The Barn Nursery in Hemlington has been recognised by The Woodland Trust and received a Green Tree School gold award for completing challenges, and their ethos that children should spend as much time outdoors as they can, in all weathers.
On a typical day at the nursery, children enjoy climbing trees and eating food cooked on the fire-pit.
Claire Welsh, the nursery’s deputy manager and senior Forest School lead said to Teeside Live: “We are nurturing the generation that will inherit the planet.
“We are completely based in nature; we take everything we learn from nature and really try to encourage a child’s imagination instead of sitting them behind a row of desks.
“Being outside is good for the soul. We do outdoor cooking, the children use tools under supervision, and we are teaching them life skills.
“I think that creates curious learners which sets them up for school. We want them to understand what is all around them.”
The nursery has separate areas for different age groups, but with the children spending most of their time outside, they all feel like “one big family.”
“It’s good for social development because the older children know how to interact with the younger ones, and vice versa.
“And there’s no better teacher than the children themselves,” added Ms Welsh.
Children at The Barn Nursery are taught about deciduous trees and diurnal animals. “It feeds their curiosity – we’re not about ticking boxes; going along on that journey with them is just gorgeous,” she added.
The staff at the nursery said they are “incredibly proud” to receive the award.
“It has been a challenge but we’ve been committed, and it’s great to get that recognition.
“We’re a Forest School, so our ethos matches with theirs.”
The Barn is rated “outstanding” by Ofsted.