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  • Church Hill Nursery School
  • Low Hall Nursery School
  • Church Hill Nursery School
  • Low Hall Nursery School

Welcome toWalthamstow Nursery Schools

Low Hall and Church Hill are the only 2 teacher-led maintained nursery schools in Walthamstow. Ofsted says we are both Outstanding.

Our experienced staff carefully structure the education and care we provide each individual child so that it looks and feels like free play. We nurture and cherish children’s instinctive love of learning while teaching them the knowledge and skills they need to be lifelong learners. We offer:

Our history

Low Hall Nursery School was founded by Margaret McMillan in 1929. Church Hill Nursery School opened in 1971, and in 2014 the 2 schools formed a federation which we call the Forest Alliance of Nursery Schools, or FANS, to celebrate how close we are to the glories of Epping Forest.

What is a nursery school?

There are 385 maintained nursery schools in England.

Maintained’ means that we are state-funded schools - just like primary or secondary schools. By law we have a qualified headteacher (BA Ed, QTS NPQH), both schools have qualified teachers (BA Ed QTS), and a qualified SENDco to support children with special educational needs.

Also by law we have a governing body which oversees everything we do, and are inspected under the Ofsted School inspection framework. You can see our plans for further development and improvement (our SDP), and how we measure ourselves against the current Ofsted framework (our SEF) here.

We are different from a primary school nursery in that our entire structure specialises in early education. Children leave us when they are developmentally ready to go up to ‘big school’ in the year in which they turn 5. They build confidence by being the oldest children in school.

We are different from a private nursery in that our business is education, not profit.

Our aims

We don’t just get children school ready, we get them ready for life-long learning by ensuring they have the best early education through high-quality staff interactions based on what children love: play! You can see what we teach, how we teach it and why we teach this way here.

Our team

Our specialist teachers and highly-qualified early years educators are experts in early play experiences. Many of them have worked with us for over 20 years.

Our 2 schools have one Governing Body and one leadership team, which helps us share knowledge and maintain best practice, as well as stimulating ideas and driving improvement.

Our Executive Headteacher is Helen Currie, who qualified as a teacher in 1999 and taught mainly in early years and also in key stage 1 before becoming the Executive Headteacher here in 2017.

Our Assistant Headteacher is Lindsay Read. She has been a teacher for 19 years, including 5 years in Key Stage 1. Her leadership roles include KS1 lead and lead teacher in a primary school and 8 years as a governor in 3 different schools.

Our SENDCo at Church Hill is Pat English, who has more than 36 years’ teaching experience in Early Years, more than 21 of which have been as SENDCo. Pat works closely with our SENDCo at Low Hall, Nalinee Sabaroche, who has been working in Early Years for 23 years, 16 as a teacher, 6 of them as a primary school Reception teacher.

Ofsted and parents say

Ofsted tells us we are both 'Outstanding'. Read our reports here (Church Hill) and here (Low Hall). Parents tell us we are 'a magical place' and that 'The staff are very warm, nurturing and creative' and 'really take time to form relationships with the children and families', 'During the pandemic they were absolutely amazing and uploaded recording of the teachers doing phonics and reading stories which made a huge difference for us to have these resources to rely on.'


We are a fully inclusive organisation, welcoming everyone from all faiths and none, from all cultures, and with the widest range of needs.

We ensure the very best for every child, regardless of their starting point, tailoring learning to each child’s specific needs.

Working together

All children in our schools have a key person who plans for their learning, takes care of them and is the link between nursery and home. We work in partnership with you to ensure that your child will make fantastic progress, become independent, make friends and love to come to nursery every day.

We always want to hear what parents have to say so that we can improve, and so that we know what we are doing well.

Our community

We want to improve the education of all Waltham Forest children, not just those who come to our schools, so we work hard to share our practice with other settings in the borough by providing support and training through the Waltham Forest Early Years training programme and through our partnership work with the WF teaching school hub.

Helen Currie (Executive Headteacher)

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