We’re facing an environmental crisis like never before. One of the reasons we, as human beings, have got here, (and we all have a share of the responsibility) is our disconnection from nature. When we set up our nature nursery, we wanted to give children in Brighton and Hove a chance to reconnect with nature, learn about our planet, their community and their place in world, and discover the impact they can make. We knew from experience that growing up green at nursery would embed sustainable values in children from a nearly age–so they would grow up to become tomorrow’s eco heroes.
In our natural nursery environment, the children learn from experience of growing food from seed to plate, and they are so proud of it! Kids love being outdoors, and it’s great for their mental wellbeing as well as their physical health, so we get them out there as much as possible. They discover their natural world through nature nursery activities in the garden, in the forest and on the beach, and how to care for it.
With sustainability at the heart of our curriculum, the children grow up learning about climate change, where food comes from, the importance of saving energy, and the role they can play in recycling, reusing and generally reducing waste.
As an eco-friendly nursery, we’ve ditched the single-use plastics and phased out other plastics in our natural nursery environment. Instead of pre-determined toys, the children explore their own ideas and interests in a ‘loose parts’ nursery. That means building and making things out of raw materials–often things other people would throw away. (In an eco-friendly nursery, one person’s trash really is our treasure!) The children develop their creative and problem-solving skills while having huge amounts of fun.
Growing up in a nature nursery like Young Friends Kindergarten helps children to become confident, informed and communicative citizens, the next generation who will help to save our planet. It ignites a lifelong passion for learning, inspires children to explore and understand their world, and helps them to grow up fully aware of their role in creating a more sustainable way to live. We’ve achieved an Outstanding score in every Ofsted inspection since we opened, which we’re hugely proud of. But we love it even more when families tell us about the way children are influencing what they do at home, and how well-prepared they are to thrive in education when they eventually move on from us.