Here at Boldon Outdoor Nursery we are immersed in a unique environment which allows us to cultivate learning in a way that embraces the unique child, nurturing their interests and extending their understanding, giving children space and time to learn in and with nature inside outside and beyond, building relationships with the land and each other.

We provide children with provocations and fascinations to spark their imagination and curiosity. Creating adventurous and often ambitious opportunities for children to explore, supporting them to make sense of the world around them.

Creativity and curiosity are at the heart of everything we do! It is the role of our exceptionally skilled practitioners to ignite or follow a spark to move and respond to the child’s journey wherever it may take them. Practitioners do this by facilitating quality interactions, following lines of enquiry, researching, planning and reflecting together.  It is critical that practitioners tune into children’s interests to scaffold and support their learning every step of the way. Practitioners must be responsive, subjective and relationship focused in the work we do with children.

Our rich and varied curriculum promotes a curiosity towards all aspects of learning.  Immersed in nature, children lead their own learning and play with a sense of awe and wonder. Day to day, month by month, season to season, working with the elements…every day is an adventure.

The garden is a magical place with an extensive landscape carefully planned to meet the needs of all children. Boldon has an indoor space which houses a beautiful studio, bathroom facilities, dining facilities and changing area. A transition space creates the perfect base for our youngest children ensuring they are introduced to the outdoor offer carefully and at their own pace.

Our ‘beyond’ is our local beaches from Whitburn extending up the coastline to Druridge Bay. Souter lighthouse is a key location and an anchor in our garden to give children a link to our explorations further afield.  The Barn at Easington gives us a dense forest area which links us to places such as Herrigton Park and Gibside. Our local park (Doxford Park) offers climbing slate and trees, making dens and embracing the natural environment.

Prime Areas of Learning, outlined in the Early Years framework, (communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development) are facilitated through carefully planned provision both indoors and outdoors.  Practitioners plan opportunities to promote quality interactions, exciting explorations and project-based learning.  In addition, children’s development is aided by a sensory environment, a visually informative environment and a gentle, consistent daily routine which underpins our effective practice.  The Specific Areas of Learning (literacy, mathematics, understanding the world, expressive arts and design) are weaved throughout the setting.  We strongly believe these elements are embedded in all that we do and are not isolated subjects to teach and learn.  Learning experiences often link to a story, an event, a project or a real-life experience, ensuring learning is meaningful and relevant.

We place great emphasis on an ‘enabling environment’ which is lead by Nature Pedagogy and influenced by elements of the Reggio Emilia approach.  We want children to thrive and develop in an enriched learning environment that is cared for and respected by both staff and children. An environment that excites and inspires, encouraging curiosity and engagement. A homely environment where children feel safe, secure, cared for and happy.

Happiness and well-being are priority for our children. Practitioners nurture the confidence and self – esteem of all children ensuring they develop appropriate social skills to communicate and interact effectively both inside and outside of nursery.

We want children to feel like ‘partners in learning’, confident and independent to explore resources and environments knowing that they have the support of our dedicated practitioners who will support them on each new journey of discovery.  We want children to be individuals, to think and make decisions for themselves, to negotiate and problem solve, to have empathy and understanding towards others.  To recognise differences, similarities, and treat each other as equals and with respect.

We support children to develop the essential soft skills outlined in the Characteristics of Effective Learning:

  • playing and exploring – children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
  • active learning – children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
  • creating and thinking critically – children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things

Our dynamic approach builds enthusiasm and promotes a passion for learning.  Our philosophy alongside an alternative and dynamic provision creates an exciting context to enable children to make sense of the world around them. Through exciting experiences both on site and ‘beyond’, children are intrinsically motivated to read and write (at the developmentally appropriate range), to solve problems, to calculate, to make predictions and reflections, to refer to existing knowledge making links between our setting, previous experiences and home, to express themselves through art and media, to be kind and caring towards themselves and others and essentially to think outside the box! We aim to create a magical experience for all children, supporting them to explore the world with awe and wonder.

Throughout a child’s journey with us we aim to support the development of the following core values:

  • Enthusiasm for learning
  • A Growth Mindset, believing that skills and abilities can be developed/improved through a positive attitude, effort, perserverence, persistence and by reflecting on and learning from setbacks
  • An awareness and understanding of a variety of emotions and how to effectively manage them
  • A sense of awe and wonder about the wider world around and beyond them
  • A strong foundation of knowledge and skills
  • Ways to communicate effectively with others
  • A sense of being part of a wider community embracing similarities and differences
  • An open mind in an ever evolving world
  • Respect for themselves and each other
  • Confidence in their own skills, strengths and capabilities
  • An ability to think for themselves
  • Empathy and compassion
  • An ability to assess and take risks in all areas of learning

“Children are natural scientists, artists, mathematicians, authors, and scholars. From the time they are born, they seek out information about the world around them in an effort to construct meaning and further their development. Playful learning is the magic that takes place when we meld a child’s sense of joy and wonder with thoughtfully planned learning experiences that encourage learning and impart the joy of discovery.” 

(Bruehl 2011)