New nursery with enclosed woodland to open near Hadleigh this spring
- Credit: Ross Dean
A Hadleigh mum is opening a new nursery at Kersey Mill which she says will help teach children to build their independence and encourage them to explore by utilising its countryside location.
Woodlands Nursery, which will accommodate youngsters aged one to four, is currently getting its finishing touches at Kersey Mill near Hadleigh, ahead of its opening in May.
The nursery is owned and managed by mum Emma White, who has worked with children for more than 22 years and already owns Small World Kindergarten near Christchurch Park in Ipswich.
Mrs White is a passionate supporter of the Montessori ethos, which encourages child-led learning through play and exploration.
Like Small World Kindergarten, Woodlands Nursery will focus on the Montessori method of education to help develop children's confidence to get them ready for school.
The Montessori method was developed in the 1900s by Maria Montessori, a doctor working in a deprived part of Italy, who noticed the teaching method worked well with those with additional needs.
The technique focuses on independence and discourages some conventional measures of achievement, such as grades and tests, focusing on a sense of self achievement.
Mrs White explained: "Everything goes back to the environment and learning to care for nature, the materials we use and how to carry them, how to give friends space but also how to work together.
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"As a child, if you’re able to be self-sufficient, it allows you to be confident and that’s really important.
"Our focus is all about learning social skills, respecting others and learning self-confidence."
Due to its rural location, the nursery will focus on outdoor learning, which Mrs White said is important for parents who choose to live rurally.
She would have loved her 10-year-old son to have gone to a nursery like this.
"It was hard being a rural mum," said Mrs White, who moved to Hadleigh more than 10 years ago.
"It's hard to meet others and you want to be independent, but you often have to rely on your parents for childcare.
"I want to show mums, who were like me, that they are not alone, and we are all in this together."
The nursery will have lots of outdoor space, an enclosed woodland and copious parking.
Mrs White explained she felt Kersey Mill was a perfect location for the nursery, not only for its large nature area, but also the proximity of other businesses and activities at the hub, such as a fitness centre, hairdressers, yoga studios and physiotherapists nearby.
As well as catering for children aged one to four, the site will also run daily Woodlands baby sessions, which will serve as interactive classes and play sessions for both children and their parents.
So far, Mrs White said the response from the community has been "phenomenal" with more than 40 enquiries from families.
She is confident the site will be ready to welcome its first children in May.
For more details about the nursery see here.