Blog - Nursery Talk
Boys & Girls Nursey – 2014 Review
Hello and welcome to your Boys & Girls Nursery 2014 Review.
What a year 2014 has been! Sitting here writing this has made me realise just how much we have achieved in one year – our nurseries have gone from strength to strength, the nursery teams are continually improving and our support team continues to grow and develop.
We have met some great people throughout the year too. We have welcomed lots of lovely new families into our nurseries, worked with some excellent local businesses and started wonderful working relationships with child experts and even a local author!
To end the year with a bang we finally opened our Rickmansworth nursery! It was a long journey and thank your all for encouragement (and patience) that you gave us along the way.
The success of 2014 wouldn’t have happened without the great team we have here at Boys & Girls Nursery – each and every staff member has the same goal – to provide the very best care and attention for the children that we look after.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support and wish you a happy and healthy new year.
See you at nursery soon,
Wow – what a busy and action packed year! 2014 saw us successfully retain three ‘Good’ Ofsted ratings at Croxley Green, Stanmore and Watford. Well done to all the teams. My challenge going forward is to raise the bar and achieve ‘Outstanding’ in all nurseries! We worked really hard with our Croxley Green and Watford Nurseries to ensure we passed the Herts Quality Standards (HQS) Award. This was a real achievement for us and means we are continually looking at new ways to improve and develop our practises through a process of self-evaluation.
Seeing our new Rickmansworth Nursery open was a huge achievement for me – watching it grow from a building site to what it is now makes me really proud. Meeting Peppa Pig at the open day was the icing on the cake!
Watching the team work and grow together over the past year has been great. We have enjoyed some lovely team events such as the Summer BBQ and Christmas party and this has helped build some fantastic relationships which in turn means the team are constantly there to support each other.
In 2015 I am looking forward to some new challenges, continuing to work closely with the Managers and Team in the rooms and continue to push for Ofsted ‘Outstanding’!
This was my first full year as Manager at Croxley Green and it’s been great. I have a great team around me and I am really proud of what we have achieved during 2014.
Our Baby Room has gone from strength to strength with the arrival of Sabrina as Room Leader and the promotion of Kelly to Senior Nursery Nurse. The new bunk cots that arrived have been brilliant and a great space saving solution. Despite having more indoor space the Baby Room Team have made brilliant use of their garden this year too. Toddlers had a busy year and welcomed Elena as Room Leader as Taryn left to have her little girl. Liam was promoted to Senior Nursery Nurse in February and has done a great job! The whole toddler team have worked really hard to develop different areas in the room to make it even more interesting for the children.
Pre-School saw a new Room Leader too – Sarah has done a brilliant job and, along with Daniella and the rest of the team, our Pre-Schoolers can’t wait to get in the door in the mornings! The team are working closely with our Hertfordshire Early Years Advisor to continually develop the Pre-School room and activities to ensure the children are always learning something new.
Next year I will continue to work with my team to improve our nursery where we can to ensure we are offering the best environment for your children to learn, play and have fun in! Outside of work I will continue with my Counselling Diploma Course as this is something that I have a keen interest in.
Although I didn’t start until May this year it has been an amazing 6 months for me here at the new Boys & Girls Nursery in Rickmansworth.
I have met some amazing new people that include parents, staff and of course the lovely children who attend on a daily basis. Opening Rickmansworth has been an overwhelming achievement for me as Manager and all I am looking forward to an even more successful 2015.
Over the year we have seen some new faces join us here at Stanmore, and along with them have come some new positive ideas. Krutika in particular has been keen to research lots of lovely ideas and we have seen our Pre-School children enjoying a lot more science based activities.
Baby Room has had a complete new look – lots of new equipment and resources have been purchased throughout the year to help the children’s development. This has seen some fantastic activities taking place – a good example of this is the ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ display which was re-tweeted on Twitter by Michel Rosen himself! Pre-toddlers also had a great year. The team have been working really hard to ensure that the environment is bright and child friendly. The introduction of the sensory area in their room has been great and the children now have lots of fun exploring natural resources. Toddlers have introduced an new investigation area this year and the children are now enjoying exploring different resources, looking at their features and understanding how they work. They are hoping to continue to develop this area into the new year and work with Pre-School on some new ideas they can introduce in this area.
On a personal note I got married earlier this year, it was a lot of hard work, but well worth it on the day.
Next year we are striving to continue to work as a team to gain an ‘Outstanding’ grade from Ofsted. We will continue to be reflective with our practice and look for new ways we can provide the children with the best quality care and education.
We have welcomed lots of new children into the nursery this year – our rooms are full!
