Today, BIEA visited the Archway Children’s Centre located in hip North London to see just how Ciara Rush, the nursery’s headteacher, encourages critical thinking in the little ones under her care.

Located in a spacious, modern building on a side street close to Archway tube station, the Archway Children Centre and Nursery School is the hub of childcare provision in this up and coming cosmopolitan district.

 

Despite being over 15 years old, the clean lines of the building and bright interior could fool us into thinking the premises are brand new. The maintenance team has done a fantastic job in creating a warm and inviting space for both children and the wider community that the centre serves.

The children’s work is displayed by the centre’s wonderful staff purposefully without frames or cutouts, with original pieces displayed against white walls in a gallery chic contemporary style. Ciara and her staff put up the artwork displays believing that by showing the artwork exactly as it is, without any adornment, the children can remember it better for what it is and thus have a deeper sense of connection with it as a piece of art that they have created.

 

The materials for the artworks are inexpensive and the centre makes the best use of Archway’s ample outdoor resources (free of course). Leaves, twigs and grass are all fashioned into stunning objet d’art by the children and greet visitors on the wall as they walk in.

The organisation is Islington’s leading nursery when it comes to delivering creative art sessions to children. One example is that rather than being given a full range of colours, children are shown how to mix colours instead to make new ones themselves. This skill helps children to understand and appreciate colour compositions and stimulate experimentation and creativity.

The Archway Children’s Centre is one of the organisations that we are looking forward to sharing with visiting Chinese early years practitioners this coming August as part of BIEA’s showcase of outstanding British education practice to an international audience.