Nature-based education connects awareness of self, family, community, and the natural world through the development of personal and social responsibility. The outdoor nursery uses nature based education as a foundation for all learning in early childhood. Art, literacy, science, early math, and personal, social-emotional learning are taught through real-world interactions using an inquiry based learning model in a natural setting.
Our indoor and outdoor spaces serve as blank canvases, enabling teachers to create and recreate the physical space to meet each child’s needs. These changes offer new and unique challenges that allow children to grow across all domains through interaction with others and the world around them. Ours is a progressive approach drawing from research-based theories including Reggio Emilia, Montessori and Steiner methods.
Each day consists of varied learning opportunities through both structured and unstructured play, inquiry-based lessons, sensory play, gross and fine motor development, dramatic play, exploratory learning, literacy, early math, and art in all of it’s forms.
The goals of our curriculum are to create varied opportunities for children to explore natural objects, to help children develop a better sense of self as they explore nature, and to recognise oneself as part of a broader community.
Research consistently supports that emergent curriculum in early education – emphasizing authentic experiences rather than a rigid curriculum – leads to greater levels of information and skills acquisition, increased self-esteem and, ultimately, higher achievement. We have found this approach allows children to consistently exceed the usual educational standards, and to simultaneously develop a robust self-awareness and a joy in learning that will serve them for a lifetime.
To achieve this, our curriculum is built around a series of enquiries or projects that grow out of the children's authentic interests. They are playful – combining the power of the children's boundless curiosity with an expertly guided investigative approach that immerses the children in the process and joys of real discovery.
Projects might last a few hours, a few days, or even a few months. At Hornsea Nursery School children have time to explore their interests, to pursue questions, create theories and extend knowledge. Project work allows children to play around with ideas in a concrete way that matches their developmental and intellectual abilities. Children come together in groups to work on projects, building collaborative problem-solving skills as they share ideas and knowledge.
The yearly learning themes are based on the 4 elements: Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. Using the elements as a base, the supporting curriculum reinforces what we observe as nature moves through the seasons. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Maths , and Literacy.