NURTURING THROUGH NATURE
Established in 1968, we celebrated our 50th anniversary, by developing our ‘Nature Nursery’. This gives our 3 and 4 year olds an even greater opportunity for outdoor learning experiences. The Nature Nursery offers a range of activities to ignite creativity and critical thinking skills, in addition to the sheer pleasure and enjoyment of being in the great outdoors!
If we want children to protect our planet for future generations, they first need to learn how to love it.
Offering children constant opportunities to engage with the outdoor environment, inspires a love of nature and supports their learning and development in all areas.
In the great outdoors children can: expand their knowledge and understanding, increase their vocabulary, strengthen their physical skills, improve their concentration and problem-solving skills.
The freedom, excitement and sense of adventure that being outdoors provides, enables children to discover new things about themselves and their world.
Our children are offered a wide variety of experiences in nature, from the countryside to the coast. These include trips to woodlands, local farms, parklands, forests and beaches.
Outdoors, children can explore and discover flora and fauna, build dens, climb trees and collect natural treasures to take back to our Nature Nursery room at Oakfield.
Our Nature Nursery programme involves caring for the animals at our setting (guinea pigs, fish & tortoises), to encourage nurturing and responsibility.
Our nursery birdbox, with a camera installed, allows us to observe the wild birds who take up residence each year. We watch birds in our gardens and receive educational visits from the RSPB.
In the Spring, we attend to the chicks hatching from eggs in our incubator. We also observe the metamorphosis of tadpoles and caterpillars into frogs and butterflies, before returning them to their natural environment.
During our visits to local farms, a love of animals is instilled in the children as they play with newborn animals, groom ponies, learn about farming and bottle feed lambs.
GROWING OUR OWN
In our organic garden, we grow seasonal vegetables and a wide selection of herbs. Gardening cultivates the children’s practical skills and physical development, as they gain competence using gardening tools.
The children maintain the vegetable plots themselves; planting, watering and harvesting the crops. We also collect apples, pears and cherries from the fruit trees that line our front garden.
The fresh seasonal produce is then used by the children in their baking, or taken to the kitchen to be included in their freshly prepared meals.
Giving children the opportunity to grow their own food allows them to make the connection between what they eat and where it comes from. Our seasonal plant beds enables the children to learn about life cycles; growth, decay and regrowth.
A separate ‘Nature Nursery Room’, along with an adjoining kitchen, provide an additional indoor space for further natural discovery, observations, scientific experiments, art projects, cooking classes and lessons.
This airy and light indoor space is filled with greenery, flowers and plants, as a continuation of the children’s outdoor experiences. The room is equipped with beautiful natural resources and items foraged, collected and crafted by the children.