Old School House Day Nursery in Stetchworth, Newmarket

stan-sid-playgroundThis outstanding nursery was voted the 2014 Individual Nursery of the Year and with good reason. Its innovative and highly-focussed management, supported by its dedicated and talented nursery nurses have created an environment for 0-4 year olds that is stimulating, educational and rewarding.

This pioneering spirit led to the introduction of Active Movement into the nursery. Once more, the programme had to be tailored to reflect the different levels of mobility, communication and understanding at this formative time.

stan-stands-sid-sitsA series of characters were created and named to aid children’s understanding. Stan (who stands) and his dog Max, was joined by Sid (who sits) and his cat Tigi.

Communication was developed for different age groups – a 0-3 year old single programme to begin the process of recognition and affinity with the characters and their message; and a 4-5 year old programme that increased in intensity from posters, through to books, voiceovers, nursery rhymes, games, role play and other support, culminating in a visit by the characters to the Summer Sports day.

active-movement-cakeEqually important is the role of the nursery nurses as role models for the children. There seemed no better way to educate and inspire them to fulfil this key support than to produce an Active Movement programme tailored for them as part of their everyday routine!

Finally, to complete the Active Movement community, we involved parents through regular contact and homework specially designed to encourage children and parents to work together.

stair-caloriesAnalysis of the programme during and on completion of the 12 month programme included regular behaviour questionnaires, focus groups, parent telephone interviews and an academic appraisal involving the Mosaic protocols, result of which have been nothing short of phenomenal. Children of all ages are hugely involved with the characters both emotionally and practically as part of their play, activities and creativity. Their clarity and understanding of the respective roles of Stan and Sid along with their ability to articulate the positive effects of activity have been stunning. Stan and Sid do not simply promote activity – they are also seen as healthy, so promoting other important areas such as nutrition.

stairway-to-heavenNursery staff have not only been inspiring to the children but inspired themselves. Significant shifts in behaviour change have seen staff members join a gym and others enter a 6km run for the first time. Their participation in the programme has led to an enthusiastic appreciation of its effect, to the point where it is now embedded into the fabric of the nursery’s offer to parents and staff.

And parents have not only joined, but want to see the programme continue in the next school stage.

Active Movement can be purchased in packages for introducing independently or with the full support and supervision of the Active Movement team, including Dr Mike Loosemore.

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