Leading Staffordshire independent school St Dominic’s Brewood is launching an expanded children’s nursery – open for 10 and a half hours a day 50 weeks of the year and offering the free Government funded hours.
St Dominic’s – noted for its high performing girls’ senior school, sixth form and preparatory department for boys and girls up to the age of 11 – has taken on a top expert in early years education to lead its new venture, which will open after Easter.
Not only will the nursery, based at a former convent in the idyllic village of Brewood, be open from 7.30am until 6pm five days a week, it will also care for children from the age of two.
Former Ofsted early years inspector Jane Durand, who will manage the nursery, said: “It’s such a lovely school, where the children are happy and settled in a wonderful environment with fabulous facilities.
“I’m very excited to be in at the beginning to help shape the new, extended nursery, offering a vital and unique service to working parents, who can be sure that we will provide first rate care and education for their little children.”
Mrs Durand, who has worked in early years education for more than 25 years, including 10 years as an Ofsted inspector, said: “We will be able to take up to 30 children in our extended nursery but parents should act quickly and register their interest with us to ensure a place.
“The school is very popular with parents and children from the Brewood, Wolverhampton and Telford areas but is also accessible to other districts as we are very close to the M54 and M6.”
Mrs Durand, who is a 44-year-old mother-of-two from Walsall, returned to university as a full-time student in 2011, graduating with a first class BA (Hons) degree in Early Childhood Education two years ago.
She now continues to mentor Birmingham University students who are on early years and teaching courses.
Besides managing the nursery, she aims to develop extra-curricular activities, such as music and dance, which could be offered to young children from the local community, as well as nursery pupils.
Peter McNabb, head of St Dominic’s Brewood, said: “We count ourselves very lucky to have attracted such an experienced and inspirational early years expert as Jane Durand to work with our existing, outstanding team.
“By extending the age at which our nursery admits children from three down to two and opening extra hours daily and throughout the year, we believe we will be offering an unrivalled service to children and parents from a wide area.”
St. Dominic’s has achieved outstanding academic results and has been ranked the “Number One Performing School” in Staffordshire in the Attainment 8 category and EBacc GCSE results by the Department of Education. The school’s A Level results are also outstanding with 100% pass rate and 37% at A*-A grade.