John Brotchie Nursery School

Capable, Confident and Creative Children

Telephone02 9316 8825


The Nursery School was opened in 1949 by a group of local citizens and was managed by the John Brotchie Memorial Nursery School Management Committee and in 2009 we celebrated 60 years of providing a preschool program to families within the City of Botany Bay.

In 1953 the Department of Education first appointed a teacher. In 1959 the school moved from the Presbyterian Church hall, which was burnt down to the current site, the Botany Literary Institute. The building is owned and maintained by the City of Botany Bay Council. The first Directress appointed by the Department of Education was Mrs Helen Hinchon.

In the early 70s and 80s fees were $2 -$18 a week. The preschool children enjoyed the large outdoor space and it had an original tram in the backyard, a red telephone booth and a wadding pool that the children and staff used to love to cool off in. In 1999, we celebrated our 50th Anniversary. Enrolment at the time was either full time or part time at $55 for 5 days or $13 a day.

In 2003, Catlin Goutama (aged 4) designed a new preschool logo - still used today. Lots of changes happened during the early 2000's when most of the factories surrounding our preschool were demolished and replaced with townhouses. Many new projects were started during this period including our music program and environmental education. We made many changes to our outdoor environment partially funded by grants from the Airport Corporation including new bike track, bikes and bike shed. In 2005 we introduced computers for the children to use in the classroom and in 2007 we established a library for the children to borrow books from each week.

In 2009 we celebrated our 60th Anniversary. The fees were $95 for 5 days or $19 a day.  In 2009, we established a basketball court and added synthetic grass in the playground. We also introduced chickens to the outdoor space and the management committee fund raised to establish a toy library for families to borrow educational games.

In 2012 we undertook a major playground upgrade. We added a new large sandpit around our boat area, we removed a fixed climbing structure and replaced it with a hill and fort. We added a new covered deck and digging patch.

In 2014 the Government introduced Universal Access to early childhood education, which ensures that a quality, early childhood education program is available for all children in the year before full-time school. The program is to be delivered by a qualified earlychildhood teacher for 15 hours per week or 600 hours a year, with a focus on participation by Indigenous children, vulnerable and disadvantaged children. John Brotchie therefore had to change it's attendance patterns to accommodate this government initiative. Children could attend an alternating attendance pattern either beginning of the week - Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday and Monday / Tuesday or end of the week Thursday / Friday and Wednesday / Thursday / Friday. The fees were set by the NSW Education Department at $30 per day.

In 2014 we also added an outdoor kitchen to the back garden. We converted the old outhouse with a sink and a toilet into a fully working kitchen. With the addition of the kitchen we also added a cooking program. The children use produce from our garden such as eggs, vegetables and herbs to cook healthy food. 2014 also saw the introduction of our Bush School program. Bush School is an outdoor education program based on the Scandinavian Forest approach. Bush School was led by Rebecca Andrews and Leesa Di Campli and involved walking the children down to Sir Joseph's Bank park to play in nature.

During 2015, we wanted to expand our new committment to outdoor education inside the gates at John Brotchie. The children and families were embracing the benefits of nature play and we wanted more natural play spaces. We converted the underused bike track into a designated bush area. The bush area includes our chickens and rabbits, a fire pit, mud pit and native plants to encourage birds and insects.

John Brotchie completed the assessment and quality rating process in December 2016. We were assessed across the 7 quality areas and were very proud to receive exceeding in all 7 areas and an overall rating of Exceeding.