High quality relationships between staff and our children provide the foundation to the way we work. Small groups allow us to work in a quieter space than most settings can offer, and we have plenty of time for discussion with the children while they play.
Through simple meditations, stories and discussion they become more aware of their own thoughts and feelings, and learn how to express them to others within a supportive group. We encourage them to reflect on their experiences and share ideas, which enables us to develop a good understanding of how each child is thinking and feeling.
We foster an atmosphere of mutual respect between adults and children. Children come to know that they are valued members of the group and accordingly they become happier and more confident.
We teach children to know and discuss how they feel, and help them to develop good communication skills and an appreciation of the feelings of others and their points of view. We encourage co-operation and team-work, and promote constructive ways to resolve differences.
In our daily routines we provide children with a clear structure and rhythm to their day, which gives an appropriate balance between active, energetic play sessions and the quieter, more focussed activities.
Children are encouraged to explore and investigate the world around them and respond creatively and thoughtfully to the varied learning experiences offered. These include activities to promote language and literacy, mathematical games and problem-solving challenges, art activities, construction, role-play, music and dance, outdoor games and wheeled toys, cookery, science experiments, gardening and appreciation of nature.
“When my oldest child started in Sunflower he had already attended two day nurseries. In those nurseries he seemed quite withdrawn and timid, almost beginning to shutdown. It was like watching a flower unfurl when we found the Dharma Primary School; he was able to be himself again and developed hugely in the space of one year. He just loved going to school. The Nursery is a perfect environment to develop social skills; it’s small, calm, compassionate, and outdoor space and mindfulness are woven into the day.”
- Sunflower parent, 2015