Chesterfield Education

Workpays to deliver employability apprenticeship to get more people into work

Skills provider Workpays is looking to boost the employability market by offering a new Level 4 Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship, lasting 18-24 months, can be delivered online and face-to-face. Depending on turnover, businesses can receive funding from the government to
cover 95% or 100% of associated costs.

The broad purpose of the apprenticeship is to provide staff with the skills to work with individuals who are distanced furthest from the labour market. Supporting
them to address and overcome obstacles in securing suitable and sustainable employment.

Occupations linked to it include Key Workers, Careers Advisors, Job Coaches, Student Support Workers, Training Advisors and many more.

Alex Glasner, Managing Director at Workpays, said: “We see the new Level 4 Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship as an exciting addition to our already award-winning lineup of apprenticeship programmes.

“Now, more than ever, Workpays is committed to helping people get back into work and this apprenticeship will ensure that employers are equipped with the
right skills to make it happen.”

This apprenticeship will benefit small, medium and large organisations, including local authorities, government bodies, recruitment agencies, training providers,
universities, schools and many more.

Any employer or individual wanting more information on the Employability Practitioner Apprenticeship, or apprenticeships in general, is to contact the Workpays Work-based learning team on

Find out more about apprenticeships in Chesterfield by visiting our Apprentice Town page.

Workpays helps people to access the skills & training needed to gain employment. The firm also provides Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge to parents, teachers & students and assists employers to develop their workforce through work-based learning and apprenticeships.

The company operates nationally, including an office here in Chesterfield. Workpays also helps to provide skills support from their other offices in Derby, Coventry, Chesterfield, Kettering, Leicester, Wolverhampton, Hinckley, Corby & Market Harborough.

Workpays supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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College to support employers following extension to the apprenticeship incentive scheme

Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group, Julie Richards, has welcomed the news that the Government plans to extend the apprenticeship incentive and Kickstart schemes.

Following Rishi Sunak’s announcement last week, she has pledged to continue to help and support employers in the area who wish to take advantage of the incentives available before they end in 2022.

Since the incentive schemes were announced last year, as part of the Government’s Covid recovery plans, the college has supported over 300 employers to access bonus payments of up to £4,000 to recruit almost 400 apprentices.

Speaking about how the college was best placed to help more local employers take advantage of the incentives, Julie Richards said:

“Apprenticeships have always offered a fantastic opportunity to fill skills gaps and develop people. The bonus payment is designed to help employers feel more secure in their ability to cover the cost of recruiting an apprentice. Apprenticeships provide our young people with specific opportunities to develop their skills and secure meaningful employment which supports their financial independence and prepares them for adult life and a successful career.”

“As a local college we are committed to matching the needs of employers with the skills and talents of young people. I urge employers to contact the college to understand how the scheme may work for them. Our team are experts in supporting employers to develop a programme of skills development which will have long lasting benefits both for them and the local economy.”

The experienced team are helping organisations, large and small across Derbyshire and the East Midlands, to find the best candidates for their apprenticeship vacancies. They have a talent pool of students and applicants ready to find their next step in the world of work and are supporting businesses to navigate the recruitment process to secure their new apprentice.

Matt Cryans, Director at Crytec Ltd, a company based in Clay Cross, which sells machinery for construction, forestry and manual handling, told us about his experience of recruiting his first apprentice and making the most of the incentive scheme with the support of the college.

He said: “The scheme covers a decent proportion of an apprentice’s wages so it gives you confidence to recruit. The extra funding certainly helps you to make the move to grow the team when things feel a bit uncertain. The team at college made it easy to apply for the funding and supported me through the steps of taking on an apprentice.”

Find out more about the apprenticeship bonus scheme and the support available for Kickstart here

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New music studios at Chesterfield College provide industry standard facilities

New studios at Chesterfield College are giving music production students and local musicians a professional space to practice and record, using industry standard equipment.