The team have worked extremely hard and this was reflected in being awarded our ‘Herts Quality Standard Award’ – it was a huge achievement for all of us and we are extremely proud. It was a long journey but we made it through still smiling. We also maintained our Ofsted grade of ‘Good’ – another big achievement.
Baby Room have seen a few changes with Minesha heading to Rickmansworth and Toni going on maternity leave. Our Babies have handled the changes brilliantly and have enjoyed welcoming and settling lots of new friends into the room.Our Toddlers said a sad farewell to Mary this year after 7 years but she keeps in touch with us all! In other staff news Helen became Senior Nursery Nurse.
Kate and the team did brilliantly during our HQS assessments and were praised for all their hard work in the room. They are already starting to get our Pre-School children ready for school next year which they are all looking forward to!
2015 is going to be busy as I have Baby Devine’s arrival to look forward to! I am looking forward to training my replacement but it won’t be for long as I will be returning.
Our Team Awards were announced at the end of the year – congratulations to the following:
Team Player of the Year – Liam
2nd place – Karis
3rd place – Daniella
GEM Award Winner – Daniella
GEM Award Winner – Georgia
Team Player of the Year – Denise
2nd place – Tanya
3rd place – Chloe F
GEM Award Winner – Tanya
Team Player of the Year – Mel
2nd place – Nicky
3rd place – Kate
GEM Award Winner – Helen
Our team have been celebrating outside of the nurseries too!
There was a Boys & Girls ‘baby boom’ as Taryn, Sharna, Lousie, Margaret, Toni and Lara all welcomed new additions to their family.
There were also wedding bells in the air for Anna, Denise and Liam.
We have welcomed lots of new staff to the team as we continued to grow and expand but also said some sad goodbyes to members of staff that had been with us a long time.
Boys & Girls Nursery Rickmansworth opening
On the 4th October we finally opened the doors to our long awaited Rickmansworth nursery. We were joined by the one and only Peppa Pig who helped cut the ribbon as we welcomed over 200 families through our door. Visitors were treated to home baked goodies from the kitchen, guided tours by our fabulous staff, story time sessions with Peppa Pig and music fun with JoJingles. We had 40 children sign up on the day and continue to be inundated with enquiries on a daily basis. The team have settled in brilliantly under the guidance of Nicola, our Rickmansworth Nursery Manager, and Bryony, our Deputy Manager.
A huge thank you to all that have supported us on our journey – we couldn’t have done it without you!
Food is fuel and here at Boys & Girls Nursery and we provide fresh, home-cooked dishes every single day. Our qualified and experienced chefs prepare from scratch well-balanced and appetising meals that provide all the nutrients children need to stay in tip-top condition.
In April this year we joined forces with Sally Temple, a Nutritionist who specialises in child nutrition.
Sally is the founder of The Nutrition Place which is a nutritional therapy clinic specialising in children and family health based in St Albans. She trained in nutrition at the internationally renowned Institute for Optimum Nutrition gaining a Diploma and Foundation Science Degree in Nutritional Health and set up The Nutrition Place in 2011.
Having two young children herself, Sally is particularly interested in promoting child health and supporting parents with practical, achievable advice to enable their children to eat themselves healthy.
Sally was very impressed with our existing menu but, along with the help from our chefs, wanted to tweak it slightly to make it even more nutritious. Adding dishes like Salmon Couscous, Moroccan Lamb Stew and Lentil Hotpot our menu is not only full of goodness, it’s also very tasty too. The new summer menu launched in May and was revamped in November to include more autumnal dishes as the cold weather arrived.
Our new report cards have some of our recipes on the back so you can make the dishes at home.
Sally also gave a very insightful talk at an event arranged at Watford Hilton Hotel and over fifty of you attended. She gave advice, answered questions and explained why she had made some of the changes to our menu. We had great feedback from everyone that attended the talk and are now in the process of booking more events for the new year. If there are any particular subjects that you would like us to include in upcoming talks please speak to your Nursery Manager.
Parent Communication – Weekly Notice
You will have noticed that we now send you a ‘Weekly Notice’ as a replacement for your monthly newsletter. We hope that you enjoy receiving information on a weekly basis rather than having to wait for it at the end of every month. We changed to a weekly notice after receiving feedback from parents – you wanted more frequent reminders about events taking place in the nursery, to know about staff changes as and when they happened and a summary of room activities on a regular basis. We also find that reminders about the menu and Pre-School letter of the week are more suited to a weekly notice.
What a bang the New Year started with – Ofsted surprised us with a visit to our Croxley Green nursery and I’m happy to say we retained our ‘Good’ rating. We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the year. To celebrate Chinese New Year the children made some amazing horse displays – it’s always good fun learning about different customs and cultures.
