Rocking Horse Nursery

Rocking Horse Nursery


Today the children made a cake to celebrate and to say thank you to all the brave NHS workers for everything they are doing! (They especially liked the icing!)Chloe Dominy
Hope all the children have a little sing along!!
Just want to say hi to all the ladies who are still working, hi to all the ladies at home and hi to all the children. Stay safe and can't wait to see everyone again xx

The Rocking Horse Nursery at Newbury Racecourse is one of town's most established childcare faciliti We moved into our brand new purpose built facility in 2015.

The Rocking Horse Nursery is a well established Day Nursery club set in the beautiful and unique Newbury Racecourse Estate. Children are welcomed at the Rocking Horse from birth to school age. We have created a loving, nurturing and fun environment which sees all our children flourish. The rooms are spacious and all have direct access into the children's gardens. We would love to show you round th

Operating as usual

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 12/07/2023

Finians Rainbow 🌈 have been busy making fruit tea this afternoon! We used cups, tea pots and a selection of citrus fruits with water to mix together. We encouraged the children to use their senses of touch, smell, sight and taste to explore the fruit! Many of the children squeezed the fruit into cups , they then poured water in to make fresh flavoured water, they all tried drinking from open top cups and some managed it successfully!

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 06/07/2023

We have had such a busy morning in Celestial Gold! 😀

Some of the children's siblings have had a sports day this week, and a child came in and asked if we could have our own sports day! Practitioners found a range of gross motor resources and set up their own celestial gold sports day! Children balanced beanbags on heads, jumped in hoops and ran along the track!

The children (and staff) tried so hard and will all be given a certificate for their participation! Well done to everyone!

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 22/06/2023

Good afternoon!

The children in Rocky Creek have been focusing on developing their fine motor skills this week.

One of the children came in excitedly talking about the animals they saw at the farm over the weekend, so practitioners followed this interest and created an animal rescue! The children needed to use their fingers and thumbs to carefully pry off the different tapes in order to release the animals.

We have several children beginning to use a knife at lunch time to cut up their food so practitioners made a 'fine motor skills station' to give the children an opportunity to develop their cutting skills with some spaghetti and also some scissors and knives. One of the children exclaimed, "I can do it!" when they were able to make snips along the line on the paper.

Another huge interest in Rocky Creek at the moment is vehicles and mark making. Practitioners put both together and taped pens onto cars and the children were able to manoeuvre the small cars around the paper while making marks at the same time.

A very busy week in Rocky Creek!

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 21/06/2023

One of our Frankel children brought in a birds next this morning to share with the children. The children looked closely at group time and discussed what the next was for, who lived there and how it was made.

The children then used mud and collected outdoor fallen resources from the garden to create their own nests. The children used their hands and tools to manipulate the mud to create the shape and then added sticks to complete their nests.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 07/06/2023

Egg-citing developments today! (sorry I couldn't resist 'cracking' the joke)

Our eggs have begun hatching 😄!

This morning we opened up to see one chick had hatched overnight which caused a real excitement throughout morning drop off.

Since then we have had 5 more chicks hatch and all the children throughout the nursery have been coming down to see our new arrivals and some have been lucky enough to see one hatching!

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 05/06/2023

Our eggs have arrived!

Living Eggs delivered the eggs this morning ready for us to observe and learn about the hatching process and then care for them in the first 10 days of their lives. We will use these eggs as a learning opportunity for the children, teaching them about their life cycle and what support they will need as chicks.

Once the chicks are ready, one of our families has kindly offered to take them to a home where they will continue to be raised.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 24/05/2023

Six of our children went on an adventure yesterday! They were visiting Newbury Grove to do some planting so first went to B & Q in Newbury to choose and buy some seeds that they thought they would like to plant with the residents. B & Q very kindly saw what they were doing and donated them to the children when they found out what they were doing.
At Newbury Grove they were busy doing the planting and then chatted and used their imaginations to make flowers with ‘loose parts’ with the residents helping them.
As usual the children like to end with a song and we let the children choose.....we were a bit surprised when they started singing a song from Madagascar! Happy to say they did sing it very well though☺️

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 18/05/2023

Today in Rocky Creek a child came back from their holiday and said they went to the beach. They excitedly spoke about all the different animals they saw and other children started to join in, talking about different animals that live in the ocean. This led to a discussion about what's good for the ocean and what is not good for it and how we need to put our rubbish in the bin to keep our animals safe.

Practitioners set up a water tray activity where the children were able to remove the litter and plastic out of the sea and one of the children said "we are keeping the animals safe". We also had a story about the sea,and plastic affecting the animals in the sea.

Practitioners then thought it would be lovely if the children had the opportunity to go into the community and use litter pickers to pick up any litter they found and put it in the bin to help clean up the environment. They went out on a walk and were so excited to be able to help the animals by putting the rubbish in the bin. They came back to nursery telling everyone all about how they helped to "save the animals"!

