Three early years teachers from Acorns British Style Nursery in Bucharest met parents, played with children and discussed practice and training with staff during their visit to Blois Meadow Day Nursery in Haverhill.
Acorns was set up in Bucharest ten years ago and now owns two nurseries and a training centre. Staff and children all speak English and the nursery’s approach is based on the British model, creating learning programmes which stem from the capabilities of each individual child and which focus on developing the whole child.
Fiona Dutu, headteacher of Acorns, said, ‘UK nursery education has a good image in Romania, being seen as somewhere between the very strict, Victorian style Romanian state system and the American system, which is seen as too relaxed and lacking structure. We chose to visit Blois Meadow because of its outstanding Ofsted report and its reputation. It was an inspirational day and we have come away with lots of ideas.’
Nursery chef Jo Kenyon also prepared a traditional Romanian spiced cake called Cozonak for the teachers and children to enjoy.
The 42-place Blois Meadow Day Nursery was contacted by Acorns two months before the visit. The Essex setting now hopes to continue its connection with the nursery, with plans to provide them with continued professional development qualifications through sister company PBD Early Years Training.
Alison Midgley, who owns and manages Blois Meadow Day Nursery, and is a director of PBD, said, ‘It was fascinating to exchange information with fellow professionals from another country, especially with a group whose excellent English means that there are no communication barriers. We hope that the visit may lead to a future exchange programme between Blois Meadow and Acorns, which will broaden staff horizons and enable them to share ideas.’
She added, ‘It’s ironic that, at a time when our Government is trying to force two year olds into schools, other countries regard the UK’s play based learning as the model to emulate.’