It is snowing outside, transforming our nursery into a fairyland. The snowflakes fall on the rooftop, the meadow, and our beautiful garden. What an enchanting place for us to see and appreciate beauty.
Aesthetic education is an integral part of early years education. It is to inspire the children to appreciate the beauty in daily life and lay a foundation to create beauty. Living a poetic life requires one to build aesthetic literacy, i.e., how do we perceive, define, express, appreciate and evaluate beauty?
This is also a focus for our teachers at Huili Nursery Hangzhou. How do we create a high-quality environment for our pupils to acquire an aesthetic outlook? Besides our nursery garden, there is also a florist area. For years, it creates a place where children are immersed in the learning of beauty and improve their understanding of the concept, realising a higher level of engagement and involvement.
Let us follow the lead of Irina Pinelli, the Atelierista, to find out the unique significate the art of floristry has on the development of our children at Huili.
The connection between humans and nature has always been profound. And among these, the flower is the emblem of nature's power, beauty and mathematical symmetry.
Flowers are loved, admired, desired and planted. Those who care for them do so with love, making them grow and eagerly await the first blossoming—being aware of the meanings slowly built in the time between man and nature and man’s need for a connection with nature itself. So likewise, it is necessary to guide children to meet, explore and play during their growth, respecting the environment, the creatures who inhabit it, the relationships and the consequences of our actions.
The order and harmony of nature have always inspired artists and educators from all over the world. In a flower, there is the synthesis of the perfect imperfection of nature, which also says a lot about our growing children and us.
For this reason, in Huili Nursery Hangzhou, combined with extensive outdoor learning time, we ensure that the inside environment also reconnects us with the outside nature. Every week there is a ritual that captures and involves the eyes of children, teachers, school staff and anyone walking around the school. The florist arrives with the flowers, arranges them in glass vases in the school hall, and arranges them chromatically. Flowers enter the lobby, and everything changes. Eyes and smiles light up.
This project was born from the precious collaboration with our parent, who has a flower shop and inspired the staff team. We are glad to see the parents, an inseparable part of the Huili community, apply their expertise to support the growth of our children.
Connecting with the outside world and the community is a central value of our philosophy. This is based on the image of a child, a unique individual who is a bearer of strong development potential and subject of rights, who learns and grows in relationship with others. The community educates; it is a web of responsibilities where everyone connects and contributes. It is an educational network, a collaboration where everyone is committed to ensuring a cohesive education in the name of an overall educational project.
The flower shop in the Nursery is a complete educational experience.
While children are learning about respecting plants as living beings, bringing them clean water and ensuring they have enough light, they also know how to care for and create a positive relationships with other human beings, like classmates, teachers, or siblings.
While counting flowers to ensure they have enough for each table of the class, they will also learn about maths, biodiversity and the variety of species.
While they learn how to touch and be gentle and delicate, they will also make hypothesises and evaluate if the volume of the bouquet they create will fit in the vase.
While they develop their aesthetic sense, they will also choose the right tools and refine their motor skills to cut the end of the stem, wrap them in the paper and choose string to carry them into the classroom.
While they learn about the slow process of nature that blossoms and wilt, they will also learn to observe the world around them and catch the different shades of colours in each petal.
It is said to see a world in a flower and a leaf, and to see a heaven in the grass and a tree. Plants at Huili Nursery Hangzhou do more than add a touch of green to the environment; they also inspire curiosity and a thirst for knowledge in the children. Growing into luxuriant foliage, they also bear witness to the abundant life the children enjoy here, where they become optimistic and active individuals while exploring the endless charm of nature.