Farewell to Nicola Collett As She Departs As Nursery School Head Teacher

Staff, trustees, parents and children have bid a fond farewell to Nicola Collett, who has stood down as head teacher at Hambledon Nursery School after ten highly-successful years.

Nicola’s final day was the last day of the summer term (July 20th). At the end of the leavers service for children moving on to primary school, tributes were paid and gifts were presented.

Nicola was unsure if she could deliver a departing speech without becoming tearful so her two children, Lydia and Lawrence, stepped up to speak on her behalf. Kate Walford, the new head, teachers and parents all warmly thanked Nicola and spoke of their high regard for her. Our pictures shows Kate Walford (left)  and Tracey Jimmison, deputy head (centre), at the presentation to Nicola,

Nicola joined the teaching staff in 2001 and was appointed head teacher and manager in 2008.

The school was once the village state primary. It was reopened as a nursery school in 1984 after a village-led initiative secured the lovely Victorian schoolhouse and playground in its beautiful rural setting as a place of learning.

It has thrived and since Nicola took over it has twice been judged “outstanding” in Ofsted inspections.

David Evans, chair of trustees, said: “Nicola has made a quite exceptional contribution, and the school today bears her stamp in so many ways.

“We are fortunate to have such an attractive Victorian building, but Victorian buildings need love and care, and with Nicola over the years it has been very well maintained.  The extensive outdoor areas and outbuildings and play areas have also been carefully looked after and developed, with children’s gardens, and outdoor toys, and climbing frames and pathways and camps.

“Important as the physical environment is, much more important is our teaching staff.  Nicola has taken tremendous care over the staff team and has supported and imbued it with her passion and values.  It is a great team, who look after their small charges with endless care and dedication and give them the best start to their schooldays that they and their parents could hope for.

“Nicola has been the embodiment of “hands-on”.  She has maintained a teaching role throughout her time at the school, and has always been on-hand to advise and support those around her.  And as well as supporting her colleagues, and caring for the children, before a new term started she would invariably be found organising a tidy-up of the classrooms, or checking the grounds, or planning a new innovation in the children’s education.

“She can and should look back on her time at Hambledon Nursery School with great pride.  The gifts from staff and parents and trustees will be a small reminder of the very high regard in which she is held by all.  She is passing on the Headship to Kate Walford, presently a teacher at the school, and as ever has done an excellent job of supporting and handing over the reins to Kate.

“Nicola has a creativity that has been a hugely important part of what she has brought to the school, and now she plans to develop these talents further and in different directions.  We all wish her, with her husband Iain and her children Lydia and Lawrence, the very best.

“Nicola’s leaving gift to the school was the trunk of an oak tree.  This is now in the school grounds inscribed with a message from Nicola to the school.  In its first day it was a boat, a bus, a crocodile and a horse …”

Our pictures below show Nicola in the playground after she was presented with a flowers by children; with her daughter Lydia (centre) and teacher/afternoon supervisor Kelly Shaw; and the inscribed oak log which was her departing gift to the school.

 

 

New Head Teacher For Hambledon Nursery School

Hambledon Nursery School will welcome Kate Walford as its new head teacher when she takes up the appointment after the summer break.

Not that Kate will be any stranger to staff, parents and returning children. She has worked at the school as an Early Years practitioner since January 2016 and is currently the afternoon supervisor in the Red Room classroom for three and four year olds.

Kate’s appointment follows the resignation of Nicola Collett, head teacher for the past ten years, who is leaving at the end of the summer term next month.

Kate, pictured below, was the unanimous choice of the nursery school Trustees who interviewed, with external professional support, three impressive candidates.

Kate, who is married with a young family and lives in Chiddingfold, has a degree in biology with qualified teacher status. She has worked in education throughout her professional life and brings 20-years’ experience to her new role. She taught in the West Country for a while before joining Kingfield Primary School in Woking in 2005, remaining there until her move to Hambledon Nursery School.

Nicola has welcomed the choice of her successor and the Trustees believe Kate will continue to build on the caring ethos and high standards set by her predecessor.

The Trustees said that Nicola herself has made a quite exceptional contribution to the nursery school and this will be acknowledged in a full appreciation that will appear on this website following her departure at the end of July.

