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The Brambles Community Pre-School

The Brambles Community Pre-School has been re-registered since 2007 under a new name but has been operating since the late 1970's. It is a community pre-school managed by a voluntary parents committee and is situated on the Thornhill Primary School site. The pre-school serves the community in Thornhill and surrounding areas of east Southampton. We are Ofsted Outstanding and are constantly ensuring we maintain this. We offer high quality Childcare and Education in a highly engaging and nurturing enviroment with great outdoor space.

 This setting has signed up to offer Tax Free Childcare, 2 year funding entitlement, 3 & 4 Year entitlement and 30 hours funded entitlement.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Ruth Thomas or Hayley Emery
Contact Position
Classroom 023 8091 7637
Charity number
Company number

We are an Outstanding pre-school based in a Surestart children’s centre in Thornhill. We have disabled access and facilities. We have a multi surface outdoor area, consisting of an area with large play equipment and a safety surface, and a grassed area with a growing garden and outdoor classroom. 

Brambles Community Pre-school has recently changed its charity status and is awaiting a new Ofsted grading after re-registration.

At Brambles we aim to enhance the development and education of children 2 to 5 years, involving parents/carers in a community based group.

We will provide a safe, secure, and stimulating environment which is accessible to all children and families.

We understand that every child is unique and we ensure they are given the opportunity to develop holistically through our broad inclusive curriculum.

Learning should be an enjoyable experience through a wide variety of play and experiences.

We work within the EYFS framework, which ensures equality of opportunity for all children and families.

We regularly hold sessions where parents/carers/grandparents can come and join in the activities with their children. 


We provide a specially tailored curriculum, with a mix of adult led and child initiated activities, leading to improved learning outcomes for all children.

Individual care and attention is made possible by a high ratio of adults to children.

We provide opportunities for you and your family to be directly involved in the activities of the pre-school and in your child’s own progress.

Where to go

Brambles Community Pre-school
c/o Thornhill Primary School
Byron Road
SO19 6FH
Children's Centre Areas

The preschool is on the Thornhill Primary School site and we have close links to the school, including visits and a specialised Transition Plan for the children moving from preschool to school. We also have access to the adventure playground on the school site and to the school grounds so we are able to take the children on visits whenever possible.

Other Details


Table of costs
Table of costs
AmountCost Type
£16.00 Per Session
Fees are payable fortnightly in advance.


Age Ranges
From 2 years 3 months to 4 years 0 months
Any Other Notes

At Brambles Community Pre-school we want all our children to be making better than good progress. We are achieving this by providing a nurturing environment that follows the interested of the child and listens to their opinions. If the child has additional needs the Senco liaises with outside agencies and work to support the child.

The setting now offers support for children with social, emotional and mental health needs through Acorn Class (Nurture Group) and ELSA sessions. (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant sessions)

Staff ensure that all activities are accessible to all children, no matter what age or ability, so that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Inclusion Information

Special Needs

Has Provision
Experience with
Challenging Behaviour
Learning difficulties
Visual impairment
Language impairment
Behaviour management
Speech and Language delay
Autistic spectrum disorder
Special Educational Needs
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Global delay
Social development impairment
Severe dietary needs
Aspergers Syndrome
Epi pen trained
Serious allergy
Emotional needs
Downs syndrome
Physical impairment
Medication - Administration Of
Deafness Or Hard Of Hearing
We have many years of experience working with children with a range of additional needs and we are a fully inclusive setting.

Childcare Information


Immediate vacancies
Please telephone for up to date information on vacancies.
Date updated

Funded Places

3 & 4 year old funding
2 year old funding

30 Hours Extended Entitlement

Intending to provide 30 hours entitlement
Registered to provide 30 hours entitlement

Opening Times

Opening Times
Opening Times
DayOpening TimeClosing Time
Monday 09:00 15:00
Tuesday 09:00 15:00
Wednesday 09:00 15:00
Thursday 09:00 15:00
Friday 09:00 15:00

