Magdalen Lodge is our first nursery located in Earlsfield, Wandsworth SW18.
Housed in a converted Victorian Lodge, we founded Magdalen Nursery at this site in 2012. We took a great deal of care and thought in converting this beautiful old building into a safe and modern nursery setting.
The nursery garden takes pride of place at the Lodge and is loved by all the children and families at the school. We have a dedicated gardener who takes care of our large garden which perfectly accommodates areas for play and recreation whilst still maintaining lots of natural plants, shrubs and flowers. Physical play is through the various climbing frames which are suitable for all the age groups as well a fantastic selection of outdoor toys and resources. The garden also has a wonderfully mucky Mud Garden which is a big hit all round! All the separate areas of learning are represented in the garden for our children to be always developing and learning through outdoor play. It’s fair to say that the garden is a true labour of love for Magdalen, it is the centre piece of our wonderful nursery. From children having lots of fun all day to parents having summer parties on balmy evenings, the nursery garden is used and loved by all.
The interior of the Lodge has been carefully renovated to create a homely setting, maintaining lots of the property’s original features and painted with soft tones. We wanted to create a home from home for our children and that can be seen across the various different rooms. In fact, one of our policies is to maintain a family atmosphere throughout the setting. This is reflected from the style and presentation of the rooms, to the small groups of children in each room and the way each child’s day is structured at the nursery. Children join each room together in groups of 6 to 8. They stay with their friends and key carers throughout the day, playing together, eating together like a family at the table and then napping during the day in their dedicated cots or mats.
The different rooms in the nursery are separated by age group and ability of each child. Our children start their journey with us in “Dicky Birds”, our baby room. This room has been carefully designed to gently care for our youngest children. Soft furnishings, gentle lighting and easily accessible resources make it a perfect place to nurture our babies. This room has our most experienced members of staff as managers. A lot of time and love is dedicated to the Dicky Birds room as we recognise the importance of a good start for our babies in nursery life. As the children grow, they move across the different rooms alongside their friends and peers. Each room maintains the same small groups of children making it a much more focussed, intimate environment to learn and thrive.
As with both of our nurseries, The Lodge has a separate Pre-School Classroom. This is the last stop for our children as part of the Magdalen journey. “Explorers” is a purpose built classroom situated outside the main building next to the garden. We wanted to create a special environment for our 4 to 5 year old children as they approach “big school”. As a result, the organisation of this room is slightly different to the rest of the nursery. We have a dedicated Nursery Teacher who focusses her teaching in a slightly more formal way, preparing the children for their first steps in a school environment. Although education is always through play at Magdalen Nursery, we believe our structured pre-school classrooms give our children that slight head start once they begin school.
Our furniture and resources are the best available on the market. All toys and learning resources are made from natural resources such as wood and fabric and we avoid plastic as much as we can. Tables and chairs are supplied by Community Playthings, a lovely company which hand makes nursery equipment from natural materials.
We make a great emphasis on the quality of our food at the Lodge. Children join us for breakfast, enjoy lunch and stay for tea during their day with us. Their days are punctuated between meal times with healthy snacks which is always fresh fruit. All of our food is freshly prepared by our truly wonderful chef Hannah, who produces delicious home cooked food using our rotating seasonal menu. She prepares everything from scratch, never using pre made sauces and we never ever add salt or sugar. Hannah holds a special place in our nursery, she has a very maternal presence in the setting, parents, children and staff are all very endeared to her. Our menus are created with close liaison with all families and ensure they include a balanced diet of meat, fish and vegetables. We try to represent as many different cuisines as possible in the menus as we feel a developed palate is an integral part of a child’s development. Allergies and preferences are adhered to in a very regimented and organised system in the kitchen. Our children love their food at Magdalen Nursery and always finish their plates!