Sensory garden established at Stevenage nursery through kind donations from community
- Credit: Nasim Mohiuddin
A Stevenage nursery has established an all-new sensory garden, thanks to kind donations and support from the community.
Thanks to contributions from staff, parents, and carers, as well as Wilko in Hitchin, Stevenage Garden Centre and B&Q, the youngest pupils at Ashtree Primary School and Nursery in Shephall now have an engaging and interactive space where they can learn through play.
Nursery teacher Nasim Mohiuddin extended her thanks to all those who helped bring the garden to life, and said, “A big thank you needs to go to Lottie, who runs Whitmore Plant Sales in Hitchin Market, for her kind donations in helping Ashtree Nursery to develop their sensory garden.
"She donated a huge selection of sensory plants, including; herbs, vegetables, grasses and bright colourful flowers.”
Staff at Ashtree also involved their youngsters in the creation of their garden, with enthusiastic pupils mucking in to dig the sensory path, and adding textures that they can feel with their hands and feet.
Amanda Graham, one of Ashtree's nursery nurses, said: “The idea of developing the garden was inspired by the children and their love of exploring. For the best sensory experience, the children wanted to explore the sensory path using their bare feet.”
The children put forward their own ideas for what they would like to have in their garden, that was then nurtured and brought to life by staff for all to enjoy.
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“We have been looking at ways to enhance our nursery outdoor provision to support the needs of all our children," nursery nurse Baljit Manak added. "And the sensory garden catered for their needs and follows their interests.”
Nasim told the Comet how the children have enjoyed seeing and smelling the colourful flowers, touching and hearing the grasses rustle in the wind, and herbs to smell and taste - and how they are looking forward to tasting the vegetables in the autumn term.
The children have taken time to be out and about in the garden and nurturing the plants.
Paul Tatton from Ashtree's SENCO provision said: “A lot of hard work and great ideas went into developing the garden.
"The variety of textured sections on the pathway and the smells and colours of the planting offer the children a variety of sensory inputs, perfect for their physical, spatial and sensory development as well as their well-being and mindfulness.”
The garden has been a roaring success among pupils and staff alike, although Nasim joked: “Initially a couple of the boys didn’t want to use the path with their bare feet but then after going onto it, they didn’t want to come off!”