In December 2020 we opened our fourth new nursery, Queenswood Lodge, in Waterlooville. The building was originally a 1920s family home, which was eventually converted into a doctor’s surgery.
Following a few months of complete renovation, the new nursery is now open and has capacity for 55 children to attend in three new, bright, and airy rooms.
As with all of our nurseries, Queenswood Lodge has been fitted out with a host of natural furniture and an amazing mix of resources. There is also a large garden which has a whole host of different areas for children to explore.
We have an upstairs separate garden for the babies as well, and as with our other nurseries we also have a kitchen on site. There is also the 100 acre Queens Inclosure opposite the nursery, which provides a new challenge and experience for the children to explore.
We are really excited to welcome Queenswood Lodge to the Good Manors family, and expanding our operations into a new part of the local area.
It has been a very traumatic time for everyone across the country over the past year, dealing with not just a deadly virus sweeping through the world, but how to cope practically with the continuing relaxation and re-imposing of restrictions.
With job uncertainty, health worries, and social distancing to get our heads around, throughout this ongoing outbreak we are still here to support all of your families in whatever way we can.
We are continuing to monitor the ongoing guidance from government about the COVID-19 outbreak, and how best to continue to support the children, parents and staff at Good Manors. As and when this guidance is updated, we will keep you informed of our plans. There has been little change in guidance to nurseries since July 2020, however when this does change we will let you know.
We have seen a return to some kind of normality over the past few months, in spite of the recent announcement of the new January lockdown. Normal planning and observation procedures continues, so that observation and assessment is still what we were doing before the pandemic. We are still restricted in some activities and resources that we cannot still use as normal, but continue to work around these restrictions to continue to ensure that the children can still have the very best chances to develop and learn.
As winter continues we have seen more children to begin to develop symptoms of COVID-19 when they are only catching other respiratory infections – this has lead to an inevitable increase in children being temporarily excluded from the nursery, with some children being temporarily excluded from the nursery on multiple occasions within a relatively short time period. Until the government guidance changes, there is nothing that we can do about this, so we ask for your patience and understanding in what will be a difficult winter.
We also want to once again stress that to help prevent overwhelming of the testing system, that parents/carers should only get yourselves or your children tested if you or your child has symptoms of COVID-19. In particular, if you are asked to self-isolate because you or your child has been a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, then please only get tested if you develop symptoms, because even if you obtain a negative test, you will still be required to complete the 10 day self-isolation period regardless of this test result.
The latest copy of our COVID-19 guidance can be found here.
We have also created a set of flowcharts to help you to understand the current self-isolation guidelines, which you can view here.
Take care of yourselves and stay safe, from our family, to yours.
We are delighted to announce that following Manor Lodge’s recent Ofsted inspection on 18th September 2019 that we have once again been graded as Outstanding!
The Ofsted inspector was highly complementary of our nursery and the practice that she observed, stating that “Children are extremely happy and thrive at this exemplary nursery setting. They have a vast range of opportunities to learn and develop in a secure and nurturing environment. Leaders and staff plan an extensive curriculum which superbly promotes children’s individual next steps in learning.” She also observed that “The key-person system is extremely effective. The children are welcomed into the nursery by staff who are highly motivated. The leaders are very visible and role model positive behaviour to the staff, who respond without exception.”, and that “Children are incredibly well prepared for their next stages in learning, due to the exceptionally high quality of teaching across the nursery. Staff make high-quality assessments of children’s learning and development and use this extensive knowledge to plan carefully thought out next steps.”
We were also highly complimented on our safeguarding procedures, with the report stating that “The setting has extremely robust policies and procedures in place, to ensure all staff know the signs and symptoms that indicate a child may be at risk of abuse. Leaders ensure that they have a highly effective and secure recruitment process, which is reviewed regularly, to make certain that staff are suitable. Safeguarding training is part of the induction procedure and regular updates are discussed every half term at staff meetings. Staff are extremely confident in the process of reporting concerns, and put the welfare of the children at the heart of all that they do.”
At Good Manors we are proud to support and encourage our staff team to challenge themselves in their continued professional development, and are always keen to celebrate them when they undertake further qualifications in childcare.
Recently, we have had two of our management team complete their Foundation Degree of Arts in Early Years Care and Education from the University of Portsmouth: Emma who is our manager at Manor Lodge, and Lisa, who is a deputy across all of our sites. We are also particularly pleased to announce that Lisa was the recipient of The Warmington Memorial Prize.
Lisa was nominated for and awarded this prize because firstly she had worked consistently throughout the three years on the Foundation Degree. Her academic achievements had gone from strength to strength and she had demonstrated ably her ability to transform theory to practice in her setting. Her most notable achievement however had been the way in which, whilst not losing sight of her own study, she had been outstanding in her support for her colleagues across all aspects of the degree.
