In September 2023, St Luke’s opened our nursery for pre-school children aged three and four years of age. Due to the number of pupils who applied for Reception and Nursery places, nursery have their own classroom and outdoor learning space, as well as the Reception class. This is an exciting time for us and our families. We look forward to welcoming even more families to our Nursery and school.
Welcome and Prayer
The Official Opening began at 1.30pm as parents who had spent some time with their children in the Nursery joined us. Mrs Sophia Bryan-Whyte opened with the introduction of Mrs Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, and Shadow Secretary for Education; Mark Burnett, Chief Operating Office for the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education Multi-Academy Trust (SDBEMAT); Brian Birch (our previous Chair of Governors) and staff members present. Mrs Bryan-Whyte spoke about the need for the Nursery provision from our current parents and how the nursery is an extension of our current learning. She thanked the parents (old and new to our St Luke’s family) for entrusting us with their children. Then Rev Donald Davis, St Luke’s Church, invited all present to join in prayers for the nursery as well as the school community as a whole.
Settling into Nursery
Ms Madden, the Nursery teacher, spoke to parents about how proud she is of the children who have all settled in well, grown in confidence and continue to make progress in their learning. Miss Madden added that she was delighted to see how their individual personalities are shining through.
Mark Burnett, SDBE Multi-Academy Trust COO
Our new Church of England nursery at St Luke’s Primary School is a place where dreams will be nurtured, where faith will grow, and where love will be the cornerstone of everything we do.
Mark Burnett expressed immense joy and gratitude as we officially opened the nursery, and that the nursery represents more than just a physical space; it embodies a commitment to the future of our children and the values we hold. He affirmed the idea that we are building for the generations to come and it is our responsibility to provide our learners with the tools they need to become compassionate, wise and responsible individuals. Mark spoke emphatically about St Luke’s being a place of learning, nurturing, and faith, which has been now extended to our nursery learners. He spoke about the tireless efforts of Mrs Bryan-Whyte, senior leadership team, teachers, support staff, parents and community members in getting the nursery in place.
Mrs Bryan-Whyte invited two nursery parents to speak about the nursery provision.
One parent is now continuing her journey with us, after her older child left St Luke’s for the secondary phase of education. She expressed her love of the school and was passionate in expressing her motivations for choosing St Luke’s. She unreservedly share that her daughter was home schooled for a long period of time before she came to St Luke’s, and if St Luke’s hadn’t been the school for her, she would have continued to be home educated.
The other parent is new to our school. Even though she had visited another school, the new parent came back to St Luke’s as she had heard positive feedback from her neighbour, however we did not have the nursery provision at the time. She was determined to get a place once she had met with Mrs Bryan-Whyte and was informed that a Nursery would be opening soon.
Both parents confirmed that the nursery is the beginning of their amazing journey with us as they hope their children will be successful in being offered a place in the Reception Class.
Farewell to our Chair of Governors, Mr Brian Birch
Mark Burnett and Mrs Bryan then spoke about Brian Birch’s excellent service as Chair of Governors for the past 8 years. Mark thanked Brian for helping the school’s conversion to the SDBEMAT, successful Ofsted visits and commendable pupil outcomes, as well as the opening of the nursery. He also thanked him for his knowledge and service being extended to assisting the SDBEMAT on Governing matters. Mrs Bryan-Whyte thanked Brian on behalf of herself and other members of the school community for his commitment to the role. She also introduced Ollie Clark, our previous Vice Chair who has been recently elected as the new Chair.
Special Guest and Opening
Our special guest speaker was Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood. Helen has been the Shadow Minister for Children and Early Years since December 2021. She spoke passionately about Labour’s plan for early years and education; to widen childcare eligibility and increase school-based nursery provision. Therefore, she was pleased that St Luke’s were able to provide the nursery. Helen then officially opened the nursery on behalf of St Luke’s School.