Short day: 9.30am – 3.30pm
Long day: 8.00am – 6.00pm
The nursery opens on a daily basis at 8.00am. Creative and educational activities are laid out on the tables for the children to choose from and enjoy freely. The daily routine begins at 9:30am when all children have arrived. We always start with Circle Time where everyone comes together to talk, sing and read stories. A light snack is provided at around 10.30am.
Grasshoppers in the Park
Our name is significant in that it describes the key activity which sets our nursery apart from others. A daily outing (to Springfield park or another excursion) follows the morning snack. We strongly believe that our daily walks in the park represent an educational opportunity and that the outdoors hold all that is valuable and important to growing and learning children. The safety of the children is taken very seriously with a high ratio of adults to children. The adults on duty that day walk with the children, holding hands and the children wear bibs to clearly identify them as being a Grasshopper. (A more detailed explanation of our policies can be provided, please contact us for details).
The children also use local facilities, such as the library and, from time to time, go further afield – recent trips have included Discover Children’s Story Centre, Little Angel Theatre, Tate Modern, Hackney City Farm, the Museum of Childhood, Kew Gardens and the Science Museum. Parents are invited to come along if they can.
The children are back from their morning walk for lunch at 1pm.
Food and Drink
Our trained nutritionist Nives lovingly plans and cooks all the children’s meals in our kitchen on site. There is a strong emphasis on good quality, locally produced organic food whenever possible. The children really enjoy eating their lunch together and all specific food requirements or allergies are catered for. Healthy snacks are also provided to share in the morning and afternoon which always include fresh fruit and vegetables. Please take a look at our delicious weekly menu.
The small size of the nursery gives it a warm and homely feel and the food in the nursery is brilliant and made from scratch. Ruby seems to eat a lot for her lunch there – much more than at home!
Trine, mother of Ruby
After lunch the sleepers have a nap and the older children play outside in our garden or if it’s raining they take part in indoor activities suitable for their age group. Everyone is awake by 4pm at which time there is another snack. After that, there is a period of free play until parents come to collect their child.
Creativity is key to our children’s learning at Grasshoppers. Art and crafts are always available, and activities such as cooking, music, gym and gardening happen every day. We encourage free play during the afternoons, which offers a great opportunity for the children to explore their imagination, communicate ideas and express their emotional and physical selves.
Grasshoppers boasts an exciting programme of creative activities, outdoors and indoors. 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 park for a fresh look at the wonderful surroundings they enjoy so much. Art Hoppers is delivered by local artist Claire Ward-Thornton throughout 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.
Grasshoppers hosts a Forest 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 take the Grasshopper’s to Springfield Park, where our Forest School Leader Bruce uses learning and teaching strategies to raise self-esteem and develop confidence, independence, language and communication skills. The Forest School sessions are not considered an ‘addition’ but are a part of the children’s learning experiences and 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.
Music & Play
Every Friday between 11am and 12pm the Nursery holds an outreach session to which all families in the local community are invited.
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 Michelle Hepworth. In these fun and exciting sessions, children can sing along, dance, experience a variety of musical instruments and even learn to conduct!
We take pride in being a creative organisation and delivering inspiring artistic projects into the wider local community. We also aim to include the local community through our Friday drop-in sessions, monthly swap shops and parties throughout the year.
We also have our annual summer picnic in Springfield Park to celebrate a great year and to give our older children and their families a happy farewell as they prepare for the move up to school.