Dolphin School

Waltham Road , Hurst, Reading, Berkshire, RG10 0FR
Nursery Logo





What makes a nursery different? What makes one nursery better than the next for your child? The choice is a difficult and often emotional one, made more confusing by the plethora of advice and opinion available to parents.

At Dolphin we know what makes us different. Our school, a coeducational, preparatory school for children aged three to thirteen, offers children the freedom to learn in a number of individual and important ways.


Dolphin has been providing a happy and secure environment for a child’s first steps into education for over forty years. The atmosphere is exciting, colourful, orderly and inviting. The children work happily with purpose, care and competence.

“Children flourish in the exceptionally well organised setting” Ofsted Report

Our aim is to inspire in the child curiosity, a love of learning and to build self-esteem through a structured, hands-on, learning programme. There are different themes for every term, integrated into which is a long established programme of relevant day trips and visits.


Welcome To The Dolphin Nursery

Our Classroom

Our greatest resource at Dolphin is our highly qualified and dedicated staff. They are innovative and flexible and enjoy the challenge of teaching.

“Children benefit from the well qualified and experienced staff who are very caring” Ofsted Report

We are delighted with the recent results of our Early Years Audit from the local authority in Wokingham. The school's Foundation Stage, incorporating both the Nursery and Reception classes, was recently audited using the Early Environment Rating Scale ‘ECERS’.

We scored 6.09 out of a maximum of 7 - the national average is 4.3. The scale assesses the 3 key needs of children, their health and safety, how they build positive relationships, and the opportunities provided for structured learning and learning from experience.

Particular strengths that were highlighted included ‘interaction’, scoring 6.8 out of 7. This looks at supervision, interactions amongst children and between staff and children, and discipline. ‘Language and reasoning’ scored 6.75 out of 7.

This includes book provision, encouraging children to communicate and using language to develop reasoning skills.

Not only were we delighted that the feedback reflects the expertise and commitment of the Foundation staff, but that it also demonstrates a love of learning which the children are able to develop as soon as they arrive. 

“The quality of teaching and learning is outstanding”
, “Staff are perceptive to children’s interests” Ofsted Report




The Montessori approach adopted in the Dolphin Nursery is child-centred and all equipment is set out in an ordered way to enable children to select their own work independently.  The
Nursery holds to a Montessori ethos that allows time for one-to-one with a one of our three trained Montessori teachers and offers time for child-centred learning throughout parts of each day.

The Montessori method uses the children’s natural curiosity and gives them the space and time to learn. This aids concentration, self-motivation and perseverance. High self-esteem is paramount.

“The curriculum both inside and outside is delivered extremely well and provides children with exciting learning opportunities” Ofsted Report

Young children must be allowed to make decisions and feel themselves to be successful. Discussion and listening is also important so that children know that they are valued and that their opinion is important.

The materials and equipment they use lead children to attain nationally approved ‘learning goals’ and paves the way for the National Curriculum and the Dolphin School learning programme.


"Pupils social awareness is outstanding. Older members of the school play happily with younger ones at break times,
 and as part of their week will read to them and
listen to reading".  School Inspection Report



Outdoor Activity Area

Outdoor Learning Cabin

Nursery have their own self-contained environment which can be found at the end of the Dolphin School Rainbow Road!

Their environment is linked to that of the Reception Class with whom they work very closely. A purpose built outdoor classroom at the other end of the school field adds another dimension to their learning and the children in Nursery also benefit from the close proximity of the senior school.

They make full use of its facilities, such as the main hall for gym activities, playing fields and swimming pool during the summer term. They also enjoy the care and attention of the older children who sometimes visit Nursery to entertain them or work with them on specific projects.

“Children use their imagination and are creative in expressing themselves” Ofsted Report

Nursery children quickly become relaxed and comfortable in the school grounds so that the transition to the main school is natural and smooth.

The Nursery is attached to the main school and therefore benefits hugely from its resources such as playing fields, climbing frames, playgrounds, nature trails, minibuses and the swimming pool.

“Children access a broad range of wonderful resources” Ofsted Report

Above all it benefits from the expertise of trained PE, sports, music, judo and languages teachers, in addition to the existing Nursery staff.

Indeed, all Nursery children are exposed to an excellent array of 20 or so languages from around the world in specialist languages lessons that are timetables for every week with the main schools Head of MFL.

 “The quality of the pupils personal development is excellent, and is promoted by exemplary relationships between pupils, and between pupils and staff, including in
the EYFS.

Pupils are friendly, polite and courteous, and are valued by staff throughout the school.

They have self-esteem and a good sense of self-worth, fulfilling the school’s aim of developing caring, independent-thinking, confident and well balanced young people.
” School Inspection Report






Our Classroom

Climbing Frame

Day trips begin in Nursery at Dolphin. Our youngest children go on at least two excursions per term. Each visit will relate to the overall theme for that term.

Day trips continue throughout a Dolphin career and include such venues as art galleries, museums, historical sites and theatre experiences. Almost all costs associated with our day trip programme are included in the fees.


Examples of trips undertaken in a year by Nursery;  
Autumn term:
Kenton Theatre Autumn Walk to SouthHill Park Show at Norden Farm Park  

Spring term:
Wokingham Library White Waltham Estate – farm and gardens Spring Walk  

Summer term:
White Waltham airfield Henley by train A working garage  


"The school provides an extremely wide range of extra-curricular subjects, for example judo and cooking.

Sport and music are well represented in clubs and
activities".  School Inspection Report



Nursery Gallery