Katie Robertson, Owner and Manager of The Nurture Nursery, Bathgate, took part in Starcatchers’ Creative Skills training in Glasgow 2019. As part of our Making My Mark campaign, she describes her setting’s approach to ensuring the children have as many opportunities as possible to develop agency through the expressive arts and creative experiences.
At Nurture Nursery we introduce new artistic and creative experiences to our youngest children, from 6-months-old. We plan in the moment and follow the child’s lead, an approach that requires confident, creative and dynamic practitioners who can think out of the box and implement new ideas which capture children’s interest and spark creativity!
Every day we see our children are innately creative and we want to nurture that, making sure they experience the big, messy arts and sensory play that allows them to jump straight in. We use real objects and loose parts as open-ended play resources encouraging children to think in new ways within their play.
The Creative Skills training gave me time to immerse myself in the learning experience as though I were a child in nursery. By remembering and experiencing creative play myself I was able to put myself in their shoes and reflected on our children’s time at nursery. Now, when I see a little one who wants to explore the ‘gluk’ with their whole body in the middle of the tuff tray I can also see all the incredible learning they are experiencing.
Here’s a glimpse of just some of the day-to-day artistic and creative experiences here:
A visiting musician once a week works with small groups across all ages using the Kodaly Method, using traditional song and the music the children hear on a daily basis to encourage them to be confident music makers! Alice Gentenaar creates environment that support their natural curiosity and is fantastic at adapting her sessions to suit individual children’s learning styles and pace.
Visual art and movement
All our staff respond creatively to children’s interests. For example, one morning we observed children’s interest in water play and had previously introduced water balloons. We extended the learning by allowing the children to mix water and paint, fill the balloons and observe what patterns they make when they explode onto paper; fences; and grass!
Outdoor stone painting and face-painting are also favourites, giving children the opportunity to develop their fine motor skills and marvel in their beautiful, colourful creations!
Children can take their ideas in a myriad of different directions. By introducing new resources in interesting ways the children often become completely engrossed for extended periods of time.
Another member of our team is participating in Starcatchers’ Creative Skills Training and I’m really looking forward to seeing how these sessions develop her practice within the nursery.
Starcatchers’ Making My Mark campaign is all about how we give very young children a voice and help them develop their sense of agency through the arts. We’re looking for real life examples to build a picture of how this is already happening in early years settings throughout Scotland. Share your stories here.