this is reflections nursery in Worthing
we’re registered for a hundred twenty children and we also have a forest
school we take children to into the forest five days a week we’ve been doing
that since 2009 and we draw inspiration from Reggio Emilia in northern Italy and
have done since we took over the nursery in 2006 when we took over the nursery
was a very traditional and in a traditional nursery and and in fact we
threw away about three skips full of plastic toys and began the process of
bringing in open-ended resources and obviously using Community Playthings
equipment as well. We listened to children and that’s I guess that’s one
of the one of the the beginning points for the nursery we begin with the image
of the child as a competent and capable learner and we start listening to
children in as many ways as we possibly can and we we work with on a project
basis with children so either provoking ideas or listening
to their interactions and finding out what they’re particularly interested in
and when we do that childrens motivation just explodes and we follow their
interests supporting their learning and bringing skills in whenever they need
they have a lovely expression in Reggio Emilia and which says that no space
could be too beautiful for children and that’s one of the reasons that we’ve
chosen to use Community Playthings because they are
just so beautifully made and I think the other thing that we get from community
playthings is the is the fact that their resources and their equipment is so
open-ended it gives us real flexibility we’re responding to children’s ideas and
project ideas on a daily basis and we and our spaces need to be able to do
that as well one of the things that we are this absolutely critical about our
approach is the connection with the outdoors so we have an edible garden
children had a conversation about about where chips come from and one of the
answers was McDonald’s and so we felt we had to do something that would reconnect them to at least a potato and if not you know and not more so and so we’ve
created over time it began with just a few planting tubs and now we have a
whole range of we’ve got a greenhouse we’ve got a raised beds and we’ve now
had three or four seasons of harvest where children are planting out in by
seed and and then putting them out into the into the into the beds and then
harvesting and literally running around the garden eating a carrot that they’ve
just dug up and washed from the from the raised beds and so that connection with
the outdoors is very is very important to us and we’ve been doing forest school
for some time and the ripple effects from forests back into the nursery and
from nursery back to forest I think are pretty critical to our approach what we
see is children engaging very deeply with an idea maybe that begun in the
nursery and then taking it into the forest and then bringing it back and
refining it so that when children in the nursery wanted for example to build a
water feature and they began in the garden looking at putting putting stones
and and and just sticks and logs together using bricks to dam water and
then they went into the forest they encountered water in a big way because
there are huge puddles everywhere and they were building in the forest as well
and then they also noticed some some bracket fungus in the forest and
with pouring water down these bracket fungi and they brought back the idea of
the bracket fungus as our design for their water feature and we now have a
water feature that features water cascading down several levels just like
it did in the forest to the bracket and I think those things there’s lovely
connections between the outdoors and the indoors and what we’re all about