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Get those brain cells working.... learning games and updates from our local schools and nurseries

Shiplake Nursery - NEW Stay and Play


Come to our NEW Stay & Play Group. This Friday, all kids aged 0-5 welcome. Planned activities & meet our lovely manager Melissa.

Article created / last edited: 21 January 2018

Welcome to our Nursery!


Shiplake Village Nursery welcomes you to a safe, happy and stimulating pre-school environment, in which children can learn through play and positively develop their social, emotional, physical and intellectual capabilities.  Each child is valued and respected as an individual and we believe every child must have the opportunity to reach their full potential.


The nursery was established in 1966 and has occupied its current premises since 1990. Conveniently situated next to Shiplake Memorial Hall, it is surrounded by beautiful open countryside. There is ample parking making it easy for drop off and collection.

We have use of a well maintained garden, which has willow structures and raised beds for planting and playing in. The Nursery room provides a light, spacious and attractive environment for the children inside, and it is planned to maximise the children’s learning experiences. We have a maximum of twenty children in any session.


Additional activities include Drama, Cookery and our very own ‘Little Squirrels’ nature club.  We also take our rising 4’s on weekly visits to Shiplake CofE School and work alongside the Reception teacher to help the children have a smooth transition to ‘big school’.


“I would wholeheartedly recommend Shiplake Village Nursery having had two children attend over a period of 6 years.  The rural setting and small friendly, caring ethos of the Nursery has meant both children have thrived and been more than ready to take their next steps into Primary School.” Parent





Article created / last edited: 7 October 2017

Village Nursery Taking BIG Strides Forward

New Nursery logo - designed by Holly Surplice 

Our Summer into Autumn term at Shiplake Village Nursery has been full of Woodland Walks and the excitement of welcoming new children and staff to our setting. We are lucky enough to have Nicky join the team who is a wonderful addition and full of fresh ideas. She has an "Outstanding" Ofstead report and is bringing her wealth of experience to our nursery.
Our new manager Cherry Grayston continues to build upon the successes of last term following the tremendous improvements, which she helped to initiate, that were recognised by Ofstead in June. It is an exciting time for our nursery and the Nursery Staff & Committee continue to work very hard to grow and develop the setting.
This term we are adding huge value with the addition of Spanish & Drama classes, which will bring great fun and new skills to our children. We have also taken steps to do a spot of rebranding and our new logo helps to highlight the changes that we have been implementing, and gives a strong impression of the values of our setting. Our new branding can be seen in Families Magazine and the Henley Standard from November as we embark on some advertising to encourage the growth of the nursery for now and in the future.
Holly Surplice – Chair, Nursery Committee (holly@hollysurplice.co.uk)

Article created / last edited: 27 October 2016

SVN Quiz Night 14th October 2016


quiz night

Article created / last edited: 29 September 2016

Shiplake Primary needs your clutter!


Shiplake Primary needs your clutter!

Collection This Monday 27th June 08.30-10.00am

Shiplake Primary School

Shiplake Primary PTFA has teamed up with ecokids to raise funds for the school.  ecokids is a recycling project – the school receives funds for your donations which will in turn help deprived families around the world.

See the website for more information: http://ecokidsproject.co.uk/clothes-recycling-school-fundraising-collections/what-we-collect/

Please leave bagged/boxed goods at the school on Monday 27 June from 8.45 til 10.00am.

(please don’t bring goods in any other time – we don’t have the space!)

Eco Kids bags are available at the School office and Shiplake and Binfield Heath Post Offices, but equally you can use your own bags. 


                    YES PLEASE:  

* Good quality, dry clean clothing

* Handbags

* Pairs of shoes (fastened together please)

* Toys (not large/outdoor/ride-on/bikes)

* Soft Toys

* Costume Jewellery

THANK YOU for your support

Article created / last edited: 29 June 2016

Shiplake Village Nursery - Summer Term

So with the sun shining and warmer days afoot, the Nursery has been enjoying the outdoors, planting seeds, playing with water and learning in the garden.  Meanwhile inside the Nursery, there has been the most incredible transformation thanks to local artist and wonderful Mum Holly Surplice. She has filled a blank corner with the most amazing underwater scene, focusing on a huge blue whale surrounded by colourful coral life.  Holly created this voluntarily for our children, taking her inspiration from the vibrant colours and exciting sea-creatures you rarely get to see in reality.  It has created a stimulating backdrop for our new story corner, inspiring our children and their imaginations.

