Alternative Education

We believe our woodlands develop children's physicality, inspire their creativity and enrich the senses.

Alternative education for children aged 3-9


EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE for children aged 3-9




OUR PHILOSOPHY


Nature to Nurture is a research setting working collaboratively with Liverpool Hope & John Moore's University to ensure that your child receives the very best start in life. Over the past two years, we have upskilled ourselves with the very best training to help us meet the needs of all children and deliver an inclusive programme. Furthermore, attachment theory lies at the heart of all we do so that children feel loved, safe and secure. This will help them to develop a high emotional intelligence and self-efficacy that will set them up with future life skills. Our knowledge and understanding have enabled us to look at the environment and meet the sensory & physical needs of the children by implementing simple woodland strategies. We want children to embark on a journey of discovery by being given the opportunity to participate in experiential hands-on learning. We also believe that the outdoors helps engender the capacity for joyful learning and that free play in a natural environment supports children’s inborn desire to learn. It is for these reasons that we are National Pre-School of the Year winners in 2017, 2018 and 2019 at the Nursery World Awards and Outstanding in all areas for our Ofsted inspection at our previous site.

We aim to follow nature’s rhythms and adopt a slowliness approach to children’s play and development, making meaningful decisions as to what is right at each phase of your child’s unique journey. We will ensure that staff become reflective researchers, striving to gain a deep understanding of each child. Through a loving, nurturing and language-rich woodland environment, children feel safe to play and develop important life skills such as persistence, resilience, curiosity, creativity, and resourcefulness. Our ‘less is more’ approach enables children’s imagination and creativity to flourish. Children, in turn, become empowered, exploratory learners with very high emotional intelligence. We will also help children foster an appreciation, respect, and care for nature, which will then deeply embedded in their lives
Sessions are child-led and children are free to choose how they spend their days. Skilled staff will facilitate individual lines of inquiry to support and extend play and learning. Furthermore, this approach also develops a community where collaborative learning takes place daily? We feel that this nature-inspired unhurried approach allows children to develop a deep love of learning and care for the environment, which will continue throughout their lives.

Sessions are child-led and staff will facilitate opportunities for the children based on their interests. The children may also learn a variety of skills using tools, fire lighting, den building, environmental art as well as tree climbing, playing in the mud and making up games. The main aim of the session though is to bring children together to be sociable, to learn how to negotiate with each other, to turn-take and create their own games. Please note we are not a Forest School. We provide an experience that supports children's social understanding in a natural environment. Please read my blog for more information about the experience that is provided please copy the link. https://n2napproach.blogspot.com/2019/06/why-were-coming-away-from-being-forest.html
Children must be able to engage in self-directed learning. The adults on-site are there to facilitate children's play, not direct it.
Whilst we always strive to support children with additional needs, we are limited in the amount of support we can offer. Currently, we are at capacity at the Garston site. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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CURRICULUM



The space that has been created to provide children between the ages of 3 & 9 the opportunity to engage in mixed-age groups, in a safe confined space without the interference of an adult within their play. Our sessions are designed to teach children one of the most fundamental life skills - how to be human. Not many children get the opportunity nowadays to spend 6 hours a day completely immersed in nature with the opportunity to engage in child-led play. Play in its purest sense is what the children who come to us get to experience. These playful moments are what teach children a whole range of complex skills and support the development of their executive functions and cognitive development. Our social relationships help us to develop a sense of belonging and I believe children do not get enough opportunities nowadays to develop these skills due to their overstructured lives.
What we do provide is a range of open-ended loose parts for the children to engage with, and if they do want us to build, construct or guide an activity then we will. They learn to problem-solve, turn-take, negotiate, be imaginative, have disagreements and resolve conflicts, regulate their emotions and collaborate. Essential life skills. I wholeheartedly believe that the educators are there to provide strategies that support children's emotional literacy skills, and if children want some guidance and to participate in the activities we have on offer, then it should be their choice to do so. For our home educated children, what we provide is an experience that enables children to engage in active learning that is led by children's own curiosity. Our approach is guided by the most influential theorists of our time Piaget, Vygotsky, Bruner, and Frobel and adopts a more constructivist approach to education, which is facilitated by experienced educators.
The most fundamental skill that young children should learn when they are in the forest, is how to develop their emotional intelligence and their connection to the natural world. This combination is what enables children to know what their values are, to develop ideas, reflect on their frustrations of self-directed learning and assimilate information that will hopefully set them up for life. What it is is play in its natural sense.

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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT



Currently the children are provided with opportunities to freely play within the woodland and are provided with a range of loose parts to support their creativity and imaginations, as well as forest school activities. However, as we transition from being a pre-school to an alternative educational experience we will begin to broaden the range of activities that will be on offer. If there are any families that would like their children to do 3 days and have skills that they could share each week with the children, then we will provide one free day of childcare for one free workshop. We already have parents willing to share their musical talents and mindfulness techniques as well as drama classes. We are looking for a yoga teacher, artist, and carpenter, etc so that we can enrich the children's experiences each week. If you have a skill that you think you could share please get in touch. Each parent volunteer will need to have a DBS completed prior to delivering any workshops.

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