We take full advantage of the wonderful location in which we find ourselves and our policy is to spend as much time as possible outdoors. We regularly take the children on walks in the surrounding countryside and follow trails through local woodland, developing our own Forest Adventures programme. We enjoy picnics in woods and fields and gather leaves, berries and wild flowers, which we bring back to Nursery to press, or use to dye hankerchiefs. We pick apples and plums in season and make our own pies and crumbles. We sow seeds and grow vegetable, and our lovely garden is also home to our chickens, quail and guinea pigs, which the children help to care for. But most popular of all for the children, is finding the biggest puddles when we go on our walks, and jumping in them!
The four main rooms in the Nursery are named after birds. Each morning the children meet in the Robins Room, where we talk about what we are going to do that day. The children can then choose to stay in the Robins Room for free play at the start of the day, or go to the Owls Room for a learning session of phonics, number, colour matching and book work, using our pre-school writing and activity books. Our policy is to let the children stay together as a group of mixed ages, and to allow them to choose which activity they want to do, as their interests dictate. Some children may choose to go to the Sparrows Room, where exciting craft and messy play activities take place, different ones each day. Others may opt for playing in our large garden, with the tree house, sand pit, climbing frame, dens and secret pathways.
Our aim at Elswick House is to give children the best possible start in life and to ensure that, when they go to school, they are confident, independent and sociable young people, with a highly developed curiosity and a love of learning.