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Personality counts among nursery pupils


By Peter Harris


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A village nursery has been judged outstanding in all areas by Ofsted.

Staunton Montessori Nursery School at Staunton is believed to be one of the first nurseries in Nottinghamshire to get the grade in all 14 areas.

Its Ofsted report said: “Staunton Montessori Nursery School provides children with a rich learning experience that not only recognises their uniqueness but also provides an environment that both motivates and excites.”

The report said staff recognised the importance of listening to and valuing what children said and used that knowledge to plan exciting learning experiences.

The Montessori approach to teaching was pioneered in 1907 by Italy’s first woman physician, Dr Maria Montessori, a specialist in child psychology.

She highlighted the need to educate a child’s whole personality rather than just concentrating on the teaching of knowledge.

Youngsters are taught in small groups and are encouraged to undertake practical tasks such as buttoning coats.

Another area highlighted in the report were the activities on offer at the nursery.

The report said: “Visits from a member of the travelling community, complete with caravan and horse, give children a feel of the enclosed spaces some people live in.

“African music, visits from a vet and cooking foods from other cultures provides extra interest as well as wonderful opportunities for discussion.

“Baking cakes and bread is a popular activity enabling children to weigh, measure, mix and eventually eat their creations.”

The nursery is run by Mr Robert Staunton, the head and managing director, and his wife, Mrs Adrienne Staunton, from their home, Chapelside Farmhouse, where a 19th Century barn has been converted into a classroom.

Mr Staunton said: “This is a tremendous result for the school community. We have an outstanding group of children and staff here who are achieving great things.”

Mr Staunton recently achieved Early Years Professional status from Northampton University.

He is one of the first men in the country to obtain the qualification and has been asked by the Government to appear in a television advertisement campaign to try to get more men involved with infant education.

Mr Staunton is a visiting lecturer at Lincoln University and has been elected to the Early Years Consultation Group, which deals with issues of funding and quality in the nursery sector.


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