How this South Tyneside nursery went above and beyond to give graduates a special send-off despite the pandemic

Children at a South Shields nursery celebrated taking the next step in a graduation ceremony with a difference.

By Sarah Sinclair
Wednesday, 22nd July 2020, 4:45 pm

Staff at Nurserytime Kindergarten on Beach Road, South Shields went above and beyond to make sure the children got the send-off they deserved.

Despite their annual end-of-term events being cancelled due to the pandemic, those starting a new chapter in September were still able to celebrate their time at the nursery and say goodbye to friends.

Separate graduation ceremonies were organised for the children in their ‘pods’ – or bubbles – with some given the option to join in virtually from home so they didn’t miss out.

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Children at Nurserytime Kindergarten celebrate the start of a new chapter.

The celebrations took place from Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17 with each child having their all-important moment on the podium followed by a party with their fellow graduates.

They were even joined via Zoom by special guest Tom the Music Man - who provides regular music sessions for the children during term-time.

And although parents couldn’t be there in person, they were able to receive photographs and videos via email and social media as a memento.

Nurserytime manager, Helen Coulson said: “We usually have a big event for them in the park, but due to Covid-19 all celebrations were initially cancelled.

Children had graduation ceremonies in their 'pods'.

“However, staff felt that they couldn’t let their much-loved and soon to be much-missed graduates leave for school without marking the momentous occasion.

"They are such a lovely group and some of them have been with us since they were babies.”

The nursery reopened when lockdown restrictions were lifted on June 1, with children being looked after in small ‘pods’ to keep them safe.

Over the last few weeks staff at Nurserytime have worked with parents to help the children understand the new social distancing measures.

“It’s hard to find the balance between keeping it as normal as possible for them and making sure it’s safe, but we’ve made most out of it,” added Helen.

“It has been lovely seeing the children with their friends again and they have all responded really well and have been really understanding of the new measures.”

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