Three generations celebrate Sunderland nursery’s fortieth anniversary

Staff, children, parents and grandparents have been celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the opening of New Penshaw Academy Nursery.

By Neil Fatkin
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 1:05 pm

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The nursery first opened its doors to the community’s children in January 1982 and Higher Level Teaching Assistant Carole Hall was there for that very first day and is still caring for New Penshaw’s children four decades on.

Carole, who us in her retirement year, said: “I opened the nursery with Mrs Darby who was here at the time and I’m still here and so I obviously enjoy my job.

“The children are at the heart of everything we do and no day is ever the same - it’s lots of fun.

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“In that time we’ve had three generations come through the nursery and it’s lovely when parents I used to teach recognise me and tell their children I was at the nursery when they used to attend.”

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One of those families now in their third generation of attending the nursery is Ashley Watson, who attended the nursery when it first opened in 1982, daughter Kenya Williams who started in 2001 and granddaughter Tori Devlin who’s now a pupil.

Ashley said: “All my children came through the nursery and so it still feels very natural when I arrive.

New Penshaw Academy Nursery celebrate 40 years of caring for children with three generations of the same family who've attended the nursery. Grandmother Ashley Watson, 44, mum Kenya Watson, 25, and daughter Tori Devlin, five.

“All the staff are really supportive and there’s a real family atmosphere.”

Kenya added: “It puts me at ease bringing Tori here rather than sending her somewhere I don’t know.

“It’s nice to be invited to the 40 year celebration and hopefully in another 40 years future generations will still be coming to the nursery.”

New Penshaw Academy Nursery celebrate 40 years of caring for children.

It’s a full circle for Laura Foster who attended the nursery in 1991 and is now the class teacher.

She said: “It’s a real family feel as 50 per cent of staff live in the Penshaw area and we’ve now had several generations of the same families attending the nursery.

“Lots of things have changed since I was here. The nursery used to be a prefab building.”

As part of the celebrations, the children made fortieth birthday cards, a celebratory balloon display and had their own disco party.

Theo Allison, four, said: “I really enjoyed the party. At nursery I like the construction corner as I like building towers.

Frankie Thompson, four, added: “It has been a really nice day.”

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