I remember hours and hours spent exploring in the woods as a child, picking up sticks and having adventures – letting my mind run free with imagination. I want your children to experience this in our nurseries too.
We need to develop little people with personality, imagination and a sense of adventure. The days of factory workers has gone – for them to work in the future – they will need to imagine a new world, an exciting world, and that needs us to develop their creativity which is way we are an early adopter of the curiosity approach.
As part of our development plans I have been meeting with other nursery owners in the UK – visiting their nurseries and developing what we do well and what we could do better. This research has had a dramatic change in our ethos and development, evident now in 2017.
Naturally Curious Childcare is now proud to be associated with the ‘Curiosity Approach’ a brain child of two nursery owners in the Midlands, Lyndsay Hellyn (Nest Nursery) and Stephanie Bennett (Love to Learn). After visiting their settings with our nursery managers in February it was amazing to see the children in their care learning and developing with natural equipment and ‘curiosities’. These curiosities encourage children’s social development and learning opportunities.
Having met other nursery owners and seeing a nursery in full flow with opened ended equipment was a big lightbulb moment for me personally. Emily our manager at Pebbles Day Nursery had been digging her finger in my ribs every time we spoke about changes – it was Emily’s spark and enthusiasm that led to our trip to Love to Learn in Leicester. During this trip my personal fog lifted and I saw how we could achieve these amazing learning environments in our nurseries.
We know children are naturally inquisitive, however ‘The Curiosity Approach’ ethos promotes curiosity, awe and wonder in Early years . Creating beautiful and aesthetically pleasing play spaces for children using provocations, loose parts and open end resources . It’s was amazing to see us all have light bulb moments, maybe epiphanies which inspired us to make wondrous changes.
The impact on the children already has been nothing but amazing. Children have a different mindset to adults and they use the equipment we have supplied in a differing way to what we thought they would do – they are definitely more settled, content and using their imagination further.
‘It’s out with the primary colours and in with the natural and neutral’
So what is it all about? It’s about a return to nature and nurture, back to basics with the use of wooden resources and natural play based learning. Take this as a scenario, there is only so much a child can do with a plastic train set, one zoom round the track and it’s done, they move on to something else. Compare this to the myriad of adventures they can have with cardboard tubes, stones, bamboo cane, metal goblets, silver tea sets and wooden curtain rings.
To see this equipment in action is a wonderful thing – you see the children’s brain being tested and used with their comfort zones. We recently had a Baby Room open morning and the way the under two’s played with the equipment was both different and staggering.
The ‘Curiosity Approach’ has a large following on Facebook – click on the link follow yourself. In just 2 months they have achieved a staggering 6000 likes from nurseries and childcarers taking on their advice, not only in the UK but WorldWide. Naturally Curious Childcare is proud to be associated with the ethos and process in their early years developments.
Pebbles Day Nursery in Farnborough, with the stewardship of manager Emily was the first of our settings to adopt this new way of learning in late 2016, it’s been a very successful trial period. In fact Emily has been a major innovator in Naturally Curious Childcare’s upgrade program. The nursery had a full refurbishment to transform the bright walls and replace with calming neutrals and multi sensory equipment installed on easy access storage ready for the child to self-select. Emily’s research into the Reggio Emilio and Montessori teaching has been the spearhead for other projects within the nursery and the other settings.
Our North Camp nursery has had the addition of a Baby unit added this spring. Pascale has worked tirelessly to ensure the baby room is complete with everything the babies need to be stimulated and happy. We can now cater for birth to 5 years and are now open 8am to 6pm all year round. The Baby room has wealth of natural resources and tactile fabrics to ensure even our youngest guests experience life surrounded by curiosities.
Pear Tree Day Nursery has now gone ‘All Inclusive’ for children under 2 – which means we will supply your own preferred brand of nappies, Creams and Milk, at no extra charge. No more driving to nursery and panicking you’ve forgotten something; we’ve got it all covered for you. The Baby room will be open from August 2017 and we are now open for viewings.
The latest nursery to be renovated this summer will be Pirbright Day Nursery – unfortunately one had to be last as we simply don’t have the energy to do it all at once – when it’s done it will be amazing centre of excellence for the Curiosity Approach.
I’d personally like to thank our management team and all of our dedicated staff team for being on board with the updates and changes – it’s not been an easy process but they’ve pulled in the same direction and together we are creating a legacy that will last your children a lifetime.
As Lyndsay and Stephanie say… Be Curious, Have Fun & Make a Difference- that’s what we intend to do.
Please feel free to drop us a message via our website www.naturallycuriouschildcare.co.uk should you wish to visit us www.naturallycuriouschildcare.co.uk
Neil Dudman, Nursery Director