The Mulberry Bush Montessori Nursery opened in 1995, moving to current premises in Melrose Road 2000 and changing ownership in 2003. We have recently changed the status of our company from sole trader to a Limited company and have therefore had to re-register with Ofsted which has resulted in a new registration number. Details about our setting can be found on the early years register, Ofsted under our old registration number of EY262805 or our current registration number which is EY479688.
The Mulberry Bush is a homely, warm and welcoming child centred environment. We provide outstanding, high quality inclusive care and education for children aged from two and a half to five years. The prepared environment itself is a very important aspect of the Montessori philosophy and every aspect of our nursery is carefully designed to encourage children’s positive self-esteem, confidence, fine motor skills, dexterity, hand-eye coordination which in turn supports greater concentration and independence and promotes children’s holistic development and learning. The children are free to move between the different rooms throughout the session, accessing the many activities, mediums and resources that feed their imagination and inspire their naturally inquisitive and curious natures.
Arts & Crafts Room
We have a beautiful and well-resourced art and crafts room, promoting creativity through fun, hands on experiences, exploration and investigation through a balance of child initiated and adult led creative activities. There are permanent construction materials and small world play resources available such as the brio train track and the doll’s house as well as freely available painting, sticking and play dough modelling, all kinds of mark making activities and resources. Each day a different member of the team will plan an activity in the art room, this may be working within a small group to create something for our display, individually based or working in pairs. It is often related to our project or something topical and may be art and crafts, cooking, planting, clay modelling, musical instruments or exploring water or different mediums.
Imaginative Play Room: The home corner room
Leading off the arts and crafts room we have a lovely home corner. This is a small, cosy room, with child size furniture, play resources and dressing up clothes to inspire imaginative role play. Princess Elsa can often be seen organising granddad Ted’s tea party, whilst the Dr is treating Mrs Bear’s broken arm and the vet is called to treat the pet rabbit, meanwhile superman may fly in to rescue us all from some baddies J, there is never a dull moment in the home corner.
Cloak room and Lobby: Children’s toilets
The children’s cloakroom and a lobby separates the main rooms. The children have their own peg and we have a parents notice board. The children’s toilets are child size to encourage good hygiene and greater independence, they maintained and cleaned continuously throughout the day.
The Montessori children’s room:
The Montessori room is a large, light and airy child centred classroom, resourced with a wide range of wonderful Montessori materials and activities that inspire exploration and investigation through fun, hands on experiences. Didactic materials that provide an array of learning opportunities to challenge and promote problem solving skills and concepts, promoting children’s holistic development and learning. There are five main areas: Practical Life Activities which include spooning, pouring, tongs and tweezers, threading and dressing frames. Lots of fun practical activities that promote fine motor skills, dexterity, hand eye coordination, confidence, positive self-esteem, concentration and independence. The sensorial area offers a range of resources that promote early mathematical concepts such as matching, sorting, grading and comparing, one to one correspondence, discrimination through the senses, working with colour, shape, size. The cultural activities provide activities to discover and learn such as sink and float, magnets, life cycles, animals, plants, people of the world, continents, water and land forms. We also have a computer the children enjoy using, developing hand eye coordination and developing an array of skills and concepts. A quiet, relaxing book corner, where the children (and staff J) can sit and enjoy a book together, or have a little rest on the sofa with soft toys, listen to soft music and gaze at our beautiful aquarium. The Mathematics area: whilst we provide opportunities to promote mathematical concepts across the curriculum and throughout the environment, through our planning and practical situations and scenarios, we also provide a more structured mathematical base through the Montessori maths materials, starting with the sensorial to ensure they have grasped those early concepts of size, shape and the early mathematical language to compare and describe. Once the child has completed some of the sensorial activities they will be introduced to the more structured maths activities involving counting quantities, numerals to 10 > 19 > simple addition and subtraction and lots of different experiences of numbers to 10> that will encourage a broad understanding and the ability to apply their mathematical knowledge to a range of practical situations and solve simple mathematical problems. Literacy: Again letters and sounds, books, mark making, language and communication is something we promote throughout the nursery through everything we do, plan and provide, but we also have a more structured Montessori literacy programme that when the child is ready will promote early reading and writing skills.
All weather outdoor play area: Continuous provision
Leading off of the main classroom we have a secure outdoor play area, which provides continuous provision inside and out, no matter what the weather. This too is resourced with a range of activities to promote all areas of development and learning and has the added value of a, large digging plot, mud kitchen, large sand pit and balancing scales, a shop and lots of other fun things to do.
We also have a lovely spacious natural garden with large equipment and natural resources such as climbing frames, slides, rope ladder, see-saw, three bears cottage, stepping logs, large pirate ship and sand pit, sailing boat, push and pull toys and bikes, trikes and scooters, rest areas, tables and benches with sun shades.
Whilst our prepared and enabling environment is a very important aspect of our provision, we believe the single most important resource we can provide is the adults within it. It is the adults within an early year’s provision that will provide the safety, the stability and the confidence young children need to flourish. Our established team of caring, qualified and experienced practitioners are our most valuable resource. We share the same vision and aims for high quality, inclusive childcare and have high aspirations for every child. We provide high adult to child ratios to ensure we can develop positive, caring and informed relationships with each child to promote their safety and wellbeing, personal, social and emotional development, support them to manage their own behaviour and to become confident communicators. We support and encourage each child individually and as part of a group by scaffolding and extending their learning and development, enhanced by the one to one engagement across the Montessori curriculum within an enabling and positive environment. The Montessori ethos is one of calm, a hive of activity where children are free to move from room to room and inside to outside as they wish, to make choices and are encouraged to explore, experience and enjoy learning through fun, interesting and challenging activities.