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 11/05/2023

Rocky Creek have been showing lots of interest in the herbs that are growing in the garden. So practitioners decided to provide seeds, soil and pots for them to grow and look after their own plants!

The children have planted mint cucumbers, dill, and cape gooseberries and will be able to watch them grow until they are ready to taste!

We talked with the children about how they can look after the plants and what they can do with the plants once they have grown. It inspired the children to carry on digging and 'planting' other things and they recalled planting the tomatoes a couple of weeks ago.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 09/05/2023

This morning some of our older children have taken a trip to Tesco to buy some ingredients to take to Newbury Grove Care Home to make smoothies with the residents.

The children discussed healthy fruits they would like in their smoothies on the minibus, whilst pointing to places on their journey "I go to that shop over there (Dunelm) with my Mummy!"

When the children arrived they took turns choosing different fruits they wanted for the smoothies, and put them in the trolley ready for them to help with scanning and paying.

Once they arrived at Newbury Grove the children took all their purchases in to start preparing the fruit. The children helped chop the fruits, and happily chatted about foods that are healthy and unhealthy. Of course the best bit was sharing the smoothies with the residents and trying them for themselves too!

Finally the children took part in some drawing and reading time, specifically 'The Hungry caterpillar' and 'Handas Surprise', and ended with singing the wheels on the bus to the residents.

Thank you for having us again Newbury Gro

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 05/05/2023

We have been talking to the children about the Coronation this week and been doing many activities connected with this. Although the younger children don't really understand what's happening they have certainly enjoyed the activities and tea party. One of our children misheard the name of the Union Jack and renamed it the Unicorn Jack! This provided an excellent opportunity for chatting about flags from other countries.

Our week has finished with a tea party.....We were hoping for a garden party but we had to rethink our plans due to the weather. They still enjoyed their tea with a small great of scones with strawberry jam.

We have planted an acorn so we can watch the roots grow down into water. We are keeping it in reception and once it's established we will plant it as a permanent memory of this occasion.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 27/04/2023

What a lovely time we had visiting the residents at Newbury Grove Care Home ! We are so pleased to reconnect after the covid restrictions have been lifted and meeting up with some of our friends we haven't seen for a long time.

The children loved their minibus journey, singing 'wheels on the bus' on the way. We took play dough with frogs, birds and related books which the residents enjoyed reading with the children. We then went on to do some group drawings, the children began independently handing out their creations to their new friends which was lovely to see.

One of our children wanted to then explore their garden, so we enjoyed a nice stroll, looking at their flowers, plants and water feature, before saying thank you and see you soon.

Thank you again Newbury grove! See you next week 😁

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 26/04/2023

What a wonderful morning we had today! PC Phoebe and PCSO Sue came to visit the children in Tidal bay, Frankel and Rocky Creek.

The children asked questions, try on and look at uniform, looked closely at their equipment e.g. handcuffs and even have a turn exploring their police truck. Sue and Phoebe had a great time and are already wanting to come back which is great! It's so important that the children see the Police as helpful and this morning definitely supported this!

Thank you again to Thames Valley Police for taking the time out, the children are still buzzing 😁

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 21/04/2023

We are very lucky to be apart of Newbury Racecourse and have these experiences available for our children on our doorstep.

Today Many Clouds children and staff enjoyed a short walk down to the grounds to see the horses parading before their race. It enabled the staff to introduce new language and experiences.

Although there were clouds the rain stayed away for them.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 21/04/2023

"Loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways"
Loris Malaguzzi, Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 05/04/2023

The children in Frankel have been exploring a combination of Spring, Easter and colour today! Together we used different colour water, potion bottles, pipetts and herbs to explore and create some amazing potions! It was lovely to listen to the children communicating their ideas, sharing resources and working together. I think the favourite potion of the day was one that enabled the Easter bunny to jump as high as a giant!!

We read a beautiful story called 'Pink Is for Boys' by Robb Pearlman'. In the story we read how everyone can like any colour and then searched our environment to find as many different colours as we could. After we investigated colour further by adding white paint to a selection of colours to create new shades. Practitioners provided bottles and paint brushes for the children to continue exploring whilst painting the fences in the garden.


With the weather brightening up, we thought it would be fun to create an activity sheet for our families to use and make the most of the sunny weather over this bank holiday weekend.

Please find a nature hunt activity sheet outside the rooms or in reception

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 21/03/2023

Our home learning bags are ready to be taken home!

Please find these in reception, all we ask is you sign the bags out when you take one and sign it back in when you return it to confirm it is complete.

These bags can be used to support your child's learning and development. They include a range of resources and ideas to do at home.

Having a positive home learning environment can encourage children to be curious, show engagement and positive attitude towards their learning and support their self confidence.


