Ralston, Paisley News

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Renfrewshire Council has reiterated its green credentials as it outlines climate change as an immediate priority, with its Climate Emergency Working Group set to meet tomorrow (Thursday).

council logo

In June 2019, there was cross-party support for a council motion which declared a climate emergency and a working group has been set up with members of all political parties, who will make recommendations on how to make Renfrewshire carbon neutral by 2030.

The area has a strong base to work from as since 2012/13, Renfrewshire has reduced its carbon emissions by 55.7%, far exceeding its 36% target, and it has been carrying out numerous projects to make the area greener.

A new recycling system has seen the area’s recycling rate increase every quarter throughout 2019, with the latest figures showing 55.42% of waste was recycled between July and September 2019, and this is further supported by the commencement of the Clyde Valley Residual Waste Project which now sees at least 90% of non-recyclable waste turned into energy rather than going to landfill.

A transformation of the street lighting in Renfrewshire has reduced energy and carbon consumption by 64%, contributing an 8% reduction in the council’s overall emissions, while there will shortly be 100 electric vehicles in the council’s fleet as part of a commitment to replace any vehicles with electric versions wherever possible.

Since 2013, the council has secured more than £15million in funding for improvements in home energy efficiency. More than 6000 homes have benefited so far and carbon emissions have reduced by 108,000 tonnes – the equivalent of removing 21,000 cars from the roads.

Recently, the council was awarded £1.8million by the UK Government to turn 75 properties into low energy or EnerPHit homes, which are low energy buildings that require very little energy to heat or cool and could see annual energy bills reduced to £150 for residents.

The council also takes a positive and ambitious approach to biodiversity conservation and promotion and its 2018-2022 Action Plan is working to protect and enhance natural habitats in Renfrewshire as part of its climate change actions.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “As a council, we are striving to reduce our emissions wherever possible as we recognise the immediate threat that climate change poses to our environment.

“We are making great progress in reducing our carbon output, far exceeding our target of 36% by March 2020, and we have undertaken numerous successful projects which are making a real difference to our local environment.

“However, we know we can do more, and this working group will endeavour to identify all areas where we can make a difference – be it immediately or when setting out how to undertake future projects.

“We recognise that the council needs to lead from the front in Renfrewshire and we’re committed to being the driving force that inspires our businesses and residents to follow suit.”

The group next meet on Thursday 23 January and will set out their goals and aspirations for the year ahead.

Proposed front elevation

An innovative housing project in Renfrewshire will help to tackle climate change and could slash tenant’s annual heating bills to £150.

Proposed front elevation

Renfrewshire Council’s housing investment team has been given the green light to deliver a £4.5million retrofit of 75 terraced council houses.

The popular 1960s-built Paisley crosswall construction properties are being given a retrofit to reduce their carbon emissions and improve their energy efficiency.

Together with experts John Gilbert Architects, the Council team has developed a specialist, cost-effective package of works to radically reduce the amount of fuel being burned.

The completed works could enable carbon dioxide emissions to drop by almost 100 tonnes per property over the next 25 years, collectively preventing 7400 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide entering the environment.

And each property’s energy efficiency could rise from Band D to Band B, the second highest Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating, bringing the 60-year-old houses in line with most newbuild properties.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board, said: “These houses are very popular with tenants as they have a front and back door, but unfortunately they weren’t built to meet modern energy efficiency standards.

“We’re very excited about this project which will improve the warmth and comfort levels for our tenants and ensure better ventilation all without the need for them to decant from their home, while at the same time tackling fuel poverty and making a critical contribution towards Renfrewshire being carbon neutral by 2030.

“Everyone should have homes to be proud of and this project will not only greatly improve the quality of Renfrewshire’s housing stock, but has the potential to be scaled up and adapted to fit other types of houses, becoming the blueprint to meet the highest energy efficiency standards.”

Renfrewshire councillors have approved the project plans and consultation will now get underway with tenants before work is scheduled to start this summer, taking around 18-months to complete.

An Energy Performance Survey will benchmark each home’s efficiency before the works start. New external wall insulation, roofing, solar panels, windows, external doors and underfloor insulation are all included, with off-site construction enabling the process at each home to be streamlined to take around 4-6 weeks.

