We offer a unique outdoor learning experience where children can have adventures every day and experience all that nature can teach them, in a happy, secure environment.
We play in mud. We jump in puddles. We plant seeds and eat home grown food. We make friends with pigs and chickens. We climb trees. We have lots of fun. We make memories.
When children are given these opportunities to play outdoors, they have the space, time and freedom to learn actively and naturally. They make friends of different ages and learn from each other. They learn respect for one another and the environment and begin to understand their emotions and how to control them, with the support of caring, knowledgeable adults. They discover how to calculate risks, solve problems and make decisions, which builds confidence and self-esteem.
When children interact with nature they develop a sense of happiness and well-being that has now been scientifically proven.
Our base on Wigfield Farm provides an endless range of exciting opportunities for children to experience, set across three large garden areas and two enclosed poly-tunnels, with heating, electricity and running water as well as toilet facilities.
From this secure base, we have unlimited access to the farm itself and nearby woodland areas. Children learn from an abundance of natural resources, as the seasons change.Our learning resources may include trees and hay bales for climbing; sand and mud for digging and building; a pond, bug hotel and planting area for learning about nature and endless opportunities for creative and imaginative play. The children are free to explore and discover all that nature can offer them, whilst being cared for by our experienced staff, as they develop and grow at their own pace.
Our morning starts at drop off between 9:00 and 9:30
During the morning, children will choose to play in one of the nursery areas: quiet time in the polytunnel, the living room, the wildside or the large field.
Play will involve digging, climbing, building, exploring, planting, cooking,making and creating. We will follow the children’s interests, support them in their learning, ensure they learn how to keep themselves and each other safe.
Fresh fruit and vegetables, crackers, toast and crumpets will be on offer and a hot snack, cooked with the children, on cold days.
We will finish the morning with singing or story time.
Lunch time will be eaten on the nursery site at our dedicated picnic tables or as a picnic on site or in the local countryside. A healthy packed lunch will be required, as being outside all day uses lots of energy and we need to ensure children have food they enjoy most.
We will go into our family groups (Ladybirds, Butterflies and Buzzy Bees)to play with our key workers to build our bonds and take part in more focussed activities that are based on the children’s interests.
The rest of afternoon may be spent building bridges across the stream and making boats; den building, mini-beast hunts, being dinosaurs or making fairy homes.
Home time is 4:30pm.
Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery was set up in 2019 by experienced nursery leaders, Janet and Lindsey. It is the realisation of a shared dream to give children the best start in life by being free to play in a natural environment.
Lindsey is passionate about children being in and learning from the natural world. She has worked in the outdoors for the past 20 years, initially in countryside management and conservation, leading groups of adult volunteers on practical and working with schools. Slowly her work lead her to train as a forest school practitioner in 2005 which inspired her to set up her own business (Growing Wild) so she could focus full time on supporting children to make a connection with the great outdoors.
Following the birth of her youngest child, Lindsey trained as a childminder and cared for children five years and under, spending a large proportion of their days outside. For the past three years, Lindsey has worked as an early years’ practitioner at an outdoor nursery in Sheffield.
Lindsey has two young children and with them and her partner she enjoys camping, cycling, playing on rope swings and cooking on campfires.
Janet is committed to providing the best possible opportunities for children, including two of her own.
She loves to travel and has visited many countries, renowned for raising happy, confident children, such as Denmark and Iceland and wants to use this knowledge in creating her own nursery.
She has over 20 years’ experience in Early Years, working in schools, nurseries and universities, as well as forest schools and provides consultancy and training in play and learning outdoors.
Her passion has always been to give children the space, time and freedom to play and to provide the experiences that will enable them to grow into confident and creative individuals who will care for each other and for the world they live in.
Katharine enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her 5 year old son. They love splashing in puddles, finding bugs, digging in dirt and looking at wildlife. They also like to spend time at the beach and swimming.
Katharine has a degree in Playwork and a level 3 in Childcare and Education and has taken part in many placements in the community, youth settings, nurseries and alongside childminders. During her degree Katharine realised that children benefit from a different approach, an approach that includes risk and challenge and the freedom to play and learn in their own way. She used these skills while working at an after school club to implement working with tools and ensuring children chose their own play.
