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About Us: About Us


All About Us!

Cygnets is a registered charity managed by a Committee of volunteers and employs a team of passionate, skilled and friendly staff. We are proud to have recently received an Ofsted Outstanding rating! Based in the rural village of Great Whelnetham, 4 miles from Bury St Edmunds.  We provide Early Years education and childcare for children aged 2 years, 9 months to school age.  Breakfast and After School clubs provide care for children aged up to age 11 (end of Year 6). We open between the hours of 8am and pm in term-time.

We recognise every child is unique, with their own individual needs. Cygnets offers an inspiring environment, both physical and emotional, in which children can achieve their potential and thrive. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) gives all children the right to opportunities and experiences which enable them to fulfil their potential as life-long learners, and to be valued members of their community and the wider world.


Building partnerships with our families and community is important to us. This, along with a child-centred, holistic approach, means our children become confident in their own agency, and their voices are heard and acted upon.


In Cygnets, we grow together and learn to be amazing!

We are able to offer 15 & 30 hour funded places. For further information on Government help with childcare costs please click here

For our latest events and news please see our FaceBook Page

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Outside Area

About Us: About Us


Our physical environment is designed to allow children maximum independence and autonomy, which promotes high self-esteem and desirable behaviour.


Cygnets’ emotional environment provides children with the tools to develop resilience and independence and to have a positive image of themselves, as well as a positive attitude to learning.


Our Positive Behaviour Policy further supports these outcomes.



Inside Area

The open plan layout of the room at Cygnets allows us to ‘zone’ the room for different types of activity and learning.  It means we can adapt it to meet the ever-changing developmental needs of the children we care for. 

The building is on one level with accessible toilets and so is suitable for people with disabilities. 

We offer a ‘cosy corner’ for periods of rest and ‘chill time’, a book area, ‘Cygnets’ Cottage’ Home Corner, a Construction area, Dressing up, Music and Maths areas, IT corner and a Creative and Mark-making area.  There is still plenty of space for the children to engage in play of their own choice and making, with numerous open-ended resources and toys for them to act out their own experiences.

Outside Area

Outside, we aim to reflect the indoor learning opportunities including mark-making, role play, maths and being creative. We offer ‘free-flow’ play to the outside where the children can access water, sand and the mud kitchen.


In the front garden, we provide opportunities to garden, look at nature – we have our own bug hotel and raised pond, engage in small world play in the fairy garden and in art/creative activities.

We are also able to access the school playing field each day for gross motor activities which might include climbing trees, running and catching games, football, throwing and parachute games.


Creating treats in Big Cooks, Little Cooks

Moving and grooving on

Wiggle Wednesdays

Monday Movers PE Sessions

We make visits in the local community, for example to the park, the library, local kennels and Post Office. 

Bigger trips are organised to places including Thetford Forest, Bressingham Steam Museum and Banham Zoo. 

We also support local/national charities with special events to help raise funds and awareness.  Recently we have held events to support Macmillan Cancer, Dementia Cupcake Day, Red Nose Day, Children in Need and the Gatehouse Foodbank in Bury St Edmunds.

Cygnets also engages with its local community – the Phoenix Group (over 60s) often join us for craft-making and cooking sessions and local businesses/services visit us to tell us about their role in the community. 



Children learn best and are happiest when they feel secure and have formed an attachment with a special person.  In Cygnets, we do this with our key person system.  Each child and their family are allocated a key person who becomes that special person.  They form a strong and trusted relationship with you and your child.  You will get to know each other very well and become part of the wider Cygnets’ family! 


Your key person will help your child to settle in our setting, support you to confidently leave your child with us, work in partnership with you to achieve best outcomes for your child and be responsible for your child’s learning and recording development in their Learning Journey.  They will update you with your child’s progress verbally and by sharing their Learning Journey with you. 


Photographs of our children on our display boards also give parents the opportunity to see what Cygnets have been up to each week.  Our Facebook page is updated weekly, so you know what is happening in Cygnets and we hold regular Parents’ Evenings and Stay ‘n’ Play sessions along with other special events e.g. Mothers’ Day lunches, Fathers’ Day breakfast, Sports Day, charity afternoon teas.  Lots of opportunities to join us and experience life in Cygnets!


Working hand in hand with our parents is very important to us and vital to make sure your child has the opportunity to achieve best outcomes, fulfil their potential and importantly, be happy.

Parent Partnership

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