'Rachel Keeling Nursery School, where the child comes first' is our strapline. It makes the job of me as a head teacher quite straight forward: if I hold onto that, then I can steer tricky decisions and always feel I have not compromised the needs of our children.
Likewise, our families play a central part to our school life. We pride ourselves on the relationships we cultivate and our wonderful outcomes for children are down, in part, to the joined up approach to learning we utilise.
We have been lucky enough recently to have received two substantial, financial donations from families. We are in the midst of a very difficult financial climate for education and we wanted to think deeply about what we use this money for. We thought about our School Development Plan as we are always driving forwards, striving to improve and deepen our work. We also considered the children of the families who donated the money: what did they enjoy about Rachel Keeling? One of the parents said "As a family we learned so much during or time at Rachel Keeling. Our children are the independent, confident and joyful learners because of the fantastic start they got here."
We have decided to invest in a Research Library: where children can access information books about a wide variety of subjects (they are researching animals there as I speak!) We have purchased high quality bookshelves, tables and chairs. We are currently looking at new titles to stock it more, including books on our environment and sustainable, ethical choices we can all make. This is a huge school focus which is filtering through to children and families.
We want to take this opportunity to thank the families who wish to remain anonymous for enabling the children of our community to access some rich, new resources which will enhance learning and outcomes for all children. Also we would like to thank all our families, staff and governors who work so hard with us, supporting our Rachel Keeling Values and ensuring the children (most in part time places now) make the most of every single moment they are here!