Village pre-school is as good as gold

Staff of Ruskington's Rascals Preschool, from left - Vikki King, Linda Ashby (owner), Catherine Turner, Laurie Mitchell and Anna Burton with children outside showing off their Green Tree School gold award plaque. EMN-200116-180324001
Staff of Ruskington's Rascals Preschool, from left - Vikki King, Linda Ashby (owner), Catherine Turner, Laurie Mitchell and Anna Burton with children outside showing off their Green Tree School gold award plaque. EMN-200116-180324001

A village pre-school has been presented with a gold award for its work to encourage its youngsters to be outdoors lovers.

Ruskington Rascals pre-school, based in the village hall, has just been awarded the Green Tree Schools gold award by the Woodland Trust, which runs the scheme.

They have been presented with a wooden plaque in the shape of a tree ring to mark the achievement and deputy manager Catherine Turner said: “We love to use the outdoors as a learning environment – especially the large playing field and trees in it so it seemed like an ideal award scheme.”

She explained: “We started in September 2019 and have completed a number of tasks to work our way up from bronze, to silver and now gold.”

She that as a pack away setting in a village hall it was not practical to go down the route of being a ‘Forest School’ with woodland-based educational activities, den building and fire lighting, but this is an ideal alternative which clearly works.

Catherine said: “It has made us look at new ways of using our environment, for example looking at it from different animals’ views and also how to bring it back into the ‘classroom’, such as using autumn colours observed outside to paint with when back in the hall.

“We made tree biscuits and ate them looking at the changing colours of the leaves and made pine cone bird feeders to hang there with berries for birds,” she said.

“We thought more about ways to protect/look after our environment and have begun recycling things like milk bottle tops and ink cartridges.”