2018 company conference
ICP Nurseries hold incredible second annual Company Conference at The Oval Cricket Ground in London
On Saturday the 10th November 2018, over 350 ICP employees attended the 2nd Annual Company Conference at The Oval cricket ground. Staff from 20 nurseries joined together to celebrate the Company’s amazing achievements of the previous year, and a fantastic day was had by all.
The theme of the Conference this year, was ‘The Outdoors’, and staff were treated to an all outdoor theme, from the table decorations to the incredible prizes on offer.
The day started with an interactive exhibition, showcasing some of the amazing childcare practices including bespoke resources and extra-curricular activities which have been implemented over the last 12 months in all of the ICP Nurseries.
Staff then enjoyed a delicious spread of food before enjoying a showreel of some of the incredible transformations and refurbishments which have taken place. It was an emotional moment to see how far some of the nurseries have come. Kelly Walton, Nursery Manager at the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rated Old Barn Day Nursery said,
“Looking at the before and after pictures, of both our practice, and the environments was really special. It was lovely for me and the team to reflect and take a moment to feel proud of our achievements.”
Then it was time to get creative with a competition to design a new outdoor environment. Each nursery had been asked to bring junk modelling material for a challenge, but until special guest judge James Collis-Pritchard from Pentagon Play announced the opportunity to win an incredible garden refurbishment, no one knew quite what to expect. There were some incredible entries, with St Ives Nursery, Little Rascals Nursery and Zeeba Royal Arsenal, the ultimate winners.
The staff teams were over the moon to discover they had won. Satvinder Bhurji, Nursery Manager at Zeeba Royal Arsenal said: “The whole team were really motivated and excited about creating a sensory garden design at the Conference. Our nursery is in an area where the majority of our children live in flats and have no gardens, so we were absolutely delighted for them when we heard our Nursery name called as one of the winners of a brand new garden. We are so proud of what we achieved as a team.”
Kimberly Griffiths, Manager at St Ives Nursery, was also thrilled with her team’s efforts: “Not only are we so excited about the new learning opportunities this will provide for our children, but it goes to show exactly what you can achieve when you all work as a team. Our team at St Ives is so supportive of each other and we are all absolutely focused on providing outstanding childcare for our children, but, being part of the wider ‘ICP Team’ gives us that extra layer of support and encouragement.”
Little Rascals Manager, Sarah Cramp, was most excited about how the garden refurbishment would help support outdoor learning for their younger children:
“This garden refurbishment will massively improve both the quantity and the quality of time our babies will be able to spend learning outdoors. When we found out we had won, there was a huge buzz throughout the team and we are so excited to begin planning the outdoor environment with Pentagon Play.”
More awards and prizes followed with accolades given for ‘Over and Above Chef’s Contribution’, ‘High Achievement on a Learning Programme’ and many more.
To finish the day off we hosted an ‘ICP’s Got Talent’ showcase. Members of the Childcare Team and all the Nurseries, took part in an unforgettable talent competition, writing, practising and performing their own original take on a classic song of their choice. The competition was fierce, with the two finalists, St Ives Nursery and Childcare4U Beaconsfield taking it to a sing-off to decide the ultimate winner. The Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rated Nursery and Pre-Prep from Beaconsfield just pipped St Ives to the post, with their rendition of ‘This is Me’.
As the day ended, staff were all given goody bags – a fitting way to round off the celebrations, and ‘heart-felt thank you’ for an incredible year at ICP Nurseries.
“Tracey Storey, CEO, said: “An vast amount of hard work and preparation went into organising the Company conference and I thank the Central Office team for their sterling efforts. The day was full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm – it was such a proud moment for me to stand in front of our loyal and hardworking staff to thank them for their contribution to making all our ICP Nurseries extra-special. It is so important to take time out of our busy working day to celebrate and give due consideration to the positive impacts the team are having on all the children in our settings.”
Lisa Snell, Head of Childcare said: “The Nursery teams attended our annual Company Conference. It was a fantastic day which centred around celebrating staff achievements and our continued focus on our outdoor learning in 2019. The knowledge and insights you can absorb in just one day at an Early Years conference are amazing. Having lots of experiences exhibited allowed our staff teams’ imaginations to run wild with opportunities for the children. The passion and dedication demonstrated by each nursery team was so humbling and having the opportunity to share our own knowledge and experience with our colleagues and peers was invaluable.”
2017 company conference
ICP Nurseries launches first annual conference and awards at Royal Ascot.
Saturday 16th September 2017 saw ICP Nurseries take over the stunning setting of Royal Ascot Racecourse to host their first annual conference for all employees across the group.
In a day of celebration to mark the first year of operation, the Managers and staff teams from Little Muffins Nursery, The Old Barn Day Nursery, Childcare4U Beaconsfield and Marlow and Little Monkeys Windsor and Windsor Park, along with members of Central Office were joined by Neil Griffiths, ambassador for storytelling, award winning author and creator of the famous ‘Story Sacks’. Neil delivered a key note speech inspiring the attendees with his unique approach to story time and engaging children in what can be an incredible, imaginative experience. Neil’s speech supported staff’s understanding that telling a story is more than just reading from the pages of a book, and provided them with the tools and knowledge to bring a story to life through the use of voices, props and character interpretation.
Attendees took part in a group role play activity with Neil, extending on his keynote, to consider how an exciting and effective story time can continue into an innovative and challenging role play activity, to further develop children’s language, literacy and imagination skills.
Neil’s final contribution to the day was the judging of the ‘Enhancing a Book Area’ and ‘Enhancing a Home Corner’ competition, where nurseries could win a range of prizes which included a new book corner for their nursery, vouchers for educational suppliers, and an individual site training visit from Neil himself.
In the afternoon the ICP Childcare Team revealed the first of the extra-curricular enhancements that would roll out to the nurseries following on from the day. These included the ‘Wake up and Shake Up’ – a physical, music and movement activity designed to engage the brain and promote the development of cross-lateral movements, and the ‘Emotions and Feelings boxes’ – a small group activity helping children of all ages to explore and understand their wide range of emotions, and how to respond to these.
The conference closed with remarks from Tracey Storey, CEO on how the group plans to grow in the coming 12 months, including the introduction of the newly acquired St Ives Nursery in Cambridge; before leading into a further celebration of achievement in the ICP awards.
All Nurseries and staff were praised for their efforts and achi
evements, with a range of awards including ‘Contributions Above and Beyond’ and ‘Most Positive Staff Team’.
A champagne afternoon tea rounded off the event before the attendees departed for their journey home.
Tracey commented, “it is fantastic to be able to have all of our staff come together for a day of training, learning and celebration. They have been so positive in coming together as a small group of nurseries to share their knowledge and experience with each other, which has been hugely beneficial. Neil’s large personality really made the day.”
Lisa commented, “According to latest research carried out by the Book Trust, 98% of parents agreed that reading with their child every day from an early age helps their development in school. Over half of parents (55.1%) said they have the greatest impact on shaping their child’s early literacy skills, with one in four (24%) believing adults who work with their children, such as early practitioners, exert the most influence.
Neil shared some inspiring practice that demonstrated to staff how the use of props and narrating the story as you tell different parts, sparks the children’s imagination and allows them to start painting pictures of certain characters or scenes in their head”. It was so inspirational to have Neil interact with the ICP staff, and was so much fun that staff left buzzing and couldn’t wait to return to nursery and implement what they had learned”.