As winter is now well and truly upon us and we begin the countdown to Christmas it also is a time to reflect on what has been a very busy year for The Old School House. There have been many highlights but two that have had a major impact on nursery was becoming the first nursery in the country to achieve the coveted Childrens Food Trust Excellence award back in April and Learning at Work Week (LAW) in the summer.
2nd April 2013: Nursery wins our first Children’s Food Trust award
“Achieving this national recognition has been so valuable for us. It’s reassurance for parents that their child is eating well when they’re with us and that we’re committed to helping their child get off to a great start with food, supporting their growth and development.” Linda Baston-Pitt from the Old School House Nursery. Read more here http://www.childrensfoodtrust.org.uk/news-and-events/news/cftawardfirst
Another key element for us at nursery is that the focus should not only be on the environment, the food and meals served, but also on role modelling by staff and the policies affecting child wellbeing. As research repeatedly tells us, children’s wellbeing and future development are largely dependent on the high wellbeing of staff! (and parents)
Since achieving the CFT award I have searched high and low for someone to present the award. Unfortunately Jamie Oliver and Raymond Blanc were all too busy but I’m pleased to say that Sophie Atkins-Ward, a Master Chef Finalist who is chef de partie at Wimpole Hall (and has her own young children), has kindly agreed to not only to present our award, but to also do a cooking session with the children at nursery. She will be visiting Nursery on the morning of Friday 22nd November. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=675514302461874&set=pb.476007749079198.-2207520000.1384946694.&type=3&theater
What did you learn yesterday at work?
A good question and one that set the scene for all of the team when they took part in ‘Learning at Work Week’ organised by the Campaign for Learning.
The nursery team planned a whole ‘learning at work week’ with the theme of ‘the many ways to learn’ running throughout. Everyone enjoyed a variety of fun, innovative activities that were delivered by external experts and team members themselves that covered a whole range of formal and informal learning opportunities. The week began with ‘Motivational Monday’ with activities that focused on taking a positive approach to life including setting goals for the future and finding your true purpose to ‘Flourishing Friday’ when staff were able to discover their own signature strengths, learn how to make quick and easy brain boosting smoothies and have a go at making their own jewellery.We believe strongly that to build a strong learning culture it’s important to develop the person from the inside out, not just their skills and knowledge. Learning and development shouldn’t be restricted purely to persons job role, we’ve found that by giving individuals choice in what, how and when to learn and develop they naturally become more positive and engaged as a result – doing what they love and enjoy and are most capable of, rather than what we try to make them be! “
Useful links / information
- Infant and Toddler Forum – Feeding young children: practical advice from the experts
- Campaign for Learning
- National Day Nurseries Association – advice, information and support for parents