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New nursery based at Ridgewell Primary School is harnessing the benefits of the great outdoors



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A trailblazing style of nursery school focused on the great outdoors has opened at a village primary school.

The Little Woodland Tribe nursery is based at Ridgewell C of E Primary School, just a few miles from Haverhill.

Children aged two to five will spend their days, rain or shine, exploring the natural environment.

(L-R)Steph Hanratty and Amy Jacobs pictured in the new outdoor area for The Little Woodland Tribe Nursery at Ridgewell Primary School. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk.
(L-R)Steph Hanratty and Amy Jacobs pictured in the new outdoor area for The Little Woodland Tribe Nursery at Ridgewell Primary School. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk.

Founders Steph Hanratty and Amy Jacobs, who also hold the nursery at Clare Castle Country Park, believe there is currently a missing link between nursery age children and the great outdoors.

They hope to provide an environment promoting mental wellbeing, supporting emotional welfare and giving children an understanding of the natural world by using a child-centred approach in an outdoor nature nursery.

Steph said: “The Little Woodland Tribe are thrilled to be joining Ridgewell Primary School.

The outdoor area at Ridgewell Primary school that is being used by The Little Woodland Tribe Nursery. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk
The outdoor area at Ridgewell Primary school that is being used by The Little Woodland Tribe Nursery. Picture by Richard Marsham/www.rmg-photography.co.uk

“Little Woodland Tribe’s vision is to provide all children with endless adventures, freedom, challenges and opportunities to develop holistically in all that they do.

“We want to be a place where children can reconnect with their natural environment, a place where they can be whoever they want to be.”

Both Ridgewell Primary School and the Little Woodland Tribe share an ethos for outdoor learning.

The school has become well known for providing a comprehensive Forest School curriculum, facilitated by certified staff members.

Classes are taken on weekly outdoor trips to explore the natural beauty around Ridgewell.

It is a feature of the school that is well-loved by the children, their parents and carers.

Kirsty Stuart, headteacher at Ridgewell Primary School, said: “We’re all very excited to welcome the Little Woodland Tribe nursery to Ridgewell.

“Their ethos fits in so well with our school and we look forward to further deepening and enriching our provision for all children.”

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