Nature loving primary school in the running for a national award

A Washington primary school has made the last three in a prestigious national awards scheme for its outstanding work with younger pupils.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 5:37 pm

Marlborough Primary, based on Marlborough Road in Sulgrave, is nominated in the Early Years in School category at the Nursery World 2021 awards, for their achievements with children aged two to five.

The awards recognise excellence in early years education and childcare. They aim to “shine a light on best practice and help to raise the profile of the sector.” The winners are chosen by a panel of experts.

Marlborough was put forward for the award by Julie Mancini, who is the Early Years consultant at Gateshead LEA and has worked with the school.

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Early Years lead Catherine White, centre, with pupils and staff at Marlborough Primary School, nominated in the Early Years in School category at the Nursery World awards.

The school encourages children to be independent, recognises that every child is unique and that life is not always easy for them.

It has been praised for the outdoors, “back to nature” aspect of its learning, with an emphasis on growing things and moving away from plastic.

The children grow a wide range of fruits and vegetables in the school allotment, learning what plants need to help them grow, then harvesting and using them to bake and cook.

They even grow their own pumpkins which are used to make lanterns at Halloween; as well as pumpkin soup and pie. The youngsters love it and staff are delighted with the nomination.

Leo Liddle and Anya Davison, both four, looking after the scarecrow at Marlborough Primary School.

Early years lead and reception teacher, Catherine White, said: “At Marlborough Primary we believe that children are at the centre of their own learning and learn best through play.

“Outdoor learning is a huge part of what we do and our children spend a lot of time in our outdoor environment, including in our allotment and forest school.

“Our indoor environment reflects the outdoors and is very natural, with open ended resources, relevant enhancements and limited plastic resources.

“We are so proud to have been shortlisted for this award and it’s a deserved reward for our dedicated team.

Picking fruit are Romeocruz Esposito, three and Raine Peggie, four.

Claire Johnson, a parent at the school, said: “Early Years provides an amazingly warm and welcoming environment for children with no child left behind. The information to parents is first rate with a range of communication methods to meet all needs.”

The awards ceremony is on Saturday, September 25 in London. Marlborough’s two rivals are both based in Leeds.

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Kyra Smith, four, collecting pears from the trees at Marlborough Primary School.
Kyra Smith and Cody Wilson, both four, mucking in at Marlborough Primary School.