The completed works will achieve the EnerPHit standard, one of the highest energy standards in the UK for an energy performance retrofit.

Lori McElroy, Director of Housing and Energy (Scotland) at the Building Research Establishment, said: “We’re pleased to help with the planning behind this project, which is taking innovative thinking to the next stage by demonstrating a clear solution to a complex issue. We are committed to supporting organisations to deliver the Scottish Government’s Energy Efficient Scotland targets and look forward to measuring and monitoring the project to ensure the best possible outcomes.”

Sarah Buchanan, Innovation Manager, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “We are delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Council and other partners on this innovative project which will bring positive change to the lives of the tenants whilst also creating economic development for Scotland and of course improving carbon emissions. There are an estimated 250,000 crosswall properties across the UK and this pilot project creates an affordable solution for housing stock which can be rolled out at scale.”

The project is part-funded through £1.8million secured from the UK Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Whole House Retrofit competition.

Primary - Heriot - HT, DHT and P2, P5 and P6 pupils - 17 Jan 2020 - JCON (23)

Pupils and teachers at two Paisley schools were over the moon to find out their latest positive inspection results.

Primary - Heriot - HT, DHT and P2, P5 and P6 pupils - 17 Jan 2020 - JCON (23)

Heriot Primary School and Mary Russell School received high praise by Education Scotland for their schools’ progress on improving attainment for children and young people.

Heriot primary was praised for the headteacher’s leadership within the school and the teachers’ creative approaches to learning numeracy and mathematics.

The positive, supportive and inclusive culture within Mary Russell was noted as making for confident children and young people who are achieving a range of national qualifications and wider awards.

Pupils talked positively about their schools, particularly on how they are benefitting from their schools’ ethos.

One pupil at Mary Russell said: “This school is a community and a family. I get lots of support.”

Another pupil added: “We get lots of support to help us decide what to study at college, or what job we want to get. We have visitors who come in and talk to us about our future options.”

At Heriot primary, pupils spoke of their love of maths.

One pupil said: “My favourite subject is maths. It gets your brain going and the teachers give us a challenge, which is fun.”

Another pupil added: “We use the blueprint boards, pictures and materials, like cereal and playdough, to learn maths.”

Hilary Paterson, Headteacher of Heriot primary, added: “I’m incredibly proud to be the Headteacher of Heriot Primary School and our very positive inspection report reflects the dedication and commitment of our staff team.

“Together we continually strive to improve our practice to better support our children and community and improve outcomes for all. We are delighted that our inspection team identified how highly-motivated, engaged and confident our children are due to the nurturing and creative approaches we use at Heriot.”

Headteacher of Mary Russell School, Julie McCallum, said: “We are delighted with the outcomes of the report and especially pleased that inspectors recognised the strong, positive ethos and inclusive culture in our school which is built on our school values.

“Our approaches to wellbeing are improving outcomes for our learners and are leading to positive and sustained destinations for our young people on leaving school.

“Our thanks go to everyone who is involved in the work of our school, our pupils, staff, parents and partners to ensure we continue to deliver high quality outcomes for children and young people with additional support needs.

“Our whole learning community is very proud of what we have achieved and is testament to our school motto of Be All We Can Be! Be Proud of Who We Are!”

To view the inspection reports, visit https://education.gov.scot/education-scotland.

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

More kind-hearted people in Renfrewshire are giving looked-after children and young people a loving home than ever before.

Last year, six more households became foster carers after they reached out to the Council’s fostering and adoption team.

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

There is also 71 per cent more children and young people being looked after by aunts and uncles, grandparents or family friends, known as kinship care, than there was 10 years ago.

More than half of all looked-after children and young people are placed in kinship care or with foster carers, but the service is always looking for more people to open their heart and give a child or young person a loving home.

Education and Children’s Services Policy Board Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Giving children and young people the chance of a positive, brighter future is one of the most rewarding things that people can do, and it takes all kinds of people to support all types of children.

“To foster, you need to be in good health, be over 21 years-old and have enough living space to accommodate a child or young person.

“It doesn’t matter if you are single or unmarried, rent a property, are unemployed or what your religious background or sexual orientation is.

“Foster placements can be a short break, interim or permanent. For those just starting out, short breaks or interim are often the best options.