With Sports Day and our Leavers Ceremony just around the corner, we shall be wishing our rising 5’s well as they prepare for their next big step, onto ‘big school’.  The newly implemented learning journals, which are updated electronically and can be accessed by parents are sure to support parents, teachers and most importantly the kids – with getting ready for September!

Finally, preparations are full-steam ahead for the Summer Fayre (25 June) and the Queen’s Birthday Picnic (12 June).  The Nursery will be making exciting contributions to both and look forward to seeing you there…

Article created / last edited: 20 June 2016

Shiplake Village Nursery - Ofsted Update

An Ofsted inspection was carried out at Shiplake Village Nursery on Friday 29th January 2016. The nursery expects to receive a copy of the report within 10-15 days of the visit and will then share this with nursery parents and carers. 

Article created / last edited: 7 February 2016

Shiplake Village Nursery – Autumn Update


Having enjoyed the Summer Holidays, children and staff have resumed their daily activities with great enthusiasm!  Over recent months the Nursery has further boosted its educational offering with a selection of fantastic interactive toys, enhancing outdoor fun and experiences.  The toys purchased from our fund-raising efforts have been carefully selected to teach skills and impart knowledge whilst the children play.


In addition, the Nursery Room has been re-organised to encourage children to self-select activities, assisting their confidence and ability to make choices.  Members of staff have been busy planning a selection of new and exciting pursuits, that the children take great delight in sharing with their parents and carers – ranging from decorating their own cupcake stalls to adding leaves on their WOW Tree, where personal achievements are shared for all to see.


We are lucky to have some new experience within the team, welcoming teachers from an ‘Outstanding’ Nursery. The staff, children and parents have embraced the additional talents and some new procedures have further enhanced the Nursery’s offering.  In the near future, our teachers are also attending a course on channelling boys’ energy through play, which will help tailor activities to some of the different needs experienced by boys versus girls.


Finally, the Nursery enjoyed it’s most successful Quiz Night to date in September, which raised funds to contribute to the purchasing of some new android/iPad/tablet facilities – whereby parents will be able to access their child’s daily experiences, via some shared software.  This is something soon to be implemented, and full details will be communicated in due course.


The Christmas Term is always a lovely one, and whilst the children are busy preparing for their Christmas Concert – they will be sure to have lots of fun as festive excitement builds!

Article created / last edited: 1 December 2015

Around the World with Shiplake Nursery

We have explored different countries and cultures this term with our fabulous "around the world" theme being central to our activities. We have pretended to be travel agents, stamped passports, made tickets and travelled on planes and trains. Such fun! We continue to count, practice our letter sounds and learn about safe, healthy living. 

Outside learning continues to gather strength as the weather improves. We see the flowers grow from the bulbs the children planted last autumn and as spring arrives we talk about the changes that happen around us in nature. 

The Easter holidays are upon us and in the build up we enjoy singing, dancing and making things to share with the parents at our special Easter concert on 26th March.



 The Nursery Committee continues to look for new recruits to take over in June. Several new members have stepped forward but we are in desperate need of a Chairperson and a Treasurer. The Committee plays a crucial role in supporting the Nursery and must continue to do so in order to deliver a high quality provision for local children in the future. Part of the Committees role is to raise crucial funds, and one such event is coming up in April is our Bi-Annual Carboot Sale. Please come along to sell, buy or just to have a bacon butty with friends - all in aid of an extremely good cause.

