The Hermitage, Wilford Road
It’s very likely that if you’ve raised your children in Rudd in the last 50 years, you’ll have walked through the welcoming doors at Hermitage Preschool. Set within the grounds of St Peter’s Church, the young people of Ruddington spend their first years idyllically playing in the leafy heart of the village. The preschoolers at Hermitage also benefit by establishing early friendships with other local children, making the transition to infant school less daunting.
Tracy Philo, an ex preschooler herself, not only met her lifelong best friend at the Hermitage, but she’s now the manager. Tracy now heads up an experienced team of 7 and has seen many changes since the preschool opened in 1967.
We asked Tracy a few questions about life as a preschool teacher.
Q: How long have you worked at Hermitage Preschool and what did you do before?
A: I was a full-time mum and student and I did my teaching assistant training at our local school, James Peacock. I’ve worked at Hermitage for 10 years, starting as a keyworker and eventually working my way up to become manager.
Q: How many children have come through Hermitage?
A: It must be thousands! We can accommodate 26 children each session and most attend a couple of times a week. We’re open 8am to 4pm, to coincide with the 30 hours of funding that’s available per week.
Q: What’s your favourite time of the year at preschool?
A: I love the build up to Christmas – the little ones are so excited and it’s magical. Now my children have grown up, I’m lucky to still experience this fun. We also have a graduation party for the children who are ready to move on to their next setting. Although it’s very hard to say goodbye, we know we’ve done our best to prepare them for their next steps and we take pride in this.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A: We all love helping the children settle into preschool and seeing the changes in their confidence as they grow.
Q: What’s new at preschool?
A: We have lots of plans! We’ll be fundraising to purchase a new outdoor playhouse and we’re currently updating our indoor areas. If anyone would like to donate raffle prizes or think they can help, please let us know! We’ll also continue with our trips to the library and continue with our popular nature walks. We’ll also be visiting the rest home to sing nursery songs to the residents.