Tucked away in very special locations in Streatham are two very special nursery schools for children aged 2-5; The Crescent III Kindergarten, based in the Grafton Tennis Club in Thornton Rd SW12, and The Park Kindergarten SW2 in Telford Park Tennis Club.
The Kindergartens is a family-run group of nursery schools founded by Carol Eveleigh and her late husband, Philip in 1991. Carol's experience in education spans 36 years, 33 of these at the highly-regarded Thomas's London Day Schools where she was headmistress of Thomas's Clapham for 19 years until 2012, Carol is still a governor at the leading independent senior school. King's Canterbury, in Kent, and an OFSTED inspector.
I met Carol at her office at Mouse House Nursery SW11, and she explained that the concept of kindergartens differs from day care in that young children are not at school all day, but usually for a morning or afternoon session only. The emphasis is on education, with the kindergartens being along the lines of a school, with admin support from specialists based at Carol's office allowing head teachers to focus on education.
As a result, teachers stay with the group and are able to develop their careers through training from the group; Carol herself is a qualified Special Needs teacher. Jemma Rhodes, Headmistress of the Crescent III Kindergarten since early 2015, joined the group in 2006, while Silvia Pasqua, Headmistress at the Park has been with the group since 2011. Silvia and her husband live locally and have children at Streatham and Clapham High School and Dulwich Prep. They exemplify the locally-invested family atmosphere Carol and her team have created.
The Kindergartens has its own Forest School, and all the children take part in weekly lessons in the beautiful gardens of the schools or on Wimbledon Common to build their awareness and appreciation of trees, woodlands and forests. There is an extensive programme of exciting events throughout the year, many also involving families, such as an Easter Bonnet Parade and Egg Hunt, Summer Fair, Sports Day, and Picnic.
The Crescent III Kindergarten, Grafton Tennis Club, 70A Thornton Road SW12 0LF
The Park SW2, Telford Park Tennis Club, 35a Killieser Avenue, SW2 4NX