Kelvinside Academy: For the love of nature
The institution is furthering its commitment to outdoor education with a new nursery
For the first time in Kelvinside Academy’s 139-year history, some of its pupils will be based away from the school’s west-end campus.
The Kelvinside Academy Green Forest Nursery is situated at Langbank Farm in Milngavie. Housed in a specially converted stone steading, the newly opened nursery is set within 10-acres of private woodland.
This nursery is further indication of the school’s belief in, and commitment to, outdoor education and builds upon the success of the Forest Kindergarten scheme that Kelvinside Academy piloted last year at its Balgray Nursery Campus.
Rector Ian Munro said, “We constantly explore new approaches to ensure all our learners can benefit from an innovative and sector-leading education. The educational research that points to the benefits of outdoor learning, such as improved concentration and wellbeing, is too abundant to ignore.”
“Innovation is key to creating the best learning environment for children. Teachers and pupils have fully embraced outdoor learning throughout our curriculum and I am excited by the possibilities the new outdoor nursery campus presents,” continued Ian. “The Milngavie location is a new one for Kelvinside, and we look forward to welcoming pupils from the town and beyond.”
At the nursery, pupils will be able to learn and play both indoors and outdoors throughout the seasons, with the new facility providing direct access to the surrounding deciduous woodland and green fields.
Alongside its unique forest setting, the woodland garden has a pirate ship, sandpit and hobbit-house tunnel. Inside, the nursery boasts two well-equipped, large, open-plan play areas: the Skylight Room, with its separate quiet sleep area, caters for one- to two-year-olds; whilst the Courtyard Room offers three- to five-year-olds quiet spaces for reading and restful times as well as messy play areas with sand, water, paint and other creative resources.
Sandra Sweeten, who manages the new nursery, added, “We aim to provide a secure, nurturing and happy environment that supports every child in fulfilling their early years’ potential, as well as instilling a deep appreciation of the natural world. We believe strongly in a broad approach to education which includes fostering invaluable qualities such as courage, compassion, courtesy, self-awareness and confidence.”