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Kate snaps Prince George on first day at nursery

Published 06/01/2016

Prince George admires a mural during his first day at nursery
Prince George admires a mural during his first day at nursery
Prince George arrives for his first day at nursery

Prince George has been photographed by his mother the Duchess of Cambridge during his first day at nursery.

William and Kate took their son to the Westacre Montessori School nursery on Wednesday as his education formally began.

Two pictures taken by the Duchess of her two-year-old have been released to mark the occasion and they show the future king standing outside the school buildings near the royal couple's Norfolk home, Anmer Hall.

The toddler prince is shown near a large, colourful mural, wearing a winter coat with a small rucksack on his back.

George will attend the nursery while the couple are staying at their Norfolk home but not when they are in residence at Kensington Palace in London.

Montessori is an approach to educating children developed by the Italian educator Maria Montessori.

It is founded on the belief that within each person is untapped potential that needs a fertile environment and it aims to develop the whole child naturally, with the period from birth to age six seen as when children have the greatest capacity to learn.

In one of the images George is looking straight at his mother, who is behind the camera, and in the other his attention has been drawn to something on his right, as he turns round to point at it.

The future king is following in the footsteps of his father William and uncle Prince Harry who were also taught at a Montessori nursery at Mrs Mynors School in west London.

Diana, Princess of Wales had first-hand experience of the Montessori teaching method as she worked for a period at the Young England Kindergarten in Pimlico, central London, which used the system.

George's first day at nursery was a far cry from his father's experience of starting his schooling.

William was also joined by his parents the Prince and Princess of Wales as he walked into the nursery, but there were reportedly more than 100 reporters and photographers witnessing the moment.

George's nursery is in a converted chapel on a private road in East Walton, near King's Lynn, and there was likely to have been only other parents and their children nearby.

By contrast Kate went to a nursery in the Jordanian capital Amman where her family were living at the time.

The nursery in Norfolk reportedly charges £5.50 an hour and has been rated as good after an Ofsted inspection in June, the same grade it received following the last inspection in 2008.

The report said: "Children are interested and motivated to participate in activities. Staff have a secure knowledge of how children learn and develop. Children make good progress given their starting points and capabilities."

But it said the nursery was not yet rated as outstanding because: "Staff do not always seize opportunities to promote children's learning and deeper thinking skills to the highest level.

"Strategies to build on and develop the good teaching practice further are not yet fully established.''

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