When I facilitate courses for the Early Years team in Aberdeen City, most of them happen in different establishments. I like this for several reasons. I get to find out more about a school and its nursery class. All the participants get an opportunity to visit and see what is happening in a different place. Together we can brainstorm and discuss real issues in a real setting. Perhaps the only downside is small seats to sit on!

Last week one course took place at Kirkhill Primary School where we were allocated the Additional Support Needs Classroom. Inside was quite an amazing set up…



The plastic greenhouse had been entirely set up by children as part of their project visiting and exploring Duthie Park – a nearby public park which houses the Winter Gardens – a huge glasshouse of exotic plants.

The children have been totally absorbed and inspired by their weekly visits and subsequent work. As well as putting together the structure, they also planned and drew their own ideas for a park. The trays contain their “parks” grown from grass seed and other natural materials. Some used very old butter beans as paths which have sprouted too, much to the amazement of all.

This blog may be about learning outside, but what happens indoors matters too. We want children to love and build upon their outdoor experiences. I think this set up typifies the potential of an outdoor visit to inspire and create positive events back inside too. Thank you to all involved for such a fab example.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kierna C September 23, 2012 at 19:30

Oh this would be such a good role play area too instead of the usual boring garden centre type one you normally see. Thanks for sharing this, I love getitng to visit settings through you. Kierna

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Sean Musselman September 25, 2012 at 01:22

How did this awesome greenhouse originate? Was it an original design or is it a kit you can purchase? Were the plants able to grow via the indirect light coming through windows or is there another source not overly visible in the pictures. Really cool!

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Juliet Robertson September 25, 2012 at 07:09

Thanks Sean and Kierna for your comments. The greenhouse is a cheap kit which can be found in many garden centres. It’s not especially robust when used outside so I think using it indoors is quite a clever move. The children like it so much that I think the plan is to leave it up and decorate in line with other projects an activities as time goes by. What was clear was how proud the children were of both the greenhouse, the activities and the visits to Duthie Park. It’s always good when children are inspired.

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