Jenni is a qualified primary school teacher but has always been interested in early years and learning through play. She is a big lover of the outdoors, whether playing out in the garden, walking the dog in the Peak District or spending time at the coast with family she is happiest when outside exploring! She enjoys being creative with arts and crafts and looks forward to combining this passion with objects from the natural world at Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery.
Jane started her professional life as a landscape architect, working as a community designer on environmental projects in Birmingham. Realising that improving school and nursery grounds was the area that interested her most, she then trained and worked as a primary school teacher, gaining a real insight into how schools function. As well as Growing Wild, Jane now works part time as an education consultant and designer with schools and nursery settings to help bring about effective play and learning outdoors.
Having two boys of her own and a very messy garden where they have had lots of fun over the years, Jane is convinced of how valuable it is in this age of organised activities and electronic entertainment to let children discover the outdoor environment for themselves in a free, creative and open-ended way.
In her spare time, Jane loves walking, camping, gardening, baking cakes, going to pubs, dressing up and dancing.
Marybeth left college with a level 2 and level 3 in childcare and education and has taken part in many placements in the Barnsley area including primary schools and nurseries. She has recently qualified from university with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours Degree in Early years with a 2:1.
She has always wanted to work with children to help them achieve and learn to the best of their ability. She believes children learn best through risk and challenge opportunities and should be provided with freedom of choice to learn and develop in their own way. In her spare time she loves exploring the outdoors, going on long walks, camping, reading and going to the coast. She enjoys exploring natural materials in the outdoors and using them in activities at the nursery.
After completing and qualifying with the NNEB, Hannah worked as a private nanny at ski resort in France and also for Thomson Holidays running Kids’ Clubs.
After returning to the UK she worked as a live-in nanny and also a daily nanny for many years.
She loves being outdoors and think children learn best through playing in a natural environment with kindness and fun. They learn great things.
She enjoys family time, running, walking the dog, seeing friends and travelling.
Vicky’s passion for working with children began when completing a Nursery Nurse (NNEB) course which enabled her to travel and work worldwide as a nanny. She returned to education and embarked on a degree in Playwork which took her to South Africa and working with children in poverty.
Vicky went on to work within a local authority to support the setting up of out of school clubs which then developed into delivering training in the community around the importance of play.
When taking a break to bring up her 3 ‘cheeky’ children she became involved in her community by supporting the local pre-school and becoming a school governor. She then moved into a new role within Further & Higher education to support degree students on their placements within childcare settings.
Vicky enjoys being outdoors with her ‘crazy’ dog Charlie, running up hills and having fun in the mud!
Beth has a level 3 in Childcare and spent 3 years in different educational settings from birth to 8 years. She then worked at Wigfield farm as an activity worker for 3 years hosting lots of children’s parties, school visits and family events. This makes her invaluable when teaching the children about the animals. She enjoys spending time outdoors especially at the beach with family and friends. She loves taking her little godson outside to explore nature and find insects.
Sam started her career working in family childcare and was called ‘Mary Poppins’ as all the children used to follow her around. She gained a certificate in youthwork and playwork and ran holiday clubs before working as a teaching assistant in a reception class and studied to get her Level 3 in working with children in early years. She had a break from working with children to run her own gardening business which makes her the ideal practitioner to help Growing Wild’s children grow. When she is not at work she enjoys lots of different crafts especially repurposing and recycling materials. She loves walking her dogs, spending time with her two sons and just being in nature.
Mandy’s favourite thing is being with children in the outdoors. Having three children of her own (in their teens and twenties), she has seen how spending time outside is vital for their development and sense of well-being.
Mandy originally worked in theatre-in-education, using this as an opportunity to bring environmental education to children. Since then, she has delivered environmental education training courses nationally.
When not at Growing Wild, Mandy is a professional coach and facilitator. She enjoys gardening, walking, reading, dancing and amateur dramatics.
Located at Wigfield Farm, Haverlands Lane, Worsbrough, Barnsley S70 5N.
On arrival, turn in to Wigfield Farm and drive to the bottom of the car park.