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St Andrew's CE Primary School

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The Mulberry Bush Pre-school





Welcome to Mulberry Bush Pre-School

The Mulberry Bush Pre-school was first established over 30 years ago for the children of the Royal Naval personnel and families in the local community.  We opened our purpose built, eco friendly Pre-school in June 2010, in the grounds of St Andrew's Primary School. From September 2018, we will join St Andrew's CE Primary School as part of the DSAT family! 

Our Pre-School Leader is Mrs Nicki Saunders.

We welcome children aged 2 years 9 months to 4 years.

For further information please contact the school office in the first instance. 


"Staff work well as a team and provide strong role models for children. Children have a good understanding of the adults' expectations and behave well."   Ofsted 3 May 2017


"Staff organise the environment effectively to enable children to make choices and lead their play."     Ofsted 3 May 2017

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The sessions times which we operate are shown below. 

We accept Childcare Vouchers.




Morning Session
8.45am - 11.45pm

Lunch Club
Afternoon Session
12.15 - 2.45pm
Monday Open Open Open
Tuesday Open Open Open
Wednesday Open Open Open
Thursday Open Open Open
Friday Open Open Open

For more information, please contact us.






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Dates for your diary

Tuesday 9th July - St. Andrew's transition visit - 9.45-11.15am

Tuesday 9th July - New intake stay and play session - 9.45-10.45am

Tuesday 16th July - St. Andrew's transition visit & lunch trial - 9.30-11.30am

Tuesday 23rd July - End of term showcase - 11.15-11.45am (please note that Pre-                                        School finishes at 11.45am)

Tuesday 23rd July - Leaver's picnic - 12.00-1.00pm


Wednesday 4th September - Autumn term starts

Friday 19th July

This week we have been busy making rock pool bottles - the children were very good at problem solving and found lots of different ways to get the sand into the bottles.  They then had fun experimenting with the coloured sand and water which led to them investigating things that dissolve, sink and float.


Tuesday 23rd July is the last day of term.  We have our showcase at 11.15am and finish Pre-School at 11.45am.  The leavers and their families are then invited to join us for a picnic from 12pm to 1pm.


We have had an amazing year which has flown by!  Thank you to all our families for the support you give us.  We wish you all a lovely summer break.

Friday 5th July

This week we have enjoyed playing in rock pools and one of our children brought in some sea creature cupcakes to share for her birthday.

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Friday 28th June

This week we have brought out the sunshine by singing our Summer song!  We also decided it was perfect kite-flying weather, so we have been designing and making our own kites using a variety of shapes and colours.  The children have also enjoyed making their own pizzas - they mixed and rolled the dough, then chose which toppings to add.

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Friday 21st June

This week we have been enjoying reading some of our favourite sea creature stories and making sea creature sponge paintings and collages.  We have also been doing some great maths activities including counting bugs, talking about more/less and representing numbers by writing tally charts and numerals.

Friday 14th June

The pirates made port at Mulberry Bush on Monday and the children enjoyed making hats, eye patches, flags and treasure maps.  Please pop in and have a look at some of their lovely artwork on display.  The pirates left behind some coconuts and we have had a smashing time trying to crack them open!  The children have also enjoyed investigating the rock pool discovery table, asking lots of questions and sharing their own knowledge.

Our Summer Term 2 topic is "Who lives in a rock pool?".    We are creating our own rock pool table so we need donations from your beach trips.  Thank you to those who have already brought bits in but we need even more to make it amazing for the children.  We would like items such as seaweed, shells, driftwood and pebbles.  We would also like some rope and netting if you know any fisherman.....It would also be lovely if you could send some photos of your trips to the beach...what creatures did you find?


Monday 10th June is pirate day - we will be making our own pirate costumes and accessories.  If you have any useful resources such as cardboard tubes, belts or bandanas that you can donate, they will be gratefully received.

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Releasing the butterflies






Summer Term 1 2019

This half term we are looking at different types of fruit and vegetables.  We may even try to grow some for ourselves!  Our focus stories will be "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", "Oliver's Vegetables" and "Oliver's Fruit Salad".

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Friday 24th May

After half-term our topic will be:

“Who lives in a rock pool?”


