At Forest Schools Kindergarten we strongly believe in nurturing children in a family environment rather than grouping them by age or ability. Our mixed age nursery is a fulfilling and sensitive environment that adopts a healthy approach to learning. We achieve this by respecting the learning needs of all children that attend and thrive at Forest Schools Kindergarten. There are many benefits for children learning with and from their peers in mixed age groups. Children build strong bonds with their key worker and have the opportunity establish relationships with all practitioners in the nursery. There is no transitioning between rooms, which can be traumatic for some children. This approach allows children to foster relationships with peers of all ages and to be in the same group as their siblings if parents wish.
Current research has revealed that babies develop significantly from being around older children, especially with regards to play and communication. Older children will build leadership, self-esteem, and empathy when given the opportunity and responsibility to nurture others. They strengthen acquired skills and knowledge through the process of tutoring others. Studies have also shown how children in small multi-age groups often demonstrate less competitive behaviour and greater displays of helpfulness.