Nursery School Faces Up to Challenging Times

Hambledon Nursery School has met and resolved a host of challenges as it remains open during the latest lock-down to provide early-learning to local children, in accordance with Government policy.

With junior and senior schools all shut, head teacher Kate Walford and her team, assisted by the Trustees, have had to deal with a range of issues in recent months including anxiety among staff and parents, several cases of Covid-19, and the difficulties posed by teachers having to cope with providing home-schooling for their own children.

The school has had to close one of its two classroom, but continues to provide a safe and happy environment for those youngsters still in attendance.

The Trustees, the Parish Council, the Church and parents have each expressed their heartfelt appreciation to Kate and her colleagues for keeping going in such difficult times.

Here Kate provides the village with her latest report.

The start to 2021 is one where the phrase ‘things can only get better’ springs to mind.

We are all aware that the new year brought with it further challenges as we weather the storm which comes with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

For Hambledon nursery school this signified an uncertain start to the spring term as the third national lockdown was declared. We have had to close our provision for the 2-3 year olds due to staff shortages at this very difficult time. However, we hope this closure will be short lived and that we will reopen the room for this age group after the February half term.

Adjusting to life in a lockdown can be very difficult and the cause of much anxiety.

I have heard it said that although we are all in the same storm, we do not all nave the same tools to ride the storm out. Some are fortunate to have access to strong boats with sturdy sails, others have but flimsy canoes to try to keep themselves afloat.

We find that at the nursery, though we may feel adrift in this storm, we are once again lucky enough to work in an environment that is an island of calm in the storm. Here the important business of play, joy, laughter and learning through having fun continues as it should and brings those of us fortunate to work here much hope for the future.

I think that spreading a little of that hope and joy within the community of Hambledon is most important. The nativity trail in December 2020 which ran into early January 2021 was met with many happy responses. The nursery received some wonderful feedback about the children’s many different crafts which represented different elements to the nativity story and how they had brought much enjoyment to those who walked past.

Following the success of this trail we certainly hope to make more in the future. At the end of this spring term our usual Easter service will perhaps not be possible and so I would hope once again to make an Easter trail to spread the message of hope and of new life that comes with that time of year.

I firmly believe by that stage we shall have many more reasons to be positive and hopeful in the form of the expanding vaccination programme, reduced rates of infection and the very gradual but very tangible return to normality for us all.


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