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The Mayor of Bath has launched a new era of learning and play at Miles House Day Nursery following a make-over that puts the ‘great’ into their outdoor environments.
Councillor William Sandry joined parents, children and staff for celebrations at the newly refurbished and extended day nursery in Dunsford Place, Bathwick Hill where attractions include a child-sized farm shop, tractor, wicker animals and roadway with garage.
Unveiling a commemorative plaque in the new oak-framed and glass-sided preschool building and cutting a cake styled on the new garden, Cllr. Sandry praised dedicated staff.
“I am particularly delighted to see the imaginative use of garden space which clearly encourages children into the fresh air all year round. Quite apart from the health benefits of fresh air and exercise, I can see that children are having fun and, as a result, learning a great deal,” he said.
Miles House Manager, Shabana Mall, said staff were as excited as the children with the new facilities and attractions: “We have to engage a child’s natural curiosity and wonder at the earliest opportunity and our magical garden is doing just that; inspiring staff and children alike and providing endless opportunities for fun and learning.”
In all but the most extreme weather, budding farmers can organise their ‘livestock’ and plant, tend and harvest herbs and vegetables learning maths, science and respect for the environment as they go. Harvests can be ‘sold’ in the farm shop or provide snacks in nursery where healthy eating and lifestyle messages are promoted.
“All children, including babies, are encouraged to explore and investigate and to question and contribute in a process that not only builds self-esteem but helps practitioners identify particular interests and talents,” said Shabana.
In fact, nearly all activities in the imaginative, age-appropriate play and learning spaces inside, transfer into the great outdoors with children moving between the two environments to, for example, record insect and bug discoveries on computers, or take art and craft materials and tools outside to experiment with colour around the water feature, or create a display of natural ‘finds’ on the decking.
“I am particularly delighted with the new and separate preschool suite which will enable us to do more in incorporating the required independence skills for each school into nursery activities and welcome future educators to meet and spend time with children before they graduate,” said Shabana.
The celebrations were also attended by children’s cartoon favourite, Peppa Pig, who presided over themed activities like ‘pin the tail on Peppa Pig’ and face-painting carried out by Paula Arcanjo Inacio, mother of Lucy Tucker, who will be two years old in March.
Miles House Day Nursery is part of the award-winning Childbase Partnership, the UK’s 10th largest employee-owned business and one of only 139 organisations to be rated ‘Extraordinary’ by Best Companies last year.