Pupils at a primary in Skye are enjoying a recent upgrade for outdoor education.
Highland Council expanded the nursery provision at Bun-Sgoil Shlèite in December. There is now a brand new nursery building and outdoor learning shelter.
The new two-classroom unit replaces the former nursery building and can accommodate up to 28 Gaelic and English Medium pupils.
‘A wonderful new asset’
James MacQueen Building Contractors Ltd was the principal contractor and worked with the council’s property team on the project.
The team at James MacQueen and R.HOUSE, which creates timber homes on Skye, also gifted an outdoor building to the school.
Mr MacQueen said this will allow pupils to learn and play outside, no matter the weather. On Skye, he said, that’s a perk that borders on necessity.
“We are deeply proud to be able to support our local community and thrilled that the children and teachers are already enjoying and benefiting from their new space.”
Head teacher Katie Wight said that the outdoor shelter provides new opportunities for children to learn through nature.
“Since moving into our new purpose-built building in December, our learners have been thoroughly enjoying the new space and all the opportunities it brings in supporting their learning.
“This is a wonderful asset to our school community. We are looking forward to developing and making it our own in the months and years to come.”
New opportunities for ELC
Last year, state childcare provision increased from 600 hours to 1,140 hours for three-, four- and eligible two-year-olds.
Highland Council’s housing and property chair, Councillor Laurie Fraser, said that new facilities like the one at Bun-Sgoil Shlèite will help the council meet increased obligations to parents.
“[I]t is fantastic news when our projects reach completion and can be enjoyed by the local community.”
He described the unit as “modern, fit for purpose accommodation”.
Councillor John Finlayson, chairman of the education committee, said the new facility provided the perfect start to a new year.
“I am sure the space will continue to be a great asset to the school and local community for years to come.”
He added he was pleased a local company did the work, supporting the island economy.