Hayley Peacock is Owner/Director Little Barn Owls Ltd. Hayley is the managing director and owner of Little Barn Owls Nursery group in West Sussex; her Horsham setting was awarded Nursery World UK Nursery of the Year in 2015/16. Her three nurseries are Reggio Emilia-inspired forest and farm schools, the largest being based on a farm and home to 20 animals including pigs, chickens and ducks that children look after every day, and another being a full-time forest school.
Drawing inspiration from Reggio Emilia’s approach, as well as from other sources such as Scandinavian forest schools and outdoor learning initiatives, Hayley and her colleagues have developed a unique ‘enquiry-based learning’ approach with an emergent curriculum that is highly creative and reflective in nature, and aims to develop the thinking and enquiring minds of children.
Hayley is passionate about promoting progressive and innovative ideas for change in education for all children. She also provides training and professional development opportunities to other nursery staff groups, students and professionals in the Early Years sector across the globe. She has most recently presented in Malaysia, China and Canada, as well as all over the UK.
Little Barn Owls has received Ofsted Outstanding in 2013, 2017 and 2019, and has won a host of Early Years awards including the NW Enabling Environments Award in 2015/16, and locally, Business Matters – Business of the Year, Business Matters – Team of the Year Award and the South East Business Award for Innovation all in 2015/16. Hayley’s newest and most exciting project is the opening of ATELIER 21 FUTURE SCHOOL – a revolutionary new school for children 4–16 years old, which is planned to open in September 2020 and which will be inspired by project-based learning, Guy Claxton’s Learning Power approach and the Reggio Emilia approach.
In this podcast, Hayley shares the Little Barn Owls journey and how the next step from their nurseries, forest and beach schools is to open up a school for children aged four to 16, Atelier 21. Hayley explains in detail Little Barn Owls’ unique pedagogy, and how staff have specific roles that enhance quality and build on professional development. One of the unique aspects of this approach is the project-based learning.
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