Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Description

BACKGROUND

Heydays is a small pre-school based in Four Marks in Hampshire. It has been established for over 30 years and is a highly regarded educational asset in the local community. It is proud to have achieved a “Good” rating in its recent Ofsted inspection. It provides pre-school facilities for children within the age range 2 to 5 years, is based on the campus of the Four Mark School site and serves children from the surrounding villages.

The pre-school, which is a registered charity (Reg. charity 1022866), currently has 38 children and with significant changes being implemented by the Government to increase the affordability and supply of childcare, Heydays has seen a significant increase in the demand for pre-school places.

The Pre-school is administrated by an elected committee which includes parents and representatives from the pre-school staff.

PROPOSAL

We are seeking funding of £1000 to introduce a sensory garden and vegetable patch for the next academic year.

In a world where children spend many hours in front of screens and immersed in virtual reality, outdoor learning is an increasingly important aspect of a child’s development. It helps them develop an awareness of their environment and learn about nature. Outdoor play and outdoor activities also progress cognitive development, generate physical confidence and improve motor and social skills.

Our sensory garden will be a collection of plants and materials with different textures, shapes, colours, scents and heights, laid out to stimulate the senses. It will be a safe and enjoyable educational tool that allows them to explore and learn about their senses. While in the garden, the children will be encouraged to touch, smell, taste, and generally interact with the environment around them. The vegetable patch will provide an opportunity for our children to learn and have fun through planting and harvesting vegetables, and getting up close to worms, insects and birds. We will build dens, make mud pies count with sticks and play with water. Perhaps even more importantly, the children will eat the produce of their labours. They will find out where and how food is made and (hopefully) develop healthy eating habits in an enjoyable and exciting way.

MATERIALS & FUNDING

We need to purchase a number of items to build the garden. As well as obtaining a selection of plants that stimulate the senses we will need items such as
• raised planters to provide easy access
• trellis for climbers to provide both perspective and privacy
• compost and fertilizer to maintain plant growth
• birdboxes and animal feeders to attract wildlife
• ‘Forest Tree Seat’ to encircle a featured tree within our grounds in memory or a former pupil

BENEFITS

As well as developing a better understanding of their environment and learning to appreciate nature, the children will benefit by gaining:

• an understanding of safety outdoors
• opportunities for social interaction and teamwork
• improved cognitive skills, physical strength and agility
• self-confidence

SUMMARY

We propose to build a sensory garden and vegetable patch for the pre-school. It will allow the children to interact with nature in a safe and controlled environment. It will be a healthy place of discovery and allow them to learn outdoors.



Heydays Pre School

Location: Hampshire, United Kingdom

"We are very proud of our pre-school and strive to provide the best early years education possible.
We delight in seeing all of our children develop from the time they start with us to the time they leave".

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