At Summerside Kindergarten we are committed to spending much of our day as the curriculum will permit outside in the open air. Equally we want to ensure that every child that has been entrusted to our care is given an appreciation of the environment and their responsibility to do all they can to conserve if not enhance our fragile planet.
The weather has to be extremely severe to prevent our intrepid children venturing out into the surrounding community. We enjoy daily walks to places of interest such as the local library or the excellent parks like Victoria, St Mark’s, Scotland Yard or Keddie Gardens. On the traffic-free walkways that crisscross our neighbourhood, the children are a well-known and welcome sight and they pass the time of the day with many other ‘regulars’ who use these sheltered paths.
Our very own minibus transports the children in comfort and safety to destinations further afield. By travelling in the bus, we visit interesting venues such as the Five Sisters’ Zoo, East Links Family Farm and at Christmas, the children enjoy a run around the city centre to see the seasonal decorations.
Well-known around and about our local community and much loved by the children at Summerside Kindergarten is our trike. This is a Danish tricycle with a custom-built box in front in which up to four child passengers can be transported in safety and comfort. There are always minor disputes over whom the lucky foursome to ‘go first’ are on the way out on excursions, but this temporary disappointment is soon overcome by the thought of enjoying a rest in the box at some future stage of our journey.
Our garden at the nursery benefits from an all-weather surface, making activities possible throughout the seasons but was limited for growing space so we acquired an allotment. Our garden allotment is located nearby and the children visit there regularly and learn all about environmental issues from our resident horticulturist. The children cultivate many varieties of plants, fruits and vegetables from seeds and cuttings through to preparation for cooking; some of their time there is spent learning about the fauna. Our children show a great appreciation for the friendly creatures and an understanding of the ‘pests’ who we share our allotment with. Proof of our ability in this is that Edinburgh Council invited us to show what we had achieved with the children at our allotment at their Success in the City exhibition. Most recently we achieved a gold medal at Gardening Scotland for our pallet garden exhibit.