News & Events

We like to share some of the things that the children have been doing at nursery in our News and Events pages. We hope that you enjoy reading our stories and looking at the pictures. The children really love seeing their pictures published too! 

Making new friends!

Each week we go to Patron House, a local specialist residential care home for the elderly with a focus on dementia. From the moment we started going we have had the most incredible, heart warming experiences and to witness the bond between the residents and our children is something that we could never describe. The children love sitting with the residents, playing with them and hearing their stories. The skills they learn and develop though thi process - such as patience, clear communication and empathy - are some of life's most important and will stand the children in good stead for the future. We hope to continue this special relationship for years to come.

 We have made many new friends and have received great feedback on the behaviour, conduct, attitide and most importantly happiness of our children!

Green fingers at the ready!

Charlie has been making the most of the nice weather by givinbg the front of the nursery a well needed revamp! It's lovely to have a safe front garden for children and families to walk through as they come in to nursery so it's only right that we make it look great! Thanks Charlie, and thanks to everyone who helped too!

Focus on the garden

Kirsty and Toni have been busy spending their weekends making improvements to the garden! The children now have lots of exciting new areas to explore ensuring that there are lots of opportunities to learn outdoors. These areas include a dinosaur park, a mud kitchen, a writing area and a water area! We have also made a potion making station and some sensory tyres full of herbs for smelling and tasting. Spike and Gizmo, the nursery's resident Guinea pigs, have moved outside for the warmer months and are also enjoying their new surroundings! There are still lots of exciting things to come and the children have loved exploring it so far! Watch this space……………

Toni is our new deputy!

We are delighted to announce that Toni has been promoted to the role of deputy manager and will formally assume her position at the start of Kate’s maternity leave on 18th March. Since joining us as Cubs leader she has transformed the room into somewhere we are truly proud to offer to our families and she has it running fantastically well. We hope Toni can take this focus and drive to the next level in her new role.

Toni has over 10 years of experience working in day nurseries and is working on her level 5 qualification. She will work closely with Kirsty to lead the nursery and we are confident that the two of them will make a great team!

A new leader for preschool!

Lucia qualified as an early years teacher in Spain before making the move to Bristol in 2014.

Since joining Once Upon a Time Lucia has been hugely influential in developing our preschool into a wonderful asset to the nursery and something we are truly proud to offer our children and their families. Working alongside our experienced preschool worker Paige and our Early Years Practitioner Rebecca Lucia completes a very strong team in our preschool and we are incredibly proud to have such a strong team. All three have experience of working in schools and use it to best prepare our children for the step up to primary education. All this while still remaining true to the spirit of the nursery of providing a small, intimate setting and a truly personal learning experience for each of our children.

We are delighted to have Lucia in such an important role and we encourage all of our parents to say hi and talk to her about her plans for our preschool!

We have 'bean' busy!

The children at Brentry have been learning about vegetables. They set up their role play area as a greengrocers shop where they could buy and sell fruit and vegetables to their friends. On Tuesday they used peelers to peel the vegetables and knives to chop the vegetables into smaller pieces to put into a soup for tea! We all sat down and ate it and it was yummy!

They added all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and covered them in some vegetable gravy which they ate for their tea.

Once they had finished making soup, they cut up the spare vegetables into different shapes and used them to dip in paint and make some vegetable picture.



Would Ewe believe what we have been doing?

Following the launch of the Shaun in the City trail on 6th July 2015, the children have had a fab-ewe-lous time visiting Cribbs Causeway, the Downs and Whiteladies Road in search of the model sheep. The children have been very excited to put on their jackets and take the bus - they even had time to take a selfie!


 On Tuesday 21st July, all of the children attending the morning session took the bus to see the sheep called Bumble on the Downs. Whilst there they had a picnic lunch and took part in a Stretch and Grow session with our regular visitor Linda. The children went baa-rmy and had lots of fun!


Ofsted - We're all Good!

On Thursday 2nd July we had a routine Ofsted inspection at our Downs Cote Drive nursery. We are proud and absolutely delighted to announce that we received a ‘Good’ rating which was backed up by a hugely positive report that can be read here. As with our nursery at Passage Road a lot has changed in the last year or so and to have an official tell us that she is astounded at the speed of the changes and the positive impacts that have resulted, and that at the current rate of change we should aim to be rated as Outstanding soon is a massive boost for the team who have been working so hard. We are already acting upon the inspector’s recommendations that were around further embedding the changes that we have introduced and looking to take that next step towards becoming an Outstanding nursery.