Hambledon Nursery school, at Rock Hill, was formerly the village state primary school, closed by Surrey County Council in the early 1980s due to falling rolls. Villagers were determined that the Victorian schoolhouse and playground in its beautiful rural setting should remain a place of learning and, after campaigning and fund-raising, acquired the premises from the Church of England.

It reopened as a nursery school in 1984, run as a business with charitable status and locally-appointed Trustees. It has an “outstanding” Ofsted rating.

Further details about the school can be found on this website under “Organisations” in the top menu and at www.hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk

 

Hambledon Nursery School Children And The Royal Wedding

Hambledon Nursery School children celebrated the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, by learning about marriage customs and staging their own ceremony at the village church.

In the two weeks before the Royal Wedding at Windsor Castle, children were encouraged to bring in family wedding photographs to enable them to make a personal connection to the ceremony. These were displayed in the two classrooms and in the reception area. They also prepared wedding invitations, made bunting and arranged floral displays.

Nicola Collett, head teacher, said this created a “real buzz of excitement” around the nursery school. Children enjoyed making their own plans and parents and teachers found themselves reminiscing about their own wedding day. Many reflected on how wedding dresses had changed over the years.

Several teachers brought in their wedding dresses and wore them in front of the children including Kate Walford who is pictured right. Another, who had recently celebrated her 30th wedding anniversary, brought along her photo album as well as her wedding dress.

Ceremonies in other cultures were also talked about and one parent brought in a beatutiful Indian wedding dress and jewellery while another showed pictures of a family Scottish wedding, with men dressed in kilts.

The school purchased a child’s wedding dress and prince’s outfit. Each day in the lead-up to the Windsor wedding, the children enacted a wedding ceremony. This culminated in them holding their own “wedding” service at St Peter’s Church.

Two children played “bride and grooom” and the rest were guests of honour. Dressed for the occasion – some chose Disney outfits – they walked through the woods from school to church where wedding music was played and a “service” held.

Then it was back to the school for the cutting of the cake. The children had made their own out of papier-mâché but, to their delight, Hambledon’s Crumby Bakery, made and delivered a large lemon and elderflower wedding cake. It was simply iced but with the addition of pre-cut paste shapes for children to decorate with edible pens.

The cake, pictured left, was then cut and portions were sold to parents to raise funds for additional resources for the nursery school.

Nicola said: “All of this led to a wonderful atmosphere at the school in the days leading up to the Royal Wedding.”

 

 

JUNIOR CRICKET TRAINING STARTS APRIL 21

Hambledon Cricket Club actively encourages youth cricket and holds popular training sessions for boys and girls on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings.

This season’s sessions begin later this month and new recruits are welcome to join. The first Saturday session is on April 21st and NOT April 22nd, an incorrect date in the poster below.

For more details contact Caroline Tristem at tristem@btinternet.com or 07860 618262.

Winter Weather – An Update on Bin Collection and Other Matters

Hambledon has shivered along with the rest of the country with temperatures plunging to -8C (please see latest photos under the Gallery menu)  but it was only in the last two days that snow caused a problem.

Although there were several relatively minor accidents in the lanes around the village, Hambledon remained open for business and credit goes to the village shop, which offered free deliveries to customers using volunteers in 4-wheel-drive vehicles if needed, and to the nursery school, which remained open all week when many other schools closed.

Stephanie Campbell, school secretary, said a great deal of effort went into keeping the steep entrance, car park and pathways clear of ice and snow. “We enjoyed fun snow play at the nursery school, warming up with hot chocolate when it got chilly outside.”

The Merry Harriers welcomed customers with a big log fire and hot food. The church, however, has had to cancel its Sunday services because snow remains on the steep Church Lane approach.

Hambledon Road, which was regularly gritted by Surrey County Council, is now clear of snow. Other lanes were gritted by local people and thanks go to them for keeping the village on the move. Most of the grit bins belong to SCC and it is responsible for refilling them. The parish council owns and maintains the bin at the top of Woodlands Road and this will be refilled over the weekend.

The Friday waste collection did not happen but please leave your bins out as Waverley Borough Council has advised they will be emptied over the next few days.

The payphone kiosk outside the village shop is currently out of order but the fault has been reported to BT which has said it has alerted its engineers and expects the repair to be carried out early in the coming week.

