We are in a rural location and the premises are surrounded by open countryside.
Children get to go outside every day, wherever possible. Being outdoors offers opportunities for children to do things in different ways and on a different scale to being indoors. It gives children first-hand contact with weather, seasons and the natural world. Outdoor environments offer children freedom to explore, use their senses and be physically active.
Children are involved in gardening activities such as growing and cultivating plants and vegetables, the nursery has its own vegetable patch and poly-tunnel and the produce is used for cooking activities and snack time. Children also are able to help with the day-to-day care of the nursery animals which at present are chickens, ducks, and fish. They especially enjoy finding and collecting the chicken and duck eggs.
Even our youngest children play outside, come rain or shine. We have double buggies, with rain covers, for walks in the grounds and equipment for our babies to use in the garden. In the summer we get the paddling pool out and on rainy days the children put on their waterproof coats and wellies to splash in the puddles.
Outdoor Learning Opportunities
The philosophy of our Outdoor Learning opportunity was based upon the desire to provide young children with an education which encouraged appreciation of the wide, natural world and which would encourage responsibility for nature conservation in later life.
Allowing children out into this environment and allowing them to use real tools needs careful planning, high adult ratios and experienced leadership, as well as an outdoor environment which would enable the educational benefits to be fully explored.
The children are committed to spending the major part of their Outdoor Learning session in the outdoor – rain, shine, snow or forest. They explore and use natural materials found within the environment.
The children quickly learn boundaries, both physical and social, within which they must work. They respond to the sense of freedom and adhere to the few rules laid down for their safety.
Within this secure environment it is possible to encourage the children to move away from close adult interaction to become more responsible for each other and for themselves. There is also more emphasis on observation of nature as the children will see their environment in all the seasons. Follow up activities and discussions in the classroom include both recall and observational painting of items collected and treasured, and the outdoor pre-school environment helps to continue activities that reflect the Outdoor Learning practice.
Please visit the Ofsted website to access our latest report – www.ofsted.gov.uk