Inspirational Nursery Chain Goes Green
The Eco-Schools team are ecstatic to celebrate with the award-winning, employee-owned Childbase Partnership, who have this week achieved their long-term aspiration of gaining Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation in each of their 44 nurseries!
Mark Bird, Health, Safety and Environment Director at Childbase Partnership said:
“This has been a mammoth project but it is really only a start. Currently we have 14 nurseries with two consecutive Green Flag awards and we aim to increase that to firmly cement Childbase Partnership as the centre for Early Years environmental education.”
The Eco-Schools team, and especially Eco-Schools Coordinator Francis, are particularly delighted to celebrate this achievement because Childbase Partnership was instrumental in the development of the Eco-Schools Early Years pathway. For over 2 decades the company has proved that even the youngest members of our society can make a difference and be eco too… it was even a Childbase Partnership focus group who helped shape the Early Years Eco-Schools criteria prior to launching our Early Years pathway!
We asked the staff at Childbase Partnership for ten tips to help other nurseries get to Green Flag:
- Remember environmental education is education – you can achieve outstanding learning during engaging activities on environmental topics.
- Engage your team – people are increasingly passionate about the environment and you can build on that.
- Set SMART targets – Eco-Schools Manager Lee particularly loves this tip!
- Do a little bit, often, rather than try to cram topics in where they don’t fit.
- Make use of your surroundings such as local parks.
- Be frugal, you don’t need to spend money to be green; reuse and recycle are key messages and should be at the heart of projects.
- Engage parents. This means key messages continue in to home life and cascade to a wider audience.
- Have fun – a lot of sustainability news is negative and doom-centric, but these activities are fun and engaging with real world benefits.
- Be role models for your children – we are passionate about respecting and protecting the environment and this impacts children’s understanding and learning in the focus topics.
- Check out the Eco-Schools social media pages with tonnes of ideas on the various topics.
… and we also asked some of their little people for tips too:
- We have to look after our planet to take care of the whales, help the plants grow and keep us healthy.
- Instead of picking up rubbish and putting it in the bin, we can recycle it into something else.
- If we throw rubbish in the sea then a dolphin could eat it.
- Recycling and not littering helps people.
On the way to achieving 44 Eco-Schools Green Flags Childbase Partnership nurseries completed numerous eco-projects that have engaged and inspired their children, whilst having a positive impact on the planet we inhabit. In Julia Durbin Day Nursery, Oxford children upcycled cardboard boxes into rocket shops talking about the importance of recycling along the way. In Greengables Day Nursery, Sandhurst children grew their own herbs including as many bee and butterfly-friendly plants as possible learning how to look after plants and taking ownership over their local environment. In Windermere Day Nursery, Kettering children decided to grow strawberries, carrots, beans, corns, courgettes, potatoes and herbs – each child takes responsibility for nurturing growth and they’re at their happiest when taste-testing their produce. In fact there were so many great examples, that you can expect to see more examples from Childbase Partnership ‘sprouting’ across the Early Years section of the Eco-Schools website in the coming weeks.
Finally, we wanted to hear about the impacts of their Eco-Schools work on their children and community:
“There is a real pride amongst parents and the staff team about how our children are embracing their responsibilities to the environment. I never get tired of parent stories of young children telling them off for putting recyclable waste in the wrong bin or for not turning off their lights.”
Emma Wallbridge, Manager of the Outstanding Ofsted-rated Julia Durbin Day Nursery in Oxford
“All the children love the activities and are learning so much about maths, science and the environment as they go. We are excited about the levels of collaboration we are seeing between all the children and how responsible they are in looking after their plants and eco-projects.”
Carol McDonough, Manager of Pennypot Day Nursery in Chobham
Thank you so much Childbase Partnership from the Eco-Schools Team – you are an inspiration!