Mulberry Bush Nature Kindergarten

At Mulberry Bush Montessori we hold dear to our principles a nature based philosophy and a commitment to sustainable practise providing quality Montessori education and care and a strong belief in building positive and collaborative relationships with children, families and the community.

We provide a child and Teacher led programme based on Montessori principles & the Curriculum for Excellence, with the aspiration for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.

To do this we provide a natural environment in the expansive garden to the back of the nursery building where children learn through nature and build strong connections with the natural world. We spend as much time as possible outside with all children for as long as they want to be there, through a flexible daily rhythm that caters to every child’s whole wellbeing.

Through respect, love & relationships we create a welcoming and collaborative environment indoors & out of doors.

Children are supported in our nature kindergarten through promoting and developing the foundations of lifelong learning, dispositions and skills. By acknowledging all children’s life force & sense of self, the children’s identity and self-concept are positively affirmed, empowering the children with a strong sense of belonging through empowerment and a place to be.

We believe the best way to do this is by having highly qualified, experienced & skilled Early Year’s & Forest School Level 3 staff, treasuring & implementing a nature philosophy, based on aspects of a variety of theories, philosophers and approaches.

Such as:

Dr. Maria Montessori’s commitment to nature and nature education, meaningful bicultural practice & a holistic approach to learn through free play with open ended resources at the child’s pace, while acknowledging the parents importance as first teachers. “There must be provision for the child to have contact with nature; to understand and appreciate the order, the harmony and the beauty in nature.” Maria Montessori “It is also necessary for his physical development to place the soul of the child in contact with creation, in order that he may lay up for himself treasure from the directly educating forces of living nature.”  Montessori also felt that the outdoor environment should be an extension of the classroom.

Claire Warden’s principles of risky play trusting and challenging the children to risk assess in a safe and supported environment and focus on learning dispositions in a natural environment

Reggio Emillia’s principle of the environment being the third teacher, where children are viewed as capable and contribute to a child centred curriculum, in a collaborative and social environment, the principle of respect and uninterrupted time for free play and consistency in limits and boundaries. While encouraging and valuing community and family contribution and communication.

Magda Gerber’s principle of respect, uninterrupted time for free play and consistency in limits and boundaries

Goesta Frohm’s and Siw Linde’s concept that all of the child’s needs are fulfilled in nature, and to foster a lifelong connection, understanding and love for the natural world and how to look after mother nature through living a sustainable life. Also valuing teachers as the most precious resource, providing an indoor and outdoor environment that are complimentary and consistent, while celebrating the uniqueness of the environment of our area.
Our Mulberry Bush Montessori Nature Kindergarten programme is based on the principles of respect, individuality, independence, empowerment, love, peace, holistic development, responsibility, relationships, collaboration and community through exploration and discovery in a supportive and enriching natural environment based on the interest of the children ensuring positive learning outcomes for all.
Let Nature be your teacher – we utilise, encourage and value all areas of learning and development through Mother Nature. Providing children the freedom of just being in nature daily and experiencing wild spaces within the garden, learning bush craft skills  and on regular excursions to Forest School which give them the time to connect with nature and learn to love outdoors & nature so then they care for respect and protect it growing up to become guardians of the land.

Time and space – To provide children uninterrupted time, space and access to plentiful open ended natural materials. Respectful relationships – Encourage children’s positive attitudes to self and others including animals and the environment treating every living being with respect, viewing positive relationships with the children as a cornerstone to them achieving positive learning outcomes.

Environment as a teacher– the environment is valued for its restorative nature & its potential to inspire children, it is filled with natural light with open spaces free from clutter, it reflects the values and beliefs of our community, it is flexible , stimulating and inviting. Children learn through active participation with people places and things.
Image of the child – Children are seen as competent, powerful, and full of ideas and curiosity, capable of constructing their own knowledge and driven by their interests to understand and know more.
Enquiry based learning – our focus is on social collaboration where each child is an equal participant, having their thoughts and questions valued, children search out the knowledge through their own investigations.
Active observer – We notice all aspects of the environment and act on these observations to inform our role as a provisioner, mentor, companion, guide, connector and monitor.
Provisioner – We make decisions that present the learning potential and possibilities.
Monitor – Engaging in the aspects that maintain the well-being of those in the environment. Risk management, conflict resolution, hazard identification, care responsibilities.
Mentor and guide – Observe the children, listen to their requests and stories, find what interests them and then provide them with opportunities to explore these interests further. Model skills, dispositions, habits of mind, behaviour, interactions and expectations.
Companion – Interactions are through respectful relationships, providing a presence to sooth, comfort, educate, converse and build a relationship. A companion is very much about being present, being there for a child to share and wonder when they need it most.
Guide – The teacher influences the learning journey of the child through intentional interaction to extend or enhance thinking or understanding. Questioning, wondering, reflective discussion, revisiting and transferring knowledge.
Connector – Working with the children to build relationships with each other, the environment, animals, and wider community. Engaging intentionally to introduce children to the physical, natural and social world.