Sustainability the new norm

Our planet is facing the most enormous challenges and everyone needs to work towards stabilising climate change and the depletion of species (including our own). We are committed to reducing our operational impact and this commitment has always been part of our offering. We have maintained this ecological stance by adopting many sustainable policies & practices, these pervade all that we do and stand for.

Buildings

In 1995 we built our 1st nursery building from 90% recycled and up-cycled materials. In 1997 we built our Art studio, again using reclaimed resources. In 2009 we fitted solar panels and in 2018 we started to fit timed LED lighting. We are now considering geo-thermic heating for the future.

Administration

  • by using cloud based apps and reporting systems we are now 85% paperless
  • website and electronic communication is more efficient and green form of advertising.

Caring Practices & Resources

We use:

  • Bamboo tooth brushes, cotton flannels and soap bars
  • Wet bags
  • We make our own baby wipes or use cotton wool and water.
  • We are old school in so far as children use fabric napkins and table cloths, which we launder using eco washing nuts.

We have phased out 99% of our plastic aprons. We encourage families to toilet train earlier to reduce dependency on disposables (or not so disposable as the case maybe). The benefits of early onset toilet training is felt by all concerned....except the baby product companies.

Teaching Approach

Montessori education has always been sustainable learning, children gradually layer up skills and proficiencies using a wide range of everyday practical & sensory activities. This approach is a more successful pathway to abstraction. Our Montessori learning materials are largely made from naturally occurring materials from sustainable sources. In our art classes, we use natural, recycled or up-cycled materials, in line with our Reggio and Forest school practices.

Nutrition

Over the years, ideas in respect of healthy nutrition has changed markedly, after a brief experimentation with out-sourcing, we have now brought back all our food preparation in-house. We try very hard to purchase local food including huge amounts of fruits and vegetables. Fruit is served with every meal. We no longer roast meat as often as we did and in 2019 we made the decision not to cook beef or lamb opting instead to prepare many more vegetarian meals. When planning menus we include the preferences of our children who often help us prepare meals as part of their community activities. Plastic food packaging is next for reduction, we have already phased out plastic milk bottles and cling film in favour of glass and wax wraps.

Environment

Much of our beautiful Community Playthings furniture and resources are pre-loved, we recycle and up-cycle where we can. Our classroom walls are calm and uncluttered, we use ecologically sound paint. Outside we grow fruit and vegetables irrigated by harvested rain water and children play in our grounds or in local woodlands using sustainable Forest school approaches and practices.