Grasshoppers Day Nursery in Aylesbury has received the top award in an international schools scheme involving millions of children, spread across 64 countries.
The prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award for environmental awareness and conservation has been awarded to children and staff at the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ Grasshoppers Day Nursery in Wendover Road, which is powered by green electricity and has zero waste to landfill.
An overjoyed Grasshoppers Nursery Manager, Rachel Gooden, said the award was the result of years of continuous dedication by staff and children, working together in
the global Eco-schools programme.
“Respecting and caring for the environment is an important lesson which we believe will stand the children in good stead for life. We have been so thrilled at the enthusiasm shown towards the initiative and can’t wait to continue moving forward in our project.”
“The fact that our children understand the importance of protecting the environment is brilliant and should be celebrated,” she said.
In the eco-garden outside, the children tend to fruit, vegetables and herbs all year round. Once picked, the produce is used in nursery for life drawing sessions, and
explored for learning purposes. The garden also plays host to a number of animal habitats, including a bug hotel, a pond with frogspawn and the children’s hand-made birdfeeders.
The children are currently making eco-bricks which are bottles, filled with plastics that cannot be recycled, to create re-usable building blocks. Parents are also involved in this scheme by providing the nursery with items from home.
Activities, such as crafting with natural and recycled materials, are designed to promote the development of personal, social and emotional life skills as well as
introducing the children to basic maths, science and environmental messages.
“The activities are extremely popular with the children and we love seeing how much they enjoy being outside and tending to the eco-projects,” said Corinna Whitbread,
Deputy Manager at the nursery and a member of the Eco-Committee.
The committee also has eight children from the preschool room who monitor recycling and help their friends ensure resources like paper aren’t wasted; taps are not left running and that knowledge about conservation is shared.
A number of parents are also involved in the committee.
To attain Green Flag accreditation, Grasshoppers had to first obtain Bronze and Silver status before a seven step programme led by the Eco-Committee of children,
parents and Corinna Whitbread, Deputy Manager.
Rigorous vetting of the projects was carried out by an independent inspector who was accompanied by Eco Committee members as she toured the nursery before the sustainable, eco-friendly Green Flag certificate was awarded.