It is 'Safer Sleep Week' we have placed information packs and posters around the nursery for all of our parents to see.

We have used 'the lullaby trust' for staff training and to gain a clear understanding of safe practice

If you would like to learn more information about 'Safer Sleep' please follow The Lullaby Trust page or use the link below:

Apprenticeship Awards Winners 2023 14/03/2023

Apprenticeship Awards Winners 2023

Thank you to Newbury College for your kind words and continual support.

And well done again to Nina for winning this award!

Apprenticeship Awards Winners 2023 In recognition of the incredible contribution apprenticeships bring to our economy, Newbury College and University Centre Newbury (UCN) have been utilising National Apprenticeship Week (6 – 12 February 2023) to highlight some outstanding examples of excellence with their annual Apprenticeship Awar...


Happy International Women's day!

We will use this day to take the time to appreciate all the women in our children's lives.

Our Mum's, Grandma's, Aunties and whoever else you may be. And to our team who work extremely hard to support our children and families through their early years journey.

Rocking Horse is very lucky to have you all, thank you.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 08/03/2023

Happy Snow Day!

A big thank you to our estates team at the Newbury Racecourse for clearing and gritting the car park which allowed our families and team to arrive safely this morning

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 02/03/2023

Today is World book day and all the children have had a great day celebrating. We have seen some amazing costumes, from The Gruffalo, to Stick Man. The staff got involved too, causing a few funny looks from the children.

Activities over the course of the day have related to specific books of interest such as the Tiger who came to tea where the children hosted their own tea party. The Hungry Caterpillar gave the children a great opportunity to taste some different foods determining what they like and dislike. We're going on a bear hunt involved looking at the language used and trying to order the events of the story.

Children also took part in activities that enabled them to be creative and engage in new sensory experiences.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 01/03/2023

Happy St David's Day!

The children drew inspiration from the daffodils to be creative, using similar coloured paints and different sized shaped tools

Using these different resources for children to paint with helps build up strength in the children's hand muscles which will support their fine motor development.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 22/02/2023

Rocky Creek have become really interested with cooking recently and exploring different types of foods. This morning a group of children were role-playing in the mud kitchen pretending they were making a cake. A group of children came to the children's kitchen with a practitioner and we made some egg and dairy free fruit cup cakes.

We spoke to the children about allergies and how some children might not be able to have certain foods, we had to substitute eggs and butter today to make sure all the children could have one. The children took turns to pour in the ingredients and used the whisk to stir all the mixture up.

It was a great opportunity to talk about using tools safely and also keeping their hands and work surface clean. Helping tidy up after cooking is just as important part of the activity!

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 21/02/2023

Our team had a well deserved surprise arrive at lunchtime today! Raffaele's Ice Creams & Desserts

Not only for being amazing practitioners, but for also receiving a glowing report from our EYRS quality audit!

We ensure an annual quality audit is done each year to keep up to date with best practices, have a fresh pair of eyes to support us with areas for development and of course give us confidence in what we are doing well

We are very proud of our team!


How amazing are our families...

We asked on Monday if our families would like to bring in some donations for the earthquake victims.....look what we have been given already!

We are looking forward to passing these onto Laz Turkish Barbers and Turkuaz Newbury.

Its not too late to bring items in if you would like to.

Thank you


We are so lucky to have Jude supporting our apprentices 😁

Well deserved Jude!

Congratulations to Jude Buckell from Newbury College for being recognised by employers and apprentices as this year's Best Development Coach.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 09/02/2023

In Rocky Creek we had several children come in talking about their weekend which included lots of baking and a trip to 'Zizzis' (Italian restaurant)

Due to their interest in cooking the children were given the opportunity too make their own pizzas to have later that day for their tea! We used this time to talk about healthy foods, their own likes and dislikes and experiences that happen at home. This experience enabled the children to develop their vocabulary, ability to take turns and share resources whilst also learning about staying safe in the kitchen.


Very proud of all of our apprentices who work extremely hard to achieve their qualifications.

Well done Nina!

Congratulations to Nina Clay from Rocking Horse Nursery, our Best Apprentice in a Medium Business.


Congratulations to Rocking Horse Nursery for being recognised as an award-winning apprenticeship employer.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 06/02/2023

Celestial Gold were super busy at nursery last week celebrating national storytelling week. We did various activities based on the children's favourite books; Elmer, The Gruffalo, The Three Little Pigs, The Hungry Caterpillar, The Tiger Who Came To Tea and The Colour Monster.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 26/01/2023

We have decided to introduce the myHappymind programme into the nursery. myHappymind is a NHS backed programme that is designed for nurseries in supporting the children's mental well being and building resilient, balanced happy minds.

