The Red House is an independent Nursery for children aged 2 to 4+ years with a diverse teaching team that is committed to providing the best possible experiences for children and their families. Situated in a detached house where the warm homely environment reflects our ethos, we are a community, working, learning, being and existing together on a daily basis. The Red House is an open plan learning environment that is filled with diverse resources for example – open fires in the winter, clay, spinning wheel, sewing machines, woodwork, Bauspiel construction, always retaining focus on naturally occurring resources/opportunities, both inside and outside the building. We constantly engage with educational research both our own research and others, ensuring that everyone who works with us is challenged and inspired by original ideas and alternative ways of rethinking early years practice. We consider it very important to be an outward looking educational setting that listens to others views and then collectively decides what works well in our small community within The Red House. We believe that one of the key foundations upon which The Red House thrives is a positive working relationship with families. Conversations and the sharing of information with parents/carers is crucial in understanding how families are experiencing what The Red House has to offer. Parents, students and visitors feedback is key in influencing our approach. We have been consistently graded as an ‘outstanding’ setting by Ofsted since prior to 2010 and we are recognised as investors in people.

At The Red House we want children to engage with the world, but we want them to know that they can do so through their own creative inquiry rather than by following a path laid out by others. There are many educational approaches from around the world and we try to develop as much awareness and understanding of as many as possible. These approaches, in turn influence our thinking and how we approach the design of our environment and our positive participation in childrens lives. We believe that the Early Years are an important time in their own right, and much more than a preparation for something to come, as such our philosophy embraces a world view that respects the here and now. We work together to protect the Early Years from potentially restricting educational expectations, by avoiding an over attachment to prescribed outcomes, we hope to move beyond restrictions that can interfere and limit the creative and diverse processes of learning. We are committed to offering rich, varied experiences through which children can learn from different perspectives, through alternative paradigms, that support their own unique lines of inquiry and experimentation.

The Red House is open plan and resource based. Children can move around the whole building throughout the day where they will encounter different areas that have been designed to present different challenges and experiences. Here are just some of the possibilities.


The Red Area

This area’s main focus is to create space and opportunity for storytelling and dramatic play. Resources in this area provide opportunities for life-size roleplay, dressing up, doctors, pirates as well as small world resources: a dolls house, train set, animals which work well in combination to promote communication, self-expression and language development. The room’s furniture and furnishings are intended to be open ended resources and encourage the creation of different arrangements and structures.


The Clock Area and inside Garden Area

The Clock and inside Garden area can be described as an atelier encompassing a huge variety of different artistic media and sensory materials from arts and craft to cookery and woodwork to bricolage. Through the use of clay, paints, sculpting, bricolage, cookery and textiles staff aim to nurture children’s creative exploration and expression. Dedicated areas for woodwork, and the sensory exploration of wet and dry natural resources, encourage children to develop coordination and tactile awareness, as well as aesthetic design and modelling skills. We encourage children to explore all of these activities and experiences through the use of all their senses. The area is also home to sewing machines and other related resources such as beads, material, needles, looms and a spinning wheel.


The upstairs Music Area, Games Area and Old Craft Area

The Music Area houses a range of musical and percussion instruments including ukuleles, hand bells, guiros, ocean drums, and claves. In this area there is as a projector and large screen onto which we can project images of dance and music, there is space for children to play and dance with ribbons, bells and fabrics, and a large mirrored wall in which they can observe their own and other’s movements. The Games Area has many puzzles, games as well as construction equipment that challenges skills from balancing, locking, screwing, twisting, clicking, pressing, and pulling all used when planning, building, connecting and constructing. Resources such as Bauspiel, Lasy, Mobilio and Polydron are found in this area. The Old Craft Area is home to mathematical, scientific and enquiry based resources. These include puzzles, measuring, magnets, electric circuit components, microscopes and pipettes which all enhance our critical thinking.


Outside space at The Red House, Redland Green and Durdham Downs

We spend a lot of times outdoors, whatever the weather. There are three outdoor spaces, all offering very different experiences. The front garden is defined by a beautiful magnolia tree, with a surrounding tree house, here children can climb and swing. In the side garden children can play with bikes, hoops, stilts, wooden bricks, water and bamboo chutes. The back garden provides different opportunities for exploring the cycles of nature, there is a fish pond, bird and insect boxes, herb and vegetable patches and a cloche for nurturing seedlings.


We make extensive use of all areas of Redland Green; running through the open spaces, climbing through the copse, playing in the playground. We also visit the nearby Durdham Downs regularly.


The Wider Community

The Red House sits within a lively and stimulating community full of shops, schools and businesses with which the Nursery has close contact. Weekly outings are made to the local Florist to choose flowers for our meal tables, the bakery to collect bread for our meals and the Library.

We are a community in our own right, and our sense of a collective identity is important to us, we strive to maintain a balance between our combined and individual needs in order to maintain a positively connected community, but we are also members of the wider community. Regular visits to Redland Green, the Downs, the local library, and the flower shop, ensure that we build on and value these wider important connections. We also visit our local bakery and fish mongers, collecting the food required for some of our meals and delivering it back to our chef in our own  kitchen. Our sense of belonging to a wider community also extends to our connections with universities colleges and schools through which we continue to engage with future and current colleagues as well as current and future ideas and policies that impact on young children and their families lives.

All food is carefully prepared by our own chef who prepares, cooks and serves hot meals twice a day. Our menus provide a range of delicious and nutritious meals using locally sourced ingredients. There is also a snack table available for children to visit; they can have fresh and dried fruit, rice cakes, oat cakes, breadsticks, milk and water. Children often help prepare contributions to the meals and snacks, cooking as well as shopping locally for ingredients. We have three vegetable patches outside in which the children grow various herbs, fruit and vegetables used for cooking. At meal times children and adults lay the tables together, counting out the cutlery, glasses and plates needed for each table. Flowers, collected by the children from the local florist, are placed at the centre of the table on the table cloth.Our meal times are important to us, they are a chance for children and adults to sit together in small groups, they are a social time and an opportunity to discuss the day`s events.

The Red House Children’s Centre believes in the importance of a sound and committed understanding of the right that every child has to live ‘free from discrimination whatever their race, religion, abilities; whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from’, as stated in Article 2 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989).

The Red House seeks to provide an environment which celebrates and values differences in identities, cultures, religions, abilities and social lifestyle. The Red House recognises the impact of discrimination and social inequalities and their effect on young children and their families. The Red House therefore continually strives to value children and adults for their individuality to ensure a sense of belonging is created that will promote and develop self esteem. All staff working at The Red House will demonstrate their respect for where children come from, what they achieve and what they bring to the learning situation. The Red House will also seek to promote a learning environment that openly acknowledges that very young children recognise differences and variations, and will in response to this actively take responsibility for the development of anti discriminatory practice with due regard for an awareness that children seldom make value judgements without the influence of adults.

The Red House remains mindful of all current legislation that supports an inclusive approach to all aspects of Early Years Care and Education, in respect of this:

  • The ground floor and gardens at The Red House are accessible to all
  • The Red House has an access plan to build on and develop further our inclusivity
  • We endeavour to have paper communications translated where ever possible. Please ask if you need this offer
  • We offer individual family inductions to discuss individual children’s needs. This includes any support needed relating all aspects of a child’s holistic development and the effectiveness of their access to all aspects of provision
  • For further information about aspect of the provision in relation to specific individual needs please contact us
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