“Lovely friendly staff who bond and grow as your child moves through the classes. Still can’t believe how attached my daughter is to all the girls.”
THE RABBIT ROOM
Our Rabbit room is for our youngest children in the nursery, and is a cosy space where resources are set up low to the ground, with plenty of space for the babies to move about and explore. There is a large focus on sensory play, with lots of exciting objects for the babies to explore through sight, sound, touch, and smell. And taste if we’re doing a planned tasting activity e.g. using different fresh fruits!
The staff encourage the children to take part in a variety of lovely activities from story and song time, role play, painting, water play, sand play and much more. The activities are all based on observations of the children, what they like doing and their level of development, so we help your babies progress, learn, and have lots of fun through their play. Outdoor play is emphasised regardless of how young children are when they start at Castlegate, and we have a lovely baby garden for the children to explore and relax in.
Relationships are key at these very early stages of life, and key staff will provide children with love, attention, and affection. This creates an environment where the children feel safe and secure, which in turn enables them to be confident and feel supported in their journey to develop into resilient, successful, happy young children.
THE FOXES AND THE OWLS
Our Foxes and Owls are our two toddler rooms based on the age and stage of the children. Our Foxes room is for our younger toddlers (approximately 1 ½ years to 2 ½ years old) and here we provide an area for all their messy activities such as water, paint, sand and sensory play, and an area set up more like home with a role play area, construction zones and a story area. The focus in Foxes is child led learning, with staff observing the children on a daily basis and using these observations to decide what activities the children will enjoy and which will help them progress in their learning.
The Owls are our older toddlers, and this room is right next door to Foxes and provides a welcoming, encouraging environment where alongside all the stimulating child led activities the children are supported to develop their natural interest in becoming more independent e.g. in toileting and dressing themselves to go outside and play. The children can delve into a variety of play experiences including construction, mark making, messy play and love spending time in their story corner! The children in this room are also responsible for looking after the two Castlegate fish – Frank and Dinosaur. Frank and Dinosaur are currently on holiday at Vicki’s house.
Our Hedgehogs’ room is a beautifully light and spacious classroom where our 3 and 4 year old children play, with direct access to the garden. Staff plan play experiences based on their knowledge of all the children on an individual basis, including their interests, dislikes, family background, and development, underpinned by key documentation such as Curriculum for Excellence and My World Outdoors. Core focuses are on literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing, but most importantly on love – when children are respected and loved as individuals they feel safe and confident to explore their play experiences in depth, and to be inquisitive about the world around them. This is when they can flourish and we strongly support this at Castlegate!
In Hedgehogs the children have a variety of play areas to explore, including mark making, role play, construction, sand, water and a much loved, cosy story corner. The children are very independent in this class and like to try out their creative ideas, which the staff encourage and support though child led learning and planning. With the direct access to the garden we use a free flow system where children can decide if they’d like to learn indoors or outdoors, or go between the two during the day. Our strong focus on outdoor learning means that the children always have rich play opportunities available in our outdoor classrooms.
THE DEER ROOM
Our Deers are our Out of School aged children, who can attend throughout the year. During school term time we provide before school and after school club sessions for children from the local Primary Schools*. For the children their Club is somewhere to meet up with their friends and socialise with friends from different schools – many of them met in nursery at Castlegate and love still seeing each other at Out of School Club. They have a daily activity focus which they are involved in planning as part of our child led learning ethos (and their ideas are brilliant)! Their area is also set up with small chill-out zones for resting after a busy day at school, and for having a chat while they play. The children also have a free flow access to our outdoor areas for lots of great outdoor learning opportunities!
* Broomlands, Ednam, Edenside, Sprouston during term time
What The Parents Say
“Outdoor play, trips to the woods looking for animals and flowers! Baking – she enjoyed a tasty pizza for tea tonight that she had made, I had a wee taste it really was delicious! Lovely meals at lunchtimes and a great choice and selection. My daughter loved the sand pit as a baby and my son too, so much we got one at home too and they enjoy almost every day.”
“Your Facebook Page is excellent! So informative and great pics etc. Great for other family and parents to see what’s going on.”
“Prize draws for money off a good idea too and switching to digital payments is fab! Like the breakdown of fees too.”
“Going back to work is always hard, and with my son at 8 months old – Castlegate was the best choice for me in terms of childcare as they could deliver what I needed in a safe and trusting environment. The girls in the baby room made me feel so relaxed about leaving my son all day. They are amazing at their jobs, he has such an adventure every day learning new things and interacting with other kids. I love that he gets to have fun outside in all weathers!”
“I am so glad we have Castlegate as somewhere where my son can go and have fun. It’s not just about childcare there, it’s about learning and enjoying themselves – he loves it. “
“I use Castlegate as I know that my children will receive the best of care from the dedicated staff. It also suits my needs in that Castlegate is only closed for the 2 weeks during the year which means I can use the services pretty much all year round. I like that I can drop my children off early in the morning and they are taken to school meaning I can start work earlier.”
“My children love being outdoors and trying new things which Castlegate offers in abundance. They find all the staff very approachable. In a nutshell, I would describe Castlegate as one big family where I can have the confidence to leave my children and know that they will be nurtured and cared for.”
“Great nursery, close to our home easy to access by walking but also great parking. Availability to wrap funded sessions into a full day to cover work and lack of family members to drop/collect if using one of the schools. Brilliant outdoor facilities, secure and safe gardens.”
“My little boy is one and has been in the baby room for about 4 months and seems to have settled in well. I pay for lunches as they get lots of different foods, also cater to kids with food allergies which is a massive help. The staff are all amazing here I never worry about leaving them.”
“I put my children into Castlegate as good reputation also the hours I needed for childcare was perfect here. My daughter just moved into Tweed Room and loves being outside, or anything which involves making a mess. She loves coming to the nursery to play with her friends and have fun.”