Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from goo.gl/Ta4oAX.
Published August 31st 2013
Refurbished, reawakened and ready to teach again
Wimbledon House Nursery & Preschool
Do you have any fond memories of your first school? For most of us it is the place where we made our first friends and started exploring the world through lessons and playtime. Even if you didn't particularly like school, it usually brings back nostalgic memories.
Sometimes when visiting my mum's hometown, she would point out where her old school used to be, and I find it sad, but often the case, that our old schools often meet the fate of a bulldozer. I'm glad to say that wasn't the case with mine.
School Reunion, 2008
The first primary school I attended was called Wimbledon House School, and I spent my first seven years of education there. Academically, I wasn't brilliant, but I had lots of friends, and left with lots of memories. These include Christmas plays, in which I played the part of a plague ridden rat, an eccentric lady moving house, and Butterfly No. 6. I also remember being on the netball and football team, losing my shoe while running a sports day race, and forming the Insect Protection League which operated during lunch hour.
What I liked most about the school was the building itself; as the name suggests, it was once a house, which was then converted. It is an old period building with black Tudor beams, which is my favourite kind of style. I love the building so much that I often fantasised of winning the lottery, buying it, and moving in.
Our head mistress, Mrs Tucker.
The school continued for many years after I left, but eventually our headmistress retired, and it closed down in 2008. After that I wondered what was going to happen to it. For along time, not a great deal; there was talk about turning it into free school, but that proposition fell through. The building was left to deteriorate: beams fell down, windows broke, and squatters moved in. Fortunately that was cleared up, and it was put up for sale.
Renovations in progress.
That 'for sale' sign was up for over a year before it was finally sold, and I greatly feared that my beloved school was going to be knocked down to make room for flats. My heart then lit up, when I found out that it had in fact been bought by Bright Horizons, a UK wide nursery network. It wasn't long before building works began, and I saw the building return to its former condition, and then some.
New play area.
Part of the concrete playground has been turned into a car park for teachers and parents, while what used to be the driveway has been transformed into a luscious grass play area. The front has also added a climbing frame.
Renamed Wimbledon House Nursery & Preschool, it opened late last June, and is for children of three months to five years old. It is open Monday - Friday, 7.30am-6.30pm, so has a lot of flexibility for parents with long working hours. Facilities include art, dance, and drama studios, ICT and cooking areas, and a pre-school learning programme such as Maths Counts, Science Rocks and Writing Ready.
If you think Wimbledon House could be right for your child, you can register a visit for their open day on the 20th September.