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Nursery Of The Month - The Minors
By Educate Private
The Minors Nursery

1. Tell us a little about The Minors. How long has it been running for? How many pupils? What facilities are there?
Mrs Minor’s opened as a 20 place nursery school in 1975 in a private house. In 1990 Jane Ritchie took over under the new name, The Minors Nursery School, and in 2004 ownership transferred to The Alpha Plus Group with Jane remaining at the helm until 2011. It has since grown and moved to 10 Pembridge Square to become the 90 strong co-ed nursery school it is today. We have four bright and airy rooms each with a small soft surface outdoor play area, decked sand and soil play area as well as the use of a further large soft surfaced playground.

2. How long have you been working with children?
I have taught all ages from 2-8, across all subjects, for over twenty one years.

3. Do you have kids yourself?
I have two children aged 8 and 10 and my husband is a headmaster!

4. Tell us a bit about the teachers who work at your nursery.
We have experienced, well qualified staff, who love working with young children and enjoy making the pathway to school as fun and as stimulating as possible. Our staff have a wide range of experience and support one another and the families in our school community.

5. Do you find it easy working with young kids?
The joy of working with young children is that every day is different, as every child is different. The job brings the unique pleasure of knowing that what we facilitate and nurture allows our children to step into the world of Big School and move on with confidence and a love of trying, experiencing and learning.

6. Why is your nursery different from the others?
We are a small community in a very cosy home that pays attention to the small things in life as well as the big. We support both child and family through this vital early stage of education – and we have the added support of our sister Nursery Schools and older age schools in the Alpha Plus Group.

7. What do you think is the best way to entertain young children?
Children are curious by nature – catch their interests and go from there! I equally believe that they benefit hugely from appropriate interaction whether it is sharing a book, playing a game or simply lying on the floor imagining.

8. What do you feel about using technology in teaching very young children?
I think it’s much like any other element of educational equipment – to be used for a purpose and then put away – it isn’t the be all and end all of teaching but it is extremely useful when used well.

9. What is your favourite educational toy that you have come across?
An empty cardboard box offers huge opportunity for a child who is given the freedom to use it however they wish! The wide range of wonderful small world and construction toys on the market today are hard to choose between (as the children will verify!).

10. What advice can you give to parents about how to choose a nursery?
Go with your gut instinct as to which you feel most comfortable in and which adults most inspire your confidence.

11. (As a mother), what advice can you give to other mums about their common worries about leaving your child in a nursery?
Trust in the professionals ability to distract and occupy a child as they gain familiarity and build relationships – don’t ‘over talk’ starting nursery and ensure you are positive and excited about the transition and they will feel the vibes and join in!

12. Would you suggest sending your children to a day nursery or nursery?
This is dependent on needs and circumstances, as everyone’s are different. If you can choose a Nursery School, combined with other activities and playdates, that would be wonderful but there are excellent day nurseries out there which support those who need childcare as well as education.

By Viv Thompson, Minors Nursery Headmistress
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