The studios are the latest addition to the college’s new music department. They are designed to allow students the opportunity to develop the technical and creative skills they need for their future careers. At the same time, they will also provide a useful resource for musicians in Chesterfield to use as a collaborative recording space in the evenings and at weekends.

The new facilities provide a perfect mix of practical and academic spaces for a combination of classroom based learning and hands on experience at music making and recording. They are made up of three elements. These include a traditional classroom space with a suite of macs for learning and editing, a control room including a mixing desk and analogue equipment, and a ‘live room’ which has been designed for traditional collaborative music making. The live room has features which are designed to reflect acoustics and help musicians perform better together.

After spending the first week of term using the new facilities, level 3 music students Josh Clark and Connor Cartledge told us about the difference it had made to them.

Josh who is a rapper, singer and songwriter, with an interest in production said: “I am very happy that I have the opportunity to come in to use an actual studio and work with my peers. The course gives us the chance to learn lots of different skills and practice on different equipment that I don’t have at home. I am excited to know how I can use it next. I am hoping to record my own EP using the facilities we have here. I am really looking forward to that.”

Connor, who wants to be a producer or sound engineer said: “It has made a massive difference now we have this equipment. When we leave college to pursue a career in music, whether as a producer or as a musician we will have the knowledge we need.  We have top of the range microphones and a full studio which will mean any assignments and projects we work on will sound a lot better. Last year we had to record on whatever we had because we couldn’t be in college, so it is going to make a lot of difference. We have got a lot to learn about how to run and work the studio, but it is good to have it ready for the start of the new college year.”

Music tutor and musician, Jonathon Salisbury said: “Having the music studio gives us a professional environment the students can walk into and use. You don’t necessarily need that level of equipment to make good music but if you learn how to use this kind of facility you can always scale back to whatever you need. It is fundamental for students to understand how a professional studio works and get used to that kind of environment. It will help them build up an amazing portfolio of recordings which will launch them onto whatever they choose to do after college.”

“The studio is designed with analogue equipment so it works best for traditional collaborative music making. You can put a whole band in one space. There is real magic that happens when you get musicians together in one room. All the old great bands worked that way. The students who have used it so far have been amazed that they are in this professional space making music with other people again. They are definitely inspired by the quality of what they can produce in the new facilities.”

One local band has already used the space to record parts of their album and the college plans to hire out the new music studios to more local bands and musicians. They are particularly keen to offer the space to those just starting out who are looking for a resource like this on their doorstep.

To find out more about hiring the music studios contact

To find out more about studying music at Chesterfield College visit

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield FC Community Trust’s Camp Inspire receives praise from local MP

An initiative which has been providing activities, food and support to young people and families in need has been praised by a local MP, alongside receiving regional TV coverage.

Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, recently visited Camp Inspire, the innovative programme delivered by Chesterfield FC Community Trust at Parkside Community School.

Camp Inspire was designed to help children and young people, many of whom are disadvantaged or vulnerable over the summer holidays.

After taking a look at the activities organised to keep the attendees engaged, Mr Rowley said: “It was fantastic to visit Camp Inspire again and see the great work happening every day by those involved.

“Having visited last year as well, it is brilliant to see Camp Inspire even bigger and better this year – and doing so much.

“Thanks again for allowing me to come and meet with the inspiring leaders and young people!”

Following the success of the inaugural programme, Camp Inspire returned on a larger scale this summer, with over 200 youngsters attending on a daily basis.

With funding from the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, every child is provided with a free, hot, nutritious lunch.

Camp Inspire also received television coverage on ITV’s Calendar news recently, displaying the work carried out by Chesterfield FC’s Community Trust for families in need.

Scott Atkinson, the Trust’s head of education and wellbeing, said: “We received so much positive feedback following the inaugural Camp Inspire and we are determined to make a similar impact this year.

“With over 200 attending daily, I understand that we are going to be the largest HAF provider in the East Midlands, catering for the most vulnerable children in our community, which is fantastic.”