Love was in the air for the most and Ofsted were back… Yes you guessed it, Ofsted paid us another surprise visit! This time to our Watford and Stanmore Nurseries. Usually I like surprises but these kind can be stressful – that aside I’m happy to report that we retained our ‘Good’ rating for both the Nurseries and YES we did shout about it! Our wonderful chef Shillah in Watford nursery kept her 5 star Food Hygiene award. Valentine’s Day is an important day in the Nurseries as we spend lots of time talking about the people that we love – the children really enjoyed making special cards for you too.
March was a busy month – I turned 30 and enjoyed celebrations with friends and family. The nursery events calendar was full to the brim too. We celebrated Mother’s Day by inviting our lovely mums in for a coffee morning. Our children also made a lovely video for their mummies, grandmas, nannies and aunties – we hope you enjoyed it! Easter was a fun time in the nurseries with lots of crafts. Our Head Office team popped along to the Stanmore College jobs fair and met lots of students looking for the next step towards a career in Childcare. To finish a very busy month we helped raise literature awareness for National Book Week where everyone dressed up as their favourite book character and also raised lots of money for Sports Relief.
We were no April fools – We were delighted that our Watford and Croxley Green Nurseries were awarded the prestigious ‘Hertfordshire Quality Standards’ Award, a county led scheme that ensures childcare providers are constantly improving and developing through a process of self-evaluation. Not one to gloat… We also received a Silver Mumpreneur Award for the work on our website – something our marketing team were very proud of. If that wasn’t enough we launched our very own blog page with lots of articles from the world of childcare – have a look I’m sure you’ll enjoy them!
We always like a visit from a ‘celebrity’ and we were lucky enough to have local Bushey author Tracey Trussell come into each nursery to read her wonderful children’s book ‘So What!’. The Rickmansworth nursery build was in full swing and we welcomed our wonderful new Manager Nicola to the team. We also started working with child nutritionist Sally Temple who helped us develop a delicious new summer menu.
Summer arrived and the diary was full! We held a Staff Summer BBQ as a huge thank you to the team. We were pleased to be invited to Watford Careers Fair by MP Richard Harrington – it was a great event where we met lots of interesting people! World Cup fever hit the nurseries and the children enjoyed lots of fun activities. All our Daddies came into see us for a Father’s Day breakfast – they enjoyed croissants and juice. Our Father’s Day video was a big hit too. To finish a busy month Nutritionist Sally Temple held a Child Nutrition Workshop for our parents – it was a great success.
The rooms were quiet with lots of children off on their summer holidays and we loved receiving postcards from around the globe. Croxley Green nursery took part in the Herts Cycle Challenge – the children loved spending even more time than usual on their bikes in the garden. Our mid-year Open Days were a great success as we met lots of lovely new faces with many joining the Boys & Girls family. Teachers from outside schools came to visit the Pre-Schoolers in their base rooms to meet them and start preparation for the move to big school.
August is always a sad month at Boys & Girls as we have to say goodbyes to many of our Pre-School leavers who move onto big school. The leavers parties were a great success and the children looked great in their home-made graduation hats. All nurseries put on special activities as we took part in National Playday 2014. The ‘Icebucket Challenge’ hit the Nurseries with many of the team joining in the ‘fun’ by being covered in ice-cold water in the name of charity.
September is a busy month in the nursery as we welcome lots of new children in to the Pre-School rooms. Our Harvest Festival began this month and we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our children, parents and staff – the New Hope Trust were extremely grateful as always. The dance studios in Croxley Green opened this month and we were lucky enough to be invited to be one of the first to use the new facilities.
October brought a lot of amazing mile stones: Our Rickmansworth nursery finally opened it’s doors to the public – it had been a rough ride but we got there and the open day was out of this world! We also hit 1000 likes on our Facebook page – a huge achievement for us and a massive thank you to all that have hit that button! Our nursery photographer spent a day at each nursery taking some great snaps of the little ones – just in time for Christmas presents!
November was full of charity fundraising! Superheroes and cakes were aplenty in the nurseries for Children In Need – we raised over £544.53. At the end of the month some of the team were lucky enough to attend the My Local Hero Awards held at Watford Hilton where we were the proud sponsors of the ‘Emily Mott Child of Courage’ Award. Our Winter menu launched this month too – keeping little tummies warm as the cold sets in.
All of our nurseries held Christmas parties and lunches and were thoroughly enjoyed by everyone that attended – it was lovely to see so many parents come along to join in the party fun too. Croxley Green had their annual visit from the Environmental Health Inspectors the day before Christmas Eve – congratulations to the team for retaining their 5 stars!
Not wanting to leave the team out we hosted our Christmas Party at The Venue in Bushey where a great time was had by all.
We cannot wait for an amazing 2015!