Staff and children gathered last week at Oakwood House Nursery & Forest School, to congratulate nursery manager Samantha Richmond for her twenty year contribution to making Huddersfield based Portland Nurseries group “Outstanding”. Samantha is the third employee at Portland Nurseries to have worked for the company for twenty years and she was presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a commemorative award, a cheque, a company Holiday Voucher, and a meal for two at a local restaurant.
Samantha returned to the Portland Nurseries team 20 years ago and has always held positions of responsibility, growing with the company from Baby Room Leader at Portland House, to Deputy Manager, Group Coordinator and then Training Manager, supporting staff with their personal and professional development. Samantha now works as Oakwood House Nursery Manager, the fourth nursery opened by the group in 2010 as one of the first Forest Schools in the area.
Samantha has experience working across all age groups 0-11 years and had a son of her own while working for the company and studying for her degree in Childcare Management. She then went on to complete her Early Years Teacher Status and is now one of the two senior managers in the company. A large part of her time is spent using her great knowledge and experience to support staff, parents and children across the four nurseries. As a qualified Forest School Leader, Samantha is particularly passionate about the importance of outdoor play and learning in the natural environment, which is instilled across all the age groups at all 4 nurseries. Tree climbing, camp fires, den play and mud kitchen cookery are among her favourite activities.
There will be hundreds of families across Huddersfield that will fondly recall how their children blossomed under her care and went on to further education as confident individuals...and tree climbers!
Over the years Samantha has received many wonderful comments, both personally and those about the fantastic care the nursery provides under her management. Oakwood House achieved ‘Outstanding’ in their last Ofsted inspection with the inspector commenting “Leadership is inspirational. The manager motivates and develops an experienced and well-qualified staff group who work very enthusiastically as a team. This means children are provided with the very best learning experiences.”
Rosemary Murphy OBE, founder and Managing Director of the company said: “Samantha’s vast experience and adaptability have made her an invaluable member of the team and a crucial part of the Portland family. She is respected by all the staff across the company for her childcare expertise along with her Forest School practice, not to mention her irreplaceable I.T. skills. We all hope Samantha continues to work with us for many more years.”