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0141 573 0554

Learning & Early Years Education


Curriculum for excellence

Here at Balmore Kindergarten, we follow the local and national guidelines, in line with Curriculum for Excellence, we deliver a curriculum which is full of experiences and outcomes which we believe will support our children’s learning. We involve and encourage our little learners to evaluate their learning, plan and celebrate their achievements, helping them to become:

  • Successful learners
  • Confident individuals
  • Responsible citizens
  • Effective contributors

There are eight curriculum areas that our children can explore and learn from:

  • Expressive arts
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Languages
  • Mathematics
  • Religious and moral education
  • Sciences
  • Social studies
  • Technologies

Our staff team provide an exciting learning experience for our children around these different curriculum areas. This is all recorded in our children’s “All about me” folders and within their online journals.

Pre-Birth to Three - Positive Outcomes for Scotland’s Children and Families

Here at Balmore Kindergarten, we follow the national guidance and multimedia resource has been designed to support all staff working with young children. It also recognises and values the importance of parents as they understand their child better than anyone else. Our leaders of learning work very closely with the Pre-Birth to Three. We document this to provide the quality experiences children under 3 years need; from feeding, cuddles and nappy changing to sensory experiences and much more.

There are four key principles that our staff plan around that help our children to develop as individuals, these are:

• Rights of the Child

• Relationships

• Responsive Care

• Respect

Our staff team provide an exciting learning experience for our children around these different curriculum areas. This is all recorded in our children’s “All about me” folders and within their online journals.

Reggio Emilia

In educational terms, the northern Italian town of Reggio Emilia has a firmly established worldwide reputation for forward thinking and excellence in its approach to early childhood education. North American and Scandinavian educators have long recognised the importance of continuing educational development that is taking place in the Reggio model. There is much about that approach that is of interest to educators in Scotland. Here at Balmore Kindergarten, we have adopted the Reggio Emalia approach throughout the experience we provide for children of all age groups, exploring the following:

The image of the child -

The expressive arts -

Progettazione - the term progettazione is often understood to mean emergent curriculum or child-centred curriculum, but the reality is far more complex. Reggio educators talk of working without a teacher-led curriculum, but this does not mean that forward thinking and preparation do not take place.

Community and parent-school relationships - Parent and Community Participation is one of the most distinctive features of the Reggio Approach.

Environment – Ensuring children have space and can explore natural materials to develop their knowledge and while being creative.

Teachers as learners -

Each of these will be considered separately, although they are generally interrelated.

“The Expressive Arts in the Pre-school: ‘The Hundred Languages’ The child is made of one hundred. The child has a hundred languages a hundred hands a hundred thoughts a hundred ways of thinking of playing, of speaking” - Loris Malaguzzi5

Loose Parts

Here at Balmore Kindergarten, we believe in Loose parts as it is a wonderful way for our children to learn using natural or synthetic resources. It is helpful to think of loose parts as something that will help children inspire imagination and creativity on their terms and in their unique way.

What are loose parts?

Loose parts are materials that can be moved all around the room and used in endless ways. There are essentially no limits to what can be used. I have created a Loose Parts Guide that you can download here loose-parts-guide-1 if you wish to have a list to get you started.


STEM Learning

STEM learning is for improving the gender balance in the workforce such as science, technology, engineering and Mathematics. The strategy, spanning 2017 to 2022, outlines actions designed to inspire enthusiasm for STEM among all sectors of society.

Science Learners can:

  • Carry our experiments
  • Ask questions
  • Plan and design experiments
  • Using problem-solving techniques
  • Review and evaluate results

Technology Learners can:

  • Search and retrieve information to inform thinking
  • Develop a range of idea/possible solutions
  • Be creative and innovative
  • Use tools, equipment, software and materials safely and effectively

Engineering Learners can:

  • Formulate questions
  • Think creatively
  • Evaluate products and systems
  • Collaborate, lead, show initiative and interact with others

Mathematic Learners can:

  • Observe
  • Explore
  • Investigate
  • Develop problem-solving
  • Develop critical thinking skills

Schematic Play

Schematic play refers to the behaviours typically demonstrated by small children as they play. These behaviours can be recognised as ‘repeatable patterns of behaviour’. How You Recognise a Schema. Small children may have a preferred way in which they like to play.

But what does schematic behaviour look like, and how can you support it outdoors?

1. Transporting schema

Children enjoy repeatedly moving resources, and themselves, from one place to another. Providing blocks, puzzles and vehicles will encourage them to pick up, move along and put down objects. Being physically active outdoors and using wheelbarrows to move sand will also support this behaviour.

2. Connecting schema

A child enjoys tying string to crates to drag them around or wants to weave ribbon in and out of resources. This involves investigating how materials can be linked and their relationship to one another. Water play offers children the opportunity to practise connecting pipes and guttering. Creative activities provide opportunities to stick, staple, tie, cut and tear.

3. Rotational schema

Children display a preference for turning taps on and off, winding and unwinding the string, and playing with hoops. They may also be fascinated with the physical experience of twirling and twisting the body and rolling themselves down a hill. Also use your space for bikes, playing parachute and circle games, pushing trolleys and wheelbarrows, and rolling tyres around.

4. Trajectory schema

A fascination with the horizontal, vertical and diagonal movement of things and self. To be able to explore this schema, children need to experience space and how movement occurs within it. Outdoors there is plenty of space for children to stack blocks on top of each other and knock them down again. Planks are also great for making ramps and rolling objects down.

5. Enveloping/enclosing schema

Children are particularly interested in wrapping themselves up, covering and hiding items, or getting into boxes and closing the lid. Children get deeply involved in exploring how they and items can be inside objects. Provide den-building equipment, dressing-up clothes, blankets and pieces of fabric. Barrels and tunnels are good for hiding in.

6. Transforming schema

Children are fascinated by how materials change their state and enjoy mixing substances. Changes in the seasons offer children opportunities to experience rain, freezing conditions and melting ice. Offer materials such as sand, mud and soil for mixing and discovering how materials change consistency when wet or dry.