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There wasn’t ‘a dry eye’ at Maples Day Nursery in Winchester as staff said goodbye to their graduating class with a ceremony and party.
The 40 children at the nursery in Hatherley Road were presented with certificates cheered on by their parents. As Maples Manager, Reagan Grainger, explained, the graduation party – featuring magic trick and balloon modelling by a local entertainer – is always an occasion for mixed emotions:
“Everything we do here is focused on sending happy, confident and fully prepared children into mainstream schooling. We are celebrating that today but saying goodbye to children we have looked after since they were babies is very difficult,” she said.
One of the ‘stars of the show’ was four year-old Joshua Hopkins who was described as very creative in the construction area and having a love of music by his ‘Key Person’ Amy Conn, who said:
“Joshua is an absolute joy to have around so I know he will do very well at school. I am excited for him because I know he is ready for this next step in his learning journey, but I will really miss him.”
Nursery Chef, Pawel Kujanek, prepared a picnic tea of the children’s favourite foods and a celebration cake iced with the graduate’s names. For parents, too, the farewells were emotional as, for some the graduation of their youngest child meant the end of an era.
“While we keep in touch with the progress of our children in their schools we lose that close bond and regular contact with the parents who have been wonderfully supportive in helping us ensure each and every child gets the very most from their nursery experience. We will really miss them,” said Reagan Grainger.