Thorn Grove, Cheadle Hulme/Bramhall

Elm Cottage at Thorn Grove is a 38 place nursery in the grounds of Thorn Grove Primary School, available to all children regardless of which school they may go on to attend.  It is a single story building, securely fenced with its own purpose built play area. We also run an out of school club in a separate building within the grounds, providing seamless transition from nursery to school.

We are delighted to announce that our Thorn Grove nursery has now achieved Millie’s Mark, the new quality mark for excellence in paediatric first aid for early years settings.

Click here to see Millie’s Trust and Elm Cottage on Granada Reports.


  • Unique outdoor play area
  • Bright and airy surroundings
  • Separate facilities for babies/toddlers and pre school
  • Four staff members trained to level one in British Sign Language
  • In house fully trained and experienced nursery teacher
  • Free extra classes from our visiting music teacher, ballet teacher, Spanish teacher and a football coach
  • Healthy nutritious home cooked meals, prepared on the premises
  • Newly renovated garden
  • Covered outside decking area
  • Use of the schools grounds during summer holidays

Nursery Manager: Maxine Bannister

Tel: 0161 485 7681 Monday – Friday:8am-6pm

Open all year excluding the Christmas period.


Book a visit today and secure your child a place

We pride ourselves on our parent/carer personal relationships. We are confident that you will not be disappointed and would love to demonstrate what Elm Cottage has to offer for both you and your child. We look forward to introducing and welcoming you to our Elm Cottage family.

Optional Home Visits

After your nursery visit, and if you decide Elm Cottage is for you then the manager will offer you a home visit from two members of staff (including the child’s key person) as part of our settling procedure. Toys from the nursery will be brought along for your child to play with, these can then be used on the first nursery visit if your child takes an interest with them. During the home visit you will be given a copy of the nursery daily routine, a nursery bag and a list of contents required. We want a child’s settling in process to run as smooth as possible and take into account each child’s individual needs and discuss any concerns before the settling in process begins to assure both child and parent/carer. We also have a plan for transition between rooms for when your child grows and develops within the nursery setting.

“Children benefit from a highly effective key person system and home visits prior to starting enable staff to talk at length with parents about their child. Transition procedures, between rooms, are also very well designed. Children are supported by a member of staff moving into the next room with them, which aids familiarity and well-being. Consequently, the children feel confident as they change rooms.” Ofsted, January 2013


Learning Journey & Ofsted


We follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage and plan activities and a curriculum based around the interests of the children. The framework sets the standards for the learning, development and care of children, from birth to 5 years old.

We provide quality resources and activities which are changed, extended and enhanced in order to provide an environment that has a significant impact on children’s level of engagement.

The children are given opportunities through ICT, problem solving, maths skills, imaginative and creative play, reading, mark making and physical activities on a daily basis and the planning for the environment encompasses both indoors and outdoors.

In addition, the children have extracurricular activities run by external providers and these include Spanish, Ballet and Movement and Football skills. We also arrange visits into the local community including, the park, the library, the pet shop, the cinema and theatre as well as Christmas and Summer outings.

We use workshops to support the children’s interests and learning such as visits from the dentist, police, fire brigade, the really wild show (a hands on experience with small animals and mini beasts), and a science interactive show. Each year in the Spring we care for eggs supplied by a local farm and look after the chicks when they hatch.

We have superb outside play areas and these are used constantly throughout the day to extend the children’s learning opportunities for example, more mark making opportunities, growing plants, large scale construction, large scale water play, large scale sand areas, mud kitchens, den making, small world habitats and more space for challenging physical activities.

Parents and Online Learning Journey

We are keen to work with you as parents/carers and keep you fully informed of where your child is up to. We use Tapestry as an online learning journey system which records your child’s development through photographs, observations and videos in relation to the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Each child has their own personal online learning journey which is password protected and you can access from a number of devices (IOS, Android and PC)

Tapestry will allow you to see what your child has been doing at nursery and also where they are at in relation to their learning and development on a regular basis.

You will receive updates when a practitioner adds a new entry to your child’s learning journey and you can then access and add your own comments. Parents have found Tapestry especially beneficial when their child is settling into the nursery or a new room and it provides a great tool for sharing observations at home and at nursery.

I just want say thank for incorporating Tapestry, my favourite app. Nothing beats seeing first hand what the kids get up to, it is absolutely priceless. Memories we will have forever, thank you so much.” Maureen, Keira’s Mummy-Crescent Park.

