Green for go at Ashville as it strengthens teaching team and unveils new eco-friendly ambitions

Posted: 10th August 2023

A HARROGATE school has unveiled a trio of new developments amid growing demand for early years education.

Ashville Acorns Pre-Prep has added an extra form to its Reception class, recruited new staff, and is stepping up its focus on environmental education as it prepares to welcome young pupils for the new term in September.

For the first time in five years, and in response to increased demand, there will now be two separate Reception classes for children aged 4 to 5.

It has strengthened its Reception team by recruiting Vicki van Zeller, who has more than 14 years’ experience in early years and Key Stage 1 teaching and joins from Highfield Prep School.

Passionate about the environment, she will play a key role in championing the school’s ambitions to become even more eco-friendly.

She said: “It’s important to show children, from an early age, that their efforts to look after the natural world, even if they feel like little steps, can make a big difference.

“With experience as an eco lead, I am hoping to bring some of that expertise here to Ashville.

“I love the outdoor learning provision here – the Reception year group has planters and bird feeders right outside their classrooms!  Ultimately, I would like to work towards Ashville achieving an Eco-Schools’ Green Flag Award in recognition of the children’s contributions.”

Vicki is also hoping to launch an eco-committee for children in Reception to Year 6 so they can share ideas about changes they would like to make and give them a voice.

It would also provide pupils with the confidence and motivation to continue actively engaging with environmental issues throughout their lifetimes.

She added: “It’s important for us as teachers to raise awareness for children of how they can protect the environment and to help them get out in nature and celebrate the wonderful world we live in.

“Plus, after spending so much time indoors in recent years, we need to take as many opportunities to get outside and explore the natural world as we can.”

Charlotte Cryer, Head of Ashville Acorns Pre-Prep, said: “We are delighted to welcome a teacher of Vicki’s calibre to our growing early years team.

“She will add an extra dimension to the happy, secure and stimulating environment we provide to children at the start of their learning journey.”

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