The Commissioner and his team have hit the road!
We travelled to Haddo Woodland Kindergarten in Aberdeenshire this week to listen to children and young people.
It was the first stop on our roadshow around the country. The pandemic has limited our face-to-face engagement and we are delighted that we can now see more children in person, in their own spaces and communities – the way they tell us is most valuable to them. Reconnecting after the pandemic is so important for us to learn more about children’s experience of the last 21 months.
Haddo Woodland Kindergarten near Ellon is in the grounds of the beautiful National Trust property of Haddo House and uses nature-based play to teach sustainability, conservation and environmental awareness.
Layla, aged four, took the role of tour guide and showed Bruce around the nursery space which is centred around a woodland yurt. She said: “Bruce had a shot on the swing. I made him some pretend soup.”
The children let us share in the fun at their craft table and water play area, and showed us their reading and story area and which trees they like to climb.
Staff at the nursery explained to us how they embed children’s rights in every area of their work.
Hannah, whose son Mac goes to Haddo, said: “Mac is so happy being outdoors so this is the best setting for him. He’s really settled here and is already learning about his rights. He loves telling me about his right to play!”
Bruce said: “The staff are doing incredible rights-based work, and the children know they have lots of choices in where they play, what they do, what they would like to eat. Being outside makes it very easy for them to learn about their environment too. They are able to express themselves in creative ways and take part in lots of adventurous play. It’s a special place – a magical environment of happiness, love, and understanding. We had the best day here and no one wanted to leave.”
Haddo Woodland Kindergarten have worked with the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) Scotland to prepare resources for nurseries to for complying with the UNCRC. The NDNA has a toolkit available on its website. Go to www.ndna.org.uk/uncrc