Case Studies

outdoor play value

Boosting quality and play value outdoors

“It’s better to invest in high quality, flexible equipment than in costly fixed structures that limit the children’s play…with Outlast we are seeing children become more powerful learners, better at concentrating, better at solving problems.” 
- Dr Julian Grenier, Head teacher, Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre and National Teaching School

Sheringham Nursery School has been using Outlast blocks for the past few months. They have seen children become more engaged in their play. They also find that girls get involved with the block play, just as much as the boys. Children are now interacting with each other in new ways and learning to solve problems.

The only problem for the staff is, they need more blocks!

These exciting discoveries and more are recorded here in this case study interview with Head teacher Julian Grenier and Class teacher Lindsey Foster.


Child at play in Arcadia Nursery at Edinburgh University

Look inside Edinburgh University Nursery

"Parents and visitors all comment on how calm the nursery is."
- Rhona Connell, Head of Arcadia Nursery

 They talk about the "wow factor" and here it is. Imagine an architect who listens carefully to the needs of children and staff, and then designs a nursery around the furniture. Take a look at this gorgeous new nursery where the environment is true harmony of natural light and colour.

Visit the case study here.

P.S. Arcadia Nursery of Edinburgh University is featured in our 2016 catalogue. If you haven't received your free copy, just fill out our request form and we'll post one to you.


Using your third teacher

You know the signs of a child absorbed in play: the concentrated face, impulsive actions, astonishing perseverance – and you have probably noticed how a well-planned setting facilitates this level of involvement.

Educators from McMillan to Montessori have recognised the impact of the environment on children's learning. The Reggio Emilia approach describes it as 'the third teacher'.

See how Wellingtons Nursery put their third teacher to work in this case study.

Little Owls

Boosting communication and language skills

How often do you tune in to the happy babble of children absorbed in play? It is delightful to listen to them verbalise and share their ideas. At the same time they learn new words, ideas and skills from each other.

Little Owls, a nursery in Cambridgeshire, has been piloting the Early Years Pupil Premium since January. Manager Deborah Parfitt explains how the physical environment impacts communication skills: "If we raise the language skills of our Early Years Pupil Premium children, then other things tick better for them. When we set up the areas within the room, we looked at them from a language point of view. We created quiet spaces and places where children can talk."

See the Little Owls case study here.

Little Crickets

Little Crickets: a pack-away case study

"In the very beginning the cricket club really didn’t want a nursery on this site," Sian of Little Crickets Nursery explained to me. "They thought we were going to leave it looking like a nursery while they were playing cricket. So part of the criteria of the lease is that we absolutely leave no trace of ourselves when we pack away."

There are many passionate Sians out there creating quality environments for children in less-than-ideal circumstances. This is to affirm your daily labour of love in pack-away settings.

See the Little Crickets case study here.

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