A Telford-based nursery chain has become the first business in Shropshire to win a national accreditation for the back to basics approach.
The Curiosity Approach to pre-school education was adopted by bosses at ABC Day Nursery in Lightmoor a year ago and this week received the news their hard work had paid off to be officially accredited.
The nursery chain is the first in the county to achieve the national accreditation and one of only 14 nurseries nationwide.
It has proved so successful it will now be rolled out further across the other three Ofsted Outstanding settings. Staff at ABC Hollinswood and ABC Hoo at Preston-upon-the-Weald Moors have already started implementing the approach.
Some other nurseries may follow the idea but are not be accredited by The Curiosity Approach.
The innovative idea to scrap plastic toys and replace them with real life items from around the home was the brainchild of Midlands nursery owners Lyndsay Hellyn and Stephanie Bennett.
Instead of playing with plastic blocks, tea sets, toy telephones, and a variety of other equipment children are given wooden blocks, real life blankets, china tea cups and saucers, and other household bric-a-brac. The aim is for children to use their imaginations more and learn how real objects feel and act.
ABC Lightmoor was the first nursery in Shropshire to adopt the Curiosity Approach in late 2017, since then staff have been amazed at the positive impact it has made.
Owner Penny Hustwick said she has always been fascinated by the new approach to playing and learning, and that it has proved a hit with the children.
“To receive this wonderful news that we are the first nursery in Shropshire to be officially accredited by The Curiosity Approach is wonderful news and is a testament to the hard work of all of my staff over the last 12 months.
“The approach has really given a wonderful homely feel and atmosphere to Lightmoor. The children absolutely love playing with the real household items – nursery really has become a home away from home for them,” said Penny.
“Myself and my staff have always found the approach fascinating and we are so pleased with the way parents and children have embraced the change too. We love seeing children develop here and the new way of playing where they are really encouraged to use their imaginations has enabled them to flourish and grow, it is a joy to see,” she added.
Lyndsey Hellyn, co-founder of The Curiosity Approach confirmed ABC Day Nursery in Telford was the first to be accredited in the county and one of only 14 across the UK.
Thanks to the success of the approach at Lightmoor, parents and children at ABC Hollinswood and ABC Hoo can now experience The Curiosity Approach for themselves. In order to provide as much equipment as possible nursery bosses are hoping parents may be able to donate household items to help create a homely play area for the children.
“We would be extremely grateful for anything parents are able to give, anything from old china tea cups and saucers, to blankets, bookcases, or old wooden toys are very much appreciated.
“We have been overwhelmed by parents and grandparents who have kindly made us equipment to support The Curiosity Approach out of logs and wood for indoor and outdoor use,” Penny said.