Exciting eco-experiments at Maples Day Nursery

There were exciting learning opportunities at every turn for children at Maples Day Nursery in Winchester as they took part in an experiment to grow their own runner beans.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Hatherley Road, pre-schoolers started by making predictions on which growing conditions would best suit the vegetables, before putting their theories to the test using both a dark cupboard and a bright windowsill.  

After tracking the progress of their crops, the group observed that the runner beans which were exposed to direct sunlight grew bigger than the ones in the dark over the same time period, before using their scientific knowledge to discuss why this was the outcome.  

The children then helped to re-pot the runner beans in the garden, where they will be tended to, before eventually being picked and used in meals by talented Nursery Chefs.

Maples Day Nursery Team Leader, Danni Markwick explained;

“The children loved this experiment and were delighted to see the results; science is brilliant for helping to develop life skills such as problem solving and forming opinions based on observations. There is always something rewarding about using our produce in meals too.”

It is for such activities that Maples have earnt a prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award, the highest accolade in the internationally-recognised Eco-Schools programme, which is awarded for exceptional environmental awareness and conservation practices.



Greengables Day Nursery mark Mental Health Awareness Week

Children from Greengables Day Nursery in Owlsmoor have been taking part in a range of activities to better understand their emotions as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.

At the award-winning setting on Yeovil Road, pre-schoolers began by discussing how they express their own emotions, as well as how the moods of others had an impact on their personal feelings. The group then used mirrors to explore a range of facial expressions, from happy to angry, before re-creating them using playdough and other crafting materials.

Inspired by the beloved story of ‘The Colour Monster’ by Anna Llenas, the group went on to explore the association between colours and feelings, before using ribbons, buttons and beads to create their own ‘mix of emotions’ in a bowl.

Greengables Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Julia Grant explained;

“Mental Health Awareness Week provides a brilliant opportunity to remind ourselves of the small steps we can take to improve the wellbeing of ourselves and others around us. The children had a brilliant time taking part in these activities and this presented the chance for lots of important conversations on the topic.”



Mental Health Awareness Week at Lime Grove Day Nursery

A guided yoga session and mindfulness exercises were just some of the wellbeing inspired activities that children from Lime Grove Day Nursery in Hemel Hempstead enjoyed as they marked Mental Health Awareness Week at the setting.

At the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Day Nursery on Park Road, dedicated colleagues were surprised with an array of pamper gifts including shower gels and face masks from their grateful managers, as well as sweet treats and bunches of flowers to take home, whilst staff also decorated communal areas with positive affirmations and quotes to inspire each other.

Lime Grove Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Yasmin Diver explained;

“Mental Health Awareness Week provides a brilliant opportunity to remind ourselves of the small steps we can take to improve the wellbeing of ourselves and those around us. The children had a fantastic time taking part in the activities and its always lovely to show our colleagues how much they mean to us and open up the dialogue on this important topic.”



Windermere Day Nursery declared ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted again

There was cause for celebration at Windermere Day Nursery in Kettering as proud parents and practitioners learnt that the setting had achieved Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ status for the third time running, following an inspection in March.

Describing the Haweswater Road nursery’s curriculum as “highly effective” and children’s behaviour as “exemplary”, Ofsted inspectors commended the “exciting and stimulating opportunities” offered by dedicated teams, as well as the children’s “strong relationships with skilled staff, who know them exceptionally well as individuals”.

Partnerships with families were also praised by the inspectors, who observed that “parents are overwhelmingly positive about the nursery” and say they would “wholeheartedly recommend the nursery” due to factors such as detailed daily updates, children’s extensive experiences and parent support groups and courses including behaviour masterclasses.”

Ofsted Inspectors, Emily Lofts and Karen Siddons explained;

“Children are excited to come to this nursery. When they arrive, they race ahead of their parents as they rush to go inside. Four-year-old children shout ‘I can’t wait to see what we are doing today’. Young babies, who have just started at the nursery, settle very quickly.”

“Staff plan activities skilfully, using the information they gather about the experiences children have at home. They use every opportunity available to broaden the experiences children have”, they added.

Windermere Day Nursery Manager, Amy McCulloch explained;

“We are absolutely delighted to have received this outcome from Ofsted once again and have our efforts recognised across the board. We are committed to giving our children the best possible start in life and this is made possible with the support of our incredible network of nursery parents.”



Maples Day Nursery pre-schoolers enjoy local art walk

Following an exciting ‘Artists Through Time’ project, children from Maples Day Nursery in Winchester were delighted to embark on a walk to observe creative talent in the local area.

After researching Banksy and his style as part of the learning experience, pre-schoolers were thrilled to learn of a similar street artist right on their doorstep, going by the name of ‘Hendog’. This inspired a trip to the town centre, where children were able to observe four of the murals in total, armed with notebooks to sketch their own interpretations as they went.

As well as re-creating poses from the murals for photo opportunities, which included the Lego boy piece in St Thomas Street and girl picking petals in Market Street, on their journey home the group also encountered another local artist who was painting a beautiful scene in the high street and allowed the children to put their new skills to the test on his canvas.

Maples Day Nursery Deputy Manager, Lou Rowe explained;

“Our pre-schoolers have had a wonderful time exploring artists through the ages and this walk was a wonderful way to inspire creativity and highlight the talent and artistic ability within our community. Art also offers a wide range of benefits to the children, including improving concentration, fine motor skills, communication and self-confidence.”



Windmill Hill Day Nursery children enjoy fire engine visit

Children from Windmill Hill Day Nursery in Swindon were delighted to receive a visit from Dorset and Wilshire Fire and Rescue, following an interest in the topic amongst the group.

At the award-winning setting on Windmill Hill Business Park, Whitehill Way, firefighters spoke about the equipment used to extinguish flames, before encouraging the children to try on the protective clothing and safety gear, including helmets and high-vis jackets.

As part of the exciting learning experience, children were also thrilled to have a guided tour of the fire engine, both inside and out, as well as sound the noisy siren. Families were also invited to join in with the occasion as part of Windmill Hill’s parent partnership programme.

Windmill Hill Day Nursery Quality Manager, Gemma Gill explained;

“We are so grateful to the firefighters for taking time out of their busy schedules to come and visit. The children were fascinated to learn more about the fire service and now have a much greater understanding of the important work they do within our community.”


Cedars Day Nursery - Leighton Buzzard

We prioritise the importance of outdoor play at Cedars Day Nursery in Leighton Buzzard. All children at our Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery have access to our large, natural garden area on a daily basis as we recognise the impact that being outdoors has on a child’s social, emotional and physical development. The children enjoy planting vegetables and tasting their produce, served by our dedicated Nursery Chef.

Cedars Day Nursery, Mentmore Rd, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2PA

Tel:  01525 850200