General Info

We aim to provide a welcoming, happy, caring and fun Early Learning Centre for your child, with their interests and well-being at the heart of our practice. Our newly developing Outdoor Environment hopes to become a flagship ‘Forest School’ in the far north, offering a unique year round child-led Play and Learning experience.

Outdoor Learning benefits

Evidence shows that outdoor play-based learning is positive and life enhancing, Among the benefits, it improves Physical Health & Wellbeing, Develops Resilience, Self Esteem, Confidence, Creativity and Problem Solving skills.

Our Daily Routine

Mornings will start with children being greeted from 9 a.m. in the Courtyard and Mud Room (Nursery entrance) for signing in, dropping off supplies, self registering, toileting and hand-washing before heading straight to the forest. This is an opportunity for parents/carers to check-in with staff, before they take their child to the forest.

Once settled, children have free-range of the forest, with open-ended activities, and In-the-Moment Planning. Snack is provided; chosen and prepared by the children under supervision, and served mid morning, in the forest or back in the nursery courtyard or kitchen. Children and Staff will plan the remainder of their morning free-flow style, accessing the indoor and outdoor areas according to their preferences, along with focus activities. Lunch is served around 12:15pm, and activities will continue until parent/carer collection from the Mud Room. We aim to spend most of our time in the forest, where practical. Children attending afternoon session will be welcomed into the day’s learning activities, and a top-up snack can also be provided at 2:30pm if required.

Throughout the day, children take responsibility for their learning, including developing social skills, making choices, being responsible and accountable, working as part of a team, supporting friends, showing empathy, taking pride in their actions and work while fostering independence and self-regulating their safety and wellbeing.

Clothes. Arrive dressed for Forest play, with layers of weather appropriate clothing; this should include jacket; waterproof trousers, hat, gloves, wellies or insulated boots, sunhat etc. adapting according to season. Sunblock & Bug Spray. We aim to be out in all weathers where safe, so expect your child to get wet and muddy!

Parents recommend Lidl Lupilu brand of waterproofs, along with Muddle Puddle, Didricksons, Mountain Warehouse, Trespass and Regatta. Regardless of branding, thermal & waterproof layers are key to comfort.

Uniform. The Bower Busy Bees logo was recently redesigned to reflect our new outdoor learning environment. Merchandise will soon be available, but is not required at this stage.

Change of clothes must be provided: trousers/leggings; t-shirt/top, jumper/sweatshirt; underwear, and lots of spare socks! These are kept in your child’s Bee Bag on their peg in the Mud Room. Wet/muddy clothes will be bagged for pick-up at collection time, and need replacing the next day your child attends. We have a small supply of spare splash-suits if required. Please supply for your child’s toileting/nappy changing needs as appropriate to their developmental stage.

Forest Backpack Bring a small daily backpack to hang in the forest, with water bottle/warm thermos. spare gloves, hat, sunblock  and bug spray as seasonally appropriate. A laundry basket in the forest provides a catch-all for hats and gloves the children may take off during outdoor play.

Shoes. Please provide shoes or trainers for indoor play. These stay in nursery. (No crocs and no plimsolls please: they offer no support for growing feet)

Please clearly label all clothes and property. It’s rare anything is misplaced for long, but labeling helps. Name Pegs and tray labels are provided to help foster the children’s independence and name recognition in the Mud Room.

We recommend Our nursery ID is 12629 with 5% discount code SCHOOL5. The sticky labels are washing machine, dishwasher & microwave proof, suitable for clothes, shoes and equipment.

Nursery Snacks and Lunches

Cold Water/Warm Flask. For Forest play, bring a labelled water bottle with closable lid and warm drink flask too if desired. Children can access their drink from their Forest backpack throughout the play session.

Morning snacks and drinks are provided, and served around 10:30 a.m. Daily snack choice is posted at the Mud Room door. Generally consists of a carbohydrate, such as pancakes, scones, crackers or cereal, accompanied by seasonal fruits and vegetables, cheese or other protein. Children use individual jugs to pour their own milk or water. Children are welcome to bring their warm flask to drink at snack if preferred.

Funded Lunches are available for all 3 – 5 year olds and eligible funded 2’s. Private funded 2 year olds can opt to buy into the lunch programme at minimal cost. The menu is set by Highland Council Catering Service and offers two options of a two course meal. The menu rotates over a set number of weeks, and parents email their child’s choices into nursery by Thursday mornings for the following week. Lunches are prepared at Castletown School kitchen and arrive at Busy Bees in time for serving around 12:15 p.m.

Packed Lunch from Home is an option for all children. Sandwiches/Wraps, fruit and yogurt provides a balanced lunchbox. To minimise choking hazards, please chop grapes or other hard fruits lengthwise. In line with our healthy eating policy, please do not bring crisps, popcorn, chocolate, sweets, gum, juice or fizzy drinks etc. into nursery.

Eating together. We do not share each other’s food, but regardless of what everyone brings to the table, the children choose where to sit to eat together. This provides an opportunity to socialise and practice table manners. Children are encouraged to try new foods and eat a healthy portion. Staff take a relaxed and calm approach to handling children’s preferences and tastes. We do not permit food from home to be eaten outwith snack or lunch times, as we eat collectively.

Allergies. Prior to attending Busy Bees, staff must receive written information and Medical Action Plan for any child with allergies. Medication administration and storage details will be noted and shared with all staff. All parents in the setting will be alerted if a child on the premises has a severe allergy, so these foods can be eliminated.

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