bananasBananas is a purpose built room, completed in Summer 2016 as part of our extension. The area is light, bright and airy and is capable of being sectioned off to allow different activities to take place at the same time. It has also given us a glass-roofed outside play area which allows free-flow activity from the room and is readily available for the other rooms to use.

When children progress to Bananas, they will learn to identify colours, shapes, and to enjoy books. Activities such as threading and colour sorting, peg jigsaws, construction bricks and counting games are ongoing, together with the larger play equipment, farms, fire stations, and the Home Corner. Whilst they are in this room, children will be introduced to the potty training routine, and they will be taught bathroom hygiene and independence in self-care. 'Birth to Three' helps to plan a day which encourages younger children to develop across four areas; the healthy child, the strong child, the skilful communicator and the competent learner. The theme based work of the older children is adapted for this age group in different areas of knowledge, number and alphabet. Children will experience various paint techniques, sand and water play. Their developmental progress will be monitored by their key worker alongside the 2 year progress check in consultation with parents.

Disclosure and Barring Checks

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring checks are processed for all members of staff, and are regularly updated.

Natalie O'Neill

NatalieNatalie joined Monkton in 2008 and has experienced time with both the younger and older age groups. She is qualified to NVQ Level 3. Natalie has also trained in Early Years' Nutrition, 'Tots Talk' and Behaviour Management.

Giselle McDonald

Giselle 2017Giselle has been with us since 2014, providing one-to-one support to children with additional needs. She holds an MA in Psychology so, although we know that eventually she will leave us to pursue a career in Child Psychology, we are glad that she is joining us for a while in Bananas.

"You love telling me about his day. It's great, I look forward to it"

Parents 2017

Helen Murphy: Head of Room

Helen1Helen has worked at Monkton since 1993. She joined the nursery straight from school and, apart from a spell as a nanny and a couple of exciting trips to Camp America, she has been here ever since. Her enthusiasm for the job and her pleasure in making each day an exciting experience for the children (and the staff!) has ensured that learning is always fun and Bananas is a warm, friendly and very interesting place to be.

Helen has two boys of her own, Jacob and Connor.

Janet McTigue

Jan 2017Janet joined us in May 2003, after spending many years as Kitchen Supervisor at Asda Stores Staff Canteen. As part of her hours she has always worked in the pre-school rooms after her duties in the kitchen. We are lucky enough that a change of circumstances has allowed us to place her in Bananas where she has proved to be equally good with the younger children... we're hoping she will teach them how to cook!


GeorgiaGeorgia is our second trainee Nursery Practitioner, She gained her NVQ level 2 in 2015 and is now working towards her level 3. Although her previous experience was with slightly older children she has proved to be just as impressive with the babies. Georgia is mother to Sophia.