We also hold regular parent stay and play sessions, annual parents/open evenings, Christmas productions, sports days and a graduation ceremony. In addition for pre school parents we hold parents information evenings including, ‘Getting Ready to Write’, ‘Maths is Everywhere’ and a ‘Reading and Phonics’ evening. These are very hands on and interactive sessions and help you in knowing how to support and extend your children’s progress.

We work with Millie’s Trust regularly and are proud to also provide support for our parents/carers with evening paediatric first aid workshops across our nursery settings.


We are extremely proud of all of our Ofsted reports. Click here to review our latest reports.

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Fees & Funding


Please contact the individual setting for an up to date price list.

Fees are inclusive of:

  • Freshly prepared healthy home cooked food including:
    • Breakfast
    • Mid morning snack
    • Two course Lunch
    • Afternoon Tea
  • Extra curricular classes from our visiting music teacher, ballet teacher, Spanish teacher and football coach.
  • Elm Cottage personal nursery bag.
  • Wet wipes are provided however parents are required to provide nappies and cream.
  • Recommended daily portions of milk for all children however formula is provided by parents.

Fees have been calculated on a yearly basis taking into account Bank Holidays and the Christmas closure. Fees are then divided by twelve to give a monthly fee. There are, therefore, twelve equal monthly payments due each year.

Fees are expected to be paid by the 1st of each month in advance of childcare.

Our preferred method of payment is by standing order.

All our settings have card machines and we also welcome internet banking, unfortunately we can no longer accept cash or cheques.


Help Paying for Child Care

Free/subsidised places

15 hours free Childcare

Currently all children from the age of three are eligible for 15 hours of free childcare per week for 38 weeks per year.

At Elm Cottage we open from 8.00am-6.00pm five days a week and for 51 weeks of the year. Thus catering only for families who need our service all year. We therefore operate the free places system as subsided places. The funding we receive for term time only is stretched over the whole year and divided by twelve, reducing the monthly fee payable throughout the year. This makes it easier for parents to set up regular standing order payments with their bank.  Some two year olds will also be eligible for 15 funded hours a week for 38 weeks, although parents will have to apply see here. ​

30 hours free Childcare

You may be able to receive a further 15 hours of free/ subsidised Child Care (totalling 30hrs) available for 3-4 year olds.

To receive this funding parents will need to apply to HMRC  for eligibility click here.

Tax Free Child Care

This is an online savings account and for every £8.00 you put in the government adds a further £2.00 to a maximum of £2,000 per child.  For eligibility click here.

 Child Care Vouchers:

Some employers provide assistance towards the cost of nursery fees. Employees can choose to have some of their salary paid in child care vouchers. In doing this you do not have to pay tax and NI on the portion of the salary that is paid in vouchers.

When using vouchers please be aware that the fee’s still need to reach our account in advance (by the first) of the month of childcare.

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Staff Qualifications

“Highly skilled staff have excellent knowledge of how children learn and couple this with a very secure knowledge of each child’s individual needs. This enables very successful promotion of children’s care and learning.” Ofsted, January 2013

Ofsted require 50 percent of staff to be trained to NVQ level 2. At Elm Cottage 98% of our staff are qualified to level 3 or above-2 % are presently training on the childcare apprenticeship scheme and a huge 25 % have degrees in Early Childhood Studies. This includes a qualified teacher with a  BEd (hons) and an  Early Years Teacher as part of the team. All staff are supported and guided by the area manager and experienced Nursery Teacher, Tina Kapp who has worked at Elm Cottage for 22 years.

“Robust recruitment and vetting procedures help to ensure that all staff are suitable to work with children. All staff undergo an induction programme and their progress is monitored by room leaders and more formally with an annual review. The manager sets very high standards and staff are fully committed to achieving standards of excellence in all areas. This is demonstrated by the support given to all staff to continue further with their professional development, which has led to the setting team being very highly qualified and skilled.” Ofsted, January 2013

ALL our staff are trained and are kept up to date in Paediatric First Aid.

For the 30 years that Elm Cottage has been caring for children we have always believed that every member of our team should be trained in and kept up to date in paediatric first aid, this is something we have felt very strongly about and has been implemented since first opening in 1989.

We now work with Millie’s Trust regularly and are proud to also provide support for our parents/carers with evening paediatric first aid workshops across our nursery settings.

We are now delighted to announce that our Orrishmere Nursery is one out of ten childcare providers across England that have become the first to achieve Millie’s Mark, the new quality mark for excellence in paediatric first aid for early years settings.

Click here to see Millie’s Trust and Elm Cottage on Granada Reports


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