Winchester pre-schoolers earn top international eco-award
West Downs Day Nursery in Winchester 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 exceptional environmental awareness and conservation efforts has been awarded to children and staff at the day nursery on Romsey Road, which is powered by green electricity and has zero waste to landfill.
An overjoyed West Downs Day Nursery Manager, Jack Meekings, said the award was the result of years of continuous dedication by staff and children, working together in the global Eco-schools programme.
“We are absolutely delighted to have earnt this award. Respecting and caring for the planet is an important lesson which we believe will stand the children in good stead for life. The fact that our children understand the importance of protecting the environment is brilliant and should be celebrated,” he said.
In the garden outside, children grow and tend to fruit, vegetables and herbs all year round. Once picked, the produce is explored for learning purposes and used by Nursery Chefs in meals for the children.
The garden also plays host to a number of animal habitats, including a bug hotel and the children’s hand-made birdfeeders to encourage biodiversity.
Activities, such as crafting with natural materials, are designed to promote the development of personal, social and emotional life skills as well as introducing the children to basic maths, science and environmental messages.
“The activities are extremely popular with the children and we love seeing how much they enjoy being outside and tending to the eco-projects,” said Team Leader and member of the nursery’s Eco-Committee, Amy Stubbington.
The committee also consists of a number of children who ensure that the rest of the nursery is environmentally considerate. To attain Green Flag accreditation, West Downs had to first obtain Bronze and Silver status before a seven step programme led by the Eco-Committee.
To mark the achievement, West Downs held a themed dress up day where children and colleagues were encouraged to wear green, whilst sweet treats were on offer to celebrate gaining the sought-after award during such uncertain times.