What We DoGreenwood Philosophy
Holistic learning is at the centre of the Greenwood philosophy. As well as incorporating Greenwood’s core principles in all we do, our team focus on creating activities that not only integrate the 7 areas of learning set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage, but ensure the physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of the children in our care. We have devised our own interactive planning boards as a tool to ensure our staff can implement this approach on a daily basis. We have created our own curriculum centred around Planet Earth which our staff structure their activities around.
We know that children learn best through play and exploration. It is therefore our duty to create an environment that allows a child the freedom to explore their curiosities. We see our classroom as another teacher and have set it up into different areas that are accessible for children at all times. These areas include, a messy play area, an arts and crafts area, a role play area and home corner, a book corner and small world/construction area. Our teachers are there to follow the child through their play so they can best build learning experiences using the child’s interests and play patterns as a foundation.
At Greenwood we understand the importance of children exploring the world around them. We believe strongly in the forest school approach and have regular forest school sessions throughout the week whether on site or exploring the nearby woods. The NHS recommend that a child should be active for a minimum of 3 hours a day and we adhere to this through our numerous extracurricular activities including weekly sport sessions and tennis sessions that are delivered outside.
We see London as our classroom and take full advantage of all it has to offer. We are lucky enough to have a minibus to take the children to numerous locations in and around London to help enrich their experience. We are not restricted to the minibus and also use a variety of public transport methods, which doubles up as a great learning experience for the children too.
At Greenwood we understand the importance of supporting the community around us. The children go on regular visits to the local library, post office and other amenities to give them a sense of being part of a local community. On top of this we support our local butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers by using them to supply our kitchen’s larder.
We take great pride in our intergenerational learning projects with each school being paired with a local care home.
To further support our local community, we have set up our own food collection which the children deliver to our local food bank.
We are also acutely aware that as a school we are responsible for nurturing a strong Greenwood community amongst children, parents and staff. Each school has their own PTA which meet regularly to help support the parents wants and needs. These include organising charity events, picnics, parent’s football games, parent’s drink nights and more which help to enhance the community spirit. We also celebrate and promote interschool communities and our schools regularly organise trips and forest school sessions together.
This is not only the learning environment we create within the setting, but also how we strive as a school to limit our impact on the natural world.
Each of our classrooms are set-up into a number of learning zones, where the children are free to explore through play. These zones include book corners, role-play areas, messy play areas, and arts and crafts.
All products used at the nursery are organic – from the sun cream and toothpaste to all food and cleaning products. We concentrate on minimising our food waste, creating menus that include ingredients that are in season and responsibly sourced.
Where possible, all our nurseries are powered with renewable energy and all rubbish is recycled responsibly. We also encourage the children to bring in packaging from home for junk modelling.
When visiting the parks the children take litter pickers to help tidy up the world around them. At the end of the year, the Sycamore’s visit the local recycling plant to further their understanding of this process. Though we accept that plastic resources are still needed at the school as and when we can replace them, we do so with the products made using natural/recycled material and we offer all our unwanted resources to community groups and charity shops.
At Greenwood we offer children five meals a day including Breakfast, Morning Snack, Lunch, Afternoon Snack and Tea. We therefore take great responsibility in making sure our children are fed to the best possible standard! All our food is cooked on site by our school chef using organic produce and all our meat is free range and picked up weekly from the local butcher.
As a school we follow the Eat Better Start Better guide which not only benefits what the children are eating but how much they are eating too! The children are given the independence to choose what they want at the table and all mealtimes offer alternative salad & carbohydrate options so there is always choice and variety. We are aware of the importance of oral health and all our children brush their teeth after lunch using toothbrushes and toothpaste
Each week we celebrate and focus on a different fruit or vegetable that is in season. Our cook will cook them in a variety of different ways and introduce them in the children’s cooking activities.
Our cook also offers the children opportunities throughout the week to help with the cooking, so they have an understanding what goes in their food. These include making our treat of the week helping top our pizzas with a variety of vegetables, as well as preparing our ‘fruit/vegetable of the week’ in a variety of ways! Once a week we will also make our sandwiches for lunch too with a variety of fillings, giving the children further opportunity to choose what they eat! Our chef also takes part in our planning so she can prepare anything which is on topic from a Chinese themed lunch for Chinese New Year to preparing Haggis for Burns Night.
As a school we do have many children with allergies and other eating restrictions, and it is our duty to make sure these children have alternative nutritious options at every meal. All staff are fully trained in dealing with allergies and we also have a colour coded crockery system at all meals to make sure allergens are highlighted at all time