As well as offering high quality nursery & pre-school education in the Henley area we also provide a purpose built setting with a unique atmosphere.
- It is well known that space can have a huge impact on a child’s health, development and their ability to learn, so with this in mind we have limited our numbers to a maximum of 28 children at a time.
- We have also provided a large, light, open space for the children to move freely around in, meaning each child will always have at least 5.5m2 of personal space even when we are full.
(This is more than double the minimum 2.3m2 per child required by Ofsted, and far exceeds all space recommendations).
Our main room leads on to a secure courtyard area which includes our fruit and vegetable garden, which is constantly managed by little green fingers. We operate a free flow approach so that children can move inside and out when they feel the need. We have a covered garden structure where the children can play with the sand/water sheltered from the sun or rain. The courtyard makes a lovely area for children to master riding bikes, trikes and tractors.
We have sole use of our own private field opposite the nursery which is about a third of an acre. It is a grass field with a diverse variety of native sapling trees, shrubs and hedging and lots of wildflowers throughout the summer months.
These are some of the features of our field:
- The children have planted a woodland area (saplings of native Beech, Birch, Hazel, etc.) which will be the base for our forest school when the trees have matured.
- Wild flower meadow ares (with Poppy, Cornflower, Fairy Toadflax, etc.) are dotted around the field to attract butterflies and other wildlife.
- We have built a massive naturalistic sand pit edged with giant boulders and a shade sail overhead.
- We have a massive 30 seat log circle with bark floor.
- More than just a mud kitchen, we have a 'Mud Fort'.
- A large grass area for children to stretch their legs, or play ball games, and in the summer term becomes the race track for our sports day.
- We have a wooden climbing frame with climbing wall, climbing net and a slide.
- The enchanting entrance to our field is through an archway hidden in the opposite hedge.
Although we dont have an established, mature woodland area, this long term project will give the children a unique opportunity to see how natural environments are formed, right from the planting of sapling trees, and the sowing of wild flower seeds, to picking the fruit. This should give the children a better understanding of the world that they live in, and allow them to experience how different natural habitats develop and grow.
The concept of forest School was developed in Scandinavia and operates on the principle that children have an innate need for direct contact with nature but few opportunities to achieve this. It assists the development of self-esteem, communication & social skills, personal responsibility and citizenship; which are all skills which feed back into the nursery and into a child's everyday life.
Within our field we have planted a wooded area which will be the base for our Forest School. We hope to run sessions a couple of times each week, allowing children to learn in a natural, familiar outside space and to experience things such as woodcraft, den-making, bug hunting, woodland art, tool use, fire lighting, sensory exploration and much, much more.