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- Outstanding on campus

Staff at the University of Nottingham Playcentre are celebrating afterreceiving an 'outstanding' grade in their Ofsted inspection. Childcareservices manager Sue Mellors said, 'We are delighted that the hard work,commitment and effort from the Playcentre team has been recognised inthe Ofsted report. Staff and parents work closely together to improveoutcomes for the children and it this partnership that is veryeffective.' The Playcentre provides childcare for university staff andis also used by many international students.

- Star billing

Children from Toadhall Nursery at the famous Pinewood Film Studios inBuckinghamshire were left star-struck by a visit from Her Majesty theQueen, who came to open the new entrance. The nursery is based on thesite of Shepperton Pinewood. Nursery manager Charlotte Eavis said, 'Wedid topic work before the visit and learned about the Queen's familytree. The children drew portraits of the Queen and gave these to herwith flowers.'

- A secure future

Barnabees nursery in Kidderminster is celebrating an 'outstanding'grading from Ofsted after a difficult year. The future of theindependent nursery had been in doubt following the closure of the firstschool where it was located, as part of a review to merge first andmiddle schools. Co-owner and manager Elain Bagnall said, 'We were givena lifeline from the local church to stay on the site and expand ourprovision. We have risen to the challenge and we are delighted with ouroutstanding Ofsted result. We now look forward to a secure future.'

- Saintly service

More than 1,000 children and teachers from Montessori settings acrossthe UK attended a special service at Westminster Abbey to celebrate theend of the Montessori Centenary Year. It took place on 6 December, on StNicholas' Day - the patron saint of children. The Dean of Westminsterled the service, which included contributions from the children withplays, music and readings.

- Small is beautiful

Weedon Lois Playgroup, in the village of Weedon Lois inNorthamptonshire, are delighted to gain Pre-school Learning Allianceaccreditation. The assessor noted 'the commitment and enthusiasm ofstaff to ensure that the curriculum offered to the children is full andvaried'. Supervisor Nicky Carpenter said, 'A big "thank you" to all thestaff, committee and parents for their help and commitment in workingtowards and achieving this goal. It was hard work, but we learned fromthe whole process and will continue to go from strength to strength.'- Photo of the Week: Children at Blackpool's Safehands Greenstartnursery are getting into green habits by learning all about healthyeating and recycling. They also have their own vegetable patch. Headchef Jean Rhodes (pictured) said, 'We're as green as you can get. Weeven encourage the children to save food waste which we collect everyday and they then put on the compost heap for spreading on the garden.'

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