England’s oldest open air nursery in Deptford celebrated its 100th anniversary with a day of digging and planting last Friday (March 27).

Rachel McMillan Nursery School and Children’s Centre was founded in 1914 by sisters Margaret and Rachel McMillan who are credited with influencing early years education across the world.

News Shopper: Rachel McMillan

The nursery, in McMillan Street, has classrooms known as ‘shelters’ built around an outdoor play area to help develop a child’s healthy lifestyle.

Head teacher Theresa Lane said" "The centenary celebrations have given us a great opportunity to find out more about our school’s history and about the role that the McMillan sisters played in developing early years education.

"We are very proud of our history whilst at the same time being a 21st century nursery. with very strong links with the local community in Deptford and Greenwich."

News Shopper: Children and staff at Rachel McMillan Nursery School and Children’s Centre celebrated its 100th anniversary

The school, declared outstanding in its most recent Ofsted inspection, will also mark the centenary with tree planting, building a new path and burying a time capsule.

 Greenwich  Council cabinet member for children and young people Cllr Jackie Smith said: “This is clearly an exciting time for everyone at Rachel McMillan.

"It’s a school that makes an important contribution to the lives of the children and families who attend, and it’s fitting that the school is marking its centenary with events that focus on outdoor learning, and on the environment as a source of learning and inspiration for children."