During half-term perhaps you could go on a beach or rock-pool hunt and send us some photos of any creatures you find?  We’d like to make some rock pools of our own so it would be lovely if you can bring in some items to decorate them, such as shells, pebbles, rope, driftwood, dried seaweed……whatever you can find!


We hope you have a lovely half-term break.

Friday 17th May

This week we have enjoyed trying a variety of fruits and learning more about healthy eating.  Some of the children took the very hungry caterpillars over to Reception class and very proudly talked about how they are growing and what will happen to them next.  We were very fortunate to have 2 brand new balance bikes donated to us the week which the children enjoyed trying out on Friday.

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Friday 10th May

This week our caterpillars arrived and are already growing fast - we are looking forward to seeing them turn into butterflies.  We have enjoyed making and tasting different types of bread and have had lots of practise using cutlery - buttering our bread and chopping up vegetables and playdough.  We've also really enjoyed spending time with Reception class in the Early Years garden.  Next week we are making fruit salads so fruit donations will be gratefully received, we are quite keen to try mango, guava, passionfruit and avocado as we have been reading Handa's Surprise.

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Friday 3rd May

This week we have been making the most of our outdoor space.  We have been exploring fruit and vegetables by painting with them and planting them outside.  We planted some carrot seeds and are looking forward to seeing them grow.  On Thursday the children wanted to make a den, dig for treasure and make superhero costumes.  On Friday the children spent most of the day enjoying the shared outdoor space with Reception class - water play and mud pies were very popular!  Please pop in and see some of the exciting things we have been doing on our learning journey display.   Next week we will be looking at "The Little Red Hen" so we can learn some more about how food is grown and made.

Friday 26th April

This week we have been finding out about the children's favourite fruit and vegetables, what they would like to learn about this half term and what we can help them with.  Thank you for all the contributions we've had so far. 


We discovered that not all carrots are orange - we have been looking at purple and yellow carrots too!  We cut them up to see if they are different on the inside too.




Our Spring 2 topic is "Why don't snakes have legs?"


Please could you talk to your child about what animals/insects/reptiles they like. Are there any particular stories your child enjoys which would fit in with our topic? This is also an opportunity to help your child recognise similarities and differences - which we will be looking at throughout the half term. If possible, please note down your ideas to share with us after the break.  Alternatively have a chat with your child’s keyworker. 


Friday 5th April

Thank you to everyone who came along to our topic showcase.  It was a lovely opportunity for parents/carers to join in with our activities, share our learning journey throughout this half term and have a catch up with your child's keyworker.

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We were also very fortunate to have a visit from Pauline and Nicky from Littlemoor Library this week.  The children enjoyed joining in with "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" - they particularly liked the props!
We hope you enjoy the Easter break.  The summer term begins on Tuesday 23th April.

Friday 29th March

We have had a very busy half term - we've enjoyed listening to The Gruffalo and Superworm, looking after our tadpoles, building habitats, making wiggly worms and investigating lots of different creatures.  It was amazing to see so many brave children holding the bugs at Bugfest!  This week we have been making the most of the sunshine, we even had a picnic in the garden.  We look forward to sharing our learning journey with parents at our topic showcase on Thursday 4th April at 2pm - we hope you can come along, listen to a story and sing some nursery rhymes with us.

Friday 8th February

We've had a very busy half term - flying on an aeroplane, stomping around on dinosaur Island, flying rockets in space and making maps on treasure island. 


The finale for our topic "Are we there yet?" will be a treasure hunt walk around the school grounds on Tuesday 12th February. Children will need to be dressed appropriately for the weather, including waterproof coats and sensible shoes. We will not be having a PE session in the hall on this day.

Friday 18th January

The children are really enjoying a more active role in our topic planning. This week we have been travelling on an aeroplane and flying in a rocket just like Baby Bear in the story "Whatever next". If parents have any ideas or thoughts about children's interests we would love to hear them. Next week we are off to dinosaur island...….

Friday 11th January 2019

We've got off to a flying start with our new topic "Are we there yet?".  The children have been sharing some great ideas about how they would like to travel, choosing to make a rocket as a team and lots of colourful hot-air balloons.  We have been reading "Whatever next" and next week we will be thinking about where Baby Bear might go next.......


