A new preschool is set to provide an ethos of environmental responsibility.
The Barnsley-based Sustainable Play Preschool will open this autumn and hopes to share the ideas of sustainable living and plant-based eating with students.
The school’s founder, Llewelyn Jones said he was motivated to start the school after reflecting on what he was doing with his career; he wanted to “do something more” in regards to sustainability.
“I was working as a carpenter and was taking a bit of time off,” he said.
“So, I was thinking about my, interests and passions, wanting to be more sustainable in one way or another, but feeling limited to do that within construction.
“Marrying that with construction didn’t seem as impactful to me, it ends up being a bit of a niche market.”
Mr Jones explained that “taking the same ideas and models” into early education would be more impactful, as it would provide the opportunity to shape the minds of children.
The school’s lunch menu is entirely plant-based, and Mr Jones said he wanted an understanding of the food cycle to be built into the children’s learning.
The school grows its own food in its garden and uses that food in the kitchen while composting any waste.
The menu features Rainbow Nachos, BBQ Tofu, and Tofish and Chips as part of the four meals students receive throughout the day.
The school also deploys an “I wonder” approach.
Preschool Director Kirsty Parker says this approach means teachers are often learning with the children.
“If we need to create change, we’ve got to start with the younger generation,” she said.
“Rather than giving children an answer, or, for example, when a child is painting, and you go: ‘Oh, you’re painting a car’, it’s not painting a car – you’re now putting that idea into their head.
“So, rather than giving children the answer, it’s about supporting their critical thinking skills and trying to get them to figure it out themselves.”
The play-based approach is a twenty-first-century revolution, taking on the education of children from an entirely different view of human nature.
Sustainable Play Preschool is now open for tours, go to its website for more information.