Wood St Nursery is a warm and loving place. We believe in being children’s advocates and allies on their journey to growing strong, communicating effectively, and becoming capable and resilient. We believe that nurturing children means building good relationships with their families and creating a strong happy staff team. We have extensive training and experience and know that children learn best through warm relationships with skilled practitioners in a rich and exciting play environment. We eschew age inappropriate carpet sessions and instead prefer to learn through love, singing, and playing with mud!
We consider at all times the environmental effects of our nursery and ensure there are robust systems in place to reduce waste and to recycle. For example, we have our own compost heap and food digester for food waste, and we minimise our use of unnecessary disposable plastics such as straws, glitter and single use plates and cups. We will support parents who wish to use real nappies, embed recycling in the routines of the children, and are members of a scrap project to source materials saved from landfill for arts and crafts.
We are strong believers in creating a calm nursery space with a mixture of natural materials and real objects as well as age appropriate toys; we try to avoid seas of brightly coloured plastic. We have attended Elizabeth Jarman’s ‘Communication Friendly Spaces’, and use her theories to ensure the nursery is an effective learning environment that promotes children’s emotional and physical development.
We invest in high quality open-ended resources to cover the seven areas of learning and development. The accent is on continuous provision with children free to self-select and to add to and extend activities set up by adults. Here are a few examples of learning resources to give you a flavour of the environment:
- extensive small, medium and large block play following the Froebel model, so that children can create exciting constructions both for the joy of it, but also to support small world play (for the dinosaurs, cars, farm animals, wild animals, people etc.) and role play (building a den, fire engine, walkway, shop, cafe etc.)
- water play resources that allow for small world play, developing fine and gross motor skills, and scientific discovery – toy fish, water animals, water birds, natural resources (shells, pebbles, sea weed, drift wood); pipettes, jugs, cups, funnels and pipes, teapots, test tubes, floating and sinking, bubbles, colour mixing etc.
- flexible climbing equipment that can be reconfigured in a wide variety of ways to grade challenge and stimulate interest
- several quiet snug areas (outdoors and in) with a wide variety of books, story tapes, story sacks, puppets and soft toys, protected from the hubbub, so that staff can read to children, and children can find a quiet place to be
- a wide variety of tactile play both indoors and out. Sand, water and play-doh of course, but also a mud kitchen; pasta, lentils and such like in the home corner; a daily dose of something fascinating – gloop, slime, flour, mixes to sieve and sort, potions and lotions.
The children are encouraged to look after and value the nursery resources, and the environment. All staff facilitate them to do this, with consistent organisation and clear picture labelling so that the children can help with cleaning and tidying the resources. We will maximise the amount of time children are able to learn and play outside in all seasons. We continuously modify and develop the environment and resources in response to the individual needs of children and families using the nursery.