It has started - our long awaited 2014 UK study trip!!
We met at 11am and made our way to St Pancras station for a light lunch and introductions. Some found platform 9 3/4 - Harry Potter had left his trolley behind!
We met the bus and Bob whisked us to our first site visit, Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and Children's Centre, where we were welcomed by Julie. She talked to us about the history of the school, programming and answered our many questions before we explored the outside play space.
'Open Hearts and Open Minds at Chelsea Open Air'
In early 1928 Natalie Davies started Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and until 1939, she directed the nursery along new principles emerging at the time, which combined a healthy and invigorating lifestyle with the most recent discoveries in child development. The school is housed in a timber framed building dating from 1587 and a 17th century workman’s cottage, which, along with many other houses in the street became artists’ studios,
beginning of the 20th century.was a historic artisan’s cottage dating from the 1500’s combined with a large artist’s studio and garden. By 1936 the school was flourishing and had attracted the attention of serious academics who had been promoting the same methods on a more theoretical level. One of these was Dr. Susan Isaacs who sent several of her students from the Institute of Child Development (which was to become the Institute of Education), which she directed, to observe how the children played and interacted.
Today Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and Children’s Centre survives as a fitting and faithful legacy of Susan Isaacs pioneering work.