School Pickups

Offers pickups

Ofsted Information

Ofsted URN
Link to latest ofsted inspection report 

Local Offer


At Brambles Community Preschool our named SENCO's are Ruth Thomas and Carolyn Taulbut. The SENCO's identify children with additional needs through discussions with parents, staff and through the assess, plan, do, review cycle. They then liaise with the local authority to access the support needed by the child and family. They have extensive experience working one to one with children and carrying out interventions working in partnership with outside agencies to provide the best outcomes for children with special educational needs and disabilities. They work with a rante of professionals such as Speech Therapists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Educational Psychologists, Early Years Advisory Teachers, Paediatricians, Hospital Consultants, Portage and many many more. The setting also has another staff member with one to one support experience. The setting has experience of supporting children with Autism, Hearing and Visual Impairments, Down Syndrome, Physical Impairment and many more conditions. The senco's are trained to carry out Narrative Therapy, Attention Autism (Bucket), Identiplay, Intensive Interactions, PECS, Makaton, Challenging Behaviour, Nurture Group and Emotional Literacy Interventions.

The senco's are trained ELSA's, and along with another staff member run a nurture group for children with social, emptional and mental health needs. The nurture group (known as Acorn Class) also support children with low self esteem and low self confidence. Our nurture group is a small group activity run over lunchtime, everyday and consists of a mixture of activities to help children regulate their emotions  in a small group session of up to 6 children.

Ruth Thomas is also the Behaviour Co-ordinator for the setting and through observations and audits, creates behaviour plans for children who display challenging behaviour. The plan is then shared with parents/carers and implemented by the whole staff team. These plans are reviewed weekly and parents are kept up to date with them.

Contact Name
Ruth and Carolyn
Contact Telephone
023 8091 7637
Contact Email

Other Education Extended Local Offer details from The Brambles Community Pre-School

How does your education setting know if children/young people need extra help and what do I do if I think my child has special educational needs?

When a parent enquires about spaces or for their child to be added to our waiting list we always ask if the child has any additional needs and/or is seen by outside agencies. Once the form has been received by the setting, and if an additional need is identified, then one of our SENCo's will contact the family to discuss this in greater detail to ensure we can fully meet the needs of the child, and to ensure whether any adjusments need to be made or extra transition/settling in sessions are required.

It is important that parents are willing to share this information when completing this form because if a significant need is identified by our staff, after the child starts, then we may have to suspend the child until a qualified staff member can be employed to insure the child's safety within the setting. This will always be in consultation with parents/carers and any outside agencies involved.

We continually track children's progress through a cycle of observation, assessment and planning. We use the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), the Birth to 5 Matters Document and What to Expect When Document as a guide for the development milestones that a child would typically make at different stages up to the age of 5.

We have two SENCo's within the setting who work closely with the keyworkers and if an additional need is identified, a SENCo will involve the Early Years Advisory Teachers with parental permission.

If a child starts at the setting with an additional need already identified, then we will work closely with all the outside agencies involved.

How will the education setting staff support my child / young person?

We have two dedicated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCo) who are responsible for overseeing the provision for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the setting as a whole.

Every child is assigned a “Key Worker” upon joining the setting. We also have a keyworker buddy system in place to ensure all children have an attuned adult even if their keyworker is not in the setting. The Key worker is responsible for supporting their key children within every aspect of preschool life. We have a strong system in place whereby staff are guided by an experienced management team to meet the needs of the child.

If there are other professionals or services involved with your child e.g. Portage of Speech and Language Therapy, we will work closely with them and follow recommended support plans to meet individual targets.

We use the “Every Child a Talker” (ECaT) initiative which aims to improve the communication skills of children aged 0-5 years, and to develop the knowledge, confidence and communication skills of practitioners and parents. ECaT is used across Southampton and has had a very positive impact on children’s communication and language.

If we feel that your child requires provision over and above what can typically be resourced within the setting we will work closely with the Southampton City Council Early Years and Advisory Teachers (EYATS) who can support us to put in place specific strategies to support your child, as well as applying for additional funding which will be used to provide the extra help that your child might require e.g. 1:1 support. Additionally they can make referrals to specialist services if this is assessed to be the need.

How will the curriculum at your education setting be matched to my child / young person's needs?

Children are continuously monitored using the graduated approach - assess, plan, do, review cycle.

If a child is receiving specialist support from an outside agency, for example Speech and Language Therapy, and given specific targets, we will liaise with both the parents and the professional involved. Being aware of these targets, as well as the child’s views/interests, enables us to focus on their individual strengths thus ensuring that they are fully supported during their time at the setting. We then complete an Individual Education Plan (IEP), and will review the progress made regularly. This is carried out every 3 months or when progress is made.