The amount children will take part in will vary from room to room but we want to ensure they principles of the programme are embedded throughout.

myHappymind is delivered by practitioners through a series of interactive lessons and the children will then apply what they have learned throughout the day. Parents will also be able to continue the children's learning using specific parent resources to use at home. A letter from us will be sent out tomorrow with the link and code to access these resources.

myHappymind combines the latest research, science and technology to help children develop life long habits and learn to thrive. We are looking forward to seeing the positive effects it will have on our children.

If you would like to learn more about myHappymind then follow the link below


National Day Nurseries Association Awards :: 18/01/2023

National Day Nurseries Association Awards ::

We have decided to enter Rocking Horse Nursery into the 'NDNA Nursery of the year Award'!

We are so proud of our nursery and the experiences, opportunities and care the children receive when they are with us. Our team work so hard to ensure these experiences are enriching and stimulating and give the children the best possible opportunities to thrive, learn and develop. Children are loved by the team here and we hope our families who give us their trust to care for their children see this every day.

We are a nursery that are proud of our achievement's but also pride ourselves on being reflective. We ensure that our team consistently review, make progress, and always strive to learn more.

If you feel like we may be deserving of this award then please do vote via the link below- Thank you

National Day Nurseries Association Awards :: Three regional (North of England, Central England, South of England), two national (Scotland and Wales), one international nursery and one overall winner are awarded. Encourage your parents or carers to vote for you and your nursery. You can view a best practice example entry on our website here: ww...

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 20/12/2022

Our Newbury Soup Kitchen donations have been collected by Hannah and will be distributed out to the chefs at the kitchen, and other local charities in need.

Some of the children were excited to come down and help Hannah pack the food up and whilst doing so Hannah began explaining how amazing it was to come and collect all of these donations and spoke about what will happen with them next

Thank you to all of those that got involved, it will go a long way this Christmas for a vast range of people within our local community.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 21/11/2022

What an amazing week we have had celebrating 30 years of our nursery!

Firstly we need to give our amazing staff team a really big thank you! They always work so hard but this week have made the childrens experiences even better.

Secondly we really want to say thank you to all of our families for supporting us in making this week so special, your kind words and gestures have really made us feel like one big family.
And lastly a big thank you to the amazing outside companies who have come in this week to give the children a unique experience each day!

Photos from Sophie’s Teepees and Partees's post 15/11/2022

Photos from Sophie’s Teepees and Partees's post

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 15/11/2022


This week, we are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Rocking Horse Nursery at Newbury Racecourse with a host of special things happening throughout the week such as party tea and various specialists coming in to run sessions with the children. Today in particular an honouree guest in retired racehorse Native River visited the children to mark this very special celebration.

Photos from Rocking Horse Nursery's post 11/11/2022

We've had a very busy week in Celestial Gold doing various different activities based on the children's interests. The activities we have been doing have taught the children all about colours, developing language, filling/emptying, spoon control and provided them with new sensory experiences.

Coloured water play- During this activity practitioners spoke to the children all about the colours they could see. We also used language such as "fill", "empty", "pour", "tip" and others.

Coloured food play- This activity we based it around colours again as the children had been previously learning about them. We encouraged some more filling/emptying skills by adding in spoons. This also helped the children with their spoon control.

Baking- The children have been very interested in the mud kitchen outside and wet sensory experiences so we thought we'd extend on this by doing some baking. This activity also extended on their filling/emptying and spoon control whilst scooping the ingredients. Practitioners used language such as "weigh", "scoop", "pour", "butter", "flour", "sugar", "mix" to name a few. We also decorated the yummy biscuits we made, which the children then tasted at tea time.

Poppy making- The children have noticed poppies around the nursery as a mark of respect for Remembrance Day. The children took interest in this saying "poppy" and wanted to create their own.

We created a poppy making tuff tray with a visual image of poppies, red playdough, black buttons, green spaghetti to allow the children to create their own.

Have a great weekend see you next week!


We have had some fantastic 'Autumn Treasure' bags that the children have brought in to show us and thought you might like to see what one of our Tidal Bay children has collected when she went for a walk with her parents.

The children are so proud of their treasures and enjoy sharing their experience, and sometimes the treasure, with their friends. It has enabled our staff to extend their interest and learning to many other areas. For example, some of the children are using these natural resources with playdough and have made their own versions of the Stickman in Rocky Creek to support their creativity, problem solving and malleable skills.......and some of the children just wanted to make sure they can take their treasure home again after showing everyone.

We do have some treasure bags left outside the rooms and in reception so please help yourself.

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Videos (show all)

Fridays song
What is Suzie playing today?
Suzie, our Many Clouds Team Leader plays the cornet and has taped two songs to listen to.....can you sing along?





Opening Hours

Monday 7:30am - 6pm
Tuesday 7:30am - 6pm
Wednesday 7:30am - 6pm
Thursday 7:30am - 6pm
Friday 7:30am - 6pm
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