International ‘Green Flag’ Award for Cedar Park
Cedar Park Day Nursery in Twyford is a deeper shade of environmental green after receiving the top award in an international schools scheme involving millions of children across 64 countries.
The prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award for environmental awareness and conservation has been awarded to children and staff at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Cedar Park Day Nursery in Bridge Farm Road, which is powered by green electricity and has zero waste to landfill.
A delighted Cedar Park Day Nursery Manager, Emma Kemp, said the award was the culmination of years of sustained effort by staff and children working together in the global Eco-Schools programme.
“Respecting and protecting the environment is an important part of our commitment to give our children the best possible future but we have been surprised by just how many children are fully engaged in these projects.
“You have to remember that this is predominately a schools programme involving older children. The fact that our children understand the importance of protecting the environment bodes well for the future,” she added.
In the large garden children grow beans, pumpkins and tomatoes and all ages are involved in some eco project with the babies using paper from the shredder in sensory activities and children as young as 18 months old conducting a project on bugs and using recyclable items to create ‘hotels’ for the insects.
The activities also carry on at home as some tomato plants were sold to parents, to support a charity fund-raising drive, providing the children with the opportunity to discuss and compare the harvest in both locations.
Outdoor learning is promoted throughout the year, whatever the weather, with children, under close supervision, using tools to cut wood, build little camp fires and handle ropes appropriately in their natural setting.
The activities, which also include crafting with natural materials, are designed to promote the development of personal, social and emotional life skills as well as introducing them to basic maths, science and environmental messages.
“All the children love the activities. We are excited about the levels of collaboration we are seeing between all the children and how responsible they are in looking after their plants and eco projects,” said Rachael Main, Third in Charge at the nursery and a member of the Cedar Park Eco-Committee.
The committee also has six children from the preschool room who monitor recycling and help their friends ensure resources like paper aren’t wasted; taps are not left running and that knowledge about conservation is shared.
To attain Green Flag accreditation, Cedar Park had to first obtain Bronze and Silver status before a seven step programme led by the Eco-Committee of children and Rachael Main and Sue Gower, Nursery Practitioner.
Rigorous vetting of the projects was carried out by an independent inspector who was accompanied by Eco Committee members as she toured the nursery before the sustainable, eco-friendly Green Flag and certificate was awarded.