CAR BOOT SALE - 26th APRIL - 9am. (Contact Nursery on events@shiplakevillagenursery.co.uk for pre-booking. )

Article created / last edited: 23 March 2015

Shiplake CE Primary School Spring Update

As we race through the Spring Term, the opportunities for our children to develop and grow outside  the normal classroom environment have been extensive.  Academic progress is always a priority here, however ensuring children have opportunities to experience new things and learn new skills is a vital part of the all-round education we provide here at Shiplake. Positive academic progress was acknowledged in a letter we received last term from David Laws, Minister for Schools. He wrote to us congratulating the school for the achievement children had shown in their Key Stage 2 tests last summer. However, a range of trips and experiences have been enjoyed which support other areas of the curriculum such as: children from years 5 and 6 sang in a mass choir event at the O2.  ‘Young Voices’ is an annual event and it is one that many of the children look forward to taking part in.  Our Year 5 class were also invited to visit and share lunch with members of a Gurdwara in Reading.  The children enjoyed hearing about the activities that take place at this place of worship and speaking and sharing stories with their hosts over a very delicious lunch.  Our Year 2 children have taken part in an African Drumming workshop, culminating in a presentation to their parents of both African dance and drumming, wearing beautiful masks made during art lesson time.  The Year 6 children travelled to Oxford this week to take part in a Junior Citizen activity.  They spent the morning working through various different life choice scenarios, such as safe internet use and stranger danger, and even made ‘real life’ 999 emergency calls.  Learning how to cope with these sometimes difficult situations will help them as they move towards the next stage of their school careers.  These same children are also travelling to the Houses of Parliament next week to take part in a ‘Your Voice’ workshop where they will learn about the British value of democracy.  We hope to also have a tour of the inside of the Houses of Parliament too and our local MP, John Howell, is going to try and meet with us.  All in all, a very exciting day! We are looking forward to Rebecca Matthews visiting our school on Friday this week, to see us `in action`. Ms Matthews is the Deputy Director for Education and Learning at Oxfordshire County Council and will visit on a day where the School Council have organised a `non-school uniform day` in aid of Comic Relief. Our School Council have continued to work hard this year in developing the school further. Pupil Voice is an important and valuable part of our school. 3 representatives from our School Council came and discussed their ideas and role at a Governors Meeting and this collaboration is going to become embedded further in the future.

Our school sporting calendar has also been very busy this term, with children taking part in Sports Hall athletics, football, tag rugby and cross country tournaments.  All our teams played hard and fair, with our Year 3 and 4 football team and 24 of our year 5 and 6 athletes reaching county finals.  Two of our pupils will represent the school at the County Cross Country finals next month.  We wish them lots of luck and we know they will be positive representatives for our school.  We continue to run a number of after-school sporting activities and are constantly striving to promote participation, competition and fair play. I am delighted to say that all our teams demonstrated good sportsmanship throughout their tournaments and behaved so very well throughout. Newly created and trained Sports Ambassadors continue to promote sports participation at Shiplake and it is anticipated that this role will become further developed in the months to come.

The annual egg decorating competition takes place on Thursday 26th March.  The children are invited to decorate a hard-boiled egg and bring it into school for judging and the standard and creativity of the work bought into school for the competition never fails to surprise me!  Our term ends on Friday 27th March with our Easter Church Service at Shiplake Church.  We all enjoy our visits to Church and Rev Bradish always captivates the children with his animated and interesting services.  Summer Term will soon be here, with annual curriculum assessments, sports day and tournaments and outside visits already in the diary.  I look forward to being able to share news of these activities with you in future updates.

Katherine Page

Article created / last edited: 16 March 2015

Shiplake Village Nursery - October Latest News

We are already feeling festive at Shiplake Village Nursery! The children have been busy helping parents prepare for the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 22nd November, which promises to be lots of fun with Elsa from Frozen and Father Christmas making guest appearances. Please do come along with your whole family and help us raise some well-needed money for the Nursery.
The Autumn term seems to have flown by. Thirteen new children have been welcomed and settled into Nursery life and even in this somewhat wet and gloomy autumn weather they have enjoyed playing outside. The Nursery has continued to invest in bulbs and plants for next spring, so throughout the year the garden not only looks fantastic but it also provides many exciting learning experiences too.
In a few weeks time we look forward to our children’s Nativity (get your tissues ready) and hope the Primary School reception children will join us once again to share this with us.
Last terms theme of “fairy-tales” was thoroughly enjoyed by all and we are investigating "colours" this term. Next year we look forward to our Spring theme “People who help us”, where the children get a visit from the local fire brigade and farmer on his big red tractor!

