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  • Diana Littlejohns

Nursery Summary 2018 - 2019

The end of the school year is just around the corner and summer is upon us, so I thought I'd reflect on the conservation areas of concern that the children and I have worked on from the beginning of this academic year, 2018 to 2019.


Since September 2018, I've been leading workshops Teaching Children Conservation Thorugh Art which have been very well received by the children, teachers and parents by all accounts. The toddlers and I covered the effects of plastic pollution in our worldwide waters, as well as the impacts of climate change in the north and south poles.


The kids and I also investigated deforestation in the Amazon and Indonesia for Palm Oil plantations. As chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, the toddlers and I also started to think about where we've come from helping them begin to understand that we're all integral to the natural landscape of life.


Worldwide endangered species were also looked at in such a way that it encouraged the kids to question how we might be able to help such species from now on.


Along with global environmental issues, in Spring and Summer terms, my workshops covered UK conservation looking into endangered insects - Bumblebees, along with bird species, wildflowers and mushrooms, to name but a few.


An area of the nursery garden was left alone to go wild to attract more pollinators along with other wildlife, and the bug hotel was continuously added to and expanded to house a more extensive selection of insects.


A 'Conservation' area was created inside the nursery to adorn the walls with the children's artwork created with me. It was also a great place to display the framed Bronze Summer Term 2018 Award together with the newest Silver Award won last month - May 2019 - for Spring Term 2019. Both awards happily received from Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots education programme for young people, in recognition of Mad Hatter's contributions in achieving a better world for people, animals and the environment.


In tandem with my workshops, Mad Hatter's Nursery has taken many positive steps to help our environment and bought recycling bins which are now placed in prominent positions inside the nursery. This way, the children can see clearly which waste products go into which containers. The nursery also adopted a polar bear, teamed up with TerraCycle to collect all brands of crisp packets and multipack bags to send off for recycling, and started collecting plastic bottle lids for reuse at a local wellness centre.


Yesterday marked my last workshop for the year, so the children and I had great fun sketching whatever they asked me to. What struck me the most during this time was how the kids were continuously and nonchalantly linking back to past workshops we'd covered over the year and discussing with me, things like climate change, nudibranchs with coral reef conservation and endangered species with habitat destruction, for example.


It's incredible to think these little kids will be starting school in September already with conservation and love for our planet firmly in mind. I'm just thankful and happy to have been part of the beginning of their journeys learning about what this wonderful world has to offer, and how we must look after mother nature as she does us.



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