Preschool Learning: Our Philosophy

Our philosophy at Seasons balances the requirements of the Early Years Foundations Stage with other educational theories to create a warm, calm and nurturing environment in the Stroud and Stonehouse areas, in which children have the freedom to explore, play and learn.

The educational theories that influence our preschool learning philosophy include Steiner, Montessori, RIE, and a variety of outdoor learning theories, as well as the Early Years Foundation Stage. We believe that the outdoor space is as important as the indoor space, and therefore see the outdoor and indoor areas as one inclusive learning environment. This means that as much as possible, we allow access to the outdoor spaces, and use them as we would the inside to encourage exploration, play and learning opportunities. All of our environments are engaging at tailored to children’s interests so the child is motivated to learn and develop

Steiner and Montessori educational philosophies

At Seasons Nursery, our approach to preschool learning and early years care allows the child the freedom to follow and explore their own ideas and interests in their time, with little interruption, whilst still having adult-led activities to inspire the children and further their knowledge at times that suit the child. Whilst an adult will engage in and extend what a child is doing, specific adult-led activities are planned as a way to introduce new knowledge or ideas, an approach adapted from Steiner’s childcare philosophy. Alternatively, they can be based around practical activities, such as baking or gardening, as is encouraged by the Montessori educational principle. In all adult-led activities, participation is determined by the child.

Our day follows a regular rhythm, so disruption to a child’s play is limited. This rhythm is utilised so where we come together, such as at mealtimes, we take the opportunity as a group to sing, talk, or tell stories together, encouraging and instilling a sense of community and safety in the child.

Find out more about our Steiner and Montessori theory-trained staff:


A naturally good environment

We believe that the outdoor space is equally as important as the indoor space, and that both should combine to create one inclusive, nurturing learning environment. At Seasons Nursery, our warm and nurturing environment is created by using natural materials and resources where possible. Not only is our building made of wood, but we also have wooden flooring and wood furniture, which enhances a very calm and cosy feel indoors. Outdoors, this theme continues with natural materials also used in the gardens. We are concerned about the wider environment too, and so we recycle as much waste as possible and our furniture is up-cycled.


Respect for infants everywhere

Our interactions with a child, most importantly with our younger children, are guided by the Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) approach. RIE advocates showing respect for an infant’s experience, talking to them in a clear way (without baby talk), and allowing children to develop at their own pace in peaceful environments with toys and resources that promote active imaginations. Specifically, the approach guides us to inform a child what it is we are doing with them and why, so they can be prepared, and that activities such as nappy changes are a positive experience rather than a process, completed in tune with the child. At Seasons, we often interpret RIE as ‘Respect for Infants Everywhere’, but this naturally extends right through the nursery, and also guides us to promote positive interactions and respect between everyone.

All of this helps us to achieve our aim, which is to have an inspirational environment which helps children to have the confidence to express and explore their own ideas, engage in positive social interactions, develop their own sense of independence and identity and, ultimately, achieve a secure level of development ready for their life at school.

Learn more about our philosophy, contact Seasons Nursery on  01453 767 004