Article created / last edited: 2 November 2014

Shiplake CE - Oct 2014 Update

What a busy and exciting new School Year we are having!  We have welcomed 31 new children into our school family and I am pleased to report that all have settled nicely into their new classes.  As well as our new pupils, we are delighted to welcome three new members of staff; Miss Boucher as the class teacher for our Year One class, and Miss Twigger and Miss Donald as Teaching Assistants working with different years groups across the school.  As our school roll is growing – we have 196 pupils in school – so our staff numbers grow too.  There are now 24 full-time and part-time staff, eight more than when I started at Shiplake nearly five years ago. 

This week the school celebrated Harvest Festival.  We all walked down to Shiplake Church and enjoyed a delightful service, delivered by Reverend Paul, and gave thanks for all the nourishing food we are fortunate to have.  Our school families donated produce for the Harvest display and this will be given to local charities for distribution after the weekend service.


The children continue to enjoy a variety of after-school activities, including yoga, football, hockey, netball and art and crafts.  During the last summer term year over 80% of the children participated in an after-school activity of some type.  These clubs continue throughout the school year and we try so hard to keep them running, even when the weather is against us! 

This term 30 of our Year 5 and 6 children are busy rehearsing ready for a mass-choir performance at the O2.  The event is called Young Voices and we have been attending it for the past six years.  It really is a most magical experience for both the children, and their parents and carers, who get the excitement of watching the show in the evening.  There are lots of tired children (and staff) in school the next day but many wonderful memories have been made and the younger children always look forward to taking their turn to perform at the O2!

A big event in the school calendar for the Year 6 children, is their annual residential visit to Bude, Cornwall.  Miss L (Year 6 teacher), Mr Tugwell (Year 4 teacher), Mrs Trendall and Miss Mills (Teaching Assistants) accompanied 27 excited children to a lovely hotel in Bude to take part in a week crammed full of exciting (and exhausting!) outward bound activities.  The children abseiled down a huge cliff face, learnt how to surf, swam in the open-air sea pool, went on a very long coastal hike, honed their archery skills and canoed down the local canel.  They certainly needed the wholesome Cornish food on offer to help recharge their batteries after their long activity days!  They returned after their week away with many tales and stories  - already the Year 5 class are looking forward to taking their turn away next year!

Shiplake CE School are holding an Open Morning on Thursday 13th November 2014.  If you have a child that is due to start school next September and would like to have a look around our school please do drop in between 9.30am and 11.30am.  Our Year 6 children will be taking groups on tour around the school and there will be representatives from Oxfordshire County Council Admissions Team on site to talk you through the whole admission and application process.  Entrance will be via the entry gate in Plough Lane and reception will be in The Ark.  We hope you will be able to join us.

Article created / last edited: 6 October 2014

Health Week - Shiplake Primary School Update

health week badgeAt the end of March all of the children and the staff in school were involved in Health Week. It was a very busy week which was supported by and involved the whole school community. The week started with the children working in mixed year groups to explore all aspects of keeping healthy including: designing a bedroom for a peaceful night sleep, creating fruit and vegetables characters to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables and developing health campaigns to promote road, sun and internet safety.

health weekThroughout the week speakers from the wider school community came to talk to the children: the school cook talked about healthy food, the parish nurse about keeping clean and preventing the spread of germs, a pilates instructor showed the younger children how to sit and walk tall, a dentist explained how to keep their teeth clean and a doctor explained to some of the older children about different organs in their body and how following a healthy lifestyle can improve their learning. A workshop was even open to parents.

The children were involved with the planning and organisation of the week. The School Council organised a sponsored star jump and the Sports Ambassadors planned and ran a pop up gym for each of the classes.

All of the children also walked to the Life Coach parked at the Memorial Hall, where they learnt about their bodies and how to keep healthy by eating fruit and vegetables, drinking water, taking exercise, washing, sleeping and being happy.

health weekFurther learning opportunities were provided at lunchtime with staff offering dance, gymnastic, brain gym and running sessions. These were open for all children to join in. The outdoor disco attracted over 100 keen dancers.

It was a great week with loads of enthusiasm from the children and great support from all the community.

Article created / last edited: 26 April 2014


What do you have to give before you can keep it?

What can you break without touching it?

What is so fragile that sound can destroy it?

The more you take, the more you leave behind. What are they?

What goes up but never comes down?

Article created / last edited: 20 January 2014