Chesterfield FC Community Trust supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Music students at Chesterfield College boost their skills thanks to partnership with local venue

Music students from Chesterfield College have been given a fantastic opportunity to develop a range of skills to boost their industry knowledge and experiences.

Thanks to funding from DANCOP (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Outreach Programme), the college has been able to partner with Real Time Live, Chesterfield’s successful dedicated live music venue. The funding has allowed students to access additional lessons to play specific instruments and develop vocals, as well as to learn more about stagecraft and stage production.

Real Time Live has provided a performance space and expert music tuition. This has helped students to develop the skills they need to move on to further study at college and university, and to develop a career in the industry. After months of learning online, and not having the opportunity to get on stage due to national lockdowns, the partnership is perfectly timed.

Abbie Greenwood, Level 3 Music student from Chesterfield College said her vocal lessons have helped her to learn about different music styles. She told us why working at Real Time Live has been so important. She said:
“Getting the experience of playing in a real venue rather than in a classroom progresses your musical ability. Having the opportunity to get into a venue to practice on stage when everywhere else is closed is just great.”

Niki and Mark Stevenson, owners of Real Time Live, have spent the last 27 years developing and supporting musical talent in the town. They see the project with the college as an extension to their reach into the community. Not only does the venue host a wide variety of live music gigs and events, covering all genres from rock and blues to metal, ska, pop and retro nights, the Real Time Live team also teaches a variety of music lessons for aspiring performers. They told us why it is important for anyone with a passion for a career in music to develop the right skills.

Niki said: “It is really important for up and coming musicians and anyone who wants to work in the music industry to get practice in a venue like this. The demands of the industry mean if you want a career in it you need to be all things to all people. Musicians need to look like the people they are representing. They need stagecraft to be able to connect with the audience and the technical skills to do some of the sound engineering they need. The stage we have is a perfect place to develop that for students.”

Mark added: “For years we have offered music lessons to many people every week. We have made sure everyone is included no matter what their ability or reason for wanting to play. It has gone hand in hand with the different aspects of the business over the years. We have had to diversify the live venue side of what we do over the last 16 months but with funding from the Arts Council and the Recovery Fund we feel like we have been recognised for what we bring to the area. We like the place to be in use and to hear music being played. Being involved with the college goes hand in hand with that, and long may it continue.”

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Partnership agreement will develop the next generation of construction experts

Construction company Robert Woodhead Limited (part of the Woodhead Group) and Chesterfield College have entered into an agreement to work together on a range of initiatives to help the next generation discover more about careers in construction and develop the skills they need.

The Learning Partnership Agreement builds on the long-standing relationship between the two organisations. It formalises the way they will work together in the future, building on the successful apprenticeship and work experience schemes they already have in place. It also introduces some new initiatives which will bring more work experience and training opportunities, taster days for school pupils and work around encouraging women into construction.

Janine Borderick, People Development Director at Robert Woodhead Ltd said:

“This agreement is really important to help us grow the talent we need for the future. This will help us to reach people outside of our apprenticeship programme. We want to share our experience of the industry with people and give them an introduction to the wide range of career paths that are available in construction. We want people to come and see what we do and, together with the college, we will be shouting about the opportunities there are to work in the industry.”

Aaron Wathall, is 4 months into his Level 3 Built Environment Technical apprenticeship with Robert Woodhead Ltd. During his day of study at the college he witnessed the signing of the agreement. He explained how the company are helping him to discover all the opportunities available in the construction industry and shape his career. He said:

“I am really enjoying my apprenticeship. It is really diverse. I am learning about different aspects of construction, meeting people from across the company and gaining a lot more confidence. I have had support from everyone from IT to Site Managers. They have showed me new things and been really patient. Someone is always there to answer my questions.”

Terry Brickles, Curriculum Operations Manager for Construction said:

“Robert Woodhead Ltd have always valued the education and training we offer to provide them with a skilled workforce. They know that by working alongside us to support school and college students we will be able to pool resources to encourage the next generation into construction. I am excited about the initiatives we have planned and I look forward to helping more construction experts of the future develop the skills they need to be successful.”

