Welcome to

Our Nursery

About Our Nursery

We are a small nursery nestled in the heart of Dunblane.  Our ethos is to provide a “happy sunny nursery” for all our young learners.  We value respect, enthusiasm, trying our best, caring, and being honest. In our nursery, everyone has the right to feel welcome and safe, to play, have our voices heard and learn.  Our practices reflect those rights in all areas.  Children are aware they have those rights and are included in drafting a nursery charter for guiding behaviour.

We believe that children should be free to have time and space to explore, experiment and make meaning while following their own interests and quests for information.  Children learn to make their own choices about how, who and what they play with and are supported by the educators in doing this.

St. Mary's Nursery Handbook

introduces our nursery team and holds more information around the aims, vision, learning profile and curriculum paired with practical information and advice.

Outdoor play and learning in our nursery

We recognise the importance of outdoor play and learning, caring for and respect for our environment, and learning about the weather and the different seasons. Children play outside every day, where they enjoy the large sand pit, water toys, growing plants, recycling, and feeding the birds. We regularly visit the local forest area of Holmehill for forest school and outdoor learning.  Both of our nursery educators are forest school qualified.  We have worked with the community to support and extend experiential learning.



The nursery is also rich in numeracy resources to support and promote learning about shape, position, number, measure and counting. We always have a selection of resources available for the children to explore, and we change these regularly to maintain interest.



Literacy is built on the understanding that children should have fun with language, and the nursery is a relaxed environment where children build their confidence and become confident about talking and mark making/emergent writing.  Good listening is encouraged and children learn what good listening is. There lots of opportunities for the children to talk and express their own ideas, thoughts, feelings and knowledge.

Our nursery supports children’s literacy with lots of different resources, including signs; magazines and cook books in the home corner; telephone message pad; pens and pencils in the making area and a separate area for writing and drawing. Children can access a wide range of writing materials to encourage mark making, drawing and emergent writing. Outdoors, children use water for mark making, sticks, sand, paint and large floor chalks.

Our educators model writing while planning with children, writing shopping lists, and documenting learning. Our book area contains a mixture of factual and fiction books which we link to themes we are exploring with the children. We change the books in our book area regularly, through careful listening to the children and learning what they like and want.  We visit our local library, which is just a couple of minutes’ walk away, for Bookbug sessions and to select books for nursery. Children ask for books to be read throughout the nursery session, and the nursery day ends with story time.


Our nursery is a creative place, where the children are always busy making, experimenting, learning how things work, and developing new skills and sensory experiences.

We encourage the children to choose and experiment with a wide range of materials, including paper, collage materials, glue, scissors, sticky tape, staplers, hole punches, twine, sticks, straws, and pipe cleaners. Children can choose and mix their own paints, and use them to print, stamp, and explore different paint effects. We also offer modelling and construction materials.

Our nursery toolboxes include saws, screwdrivers, equipment for making holes and hammers. These are used outside in our nursery play area and in our technology tavern BERTT. The outdoor area is also recognised as an area for creativity, and children have opportunities for creating with natural resources as well as using paint, sand and water outdoors.

We celebrate the children’s creativity by displaying their art work on our art gallery wall.

Impressions from our Nursery


How To Register Your Child for our Nursery

Call For Enquiry

(01786) 822 740

Mail For Enquiry



Please contact our  nursery to enquire about available spaces.


Please download the nursery application form from the Stirling Council website.  Please return the completed form to us ensuring you have noted the hours and days you would prefer your child to attend.


For a regular start in the Autumn Term (August), the closing date for nursery applications is normally towards the end of February.  We do however accept applications for other start dates throughout the year.


Smithy Loan
Dunblane, FK15 0HQ
Scotland - UK

Phone & Email

01786 822740

School Hours

Mon-Fri: 9am - 3:15pm
Summer Term: 15 Apr - 28 Jun