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Nursery and Forest School

Located close to the University's nature reserve, this brand new £4.4m facility, which is targeting zero-carbon upon completion, will feature four inspirational learning spaces enhanced with digital technology and a forest school provision.

Project Summary

Project: Staffordshire University Woodlands Day Nursery and Forest School
Project Location:
Leek Road Site, Stoke-on-Trent
Project Value: £4.4m
Project Start Date:
January 2021
Project Status: Complete

Project story

Set adjacent to a woodland, but close to the city centre, the new on campus Woodlands Day Nursery and Forest School at Staffordshire University is intended to be a sustainable place of early years learning with a connection to the immediate landscape and nature reserve.

More than doubling the nursery’s existing capacity, the new provision provides 100 full day-care places for children aged from 0 to five delivered. It will also have the capacity to provide childcare and education for children from five to 12 years outside of term time.

Sustainability, digital technology, and nature are at the forefront of the new build,  furthering the University's commitment to creating a family-friendly campus. Featuring four inspirational learning spaces with areas for food preparation and wet play as well as flexible floor space, the new build also has additional capacity for a 24-place classroom and observational suite with leading digital technology. Through the observation suite, teaching can be also observed, facilitating applied learning for trainee teachers, social workers, Special Educational Needs Coordinators, and students at the University. 

The new nursery provision will also incorporate a forest school facility to further develop links with local schools and provide community participation opportunities. Aimed at children between the ages of three and seven years, the forest school will enable children to experience outdoor learning opportunities such as identifying nature, play-based learning, den building and forest art. Through the forest school children will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge outside of the traditional classroom environment.

Image gallery

Key Features in the Nursery and Forest School:

  • Four inspirational learning spaces with areas for food preparation and wet play as well as flexible floor space.
  • An authentic woodland experience for schools, especially those based in the city.
  • Opportunities to experience countless outdoor learning opportunities such as identifying nature, play-based learning, den building and forest art.
  • Gain digital experiences to help develop prerequisite skills to support future learning within a fast-paced digital world.
  • Play and learn in large, landscaped play areas.
  • Observational suite with leading digital technology to facilitate applied learning for trainee teachers, social workers, and University students.

The new facilities will build upon the excellent care that we provide in our existing nursery, whilst also allowing more children across our community the opportunity to gain access to high-quality early-years education.

Andrew Proctor, Pro Vice-Chancellor – Digital

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