Chesterfield College and Woodhead Group support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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NLT forms partnership with leading joint integrity training provider

NLT Training Services has expanded its training provision to now include joint integrity training at its Chesterfield and Scunthorpe centres.

The addition of joint integrity training follows a new partnership with specialist joint integrity management and training provider Zulu Joint Integrity and Training Limited, which is part of the Phoenix Group.

Based in Bridgend in Wales, the partnership with NLT now gives Zulu two locations in England from which to deliver its training.

Nine new joint integrity courses have now been added to NLT Training Services’ training portfolio, specifically:

• BS EN 1591-4:2013
• ECITB MJI10/MJI11 and Technical units
• Energy Institute Guidelines
• Pipework – Breaking Containment
• Human Error / Human Factors
• Gasket & Sealing Technology
• Valve training for Process Operators
• Safe Isolation of Process Plant (HSG253)
• Introduction to Internal Auditing (QMS)

NLT and Zulu anticipate high demand for the training particularly in the Humberside area where there is a concentration of oil and gas, chemical, petrochemical, power, steel making and process industries.

All joint integrity training courses are aligned to industry best practice and provide a blend of sealing technology and practical elements associated with flange assembly. The courses provide delegates with the knowledge and practical skills required for dismantling and assembling flanged connections in pipelines as used in the process industry, particularly high hazardous industries.

Sarah Temperton, Chief Executive of NLT Training Services commented: “We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Zulu. It’s an exciting time for both businesses and we’re very much looking forward to expanding our joint training offering as our relationship develops.”
Christopher Mellows, Managing Director of Zulu Joint Integrity and Training Limited added: “This exciting new partnership not only allows Zulu to have a base within Humberside to support local businesses with their joint integrity, but also gives NLT a whole new range of courses to be delivered at its wonderful training centres.”

To find out more about the new range of NLT joint integrity training courses, or to make a booking please call 0333 880 3540 or visit

NLT Training Services supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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University of Derby to offer higher education courses to students in Singapore

A higher education provider in Singapore will be the latest international institution to offer University of Derby courses to international students.

The formal agreement signed between the University and DIMENSIONS International College will result in the launch of a number of Derby’s undergraduate courses to DIMENSIONS students from this month.

The first group of courses includes BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies, BA (Hons) Marketing (Management), BA (Hons) International Accounting, BA (Hons) Business Management and BA (Hons) Graphic Design.

The courses have been registered by the Committee for Private Education (CPE), Singapore’s regulatory equivalent of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in the UK.

Over the next few years, courses from all four of the University’s colleges – Arts, Humanities and Education, Business, Law and Social Sciences, Health, Psychology and Social Care, and Science and Engineering – will be available to students at DIMENSIONS, who are from across the whole of east and south-east Asia.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to have established a new strategic international partnership with DIMENSIONS, as Singapore is a very important hub for transnational education, attracting students from many different countries.

“Such partnerships enable us to offer degree courses from across the University of Derby’s academic portfolio to students in different locations around the world, extending our reputation for teaching excellence across the globe.”

Mr. Henry Chan, Managing Director and Principal of DIMENSIONS International College, said: “It is our great privilege to be the collaborative partner of University of Derby, given its rich heritage, good ranking and wide range of programmes which students can choose from.

“Our students have now embarked on the learning journey with University of Derby at DIMENSIONS. We are excited with the plans to roll out more of Derby’s programmes in 2022.”

DIMENSIONS joins a growing list of partners offering a range of programmes by the University of Derby. This list includes institutions such as the Mediterranean College in Greece and Domain Academy in Malta, as well as specialist institutions such as Botswana Accountancy College, and Swiss Education Group – an alliance of internationally-recognised schools specialising in hospitality, business and the culinary arts.

Richard Side, Associate Director of International at the University of Derby, said: “We worked closely with the British Council in Singapore to carefully identify colleges with ambitions that are closely aligned to our own, with whom we could potentially work. It was clear that DIMENSIONS very much met our requirements for delivering degree programmes from across our colleges.

