A nursery attached to a north Northumberland school that was at risk of closure has quadrupled its intake from a year ago.
Rock Hall Nursery, attached to Rock Hall School, is going from strength to strength, and numbers in January will be more than four times that of a year ago.
With sessions for two-year-olds and children attending throughout the school week from ‘rising three’ upwards, the nursery at Rock has seen a healthy increase in numbers this year.
The nursery has its own indoor area and attached outdoor space but is also able to take full advantage of the school’s extensive grounds of fields and woods. Further play spaces and the village of Rock itself are also easily accessed.
The unit is run by well-qualified nursery staff under the guidance of the Early Years teacher.
Nursery children are encouraged to join in school playtimes and activities such as Christmas parties, plays and sports days and enjoy the family atmosphere.
In addition a parent and baby/toddler group meets each Wednesday morning duringschool terms from 9am to 10.45am in Rock Hall School.
And all this points to a positive future for both the rural community in difficult economic times and the school itself, which fought to stay open when threatened with closure in 2011.
Governors at Rock Hall School took the decision to close at the end of July 2011 because of falling roll numbers and red tape. But the announcement was a concern for parents and it led to them launching a successful six-week campaign, called Save our School.
Avril Lomas, co-principal at Rock Hall School, said: “Parents tell us there is something different and special about Rock Hall and it is good to see that more and more people are finding this to be so.”
Indeed, parents of children at the nursery are very much behind it.
Claire Manners said: “It’s a pleasure to see our children growing into intelligent and confident individuals, and I am sure that this unique start to their education will stand them in good stead for their futures.”
Dr Chris Waite added: “We were impressed by the philosophy of helping a child develop who would like to learn more rather than teaching for teaching’s sake. We have not been disappointed.”