About Rainbow Nursery Schools

About Rainbow Nursery Schools

Serving families in Richmond and Sheen since 1979

Rainbow was established in 1979 and has been at the core of the local community ever since. Originally set up by Mrs Julia Hunter, she passed the Rainbow baton to Mrs Lavinia Wilkins in 2016.  Mrs Hunter remains with Rainbow, on a part time basis, as part of the staff body.

Mrs Wilkins is an experienced primary school teacher with an Early Years specialism. She has over 30 years’ experience in the childcare sector and prior to taking over Rainbow she was raising her son. He is a Rainbow boy and left Rainbow when she joined in 2016.

At Rainbow, we believe that the first experiences children have independently from their parents is a very precious time.  Our philosophy is that, in order for children to realise their full potential, they need to feel secure, happy, safe and valued.  We aim to nurture a love of learning through investigation and participation building strong social skills and peer relationships which help prepare them for the transition to primary school and beyond.

Rainbow works very closely with parents and carers, providing regular feedback and assessment to encourage children to develop and explore through what interests them and to support and encourage them through areas they may find more challenging. We are in the process of introducing our electronic learning journals which will further enhance the link between home and school.

We very much look forward to welcoming you to Rainbow, where learning is child’s play.

Mrs Lavinia Pashley – Wilkins. BA Hons, QTS, NNEB

Principal of Rainbow Nursery Schools

Lavinia Wilkins Owner of Rainbow Nursery Schools

Our day explained


  1. RAINBOW’s schedule is designed to be accommodating, while adhering to a basic routine of learning through free play and adult directed activities.
  2. As children arrive they self-register and a more formal daily attendance register is taken by a designated member of the Team.
  3. Free-play, which starts the day whether inside or out, is supervised and children are encouraged to mix and communicate with one another. Learning takes place in small groups which entails language & literacy, mathematics and knowledge and understanding of the world.
  4. A mid-morning break for milk/water and snack forms part of a social session. Children will be offered a seasonal selection of fresh fruit, dried fruit, rice cake with a healthy topping or breadstick to choose from.
  5. The second part of the morning incorporates creativity, dance, drama, music or cooking in groups, ending the session with a group story time.

General Information

We hold regular watching sessions & parent consultations to enable parents to meet one another and discuss their child’s development with the members of staff. We have a strong parent partnership, with parent representatives in each setting.

We hold a Christmas concert, a school outing and a Sports day in the Summer Term whereby all groups (morning and afternoon) attend collectively and we encourage parent participation on these days.


Rainbow Nursery School Curriculum

Curriculum Introduction
All children need to experience a planned programme of activities and experiences tailored to their stage of development. Taking into account their individual needs, the play activities provided by RAINBOW are an essential element of the programme.
Personal, Social & Emotional Development
Children will be encouraged to build friendships with other children and adults. This will enable them to practice skills of sharing, caring, helping, working together, solving problems and taking responsibility for the environment and themselves. They will be encouraged to concentrate and persevere on individual tasks and to ask for help when needed.
Communication & Language
Children will be given many opportunities to talk about their experiences and to listen to others; they will be encouraged to express their own ideas in ways which can be understood. They will hear stories, rhymes, poems and songs and when confidant will join in with them. Books will always be readily available to children for looking at, to listen to, to read and to recognise the printed words and pictures.
Physical Development
Children will be given opportunities both indoors and outdoors, to develop, practice and master skills of balance, movement, running, jumping, climbing. At all times, children are closely supervised to ensure safety. They will be encouraged to test their own abilities and activities which are fun, and monitor how their body changes whilst doing physical exercise.
Children will have the opportunities provided by many different activities to match, sort, sequence, count, and order everyday objects, which form the basis of understanding of mathematics. Through this knowledge, they will be able to solve problems. They will hear examples of the language of mathematics; identify objects by shape, size, number etc. Simple rhymes will help them learn number sequences.
Materials for writing and drawing will be available and children will be helped to understand the purpose of writing.
Expressive Arts & Design
Activities for creative play will always be available including paint, crayons, pencils, gluing, collage, model making, etc. Children will be provided with opportunities to respond to music and recognisable artistic works. They will have the opportunities for imaginative play, individually and with others.
Understanding the world
Children will be offered the chance to explore and experiment with natural and man-made materials. They will be able to compare and identify the features of different objects, recognise similarities and differences and talk about their discoveries with other children and adults. Children explore and come to understand their environment within the group and in the wider community.

Application & Policy Information

Click the button below for more information about application and our policies.

Apply for a place

If you would like a place for your child at one of our Rainbow Nursery Schools, please send us an application form.