Visit our Facebook page
Learning Journals Login Powered by Learning Journals 0131 555 4140

159 Newhaven Road, Edinburgh, EH6 4QA
  Nursery Our philosophy Our active curriculum Parent zone Meet the team Contact us Home
our active curiculum
child playing with building block little boy collecting leaves in a wheelbarrow
  Our Approach
  Learning Through Play
  Keyworker System
  Curriculum for Excellence-
  Early Years Framework

Our Approach

Quality Experiences
Our core values and beliefs and Mission Statement underpins our approach to childcare, which is child focused, concentrating on all of the children's efforts and achievements and observing their next steps in learning and development.

In our Nursery, the children's play and learning environment is designed to encourage children to carefully construct their own learning through independence and choice of play experiences and activities. The layout of the different rooms and our garden is stimulating and specifically structured to enhance the learning that takes place for each child.

Learning through play
We support each child's development through personally tailored teaching as part of a structured, play-based curriculum, embracing Curriculum for Excellence principles. A wide variety of play experiences based on children's interests promotes development and learning in the four capacities.

Active learning
We encourage active learning through real-life and imaginary situations that engage and challenge your child's thinking. These include:

  • Spontaneous play

  • Planned, purposeful play

  • Investigating and exploring

  • Events and life experiences

  • Focused learning and teaching

Outdoor Learning
Appropriately dressed, children will experience the great outdoors in all weathers in our secure, enclosed garden. We value our garden as an extended classroom and children are able to enjoy a range of stimulating activities outdoors. The outdoor environment is carefully constructed to enhance children's play and learning, similar to the indoor environment.


little girl gardener

Outdoor environments are places where babies and young children can learn about the wider world, they should provide challenge and promote adventure and exploration, even for the youngest children.

Creativity and Representation
Children enjoy many different ways of exploring, experimenting, representing and expressing themselves, and we will provide a large variety of opportunities for children to do this. We praise every child's efforts, focusing on the process of each activity or play experience, rather than the outcome. The types of free choice, creative activities all babies and children will be engaging in are; painting, mark making, collages / junk modeling / crafts, construction, music and movement, heuristic play, play dough, clay, weaving, reflection and self portraits, light & shadow experiments, role play, small world, dressing up, puppet shows and tactile experiences (messy play) such as jelly play, corn flour dough, cereals, soil, rice, pasta, gloop etc. Through children's creativity, they can explore the world in which they live at their own level of understanding, revisiting particular areas of interest, extending and embedding their learning.

Heuristic Play using Treasure Baskets

“We can never truly know what it is like to bite into a ripe juicy peach until we have actually taken the bite for ourselves. Similarly what do the concepts cool and smooth, prickly and rough actually mean unless we have caressed a pebble, picked up a pine cone or fingered the bark of a gnarled tree?”

(Goldschmied, 1990)

Heuristic Play and Treasure baskets provide rich opportunities for children to explore and experience a wide range of different natural and every day objects. Through this exploration children can experiment with the different textures, develop the use of all of their senses and begin to learn different concepts, such as big and small, up and down, in and out etc.
We have made a variety of treasure baskets to develop different concepts and you can make your own at home too!Examples of objects used in Treasure Baskets and/or Heuristic Play:
  • Wooden curtain rings
  • Corks
  • Wooden dolly pegs
  • Wooden spoons
  • Fir cones
  • Wicker balls
  • CD's
  • Shells
  • Sponges
  • Bunches of keys
  • A variety of containers, bottles and tins

And the list goes on...!

Structured Learning through Long Term Projects (Pre-School Class)
Our long-term projects will be developed from children's interests, and extended to last over a period of time, which may be a few days or several months. They may include local trips and visits, which will aid in the thorough understanding of the project topic and will hopefully encourage children to become more engaged and develop their own ideas to enhance the project. Our staff will come up with their own ideas to develop a project, however the children will be involved in the planning process from the beginning using "Talking and Thinking Floor books". In this way children are encouraged to discuss and share their own ideas and suggestions. Plans are reviewed and updated throughout the project as it is revisited and continually developed by the children. Thorough observations and evaluations will be made to determine the learning and understanding that has taken place and the children's learning will be demonstrated through photos, displays and class books.

For more details on the quality Experiences and Activities we provide for each age group, go to The Nursery section of our website and click on the different rooms.

Personal Learning Plans

We aim to support every child with a learning experience that is planned from the child's starting point with activities that are challenging yet achievable so that they can continue to enjoy learning. Your child's key worker will be sensitive to their individual development and ensure that the activities they undertake are suitable for the stage that they have reached. Practitioners will therefore complete ongoing observational assessment in their Personal Learning Plans each month to inform planning for each child's continuing development through play-based activities. The records are shared with parents regularly and include parental involvement at every stage.

Additional Support Needs

We support all children in their personal development and have a variety of resourcesto aid individuals with additional support needs. An additional support need comes from anything which is a barrier to learning.  Most, or all, schools will have some children with additional support needs of some kind.  The education authority has many legal duties towards pupils with additional support needs.

Information about this is contained in a booklet called In On The Act : Information For The General Public which is published on the education authority website at  www.edinburgh.gov.uk/inontheact  or contact the additional support for learning team on telephone number 0131 469 3444.


^ back to top

  Designed by Evolution Design