We are also looking to the future, and Abbey, our deputy manager at Miller Drive, has successfully enrolled on the Early Years Initial Teacher Training course, to help her continue to develop her own skills and knowledge alongside assisting us in providing the best possible childcare practice going forward.
Good Manors have been supporting one of our bank staff, Lucy, as she volunteers in Nepal to help the children there and the resources available to them. Lucy has written about her experiences in Nepal, so here’s what she has had to say:
“I set off out to Nepal to volunteer with a company called GVI with the vision and passion to help others who are less fortunate. However small it may seem, I wanted to do whatever I could to help. I opted for the ‘construction’ placement.
Construction involved a daily routine of leaving the homestay at 9:30am, and arriving to the school site by 10:00am. The work we did involved priming a newly built classroom; we primed the outside walls, the doors and the windows. We then painted the building, which was extremely rewarding to be able to see the classroom all ready for use and education-friendly. The headteacher simply asked GVI at the beginning of the project to help make his school look like a school, a place where the children can feel safe and happy, which I believe we have managed to achieve.
Once we finished this project we constructed noticeboards: eight boards in total. After this we constructed whiteboards for each classroom, which allows teachers to teach in a more efficient way. We primed and painted another area of the school (the childcare centre), creating a cleaner environment for the children and teachers. Finally, the last project we worked on was building a bin for the school. We created two different bins; a plastic section to recycle, and a wastage section. This was a significant addition to the school as they can now reduce wastage, and have a cleaner environment for the children to learn in. In addition to this, children can learn how to recycle, and take this knowledge home with them to their families, again increasing education of wastage in Nepal.
After a month of volunteering on construction, I decided to extend my stay a further month, and change to the woman’s empowerment placement. I work with women intermittently throughout the week, as we go to alternate locations on different days. The lesson involves teaching them English: we cover basic sentences, improving their confidence when writing and speaking. Most recently we have progressed onto adjectives and nouns, in which they are now confident distinguishing between the two – an extremely rewarding feeling for me.
In the afternoons we do crafts with the women as a big group, allowing them to leave their homes for a few hours of the day, to escape the routine of cooking, cleaning and washing. This allows me to enable them to feel empowered, independent, valued, and most importantly, allows them to pursue talents and passions they would never have had without the support of the volunteeer program.
I came to Nepal with the mindset of helping others, but I can honestly say that the people of Nepal have taught me more than I could ever teach them; their morals and family values, their beliefs about meditation and mindfulness, and the correct way to treat others. This experience has changed my life, and will shape how I live for the rest of it.”
We are very proud of Lucy and her achievements, and look forward to seeing her when she returns!
Do you want to be part of an innovative and creative team? Here at Good Manors we provide a fun and exciting environment for both our employees and children. We firmly believe in quality over quantity, this is why at each of our three nurseries our enthusiastic managers invest the time to be involved with the nursery day-to-day life, to provide guidance and support for our teams!
Having started as a family-run business we understand the importance of nurture, which is why we work to develop and inspire all of our employees. So whether you have an existing career in childcare or are looking to start new chapter in your life, we want to hear from you!
We are currently recruiting for several jobs across our three sites, so if you are interested, or know someone who might be, please get in touch. You can find more details for how to apply on our Careers page.
To coincide with the new Good News newsletter that we are starting from September, each nursery will also now have an event running each month. The dates for each event will be in your Good News newsletter and also on display within each nursery. If you wish to have more details about any of our events then please speak to the management team.
These events are an opportunity for parents to get involved in nursery life even more, and will range from Easter parades to Halloween dress-up, to summer fetes!
Keep an eye on your Good News newsletter for more details!
We are very happy to reveal that in order to continue to provide the best level of communication with all parents that our new newsletter, Good News, will be available across all three of our sites from September.
We feel that it is of critical importance that we maintain strong contact with all parents, be this through updates on our website, social media posts, letters and emails home, or a newsletter.
The new format newsletter will have information for your child’s particular nursery, including details of any upcoming events, as well as provide you with an update as to what is going on across the other nursery sites that your child does not attend.
As always, we would love feedback from parents when the newsletter is out, and please continue to like our facebook page, www.facebook.com/GoodManorsDayNurseries, and follow us on Twitter, @GoodManorsDN.
We are happy to announce that Good Manors Day Nurseries are now on Twitter. We are hoping to use this social media platform to keep parents updated with what’s going on around our sites, provide an insight into the great things all of our children do every day, as well as to provide you with up-to-date operational information. For example we found that using our Facebook page was a great help earlier this year with the snow closures, but Twitter would be an even better way for us to get messages out quickly to all of our families.
You can follow us on Twitter, we are @GoodManorsDN.