When planning activities for children, staff will ensure that any next steps or recommended targets are considered. The activity will be planned to ensure it best fits the child’s needs. 

The SENCos in the setting use the Birth to 5 Matters Checkpoints to track the progress of children with additional needs, on a termly basis, and feeds that information back to the child's 1:1 support worker or key worker to see if the child needs support in specific areas.

How will both you and I know how my child/young person is doing and how will you help me to support my child / young person's learning?

Parents are given regular feedback regarding their child’s progress through the child’s online learning journal ‘Tapestry’ and, through direct feedback and parent meetings.

Parents are welcome to book appointments to have a chat with their child’s key person at any time in order to discuss progress. Parents can also contact the SENCO's to discuss their child at any time.  

If a child has set recommendations which are monitored through an Individual Education Plan (IEP) this will be shared with parents when set up and then following each review. This is carried out every half term or when progress is made.

We also support families to implement strategies at home and will refer to services/training where appropriate/requested.

The 1:1 support workers feed-back to parents at the end of every session and when a child attends their session, the key worker will ask parents for feedback on how the child's day has been so far to help the child be successful in the setting.

What support will there be for my child / young person's overall wellbeing?

Within the management structure of the setting we have individual members of staff who are responsible for specific policies, including: Health and Safety, Safeguarding and Behaviour Management. Their role is to ensure all staff are aware of policies and that they are implemented correctly. All policies are subject to annual review.

All staff hold a paediatric first aid qualification which is updated every 3 years.

All potential staff are subject to a thorough recruitment process including;
- Suitable references from previous employment

- A two part interview process, including an activity session with the children, which is observed by Managers

- Enhanced Disclose and Barring Service check (DBS).

Staff are always available to talk to the parents, should they need any advice, support or guidance regarding their child.

There is a strong emphasis throughout the setting, which focuses on social support for the children.
Children are involved in their daily routine. The children “free flow” around structured activities of their choice. Staff encourage the children to be as independent as possible, and the environment supports this. The setting also promotes self-help skills.

We carry out rigorous risk assessments on our children with Special Educational Needs (SEN). The risk assessments include all difficulties the child may encounter within the setting, not only physical disabilities but also developmental delays. These risk assessments are reviewed termly.

What specialist services and expertise are available at or accessed by your education setting?

Our primary mechanism for specialist support is through the setting’s designated Early Years Advisory Teacher (EYAT). The EYAT team specialise in early year’s education and children with SEN in the early years – they are based in the Early Years Team in Southampton City Council. They support us in a range of areas, from general advice through to accessing appropriate support via referrals to specialist teams including:
- Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)
- Physiotherapist
- Occupational Therapy
- Portage services
- Specialist Teachers for children with sensory needs, hearing and sight impairment.

Within the setting, we offer two specialised therapies;
-Brambles Attention Group
-Narrative Therapy

- Nurture Group and ELSA Support(Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)

For each of the therapies, two members of staff have received specialised training, bringing new skills and knowledge to aid communication and language difficulties,  which is delivered through these groups.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEN and Disabilities had or are having?

Both Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCo) within the setting has completed “The Role of the Early Years Special Educational Needs Co-coordinator” training.

The SENCo attends termly Inclusion Conferences run by the EYAT’s. Information from these conferences is cascaded to all staff members through internal meeting processes.

All staff within the setting are Makaton trained to help all children with their communication and language. Staff received Autism training two years ago, with four staff members carrying on their training through the National Autistic Society online, to meet the needs of children on the Autistic spectrum. We also have two staff members who have attended training on the “Attention Autism Programme”

Within the setting, three staff members have experience of providing 1:1 to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), one staff member is experienced with sight impaired children, one staff member is experienced with hearing impaired children and one staff member is experienced with Global Developmental Delays. Both of our Senco's have trained to deliver Nurture groups and provide ELSA support. These are usually only available in primary schools within Southampton.
If a child has a need that we are not confident with, then we will liaise with outside agencies and seek training as required.

How will my child / young person be included in activities including trips run by your setting?

We have regular trips outside of the setting. All trips require a risk assessment to be carried out and parental consent needs to be obtained. We ensure that appropriate adult/child ratios are maintained at all times during trips. Parents are welcome to attend trips if they would like to.

