What do you do if it rains?
This is our most commonly asked question! The children are all provided with high quality rain coats and dungarees to ensure they are kept warm and dry. The woodland canopy provides us with excellent shelter and we use tarpaulins for additional shelter when the children are sitting down for lunch/snacks or when participating in a static activity. The children love splashing in puddles and mixing up mud paint in order to face or tree paint in the rain….so we would struggle to keep them underneath shelter all of the time!
Are you really outside all of the time, in all weathers?
We spend up to 80% of our day outdoors. We leave the indoor accommodation around 9am and return at 5pm. All of the children are suitably dressed for the outdoors (including thermal layers and ski wear in the winter), just like if their parents were taking them skiing or if they lived in a colder climate. We remain outdoors in all weather conditions, continuously adapting our camps and shelters accordingly and educating the children on how to cope in challenging weather. We do not remain within the woodland if there is high wind, due to the risk of falling branches, however we remain outdoors in rain, sunshine and snow…..the learning opportunities available in varying weather conditions are endless! We have our indoor accommodation available to us throughout the day, in case of severe weather conditions.
What do you do if a child needs to sleep?
All children have the opportunity to sleep or rest throughout the day. We have hammocks and sleeping bags that the children sleep in, regardless of the weather. On dry days, they can drift off to sleep whilst looking at the trees and birds above, and on wet days they are kept cosy and dry under a tarpaulin.
Are the children provided with lunch?
Parents provide a lunch and afternoon snack. We provide a drinks flask, insulated lunch box and icepacks to ensure that food is kept cool throughout the day. We also provide ideas for lunches and snacks. On colder days, children will often bring a hot lunch (e.g. soup or pasta) in a food flask.
My child already attends another nursery, can he come to you one day a week?
Yes, of course. The majority of our children attend the kindergarten between one and three days per week. Some do not require additional childcare on the other days, whilst others also attend an indoor nursery, childminder or their local council nursery school. Often children ‘drop’ a day or two at their existing nursery in order to gain from the huge benefits that true outdoor learning has to offer.
How many children attend the kindergarten each day?
We are able to take up to 48 children per day at our south-side kindergarten and up to 24 children per day at our west end kindergarten. Children spend the day in groups of up to 16.
What is the staff to child ratio?
Our minimum staff to child ratio is 1:8.
Do children have to be toilet trained before they start at the kindergarten?
No. We have a number of children who are currently being toilet trained. In the woods we have a portable toilet system, to enable children to freely access the toilet throughout the day. Assistance is given as required.
Does your curriculum follow a Curriculum for Excellence?
Yes, our curriculum is nature based and follows the Curriculum for Excellence. We believe that the outdoor environment has massive potential for pre school learning, offering motivating, exciting, creative, challenging and relevant learning experiences that are remembered for a lifetime. We are confident that we are able to effectively and creatively fulfil all areas of the Curriculum for Excellence in our natural and stimulating outdoor classroom.
Do you take toys to the woods?
We do not take commercial toys with us. The children have endless natural resources available to them – a fallen log which they imaginatively turn into a spaceship, a Rhododendron den which is turned into a hairdressers. We take additional resources with us, including writing and craft materials (such as chalk, chalk boards, paint brushes, twine, scissors), story books, bubbles, magnifying glasses….and thick rope to make a rope swing or assault course within the trees. As children do not have predetermined plastic toys with them there is little arguing between children for resources and, more importantly, significantly more imaginative and creative play established.
How do you develop literacy and numeracy in the woods?
There are numerous opportunities for us to aid the development of literacy and numeracy skills in the outdoors. In literacy there are opportunities to listen to and make up imaginative stories, sing, identify signs in the woodland and construct letters and words using pebbles/mud/chalk/sticks etc. In numeracy there are opportunities to measure length with sticks or body length, look for different shapes and patterns in leaves and other natural objects, count conkers and use ropes and buckets to make pulley systems to investigate weight.
Are you monitored by SCSWIS (previously the Care Commission)?
Yes, our services are regularly inspected by SCSWIS. Both our Kindergartens have been graded as Very Good for the standard of care and support, environment and staffing. Click here to view the full report.
Our south-side kindergarten SCSWIS registration number is CS2009228879. Our west end kindergarten SCSWIS registration number is CS2015336710.
Can I use my free childcare hours at the kindergarten?
Yes. We are able to allocate partnership funding to all eligible Glasgow children at both our Kindergartens. Children who live out with the Glasgow City boundary may also be able to claim funding subject to their local authority application procedures and timescales. Please contact us for further information.
Do you accept childcare vouchers?
Yes, we accept all types of childcare vouchers.