As part of our Montessori curriculum, we expose our children to the idea of caring for the environment and the part we can all play in helping to protect our planet. Through songs, stories and projects we help them to relate to and appreciate the natural world, and understand how to care for living things.
Over the past term, some of the children enjoyed preparing and nurturing stick insect habitats and worm homes. We were also granted permission from Islington Council, The Church of England Diocese and our lovely local residents who maintain our garden to plan and build some ladybug planters, a bug hotel and surrounding stumpery in the garden. And boy have we had fun!
Teachers and children painted red and yellow ladybirds on the wooden ladybird planters, which are now blooming with delicious lettuce and tomato plants that the children took great care in nurturing (and enjoyed tasting, too!).
Our bug hotel is a huge hit! The children constructed it using planters, fir cones, bamboo canes and other bits and pieces. As well as creating a wildlife habitat, we were also reminded of the importance of recycling; using things rather than throwing them away.
Similar to a log pile, deadwood makes a wonderful wildlife habitat, providing food and shelter for a huge number of invertebrates, including wood boring beetles, solitary bee’s, woodlice and stag beetles. We created a stumpery with branches, stumps and logs both foraged and donated.
The children have loved it!
We’ve relished the time we’ve spent outside, which has provided sensory-rich experiences for the children, encouraging physical activity and problem-solving, supporting emotional well-being, and cultivating environmental awareness. Our beautiful school garden is a valuable complement to the classroom learning experiences and contributes to the overall development of children at St Andrew’s Montessori, and we do take full advantage of it.