely with Junctions 9 and 10 of the M20.