Author Archives: Jane Bain

Mud in the woods

After a long and dry spell which has rendered the burn and puddles in the woods almost non-existent our children were delighted to see the results of Thursday’s heavy rain. They thoroughly explored the changed landscape and textures and engaged with them as only children can!

We are officially Very Good ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

We are delighted to report that we recently had an unannounced inspection visit by the Care Inspectorate and that we were awarded the following gradings :

Quality of care and support 5- Very Good ⭐️

Quality of environment 5 – Very Good ⭐️

Quality of staffing 5 – Very Good ⭐️

Quality of management and leadership 5 – Very Good ⭐️

In her report the inspector noted that “all children are supported to reach their potential” and recognised our “strong connections to the wider communities”.

Our indoor and outdoor environments were “well resourced and carefully set out” and provided “experiences [that] were well matched to the developmental stages of the children and promoted fun, learning and independence”. The inspector particularly noted our use of Gillies Hill Community Woodland which gives children “uninterrupted time to become absorbed in their play and have fun” and how it “encouraged children to be adventurous, to develop their self-confidence and their resilience through opportunities to climb trees and explore the woods”

Our staff team “were confident in their role.. and worked well together as a team”. The inspector recognised that the “staff team and manager were clearly committed to the ongoing development of the service”. “They spoke passionately about long term aims … to build a bespoke nursery within the woods”

The inspector also noted that the “positive atmosphere of the service was evident throughout our visit” and that she was “confident the service would continue to offer high quality experiences and positive outcomes for children”

The full report can be seen on the Care Inspectorate website


Harvest time

We have been harvesting some of our produce from our vegetable plots in the Walled Garden this week. We have a tremendous crop of potatoes, some pink skinned and some yellow ( the pink ones are the sneaky ones that kept appearing in amongst our carrots and seeded from the compost heap). We had some peas, beans, tomatoes and a monster courgette. We have some fantastic pumpkins growing but we are leaving them for Hallowe’en.

We made a big pot of soup with the monster courgette (yummy). We made excellent mashed potatoes and used them to make some potato crust quiches. We are developing some excellent cookery skills as we chopped and peeled our very own vegetables.

Toads in the Castle Pond

What an exciting visit to the castle pond today. Amos had called to say it was Toad City up there so we just had to rush up to see what he was talking about. We were thrilled to see so many toads and even an occasional frog. We learned so much about toads : male toads are much smaller than the females, toads come back to mate in the same place every year (dont like to think how many toads will be in the pond next year!!!), toad spawn is fertilised after it is laid and toads are rough and lumpy but frogs are smooth and much more slippery.