In Nursery we lay the seeds for the ‘Wise Old Owl Philosophy’; developing a growth mindset with characteristics such as optimism and gratitude. Based on the ‘Fixed & Growth Mindset’ work of Carol Dweck, the characters of the Wise Old Owl and the Hideaway Hedgehog symbolise and embody the features of the two different mindsets. We encourage the children to celebrate mistakes (or as we call them ‘juicy worms of a mistake’), recognise and reward effort, as well as displays of resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.
It is our hope that by introducing this philosophy in nursery, that the children will internalise this way of thinking and take it into their lives both inside and outside of nursery and when entering school.
The Wise Old Owl Philosophy is a big part of daily life in the nursery; it underpins everything we do. We also encourage parents and carers to use the Wise Owl Philosophy at home, for instance when a child has tried a new food for the first time or has learned to ride their bike by getting back on it instead of giving up. Parents are then asked to share this with us on specially designed Wow! Certificates so we can celebrate home achievements at nursery.
We believe this philosophy is vital to our work and is just one of the many unique ways through which we underpin children’s development at West Rise Nursery.
We aim to provide a calm, safe environment with lots of opportunities for self-directed learning; a child’s learning is directly connected to their physical body and sensory experience. The children have opportunities for engaging in mindful activities such as mindful tasting, mindful moving, mindful listening, mindful touching, and mindful smelling.
Yoga and mindfulness are closely connected and the children are encouraged to explore the different ways to use their breath to self-regulate; to calm, focus or engage themselves. We explore yoga both indoors and outdoors through stories, games, music and dance. Most children love the opportunity to explore moving like different wild animals or becoming a warrior!
Yoga is a great way to connect with nature: -
Yoga helps children to connect with their own feelings and their own bodies. Yoga encourages children to connect with others.
Right from the start we help children to learn how to use mindful breathing to calm their amygdala down. The children learn about different parts of their brain through songs and sharing books together.
The children are introduced to ‘Positive Touch’ in nursery during Circle Time. This may begin with ‘Pass a smile’ or a gentle hand squeeze. This helps them to understand the importance of treating others with respect and kindness, developing empathy and connecting with others.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need