At Christopher Robin, we have chosen to follow the principles and ethos of the Montessori approach to early years care and education because we firmly believe that it offers children the very best start in life.
Montessori education recognises that early childhood is the most important period of life; it is where our children discover both themselves and the world around them; it is where our children shape their future and we begin to see the potential of the adults that they will become.
Children are born with natural inclinations to explore and discover, they use their senses and experiences to anchor themselves in reality and establish a secure base on which to build their understanding of the world around them.
In line with Maria Montessori’s view of child development we understand that children are born with, what she termed, an “absorbent mind” and during this formative period, the first six years of life, children will, dependent on their stage of development, respond and engage with different aspects of their world in a focussed and highly responsive way.
Our home rooms are set up to offer our children independent and wide access to activities and experiences that introduce new ideas as well as encouraging repetition and perfection of familiar concepts.
Christopher Robin Day Nurseries recognises that every child has amazing potential. If children are given the chance to follow their interests, in a Montessori environment that is set up to meet their needs and challenge them to independently seek out and explore their world, it will ignite their curiosities, they will be bright, bold, industrious and well prepared for life and learning.
At Christopher Robin we believe that nutrition is a crucially important part of a child's development.
Breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, early afternoon snack and afternoon tea are all included in the fees.
Our menus are nutritionally balanced and as additive-free as possible. Fresh fruit is served every day, and most special dietary needs can be catered for. From stocks and soups to roast lunches, all our food is freshly prepared and cooked from scratch in state-of-the-art kitchens run by our caterers, Care Catering.
Care Catering only supplies to children's day nurseries, so providing nutritionally-balanced, delicious food for children is at the heart of everything they do.
The staff at Care Catering take great pride in the quality of their food. They use only free-range, organic or locally sourced suppliers, and the menus include the recommended five daily portions of fresh fruit and vegetables. Food provided for children with special dietary requirements is made to look as much like the other children's meals as possible so that no child feels left out. A sample menu can be downloaded here. Visit the website at www.carecatering.co.uk.
We're delighted to report that the children love the taste of the food, and the parents love the quality. Mealtimes at Christopher Robin are definitely a social occasion; members of staff join the children at the table to encourage them to try everything, and the children tend to develop healthy appetites for a wide range of foods. Staff also encourage children to develop social skills and good manners.
Wonderful people make a wonderful nursery
Our staff hold a range of childcare qualifications. These include childcare NVQs (at levels 2, 3 and 4), Montessori Teaching Certificates, Early Years Diplomas, Early Years and Primary Teaching degrees and related post graduate qualifications. Staff are coached and mentored by the Area Manager and Nursery Managers; they receive regular training on relevant matters such as safeguarding and child protection, understanding children’s behaviour and language development. We advocate both learning and professional development through supporting those who join us without a qualification to gain one and by offering those who hold level 3 or above the chance to add a Montessori Certificate to their professional development portfolio.
All of our staff hold an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check, undertake regular Paediatric First Aid training and refresher courses. We're particularly proud of the number of long-serving staff we have across the nurseries who have been with us between 5 and 20 years.
Graduates from the Montessori course
... And so much more!
All of the resources in the home rooms are at child height, our rooms are designed with care and expertise to ensure that every child has full access to toys and activities that will encourage them to be independent and confident, our child height sink units encourage the children to clean and tidy up after themselves, they even wash their own crockery after meals and snacks, although we can’t guarantee that they will continue to do so when they reach their teenage years!
We’ve installed air conditioning in all of our home rooms to ensure that even in the warmest weather our rooms are still comfortable.
Our home rooms are carpeted, creating warm, quiet and cosy spaces; Vinyl flooring is only used in the eating and messy play areas.
Children learn about technology as they play with toys and resources that help them to understand cause and effect; our older children have access to computers so that they can experiment with technology and be confident in its use as the world becomes more technologically focussed.
Our outdoor spaces are designed and resourced to ensure that all areas of learning are available, and we encourage children to spend as much time outside as they wish. Children have opportunities to plant, grow and harvest their own vegetables; to discover different textures and materials through playing in our sand pits, water trays, mud kitchens or digging; to find curious creatures under a log; to run or ride on a bike or ride-on; to take a moment to reflect in one of our outdoor shelters; to sit and chat with friends and much more. These opportunities help to broaden the child’s understanding of the world, encourage physical development, and help children to appreciate all that being outdoors offers. We provide wet weather gear at all of our nurseries, so your child will have the opportunity to go outside, whatever the weather!