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New Head and Deputy appointed at 'outstanding' Harrogate nursery

Magic Tree Nursery has appointed a new Head and Deputy Head of Early Years.

New Head and Deputy appointed at 'outstanding' Harrogate nursery An ‘outstanding’ children’s nursery in Harrogate has appointed a new team at the top. Magic Tree Nursery, part of independent prep school Belmont Grosvenor, has appointed a new Head and Deputy Head of Early Years to lead the nursery towards an inspiring new ‘Curiosity Approach’ to early-years learning and development. Mother-of-two Mrs Hayley Thompson, 37, and Miss Sarah Birt, 27, have been appointed Early Years Manager and Early Years Deputy Manager at Magic Tree Nursery, part of Belmont Grosvenor School. Both are excited about the nursery’s new direction and vision, which promotes a ‘no toys’ approach to childhood learning and aims to create children who are ‘thinkers’ and ‘doers’ instead of passive learners who simply follow the direction of an adult. And once the nursery, in the village of Birstwith, near Harrogate, has received its formal accreditation, it will become one of only a handful of settings in the area to be part of the internationally-acclaimed ‘Curiosity Approach’ child-led learning programme, which aims to ignite a child’s natural curiosity to explore the world around them. Mrs Thompson, who is originally from Saltburn but has lived in Harrogate for the past six years, said:

"Since joining Magic Tree Nursery, part of Belmont Grosvenor School, I have been made to feel so welcome. "Both the nursery and school is set in 20-acres of beautiful grounds just a few miles from the centre of Harrogate and the facilities are second-to-none, with our own swimming pool, outdoor paddock and Forest School area. “These support a child’s natural desire for exploration which is fundamental to the 'Curiosity Approach.'"
She added:
“I love driving to work each day to be greeted by happy children and their families in our beautiful nursery, and to be surrounded and supported by a wonderful, highly-qualified team of staff. I feel extremely lucky."
Harrogate-born Miss Sarah Birt, who joined BGS over the summer from her role as Pre-Reception co-ordinator at Gateways School, is looking forward to helping shape Magic Tree Nursery’s new direction and seeing, and supporting, the benefits it will bring to the children. She said:
“The ‘Curiosity Approach’ is based on child-led learning. Therefore children make their own choices, and figure things out for themselves, which lead to enhanced confidence, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. "Children are going back to basics and using their imagination to work out what items are rather than being presented with a clearly identifiable toy. “A big part of this ethos is making the nursery feel like home. It’s about creating a place of safety and somewhere that children want to be."
Belmont Grosvenor School, and Magic Tree Nursery, is based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, and welcomes boys and girls from three months to 11 years. Mr Nathan Sadler, Headmaster at Belmont Grosvenor School, said the appointment of Mrs Thompson and Miss Birt marked the start of a new chapter for the school’s Magic Tree Nursery:
“Magic Tree Nursery is an integral part of Belmont Grosvenor School and extends the nurturing family environment of BGS to babies from just three-months-old. “We are delighted to have appointed Mrs Thompson and Miss Birt who have joined our outstanding team of staff at BGS. There have already been a number of changes in our early years department over the summer, and we are excited about the future as we help build strong foundations for our children to thrive in an ever-changing world."
Open Day An Open Day is taking place at Belmont Grosvenor School and Magic Tree Nursery on Thursday 28th September. Everyone is welcome to come and visit, meet the team and talk about how our school and nursery could benefit your child. To make an appointment, visit the website or call: 01423 771029 to speak to one of the team. Read more local stories from Your Harrogate here.

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