Dalry Primary School Nursery

Dalry Primary School Nursery Class was one of the first nurseries to get a full ‘refresh’ funded by The City of Edinburgh Council in 2016. It was a continuation of the ‘interior design formula’ created by the City of Edinburgh Council for the 2015 new build nurseries.

After the success of the Duddingston, Wardie and Fox Covert nurseries and the research that was undertaken, City of Edinburgh Council Interior Design team was given the brief of carrying out a ‘2016 Summer Refresh’ of six existing nursery classrooms within Edinburgh. Dalry Primary School Nursery was one of them.

  • the classroom appeared cluttered
  • a Smart Board on the wall, in front of it is a small bench, chairs and tables
  • the home corner with kitchen and sand play unit surrounds a circular table
  • the classroom with a table and chairs, rocking horse and shelving used to break up the space
  • A break out space in a corner of the room with a table and chairs
  • Work being displayed on washing lines in the classroom

Dalry Primary School nursery was decorated in royal blue and yellow, there were two rooms, the one with access to the outside play area was more popular with the children. The team looked at how to encourage children to use both spaces by expanding the play zones and clearly defining them in each area.

Thoughts from the nursery staff

“The nursery has two large rooms and a quiet room, in addition to spacious hallways, all of which benefited from the renovation. The effect of our ‘refresh’ has been transformative. The CEC design team visited the nursery to consult with children, families and staff, and along with layout advice from Community Playthings, designed a calm, child-centred environment.

  • Neutral coloured pin boarding above the coat hooks in the corridor and a room that is like a living room
  • the new room is bright with wooden furnishings
  • a purple cuddle sofa
  • a round table and chairs surrounded by plants
  • the classroom is laid out in well defined zones, a round table, a home area, a cozy corner
  • A tipi and cuddle sofa in the cozy corner
  • Block play and construction area, there is a rug and some bean bags to play and sit on
  • A ruler for children to measure their height and a rocking horse in the corridors

Soft colours, which echo the Scottish landscape, were chosen for each of our rooms.  Furniture, fittings and display areas were created using natural materials including wood, wicker and muted fabrics. Areas where children could enjoy a quiet time and relax were created in each room by adding child size sofas and small rugs, along with cuddly cushions and throws. In addition, our small room became an oasis for rest and relaxation and this has been a great benefit to the health and well-being of the children who spend all day in the nursery setting.

The ‘refresh’ had an immediate impact on everyone who uses the nursery. The children are able to move about freely, access resources independently, make their own choices about where they want to play and when they might prefer to unwind. Those of our families were familiar with the nursery before our refresh were overwhelmed by the new provision and families and visitors who have come to the nursery since then regularly comment on the lovely, calm and spacious environment. Staff have been inspired by the ‘refresh’ to continually ensure the provision provides a  warm, welcoming and accessible setting for work, rest and play.”

As Dalry Primary School nursery is located within the city Centre it was especially important to continue the emphasis of Outdoor Play and integrating some of the main principles of biophilic design the team developed in the 2015 nurseries. Timber effect vinyl flooring has been used throughout the area. Including dolls houses, gnome homes, trees with integrated fairy lights and giant rulers to measure height.

The City of Edinburgh Council logo

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