“There are a number of phases to the partnership. Phase one will see five courses being delivered from this summer. Discussions about which of our Science and Engineering courses will be provided by DIMENSIONS under phase two in 2022 have just begun.”

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Chesterfield College becomes the first to sign up to Autotech Academy

Chesterfield College has become the first college to officially sign up to Autotech Academy – the innovative internship program launched by Autotech Group earlier this year.

In a move designed to give newly qualified students the best chance of employment after their studies, Chesterfield College has partnered with Autotech Academy. The partnership will help talented students with the skills the industry needs to get their foot on the automotive career ladder through a paid internship.

Acting as a conduit between Chesterfield College and automotive employers, Autotech Academy will source internship opportunities for students, equip them with their first toolbox and uniform, and provide ongoing support and training over a period of 3-12 months until they make the transition into full-time employment. Every intern will also be trained to Level 3 IMI Electric Vehicle accreditation.

With an intake of around 100 students per year into its successful automotive faculty, Chesterfield College teaches a range of light and heavy vehicle courses, while its body and paint courses are established as some of the best in the UK. With tutors deriving from the automotive industry, and a finger on the pulse of the most up-to-date skills, the college recognises the benefits forging an alliance with Autotech Academy will yield.

“We are passionate about our learners and giving them the best opportunities we can to gain employment,” comments Paul Sewell, Curriculum Operations Manager- Automotive & Body Paint at Chesterfield College. “I feel that the Autotech Academy internship programme is a fantastic way to bring employers and our learners together.”

Capitalising on its excellent reputation with automotive employers and colleges, Autotech Group launched Autotech Academy as a route to fill the automotive skills funnel, while helping time-poor, independent garages, dealer groups and vehicle manufacturers recruit newly skilled technicians.

“We are delighted that Chesterfield College has partnered with Autotech Academy,” comments Dave Walker, National Careers Manager for Autotech Academy. “The college has a fantastic, award-winning automotive division which has been recognised time and again, including winning gold awards at Skill Auto. Through our allegiance, we will work to enhance the employment opportunities of their students, ensuring that the skills taught at Chesterfield remain within the automotive industry.”

Despite the best efforts of UK colleges, around 10,000 students are lost to other industries each year as they struggle to secure an automotive role. While armed with theoretical knowledge, they have limited practical experience which deters some employers. Autotech Academy is set to smooth these recruitment bottlenecks, and create a cohort of skilled, experienced vehicle technicians which will help sustain the future of the industry.

For more information visit

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Chesterfield College gives graduates an insight into a teaching career in further education

Keen to play a role in developing the next generation of talent into further education, Chesterfield College has welcomed a new cohort of eager graduates and undergraduates into the organisation to give them a unique insight into a teaching career as part of the Education and Training Foundation’s programme, Talent to Teach. This is the second year the college has been part of the programme and they are already seeing many positive benefits.

The Talent to Teach programme was mentioned in the recent Skills for Jobs white paper, published by the government, as one important initiative which will be developed to help tackle the growing recruitment problem in the further education sector. The document highlights that half of principals in the UK say recruitment is difficult, so the need to act now is vitally important.

Becoming a provider of Talent to Teach programme was an opportunity for Chesterfield College to nurture talent and build a workforce for the sector. Equally, the team were keen to share their passion for role they play in their community, and the difference they make to their students and apprentices.

Jo Kershaw, Director of Business Professional and Service Industries, who manages the Talent to Teach programme at Chesterfield College said:

“Like many other colleges up and down the country, Chesterfield College wants to attract the very best talent to pass on their knowledge and expertise to students and apprentices. The Talent to Teach programme gives us the chance to highlight the benefits of a career in further education. It also helps graduates to understand that their knowledge and skills are in demand in the sector.

“For too long further education has been overlooked by many who might have a desire to teach. It has been fascinating to see the participants on this programme discover the possibilities open to them in colleges and we have seen our staff develop their mentoring skills too.”