We now have both nurseries with a Good rating which is testament to the team and the efforts they have all put in. We love to hear your feedback on any aspect of our nurseries so please let us know any comments you may have. Our interaction with parents and the closeness with which we all communicate and work together was something that inspectors at both nurseries praised and it is these relationships that help make Once Upon a Time what it is.


Our thanks go out to the parents who have supported us through the changes (and those who were questioned by the inspector on the doorstep!). We are all so proud of our nursery and we are excited to share it with the children as we move into the future.


Best regards,

Rob, Lorraine and the team

Gorilla Gardening

On Tuesday 14th July our nurseries went quiet as children from both Westbury and Brentry made a trip to the Downs to watch a special performance of Gorilla Gardening! The show had recently completed a hugely successful run at the Tobacco Factory and we were lucky enough to be invited to a one off al fresco performance specially for benefactors and other key people who helped make the show happen. The nurseries’ co founder Trish has a wonderful garden at her house next to the Downs and she is also the proud owner of one of the original gorilla statues that were displayed around Bristol back in 2011 so she was the perfect host!

On a day that thankfully stayed dry the children were treated to a performance of the show and a workshop all about planting seeds before having afternoon tea in the garden! There was a huge garden, an amazing wendyhouse and not to mention Doris the Gorilla! We had so many parent helpers that we would like to say thank you to all of them – The children (and us grown ups!) had a wonderful time and it wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Soaking up the sun!

The beautiful weather we had for most of April has meant we have spent as much time as possible outside – well we’ve got to make the most of it while it lasts!!

On one lovely sunny day our intrepid children and staff decided to go for a picnic on the Down. They packed a picnic with sandwiches, home made flap jack and lots of fresh fruits and travelled by bus - in itself an adventure. The children loved travelling on the top deck for a prime view out of the windows. They played lots of games to work up an appetite and enjoyed watching the butterflies and birds. Some picked daisies (yes there were daisies)  to make a daisy chain. 

On other days we also arranged excursions to Blaise Woods and Canford Park. The children really enjoyed putting on their sun hats and chatting as they walk crocodile style (we can easily walk to both destinations). Lorraine, our Westbury-on-Trym manager, is a fully qualified Forest school teacher and Blaise is great for doing Forest School activities with the chidren. We also visited Canford Park - a wonderful leafy park with a great children's play area. They love playing in the sand and taking turns on the round about, the slide and the swings.

Being small means we can be spontaneous and take full advantage of the wonder British sunshine - whenever the opportunity arises. We are all looking forward to many more outings over the coming months. 

A big welcome to Lucia

In April we welcomed the newest addition to the Once Upon a Time team – Lucia Vasquez Martinez. Lucia is originally from Spain where she attended the University of Santiago de Compostela and became a fully qualified primary and early years teacher. She went on to teach in both Spain and Sweden before coming to live in Bristol last year.

Lucia's skills and experience are going to be invaluable to the team as we build for the future and her passion and enthusiasm are already proving to be infectious! She will work closely with Abby Goddard, our fully qualified Curriculum Leader, to help assess practice and support our staff in planning and delivering exciting and meaningful learning experiences for the children. Lucia is planning to start giving the children regular Spanish lessons in May – no doubt with the help of our Spanish children at the nursery! 

The return of Forest School

After a break over winter our manager and fully qualified Forest School teacher Lorraine is taking another group of children into the forest at Blaise Woods to gain first hand experience of being in the wild and learning about nature.

Forest School gives our cildren the opportunity to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in an outdoor environment. To have Blaise Woods within walking distance of both nurseries is a huge asset and we do our best to make the most of it! It's great for the children to get out and about and enjoy the fresh air. The shade of the trees helps ensure that they don't get over heated when running about too. 



When I grow up .....

We like to introduce the children to local businesses and show them about some of the different things that people do in their working lives. To do this we sometimes we arrange a visit out into the community for example to visit the local bakery, a dentist and the library. We also have a Special Day programme here we invite people in to talk about what they do.  

As part of the programme, on Friday 24th April we had a visit from George’s grandmother and grandfather who came along to talk about their jobs. Georg'e Grandmother is a paramedic and she talked about what ! It was really exciting as she let the children try out some of her equipment - they particularly enjoyed wrapping each other up in bandages! They asked some really interesting questions about what a paramedic does and what things she enjoyed about her job.

After all of that excitement it was time to stand in line and play by the rules as George’s granddad took us out into the garden and talked to us about his career as a referee! There were whistles, flags and red and yellow cards – we were certainly on our best behaviour! The children really enjoyed this - especially blowing the whistles! 

We will let you know who we are planning to invite in next - and please feel free to send us any suggestions that you have.