We have access to a small community garden below Edinburgh Castle – a small piece of ground which offers a very different landscape for the children. Here our children can spend a morning each week (and sometimes more often) in this local area with little or no shelter, in all weathers. Children explore the pond, mud, trees, build dens and use real tools. This experience builds on children’s opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning for themselves. It develops children’s confidence and self-esteem. The Forest School experience will be discussed with you and if your child chooses to attend your permission will be sought.
The site for our new Nature Kindergarten is currently in development. You can read our Nature Kindergarten handbook here.
Respecting these settings
Staff who access our Forest School and Nature Kindergarten have been PVG checked for suitability to be working with or in places used by children. We apply the same standards of safety and security as we do at our Centre. Any adult unknown to us who approaches our group would be asked to leave. Please respect these free play environments.
We welcome parents to join us so that we can share with you the values and approach we take. Having you present can also support your child in their choice to visit. Please discuss with us a suitable time to arrange to join us.
When it’s time to go
We will discuss with you when your child might visit these settings. Each child is different and we are guided by their interests and preferences. Children choose what they would like to become involved in at the centre, and this choice extends to their decision to experience Forest School or the Nature Kindergarten. There is no expectation or requirement for them to go.
The opportunity to choose is an important part of the centre’s ethos. We are able to be flexible and respond to each child’s needs. We aim to share spaces on these visits fairly, according to children’s preferences. Some children may choose to go once a week (the minimum we offer), others are keen to go daily and we accommodate this if it is possible.
This approach is an important part of our how we develop trusting relationships with children, through respecting their views and preferences.