RLSB’s Dorton House Nursery in Seal, Kent, has long held a reputation for excellence and affordability. Established over 20 years ago, our Nursery supports blind and partially sighted children aged between two and five who may also have additional needs.
One of the only nurseries in the country to cater specifically for blind and partially sighted young children, it has received the highest Ofsted rating of Outstanding at every inspection. Maggie Bindon, Manager at Dorton House Nursery, tells us how we can help more children enjoy the simple things in life, touching, walking and laughing.
For many, July is the end of the school year and is often a time for goodbyes. Yesterday it was one of our children, Leo’s last day at Dorton House Nursery. We are sad to say goodbye because we will miss him but we’re also delighted and proud that like many children across the country, he is ready to move on to a mainstream school. However, unlike many other children, Leo is blind and has grown from a very little boy, unsure about exploring his environment and defensive about touching anything new, into a curious and independent child who confidently walks into a room and includes you in his play.
It underlines for me that the most important thing we can help our blind and partially sighted children to develop is confidence. Although, at first, Leo needed a hand to hold, he soon learnt to walk independently using touch and his listening skills because he was keen to find his way along the corridor to find the sensory toys. He has now been taught how to use a cane safely outside. When he started, Leo was wary of wet or sticky activities but last month when we created an indoor ‘seaside’, he was the first to get in the paddling pool and splash everyone!
Developing confidence is all about being given encouragement, support and time to try new things. For all our children it has been a busy two weeks at Dorton House Nursery. The end of term is usually exciting but particularly so this year, with the run up to the Olympics and Paralympics because we had arranged extra events. At our mini-Olympics, parents and friends had a lot of fun helping their children to tackle the ‘great obstacle race’ around the playground.
Highlights from our mini-Olympics included popping bubbles floating from the bubble machine and racing to the finish line pushing teddy in the pushchair. For one little girl that was an amazing achievement because it was the first time she’d had the confidence to walk all the way round the playground pushing her walking frame. She really deserved her gold medal. In fact all our children could be described as little heroes.
RLSB is trying to raise £100,000 in 100 days to help more blind babies and toddlers gain access to its special nursery care. For more information about how you can support their Little Heroes Nursery Appeal please visit www.littleheroesappeal.com