Hambledon Parish Council has a team of volunteers with 4-wheel drives, chain saws etc, ready to help out in the event of weather-related disruption and a link to them and other helpful numbers can be found on the opening page of this website. Please contact Stewart Payne, in the first instance, on 07831 393561. Arthur Frearson has joined the volunteer team and can be reached on 01428 683812 or 01252 722973. Please do not contact Tim Coleman or Nick Watson for the time being as both are unavailable.

If a grit bin near to you is in need of a refill please contact Stewart who will put in a request to Surrey County Council.

Our photographs show a snow covered Rock Hill, outside the nursery school; Church Lane and the listed red payphone outside the shop and post office.

NEW TEACHER REQUIRED AS ROSEMARY KILEY PREPARES TO RETIRE AFTER 27 YEARS

Hambledon Nursery School is looking for a new teacher following the decision by Rosemary Kiley to retire after 27 years.

Rosemary joined the school in January 1991, just after her own children finished at the nursery. She is a popular and respected member of staff. Head teacher Nicola Collett said Rosemary would be much missed when she leaves at the end of term.

In the meantime, she is seeking a new nursery practitioner to work four morning a week. Anyone who would like to apply should contact her at the school on 01428 684892 or by email on office@hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk.

The nursery, at Rock Hill, Hambledon, occupies the buildings of the former Hambledon Church of England state primary which, like many small rural schools, closed in the 1980s. Residents were determined that it should remain a place of learning at the heart of the community and a campaign led to the acquisition of the Victorian schoolhouse and playground at Rock Hill.

It reopened as a nursery for children aged two to five and has gone on to be adjudged “outstanding” by the government’s inspection body Ofsted.

The nursery had not long been in business when Rosemary joined the teaching staff and she recalls that in those early days the admissions list was recorded on a piece of cardboard. With a small but dedicated teaching staff, a school secretary, and overseen by a locally-appointed Board of Trustees, it has gone from strength-to-strength and is sought after by parents from the village and further afield.

Nicola said: “A happy working environment is reflected in the longevity of service of Rosemary and, indeed, other nursery practitioners”.

In retirement Rosemary (pictured) plans to focus on her flower arranging and will be holding a small sale of her creations at the nursery school on Saturday December 9 at 10am. Recently she supplied arrangements for the current BBC television adaptation of the E.M Forster novel Howards End, much of which has been filmed in Hambledon.

Anyone interested in the new teaching position can find out more about the school by looking at

www.hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk

 

Primary School School Places

The Parish Council has for some time been concerned that families living in Hambledon find it difficult to get their children into primary schools within reasonable distance of the village.  It has raised the problem with the Surrey County Council, the local education authority;  and it has become clear that,  if it is to make any headway, it needs more information about actual, as opposed to perceived, needs.

As one of the many villages in the area which does not have its own primary school, Hambledon has to depend on its neighbours.  Two of these, Chiddingfold and Grayswood, are in charge of their own admission arrangements and would have to be asked direct if they could consider taking more children from Hambledon.

Admission arrangements for the primary schools in Witley, Busbridge and Milford are managed by Surrey which has categorically stated that it would not afford priority to children living in Hambledon.  This is not what the Parish Council is seeking – it just wants a level playing field for all children within a reasonable radius of these schools.

However, if the Parish Council is to ask for a rethink when admission arrangements come up for consultation in October, it needs to have a case.  So could all families who have children starting school in autumn 2018 and who would like them to go to a local primary school please get in touch with the Parish Clerk (Jane Woolley), if possible before everyone disappears for the summer holidays, so that, if appropriate, the battle can be continued.

 

Trustee Wanted For Hambledon Nursery School

Notice from the Trustees of Hambledon Nursery School

Hambledon Nursery School is an Outstanding-rated nursery school in the village. We are seeking a replacement for one of our Trustees who, due to other commitments, is planning to stand down.

Trustees are drawn from different areas of village life, and in this instance we are seeking one to fulfil the role of “village trustee”; someone living in or near the village, who is passionate about the success of the school, and its part in the village community.

Board members need to be able to commit to 6 evening meetings a year, where they bring their own experience and judgement to educational and management issues. They may in addition like to attend other nursery highlights – nativity/leaver’s service/‘fun’ events and so on.

If you would be interested, please would you let Stephanie Campbell (School Secretary) know at office@hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk, and we will arrange the appropriate further conversations.

