Private Education Awards 2023

8 | LUXlife Magazine Most Nurturing Nursery & Early Years Learning Environment 2023 - South East England Hazelwood Nursery and Early Years (HNEY) is a large nursery located in the commuter town of Oxted. It provides first class care for 180+ children from 9 months to the end of Reception. Here we learn more from Howard Garlick, as it wins its title in the Private Education Awards 2023. Learning when you are Under 5 is an adventure and Hazelwood is extremely fortunate to have its whole Nursery and Early Years on one site. This ensures that the children have the space, encouragement and wealth of appropriate activities to develop into well rounded young children who are confident and ready for anything. We believe strongly that we are laying the foundations for a child’s lifelong learning journey. At HNEY, we provide every child with the best possible start, where we foster a real love of learning and thirst for knowledge that will see them through their whole school career and beyond. None of this would be possible without creating an environment that allows the children to feel confident in everything that they do. Staff, from the moment they meet the children begin to build positive relationships. The children are invited for settling sessions during which parents can remain with children. This process not only allows for a positive relationship between the staff and child but also to establish a positive rapport with the parents. Positive relationships built on trust between staff, children and parents is essential in creating an environment where children will thrive. Every member of staff has an unshakeable belief in the potential of every child. At HNEY we have a range of communication methods to keep parents abreast of what is going on. Primarily, this is through our online platform where parents receive updates throughout the day of what is going on. This could be anything from activities the children have participated in to how the children ate at lunch. We also use this platform to post pictures at the beginning of the day of activities that the children will be able to participate in, therefore allowing discussions to take place before the children’s arrival, the children arrive excited for the day ahead. There is also an instant messaging service that allows parents to check in throughout the day, should they need to. Parents receive the weekly planning overview so that they can see what the children will be doing throughout the week. All rooms also have individual key group planning, which identifies next steps for each individual child. All activities planned aim to inspire and challenge the children. We want them to take risks in an environment that they feel safe and secure in, in the knowledge that there are trusted adults to support them and to help them learn from mistakes. This in turn helps develop emotional resilience that is critical to future successes. At HNEY, there really is something for everyone. The days are planned around the children’s interests and the breadth of additional opportunities are outstanding. The children have specialist music and PE sessions from Rising 3’s, and from pre-school age we use the prep school facilities for the children to swim as well as using our innovative learning spaces, The BOX and The Outside BOX which encourage complex creativity, resilience, independence and collaboration amongst many other soft skills. We are truly proud of what we can offer our children and parents. In short, we believe that if you get the environment right, where young people feel loved, happy and safe then they will learn. “As a professional who works in the children's care sector, I can 100% advocate for Hazelwood Early Years. What makes Hazelwood special, on top of the brilliant facilities, the tailored approach to our children's early years education and specific needs, reading books brought home specific to the level of your child, regular communication from the school through the school app on events and daily highlights for your child, as well as standalone brick buildings for each year group, amazing outdoor play space by year and a large combined all-weather play area, a great atmosphere consistently around the school, good healthy food, oh and access to clubs, weekly swimming, forest school,... apart from all that, the standout thing that makes Hazelwood so special are undoubtedly the people who work for Hazelwood. They are exceptional. The small Leadership team are tireless, consistently accessible and communicative, and every year group has a handful of staff that make a huge contribution to our children's happiness. They develop the children and build strong bonds with them, such that we have never had a day when our children have not wanted to go to school - that is something very special indeed!” – Hazelwood Parent. Contact: Howard Garlick Company: Hazelwood School Web Address: