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There wasn’t ‘a dry eye’ at Greengables Day Nursery in Sandhurst as staff said goodbye to their graduating class with a ceremony and party.
The 32 graduates of the nursery in Yeovil Road, Owlsmoor, who wore special ‘mortar board’ hats and gowns for a commemorative photograph, collected certificates cheered on by parents.
As Greengables Manager, Faye Ballard, explained, the graduation party – featuring a magician and food prepared by nursery Chef Craig Gallagher - 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 Billy, described as creative, outgoing and lively with a flair for learning by Preschool room leader Stefanie Johnston.
“Billy 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 miss him dreadfully.”
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 but 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 Faye Ballard.