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A Warmer Winter Ahead For Village Nursery School

Hambledon Nursery School will be a warmer place this winter, thanks to new windows in its two classrooms.

The nursery, formerly the village primary school, dates back to Victorian times and is a listed building. Its original wooden-framed windows were in an advance state of decay but the school had to replace like-for-like to comply with planning regulations – a costly business.

Thanks to a £4,000 grant from the Hall Hunter Foundation – a trust set up by the owners of nearby Tuesley Fruit Farm – and a dip into the nursery school’s reserves, the money has been found to pay for the work, which was carried out over the summer holiday.

new windows Blue Room

Nicola Collett, head teacher, said:  “We are delighted with the Hall Hunter grant and very grateful. It enabled us to give the go-ahead for the work and we now have new windows on the southern elevation of the classrooms which were the ones in most urgent need of replacement.”

“They are structured to the original design with wooden frames but are double-glazed. I am actually looking forward to winter this year because the staff and children will be nice and warm and nestled in the classrooms with no drafts to contend with.”

She added: “I suppose the saddest part of the project was actually watching the old windows come out.  But remarkably the Hopper style openers and some of the frames have been donated to The Brooking National Architectural Museum in Cranleigh, because they were of significant architectural interest.”

“The next phase will be along the Eastern side of the building restoring and replacing the old original stone bay window.  The final phase will be to replace the old Crittall windows in the flat roof extension.”

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Nursery School Accounts – Can You Help?

Hambledon Nursery School is looking for an accountant to review its 2014 financial accounts on a voluntary basis.

The school, on the site of the former village state school, was opened after a community initiative and has become a successful venture with an outstanding Ofsted rating, providing pre-school learning for children aged between two and five.

It is run as a business managed by a charitable trust for the benefit of the local community. Please see the school advert below.

ARE YOU AN ACCOUNTANT?

Your local village nursery school is looking for someone with experience of reviewing financial accounts to review their accounts for the year ending August 2014.  It is likely to take a few hours of your time and would be most appreciated…

If you are able and willing to support this local charity please contact Nicola Collett at the nursery school.

Telephone: 01428 684892

Email: office@hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk

"Outstanding" Rating For Hambledon Nursery School

Teaching staff at Hambledon Nursery School can enjoy the summer break in the knowledge of a job well done after the government’s inspection body Ofsted awarded it an “outstanding” rating.

All schools are visted periodically by Ofsted inspectors and judged as either Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate. Hambledon Nursery School had been judged as outstanding following previous inspections.

Staff knew that another Ofsted inspection was due but had no advanced knowledge of when it would take place. In the event the inspectors visited in June and the report is now available online at

www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/CARE/EY472201

Open the page and find the link to a PDF document headed Early Years Register inspection report.

Nicola Collett, head teacher, said that staff and parents were delighted with the outcome. She said the report highlighted the professionalism of teachers and how engaged children were in their learning.

The school was originally the village state primary school. When it closed in the 1980s residents were determined to see it remain at the heart of the community as a place of learning.  A campaign led to the acquisition of the Victorian school house complete with playground and its reopening as a nursery school run as a business by a charitable trust. It caters for children aged 2 to 5 and retains its strong links with the village, the church and the parish council.

Dunsfold Village School – campaign to reinstate the school

The way is now open, if we move quickly, to recover use of Dunsfold’s former infant school building for the education of local children. The Charity Tribunal decided at the end of 2011 that the preferred use of the building should be ‘as a school for the education of children who are resident, or whose parents are resident, in and around the parish of Dunsfold’ and invited production of ‘a formal, viable and timely proposal for use of the property as a school for the village’. In response to this our proposal will combine nursery and primary provision on the whole site, and the formation of the Dunsfold Village School Trust to carry this out.

We hope to be able to take advantage of the Government’s Free School initiative (state-funded schools set up in response to parental demand) to open ‘Dunsfold Village School’, and would aim to build on nursery provision by opening in September 2013 a Reception class for children who were born between September 2008 and August 2009. Over the following years the school would then grow, each September, to become a primary school for children aged 4-11 by 2019. During the initial years we envisage that the property could be extended and reconfigured to accommodate the increasing numbers of pupils and staff.
In order to take this initiative forward and secure funding we need to know as a matter of urgency the level of parental demand and local support for a Primary School in Dunsfold. We would be grateful if you could please take a few minutes to complete this questionnaire.