A team of nine Chinese nursery leaders visited one of Milton Keynes leading nursery chains on a fact finding mission to gain knowledge and expertise in the Early Years Sector.
They spent the day with the staff and children at Acorn Early Years Foundation Childcare visiting two of their 11 nurseries, Acorn at Kents Hill and Acorn at Shenley Church End and then enjoyed an afternoon of fun with Acorn’s Forest School team at their holiday club.
The Chinese visitors were from ‘Sunflower Art Kindergarten’, a group of 10 kindergartens in Beijing.
The owner of the group came with eight of her managers on a study tour in the United Kingdom.
Acorn was one of three different organisations that they chose to visit in London and the East Midlands. The group visited with Jan Lake, a Chinese/British consultant and translator that helps to connect organisations across the two countries to share good practice.
China has the largest education system in the world are always looking for best practice and ideas from oversees to implement in their own settings.
The group said they ‘were inspired by the range of child-led resources, and Acorn’s focus on the outdoor environment’ and that the Forest School was unlike anything they had ever seen, despite having been on previous study tours to Canada and Italy.
Alex Hunter, who has provided consultancy in China on behalf of Acorn Early Years Foundation commented on the success of the trip:
"Not only did delegates learn a huge amount from visiting a variety of our nurseries but this trip also enabled delegates to understand the importance Forest Schools can play in the Early Years sector.”
The delegates left a range of ‘gifts’ including two paintings done by children in their Kindergarten, bilingual children’s books (both traditional English books such as Pinocchio, and traditional Chinese stories), and traditional silk scarfs for some of the staff.
The trip was such a success that Acorn are looking forward to welcoming another group next year. You can find out more about Acorn’s nurseries and Forest School session at www.acornearlyyearsfoundation. org.uk