In 2019 Chatham received a Special Award in the Totally Creative category for schools in northern England.

The Better Energy School Awards is open to children aged 5 to 11.  However, the judging panel was so impressed by what Chatham Nursery School had achieved that the decision was made to create a Special Award just for us!  So, Chatham Nursery School received a special certificate to mark our achievements.

Almost 42,000 children were involved in submitting projects for the Awards, so to be Highly Commended was quite an achievement.

Reducing is cutting back on the amount of rubbish we make, reusing is finding a new way to use things we no longer need so that we don’t have to throw it out, and recycling is using unwanted items to remake new goods that can be enjoyed again.

The Nursery Environment

At Chatham we are committed to recycling and with very young children we do this in the most meaningful way.

Within the continuous provision we have reducing recycling and reusing  resources to support all areas of the curriculum, giving children first hand experience of reinventing the use of a resource in a creative or practical manner.

We teach the children to  value items and encourage creative and critical thinking.

Recycling for Chatham isn’t a one off project it’s an approach that we embrace.

Making gifts for special occasions

We put out a request for donations of unwanted cups and saucers. They didn’t even have to match! We had a wonderful response from staff friends and colleagues from the federation.

The children made truffles , nursery donated a choice of tea bags and the children’s  special person received a beautiful gift.

Parent’s carer’s children and Governors are invited to join  in with our commitment to recycling and participate in two big, bi-anuual recycling events – One At Christmas time/December “Christmas Craft day” and a second event in the Summer term our “Environmental Day”

We encourage our parents to make an active contribution to our recycling commitment. We involve them in many aspects of nursery life. We value a parent as the child’s first educator so it is important that we get parents on board to have that partnership and commitment to recycling.

Wind Chimes

Unwanted chains, cutlery, bangles and anything that could jangle were donated recycled and reused to make our wind chimes.


Recycling old light bulbs to make Christmas tree decorations.


Recycling old packaging and donated wool to create beautiful colourful pompoms.

Large Scale Art Work

Three roller blinds were donated to nursery. One roller blind was extra large!!!
It became a large scale work of art.

Bug Houses

Recycled crates pots, wood shavings, paper and old bark were collected and reused to make the Bug Houses to encourage wildlife to inhabit the nursery garden.

Rag Rug Making

A pack was sent home, which included a square of coffee sack and small scraps of material. The returned pieces were then stitched together to make our rag rug wall hanging.


Old biscuits tins and strong boxes were used to make clocks. A practical and functional addition to any room!!!

Remote Learning

We needed to be prepared during the pandemic if a circuit break was to be introduced or if individual children/families or bubbles had to isolate.

The class teachers reviewed their planning to  ensure that the learning opportunities provided in our home learning packs mirrored those planned for at nursery.
Chatham continued to encourage reduce, recycle, reuse message through our home learning activity packs.

Here are some examples:

The Magic Porridge Pot

Resources were provided for children to make their very own bubble mixture and children were encouraged to find items around the house that they could use as wands.

Children in the nursery found funnels, donated pipework, paper clips and much more!

The Enormous Turnip

The children were encouraged to make their own clipboard using cardboard from discarded packaging and the resources provided.

They were encouraged to make a list with their family , working as a team just like in the story of The Enormous Turnip!