During the programme the participants work alongside, and are mentored by, college staff as they take part in a range of activities to give them an insight into the breadth and scope of teaching in further education. They also experience day to day life helping students to succeed.

After mandatory safeguarding training, the participants observe and take part in lessons as well as carry out a micro teach. They also attend ask the expert sessions to learn about a range of other topics from Ofsted to supporting students with special educational needs.

The first intake of students on the programme, who took part before the pandemic, worked in the classroom with groups of students. The new intake has been experiencing teaching online and working with college staff virtually.

The fact that the programme is now being delivered virtually has had hidden benefits, allowing participants from a larger geographical area to access it. This was important because the pandemic meant only a quarter of the colleges who normally take part in the programme were able to offer places this year. Chesterfield College were keen to continue and demonstrate how they had adapted teaching and learning over lockdown.

Feedback from the previous intake of students highlights that 100% of those who took part have a higher level of interest in a teaching career in further education following the programme. The value of taking a hands on approach during the scheme was a huge benefit to the participants who may have been witnessing the world of further education for the first time.

One politics and history graduate on the current Talent to Teach programme, Tyler Yves, commented: “I left school with a handful of GCSEs but studied in FE as a mature student on an access to HE course. I understand the motivations of adult learners who study in FE colleges. There has always been this preconception that you were born to teach but I think so much has changed and I think we need to see how we can transfer skills into teaching as a viable career option. I can see the day to day difference I could make in a young person’s life by being part of FE. After a few sessions on the programme, I already find myself googling PGCE information!”

Sanaa Khalifa, a second year economics student said: “There are so many jobs and careers out there and you don’t know what to do unless you experience it first-hand which is why I wanted to take part in Talent to Teach. Now I am doing it, I do see myself in a teaching career in FE as opposed to working in business. It really has changed my outlook.”

Raina Roberts, Project manager for Talent to Teach at Cognition Education, the organisation running the programme on behalf of the Education and Training Foundation, said:

“It has been an absolute delight having Chesterfield College as a provider with the Talent to Teach in FE programme. Jo Kershaw and the team at the college have been incredible to work with and have put a great deal of passion into delivering the programme. Our partner providers, including Chesterfield College, are passionate about helping us raise the profile of further education and support us in establishing a high-quality pipeline of entrants for the sector.”

Chesterfield College supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Kids Planet set to open new outdoor learning spaces in Chesterfield

Kids Planet, an early years’ education and care provider which operates five centres across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire is set to open brand new outdoor areas at two of its sites.

The company currently runs nurseries in Chesterfield, Newbold, Sheepbridge, Brampton and North Wingfield after adding them to its portfolio of centres across the UK in April 2019.

Brand new outdoor spaces will be open for children to use at both the Sheepbridge and Chesterfield sites by the end of March. At the Sheepbridge centre, a new outdoor area with a ‘Forest School’ built within it will be offering classes to children.

Since acquiring the Chesterfield nurseries, the company has made considerable internal investments towards furniture, resources, and equipment.

Clare Roberts, CEO at Kids Planet said: “We continually reflect on any improvements that need to be made to our portfolio. All Kids Planet nurseries undergo reflective analysis and the investment goes into our nurseries to nurture and develop our children on an ongoing basis.

“As a group, we have always been incredibly focused on children’s interests being at the heart of everything we do. As such, investment in our resources – both inside and outdoors- are purposely placed to support and extend a child’s learning.”

“As with any portfolio in our nursery group, we identify on a rolling programme the improvements that need to be made and look to make any necessary changes. For example, our Chesterfield and Sheepbridge nursery gardens are currently undergoing a full refurbishment to include all-weather play areas, sensory planting areas, a mud kitchen and story corners.”

You can find out more about Kids Planet’s centres across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire here:

You can also sign up to one of Kids Planet’s open days, taking place on Saturday, 6th March 10am-2pm on their website:

Kids Planet supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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