After a turbulent few months, we are so pleased to be able to say that we are back up and running! Of course, we have had to undertake a few changes to nursery life to ensure that our children, families, and team are as safe as possible. Welcome to our new normal.
The most exciting change is that we are temporarily operating Westgate as an outdoors nursery! While we love our beautiful indoor environment, Government advice indicates that the spread of germs is hugely reduced outside, so we have said goodbye to (most of) the indoor spaces and set up camp in our wonderful garden! Each bubble has a designated base to provide shelter, but most of the day is spent playing and exploring the environment.
We are loving the opportunity to embrace outdoor learning. Teaching children to love nature has been a huge focus at Westgate over the years, but our new outdoor approach has been wonderful to behold. The children have constructed an obstacle course in the forest; discovered, held, and named a Moth; and have created too many gorgeous, natural, works of art to count!
Limiting indoor resources has encouraged the children to make use of the things they find in nature as props for play – from sycamore seed fairy wings to stick Ghostbuster guns, we’ve been amazed at the children’s imaginations. Not only have the children developed physically, as they chase and dance around the garden and forest, we’ve noticed that being outside has heightened communication and enhanced the children’s vocabularies. At lunch time one group named all of the green things they could spot, including ivy, holly leaves, and eucalyptus!
It really does prove that nature is the best teacher!