Broadway nursery, Ponteland
What shall we do with our new outdoor space?
Broadway nursery has children between 2 ½ and 5 and is based in a church hall. The church have ‘given’ the nursery an outside fenced off area by the church. Although not a huge space, this area provides a lot of interest with a sloping grassed area and two trees. Rather than make any physical changes to the site the staff were keen to look at how they and the children could use the space better.
The main focus to start with was to make the site safe and secure, to fundraise and to identify and obtain resources that might be needed. However they quickly moved on and now have a range of resources to encourage the children outside to give them new opportunities and experiences crucial to their development and well being. These include a water butt, outdoor display boards, storage facilities, a digging area and a growing area. They have also accumulated a range of natural and manmade resources which are used in a variety of ways. The staff and children get outside as often as they can and have enjoyed exploring how the space and resources can be used. There are few fixed, permanent features as the staff wish to make the relatively small space as versatile as possible. Much time has been spent with the children finding out how they use the space, the activities they undertake, and building on these.
The Staff and children have achieved so much in a relatively short time, with minimal expense, and have really enjoyed developing and using their outdoor area. The flexible approach to using the space, along with the knowledge and enthusiasm of the staff means that as older children move on and younger ones join, each child can influence how it is used and developed further.
Support was provided in a number of ways – staff meetings, a site visit, written report, fundraising ideas and workshops with children.
“Anita has been an invaluable source of information, advice and support in the development of our outdoor area. She has understood our vision and is guiding us on our journey.” Sandra Brown, Broadway Nursery, Ponteland.