A Parent-Run Nursery
At Grasshoppers you will find the involvement of parents is much greater than at usual nurseries. Grasshoppers gives you a unique opportunity to be directly involved in decisions about all aspects of the running of the nursery. Everything from gardening and organising special events to preparing the accounts and fundraising is handled by those parents who opt for a role.
The parental involvement has given me extra skills (I can now run payroll!) as well as letting me get to know the staff and other parents in a meaningful way.
Ginny, July 2012
My time as a volunteer parent has been a very rewarding and fulfilling experience… getting to know the children, loving and nurturing them during their stay here… I’ve received so much more than I’ve given to the Nursery.
Ines, July 2012
A parent who chooses to be directly involved in the nursery benefits from a monthly discount on their fees as well as the opportunity to shape the way our nursery runs. Each parent is asked to take a specific role according to their particular skills. There is a monthly meeting for all parents and staff to discuss how they feel things are going and make decisions on how improvements can be made.
Our ethos is laid out in the Grasshoppers Manifesto.
Opening times and vacancies
The nursery is open from Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 6pm. We offer a range of places from a minimum of 2 days, to 5 days full-time. The fee structure is flexible, offering a range of part time and full time options.
All applications are treated on a first come first served basis. Please fill out an Application form (updated Oct 2013) and you will be added to our waiting list. As soon as a place becomes available we will let you know.
Grasshoppers boasts an exciting programme of creative activities, outdoors and in. Our weekly Art Hoppers art sessions have been introducing the children to a world of artistic expression and, when spring began slowly to stir this year, the art class decamped to the the park for a fresh look at the wonderful surroundings they enjoy so much. Art Hoppers is delivered by local artists Ines Szamrey and Claire Ward-Thorntonthroughout the year. Each term we start with a new theme such as ‘art history’ or ‘the park’ . Weekly sessions start with the inspiration of a playful anecdote and visual references and end by gathering in a circle to talk about the work created. There are no ready made templates to decorate or colour in, the aim is for each child to produce something different based on their own ideas and imagination. The sessions are fun, messy and occasionally chaotic but voices are heard and incredible original artworks are made.
In a parallel project our new weekly Sound Hoppers sessions have seen the Grasshoppers children gripped with curiosity over the qualities of sound made by different objects presented in our acoustic laptop. Visit our Sound Hoppers gallery for more info…
Starting in March this year, Grasshoppers started hosting a Forst School program at Springfield Park each Wednesday.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment – Forest Education Initiative (FEI)
Based on a Scandinavian idea of embracing the outdoors as a learning environment, Forest School involves children working with a Forest School Leader on a frequent basis, ideally once a week, in a local woodland setting or on a designated Forest School site. We will be taking the Grasshopper’s to Hackney City Farm, where the Forest School Leader has designated a small woodland area for the children to explore. Forest School uses learning and teaching strategies which raise self-esteem and develop confidence, independence, language and communication skills. The Forest School Leader will be working with the Grasshopper staff to carry themes looked at in the classroom into the woodland. The Forest School sessions are not an ‘addition’ but are part of the children’s learning experiences, part of their nursery week. Sessions take place in all weathers, so it is important that the children are dressed warmly. We ask for children to wear long sleeves and long trousers/ tights as this helps protect arms and legs from scratches and brambles.
Every Friday between 10am and 12pm the Nursery holds an outreach session to which all families in the local community are invited. There is a charge of £2.50 per child, ￡1.50 for subsequent children of same family/carer.
The session is publicised locally and children are free to come and explore the nursery and participate in any of the activities which take place. These usually include arts and crafts and our very popular music sessions with our two visiting artists; multi instrumentalist Jorge the Music Man and Dafydd, a qualified music teacher.
In these fun and exciting sessions children can sing along, dance, experience a variety of musical instruments and even learn to conduct! Although the Outreach session is much busier than a normal day it can give you a sense of what the nursery is like.
We take pride in being a creative organisation and deliver inspiring artistic projects such as our exhibition “is that an Octopus?“ which presented art work created by parents and their children for two months (May – July 2012) in a cafe on Stoke Newington Church Street.
The exhibition had an interactive element which invited members of the public to submit drawings of their very own octopus. You can see the submissions and find out more about the project on our micro website www.grasshoppersinthepark.co.uk/octopus
We plan to deliver a new exhibition in 2013 in Spark cafe, Springfield park. Keep an eye for details.
We also organise community events throughout the year. Previously our fundraising activities such as the Spring Fair in our garden, has proven very popular with the local community, thanks to St. Thomas’s Church.
Other events include tea parties in the local park. Below, our 2012 summer picnic to celebrate a great year and give our older children and their families a happy farewell as they prepare for the move up to school.