History of Tanglewood

Tanglewood Nursery School was founded in 1946 and was formerly in Corporation  Road, Chelmsford. Corporation Road Nursery School was initially set up as a nursery   school so that the women could return to work while the men were at war. In later     years the air raid shelter became the bike shed!  The Nursery was renamed when             it relocated to its current site in Melbourne Avenue in September 1985                                                                                           

  • Olga Burrell came over to Tanglewood from Corporation road in 1985 and on retirement in 1987 was replaced by Jackie Arnott.  
  • Jackie retired at Christmas 2001 and we welcomed Ann Barker.
  • Ann Barker joined us in January 2002, she was previously the green room teacher and deputy head.  Ann retired the Christmas of 2009.
  • Sue Sutton joined us in the January of 2010 and left us at Christmas 2016 moving on to a new post in Cambridge.  
  • In January 2017 our 2 deputy heads Rose Harmer and Donna MacDonald took over on a temporary basis until a new head was appointed. 
  • Our new head, Deborah Watson has been appointed and will start her new post as headteacher in September 2017.
  • We were lucky enough to have an I-Can Speech and Language unit named       Rainbow room. It was the first of its kind in Essex and opened in November 1993.

                           Click on the links for our news articles.


  •  Building work to the front of the nursery was started in September 2011 and we moved into a new office area, heads office, library and staff room in January 2012. 


  •  A second piece of land was acquired in 2012 to the rear of the back garden and we created our forest garden, using it for forest school activities with     the children. Each class visits for 1 session a week enjoying activities using natural materials. 


  •   Ground works were started in the back garden during the summer of 2014 with the addition of a second hill, trees, and our giant sandpit with water pump


  • Sadly in June 2015 our storage shed was burnt down and we lost a lot of our      equipment.  Parents donations and fundraising were ongoing in 2015 to raise funds to replace the shed and equipment 


  •  We started an exciting new phase in 2015, we have opened Little Tanglewood for 2 year olds. The project was started in August 2015 and 2 year olds were admitted in September 2015 to a temporary base in Green room, the building was completed by half term. Staff took the children for play visit sessions after half term to introduce them to the new building and they all moved in to the new building on Monday 16th November 2015



  •  After Green room was closed and used for the temporary base for Little Tanglewood in September 2015, come January 2016 it had the deck dismantled, was re-painted and turned into the new Tanglewood Training Room where courses are to be run by the senior management team for other settings and the Tanglewood Partnership. 


  •   Over the summer of 2016 a replacement shed was built in the forest garden.      This is a fabulous building that not only stores our forest garden recourses but is also big enough to act as an outside classroom during forest garden sessions. 


  • In January 2017 we where excited to have phase 2 of the rear garden started. It  includes natural climbing areas and a slide into the hill.                                                                                                                             






  • Alecia's Corner - Forest Garden                                                                                                                                                         In spring 2017 a set of memorial benches were set into the forest garden, in memory of one our pupils Alecia Lee who sadly passed away in the spring of 2016.                                                                                                   The benches were chosen by her family and Mr Stuart Hall, Alecia's class teacher kindly carved her name in both English and Cantonese.  On the front of the benches it has her english name and on the back of the bench it reads her Cantonese name, Lee England Surprise and  "Loving Corner" in Cantonese.                               This is a very special, quiet, chatting place for both staff and children. 






In 1994 a time capsule was buried in the footings of the new front garden sandpit.   In the summer of 2015 when digging began for Little Tanglewood the capsule was found. Sadly the documents and photo's had a lot of water damage but the original letter has been saved, click on the link below to read it. time-capsule-letter-found-August-2015.pdf 

     The digging up of the time capsule when                                                                            foundations for Little Tanglewood where being                                                                      excavated.  








 Over the years we have collected newspaper articles about Tanglewood Nursery School, please click on the links below to read them. (once open, right click to rotate)

  • Times Education, 18th February, 1990's but unsure of the year                 tanglewood-history-3.pdf
  • East Anglian Daily Times, Monday June 8th 1992   part 1                           tanglewood-history-1.pdf -
  • East Anglian Daily Times, Monday June 8th 1992 part 2                       Tanglewood-history-4.pdf
  • Weekly News, Ofsted 1994                                                             ofsted-Article-weekly-news-2009.pdf  
  •  Article about the opening of Rainbow Room, Essex Chronicle March 11th 1994      tanglewood-history-6-rainbow-room-opening.pdf                                            
  •  Essex Chronicle March 25th 1994, Simon Burns visits the Speech and Language Centre at Tanglewood.                                                                  tanglewood-history-2.pdf  
  •  Nursery World article, November 2005 Written by Miss Sarah Stride,             Class Teacher and Mrs Carole Gibbons, Nursery Nurse about children and photography.                                                                            tanglewood-history-8-photography-article.pdf 
  • Essex Chronicle 2005                                                                  tanglewood-history--bike-play.pdf 
  • Nursery world Article September 2010 Written by Mrs Carole Gibbons, Nursery Nurse and Mr Stuart Hall, Teacher, about the Treasure boxes they started in Green room.                                                               Treasure-Box-Article-website.pdf
  • An article from ane of our Parents praising Tanglewood.Essex Chronicle August 2010.                                                                              Essex-Chronicle-Article---Woody-August-2010.pdf
  • Essex Chronicle cutting from 2012 as Tanglewood receives an outstanding Ofsted   for the fourth time.                                                                 ofsted-2012-newspaper-cutting.pdf  
  •  20yr celebration of Rainbow Room, our speech and language centre June 2013      rainbow-room-20yr-celebration-newspaper-cutting-2013.pdf 
  • Essex Chronicle June 2015. Forest shed fire.                                     essex-chronicle.pdf
  •  Essex Chronicle article July 2015. Forest shed fundraising.                          forest-fire-2-November-12th-2015.pdf 
  • Letter from Sir Simon Burns after his visit to Tanglewood. January 2017             Simon-Burns-letter-after-his-visit-January-2017.pdf
  • 1st February 2017 Parliment debate live on TV on LEA Nursery Funding with Sir Simon Burns mentioning Tanglewood after his visit to Tanglewood in January 2017   http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/021d95fe-62a0-494c-ab14-11171a949a5a    -  
  • Staff and children dressed up for World Book Day and made it into the Essex Chronicle March 2017                                                                                                        chronicle-book-day-2017.pdf      
  • We had a visit from Vicky Ford, Chelmsford conservative MP regarding funding for nursery schools.  We have had a letter following her visit. September 2017.          Vicky-Ford-MP-letter-October-2017.pdf  
  • In October 2017 we had a page in the Essex Chronicle dedicated to our new starters.  ​ Tanglewood-starters-chronicle-Oct-2017.pdf



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