A trained paediatric first aider is present on all trips. First aid kits will be taken along with any medication which a child may require for that day.

We carefully consider each child’s individual needs when planning activities or trips.
If for any reason an activity or trip is not suitable for a child, we will make necessary reasonable adjustments to ensure that the child can be included as much as possible.

How accessible is your education setting? ( indoors and outdoors)

All our activities are accessible and adaptable to all children in the setting but further adaptations can be made for specific needs. The building is wheelchair accessible throughout and has disabled toilets for both adults and children.

There is potential funding available for equipment that your child is assessed to need by health services.

The setting offers visual stimulation for children who have English as an additional Language (EAL). This is presented in the form of pictures, to enable children with EAL to access the environment as independently as possible.

Staff within the setting are Makaton trained to aid their communication and language.

How will the education setting prepare and support my child / young person to join the education setting, transfer to a new setting and or the next education stage and life?

Before starting at the setting all children must attend a sy and play session with their parent lasting 1 hour.

Starting at the setting.

Parents are invited to bring their child in for their first session and stay as long as required to settle their child. The purpose of this is to familiarise parents and children with the setting and to meet staff and other children whilst offering a “taster” of a typical day.

Home Visits are dependent on covid levels

We will arrange home visits with you once your child has been allocated a key worker, and it is the key worker and a member of the management team who will come out to your house. This is so that you and your child can get to know the staff members before starting the setting and allows for your child to start to build a bond, ready for when they start at the setting. This is a great time for us to answer any of your questions or queries.

Starting school.

All children’s online education journals (Tapestry) are completed by the end of July and sent to parents. Any paperwork which supported the child whilst they attended the setting gets sent to school. This provides the school with all the relevant information before the child starts.

Some schools will arrange visits with us to come and see the children within their nursery environment. 

If your child has additional needs we can arrange a meeting with the receiving school to support a smooth transition and to give clear picture of need and provision that is required to be in place in the new setting. 

If we identify, alongside specialist services that a young person is likely to require support above that is typically available in a mainstream school, for a prolonged period of time, we will ask your permission to apply for an application for an Education, Health and Care (EHC), leading to a statutory EHC Plan. We will do this in a timely manner to ensure that your child has the support they need on entry to school.

How are the education setting resources allocated and matched to children and young people's Special Educational Needs and disabilities?

If a child meets the eligibility for early years funding for additional support the resources will be used specifically to meet the needs of the individual* child/young person as per the funding agreement with Southampton City Council. This is dependent on our staffing levels.

*There may be cases when we apply for funding for two or more children jointly, based on their level of need.

How is the decision made about what type and how much support my child /young person will receive?

Our staff carefully plan for each individual child within the setting, taking into account their interests and level of development.

The staff are guided by the Early Years Foundation Stage, and use plans which identify and track a child’s current age and stage of development. This allows staff to plan activities which support and encourage the child to work towards their next development milestone. In turn, this will identify any areas where a child requires extra support.

If we feel we need support or guidance regarding a child, we will arrange an appointment with the Early Years Advisory Teacher (EYAT) who will visit the setting. The Early Years Advisory Teacher will advise us if they feel we should be providing additional support and will support our funding application to Southampton City Council with written observations.


How are parents / young people currently involved in your education setting? How can I be involved?

We recognise that parents are the expert on their child and place a high emphasis on parental involvement in all aspect of every child’s learning, regardless of need. 

If we identify that your child has additional needs we will discuss this with you along with details of any additional provision that will be put in place to support and meet these needs. We will get your consent before involving any external agencies relating to specialist support, including the Early Years Advisory Teachers (EYAT’s). We encourage open dialogue around areas of concern and are keen to work with families co-productively to enhance outcomes for the child.  

Parents can track individual progress through the use of a child’s ‘Tapestry’ Journey – whilst this is the place where staff collate observations, pictures and evidence of an individual’s work, we also encourage parents to share their own observations, notes, and comments as well as pictures and videos.

We are a committee run pre-school, members are parents of the children who attend. This is voluntary but without our committee we would not be able to open.

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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this directory, we do not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors that have occurred. It is recommended that you always check with providers that their service or organisation meets your requirements. We offer an impartial service and we cannot recommend or endorse any providers listed.

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