George Dent Nursery


Head Teachers Spring Update 27.03.2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

We would like to thank you all for your kind donations yesterday. We will let you know in due course just how much we raised. We hope to present this to the Mayor when he visits George Dent during the Easter break. It was lovely to see both staff and children in their denim for such a worthy cause that is likely to touch all our lives at some point, if it has not already.

Seeing everyone outside in the garden enjoying the sunshine really added to the feeling that Spring has finally sprung! When we return after Easter please can we remind you to pack sunhats and sun cream, labelled of course, in preparation for those warm sunny days we look forward to enjoying. Can we please remind you to continue to adhere to social distancing rules, maintaining a 2-metre distance between you and others, whilst waiting outside and of course wearing your face coverings – I realise that it is easy to forget but we do need to be mindful that the coronavirus has not disappeared and in fact Darlington’s infection rate is the highest in the North East with well over 100 cases in 100 000 people. This is attributed to community spread.

During the next half term, we will be thinking very much about new life, new beginnings, and new growth as we welcome new children into school, support those moving up into our Woodlands rooms (Hedgehogs and Squirrels) and watch our duckling’s hatch. We will also be thinking about how we can further develop our beautiful garden, on a shoestring budget. Westend Landscaping have done an amazing job transforming a key area of Woodlands garden. They worked late into the evening to complete their work. It is looking fabulous. We can’t wait to see the new outdoor classroom in place.

We rely heavily on the donations we receive. Funding to nursery schools continues to be reduced. Unlike primary and secondary schools and private nurseries, we are not able to take advantage of any of the government funding, grants, subsidies, payment holidays etc. School funds are helping with our current garden refurbishment in Woodlands, so thank you very much! We are looking at what can be done to improve our Orchard garden too. If anyone has any ideas on how we can generate income or access any funding to support us with the development of our garden, please let us know.

Our key educators continue to work their magic and have tried to contact you all to provide an update on your child’s progress in school. Should you have missed this call please get in touch and we can organise another, and of course should you want to talk to a key educator or myself, at any point, please do not hesitate to ring/email. 

Unfortunately our lovely Carmen will not be returning next term due to illness, so Jessica has agreed to take on the role of key educator during this time. We wish Carmen a speedy recovery! We will also be welcoming some new staff to join our nursery families. Jacqueline will be joining Squirrels 2 days a week. She is new to school but we know that our children and staff are looking forward to working with her. Abigail and Sarah will be joining Orchard Room. Both are familiar faces, Abigail has been doing some supply with us already and Sarah leads after school and helps to run holiday club.  

Just a reminder that should you or your child develop COVID symptoms over the next few days please book a test and let us know immediately. There is a 48 hour contact tracing policy in place and direct contacts will need to be contacted (This will not apply from Monday). Should you or your child test positive after this date we would be grateful if you could let the school know, even though this will not impact directly upon children and staff after the weekend.

Lastly as it is Easter, we have been busy decorating various eggs for a number of events around the town. So, look out for one of our eggs which will be displayed in the window of Sew Fabrics, along with many others across the town. You will find another of our eggs located in south park, somewhere! Be the first to spot it and let us know! Oh, and we also entered the Mayor’s nursery competition, our egg is due to be uploaded to his album and the public will be able to vote for their favourite egg. We will let you know details as to how you can do this!

Have a lovely Spring break and stay safe.

Helen Dummett