We would like to include children's interests and ideas as much as possible in our planning each week.  If you have any ideas you'd like to share with us please jot them on a post-it or scrap of paper and send them in, alternatively you can pop-in and add it to our planning wall.

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Below is a link for our Christmas concert songs...….

Dates for your diary

Friday 7th December - St Andrew's Christmas fayre - 5-7 pm  - Please bring in donations for our chocolate tombola

Thursday 13th December - Christmas concert and fundraiser -  1-2.15 pm

Friday 14th December - Christmas jumper day

Thursday 20th December - Christmas party - details to follow soon


Friday 30th November

Letters have gone home this week with details of our Christmas concert.  There is acopy below for anyone who has not yet seen the letter.  The children are working hard to get ready and look forward to sharing our Christmas story and songs with you.   

Friday 9th November


We've had a busy few weeks looking at the "Owl Babies" book, hunting for nocturnal animals and making owl or bat boxes.  We've also been very creative - making fireworks/rockets out of junk modelling and painting with forks and marbles to make firework pictures.

Our topic this half term is:


What happens when I fall asleep?



We are focusing on 3 core stories – Owl Babies, How to catch a Star and Stick Man - which will incorporate looking at nocturnal animals, hunting for stars, making our own Stick Man and Christmas activities!


Latest Newsletter

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I am delighted to announce that, due to popular demand, we have extended our opening hours at the Mulberry Bush Pre-School.


From Tuesday 30th October 2018, the opening hours for children at Mulberry Bush Pre-School will be:

Monday 8.45am - 2.45pm

Tuesday 8.45am - 2.45pm

Wednesday 8.45am - 2.45pm

Thursday 8.45am - 2.45pm

                                    Friday 8.45am - 2.45pm


Morning sessions only will also be available every day, from 8.45am-11.45am.


All prices remain the same; for further information, please speak to a member of Mulberry Bush staff. We can also accommodate funding. There will no longer be ‘Early Bird’ sessions at an additional cost.


I hope that these timings will offer parents more flexibility, whether to fit in with dropping off or collecting older children from St. Andrew’s School, parental working times, or giving children increased opportunities to mix with their friends in a safe, creative and exciting environment.


We are a small and often over-subscribed Pre-School. Please register your interest in these extra sessions as soon as possible, so that we can accommodate as many children and their families as we can. The first 20 children registered for one of our new sessions, on a Monday afternoon or on a Friday, will be entered into our prize draw for a Sainsbury’s voucher.

Extended Opening Hours





Our topic this half term is:


Will you read me a story?


We are focusing on number rhymes including Hickory Dickory Dock, Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary & Five Speckled Frogs. We will also be looking at some of the children’s favourite stories.


  It would be great if you could support our topic by practising nursery rhymes at home and sharing favourite stories.  We'd love to hear from the children about their favourite book characters, settings and adventures!


Check back here for regular updates on our activities.



Thursday 27th September

We have been practising the nursery rhymes Five Little Speckled Frogs and 1,2,3,4,5 Once I Caught A Fish Alive in the last few weeks.  The children have made some lovely frogs for our display and today they helped make fish for the "pond", which they practised catching.  Following requests from some of the children, we have been reading "Shark in the Dark" and "Shark in the Park" which we have extended into our small world play. 


Thank you for the book reviews that have come in so far - it's a great talking point to share with the children.  Please aim to send in one per week if possible - we have plenty of spares for you to re-stock!  You may have noticed our new children's library - you are welcome to browse the books with your children and take them home to share - just bring them back when you're finished with them so we can keep a good range available for others.



Thursday 13th September

Over the last two weeks we have been busy making mice from Hickory Dickory Dock and lovely gardens from Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary. This week we have sent home our first "nursery rhyme of the week" - Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary - for the children to enjoy singing at home.




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Recent research into the development and acquisition of early literacy skills has conclusively shown that rhythm and rhyme play a hugely important role. This is because children’s early literacy skills are about listening and speaking rather than reading and writing. These first two skills are the bedrock foundation for the latter, and create much stronger ability in the latter if ingrained deeply and early on. It’s simply not possible to be a good writer if you don’t first of all have a good vocabulary. Similarly, it’s very hard to learn phonics and sight words if you can’t discriminate sounds and rhyming patterns in an audible way.