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Everyone has time to think about things

Thinking time is important for both children and staff at Thomas Coram.

Headteacher Bernadette Duffy makes sure that staff have time for reflection and to talk informally with parents.

Children are engaged in creative and shared thinking, and encouraged by outdoor play equipment which is designed for the development of mental as well as physical capabilities.

A full-time music therapist is on the payroll, and all staff are being trained to be music-makers. Children are seen as artists in their own right. Home and school are linked in many ways. For instance, there is a family wall with pictures from home.

Children are consulted about all sorts of things concerned with their environment. A colourful tower was built in the playground because they wanted "a place to play in the sky with rainbows".

Surveyed about what they likeddisliked about Thomas Coram, the children came up with a list of "What do new children need to know about the nursery?"

It included:

* Don't eat the grass

* Don't eat the sand because it's not nice

* Show them where to hang their coat

* Show them around - lots of toys in the nursery

* Teachers come to nursery to look after you

* Animals come to nursery - sheep (from Coram Fields)

* You have to make friends because you are a three-year-old girl.

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