Hardly a day goes by when I don’t thank my lucky stars for having applied early to Collingham Gardens Nursery. From my first visit, I could tell from the way the staff spoke to the children that it was a special place. Its wild garden full of tepees, tree-houses and winding paths makes it a magical haven in the middle of Bloomsbury, but the creativity and commitment of its staff is an even greater asset.
My twin boy and girl started at the nursery in 2010, and were ‘settled in’ with expertise and sensitivity, their individuality immediately respected. Since then, the nursery manager and her team have responded with warmth and intelligence to every issue, no matter how minor, and including my daughter’s special needs for medical treatment throughout the day. Collingham is a socially varied and genuine community – as good as you want to help make it. The kids are fantastic, and so is the care and attention they receive.
Collingham Gardens is a very special place indeed. The nursery is set in a magical garden which my son loves to play in. We really value the fact that his interest in nature is cultivated and that he spends time searching for ladybirds and digging up worms. His day is full of interest and he clearly takes great pleasure in coming. Collingham Gardens really nurtures the individual. We have seen him develop into an interested and curious boy, with his own little passions that the staff all seem to know about and encourage. Moreover, the school is small and intimate – and very responsive to the needs of the child in a broader context, taking into account in a sensitive and supportive way any other issues that might impact the child’s well-being. The size of the school, as well as the fact that parents are so active in its management, mean that the school is a vibrant and exceptional community.
Our child’s confidence and social skills, especially the ability to share and communicate with other children and adults, grew enormously in the time she was at Collingham. Her development in all areas was encouraged and nurtured by a caring, supportive and in my view outstanding staff. The week was filled with equal measures of creative expression, outdoor play and many other activities, including excursions outside, which Matilda thoroughly enjoyed. For us and our child, the garden was an important and magical space in an inner city setting. Here children who live in an urban environment can explore the outside world in a way they cannot, either at home or in other central London nurseries. We will miss it sorely.
Our children have all really benefited from attending a Community Nursery. They have made local friends that they have gone on to school with and have an appreciation of the culturally diverse neighbourhood we are lucky to live in. Collingham is a unique setting; the staff are dedicated to helping the children learn through free play. The staff encourage the children to discover things for themselves, using natural materials and everyday objects. The children’s imaginary games are particularly alive in the wild woodland garden, where overgrown plants become forests and raised ground a hillside look out.
Luc comes home every day covered in mud and full of stories of spiders and tadpoles. I feel so lucky that he has the opportunity to have this magical education in the middle of the city. The staff team at Collingham Gardens make it such a special place – they are warm, inventive and actually rather crazy 🙂 Where else would three year olds be encouraged to drill through thick slabs of ice or race worms?