Nursery World Awards 2020 - Nursery Practitioner of the Year

Friday, February 5, 2021

Robert Sherrington, Spring by Action for Children, Bensham

Robert Sherrington is a highly skilled practitioner who works tirelessly to support the children in his care. Rob can always be relied upon to provide a friendly, welcoming face to families, while his fully inclusive and sensitive practice means all children feel valued.

After joining Spring by Action for Children in 2012 as a member of bank staff, he supported children across the group’s nurseries in a variety of age groups. Alongside this work, he completed his degree in Early Years and Curriculum Studies, and completed research on how best to support parents in accessing the EYFS.

Since becoming a full-time staff member working with two- to three-year-olds at Spring Bensham, Rob’s interest in overcoming barriers to supporting children’s learning at home has continued and he works on reducing jargon within the sector.

His calm and gentle nature means that even in the hustle and bustle of nursery life, children feel listened to. He has high expectations and is determined to help children reach their full potential, while never taking himself too seriously.

As a parent himself, Rob is well equipped to empathise with parents’ concerns and worries around nursery life, and always provides reassurance and a listening ear. He has established excellent partnerships with families

When opportunities arise for further learning and training, Rob enthusiastically embraces the next challenge. He currently works alongside the setting SENCO to deliver interventions for children with additional needs and, as a qualified Makaton trainer who has delivered training to other Spring nurseries as well as the local authority and neighbouring schools, he has embedded signing within nursery life.

In his spare time, Rob is a Scout Leader and a volunteer first responder within the local community.

Rob is a true advocate for male practitioners within the sector. He has overcome gender stereotyping in a sensitive and admirable way, demonstrating his endless passion and commitment to the early years.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Jessica Angell, Kindred Nurseries – Odstock

As baby room leader and deputy manager, Jess leads on the curriculum and oversees planning and next steps for each baby.

Jess knows the importance of having a happy, motivated team and each week holds room meetings and training. She passes her knowledge on to other members of the team, recently visiting a Pikler Centre in Hungary to learn more about their approach and then sharing with staff through role modelling and internal training.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Amy Chappell, Evergreen Early Years

Amy’s fun and caring personality shines through daily and she is always looking at ways to enhance activities to help children’s development.

As physical development co-ordinator, her knowledge and skills help challenge children and improve their health and wellbeing.

The lead professional in this area at the setting, Amy completes physical development plans based on children’s needs, abilities and interests, and her weekly PE sessions are well planned, full of energy and build children’s confidence.

As a result of her passion for physical activity, the setting plans to adopt the Forest School approach, and Amy will work towards her Forest School qualification, sharing her new knowledge with the rest of the team to help them adapt their practice in line with this new way of working.

FINALISTS

Amy Delooze, The Quays Day Nursery

Petra Gulyassy, Fennies Nurseries – Woking

CRITERION

Open to qualified practitioners in an early years setting in the maintained, private or voluntary sectors

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