“If you’re interested in becoming a foster carer, you can find out what it entails without making a commitment. Just get in touch with our fostering and adoptions team.”

Potential foster carers can learn more about fostering and the children and young people who need a foster placement at a group preparation session. Attendance at the group session is required before a formal application to become a foster carer can be made.

To find out more about becoming a foster carer, call the fostering and adoption team on 0300 300 1199, email childrenandfamilies@renfrewshire.gov.uk or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/fostering.

nursery

Parents can now apply for nursery placements with 1140 hours of fully-funded early learning and childcare (ELC) from August 2020.

Renfrew mum, Sarah Kelly, says she has seen Charlotte, aged 4, become more confident after receiving 1140 ELC at 3 Bears Nursery.

nursery

She said: “Charlotte started getting 1140 hours of ELC last August and is in nursery four days a week. Since she started getting extra hours, I’ve seen a big change in her. She is much more sociable and has gained a lot of confidence.

“I think it is important that children get their own independence and can self-lead their own learning. Charlotte used to go to nursery just for the morning, but it can take a while for kids to warm up to being in nursery. Having the whole day has made a big difference.

“What it has meant for me is that I have been able to pick up an extra day at work, giving me more money in my pocket. I also don’t feel guilty about Charlotte spending extra time at nursery because she loves it so much and we make more time to do something exciting when we are all together.

“There are many nurseries in Renfrewshire, but I decided on 3 Bears Nursery in Renfrew because it has a good reputation and one of my friends also recommended it. You can visit the nursery you want your child to go to before you apply and see the learning experiences that go on in there.

“I believe nursery is an important part of growing up and helps children get ready for school. These increased hours are a big part of that preparation.

“Charlotte also enjoys being a helper at nursery now that she is older, and this has also improved her interaction skills. I can’t praise 1140 ELC enough.”

Parents of children due to attend nursery from August 2020 must complete an application form and return it to their local nursery by Friday 31 January 2020.

Parents who have children that will return to nursery after August 2020 will be contacted by their nursery to discuss their options for 1140 hours of ELC.

To apply for a nursery place, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/1140ELC.

Entrance to Glen Cinema

“I remember I didn’t want to go that day,” said Emily Brown (95) – one of hundreds of children who attended Paisley’s Glen Cinema 90 years ago today for a packed matinee performance that ended in tragedy – forever remembered by survivors as Paisley’s ‘Black Hogmanay’.

Entrance to Glen Cinema

The Glen Cinema tragedy took place on 31 December 1929 when a smoking film canister caused a panic during a packed children’s matinee where more than 600 children were present. The main exit doors had a metal gate that had been pulled shut stopping it from opening leading to a crush where 71 children died, and more than 30 children were injured.

Survivors Robert Pope and Emily Brown at 90th anniversary service 7 Dec

Robert Pope (97), had got up that morning and asked his mother for some jars to exchange for money so he could go to the pictures with seven of his friends.

Like so many children at the time, Robert and Emily were sent out the house to the cinema on Hogmanay to allow their parents to get the house cleaned and ready for the new year. They took their seats in the crowded theatre, sang their song and settled down to watch the new cowboy movie Dude Desperado.

During the picture a film cannister was placed on a heated surface and started to smoke up – leading to the panic and stampede which followed.

Boys Brigade march past picture house at funeral

“I was there with my older sister Jean (10) and younger sister May (3) – we heard someone shout ‘fire’ and started to head for the exit. There was screaming and shouting, and people were pushing and trampling you and you were trampling on others trying to get out.”

“I remember some people jumped over the balcony or onto the stage to try to get out. I was separated from my sisters in the panic – I remember someone smashed a window and a fireman helped get me out.”

Emily’s aunt later found her wandering down Glasgow Road and took her home to her mother in Hunter Street. Her sisters Jean and May were already there and had managed to stay together during the chaos.

“I think my mother gave us all an extra cuddle that night,” said Emily.

“I don’t remember much about it,” said Robert. “I think my guardian angel watched out for me that day.

“When the panic started, I just remember something came over me and I stayed in my seat and didn’t move. I don’t remember much else until later when a fireman was clearing the hall, he asked me what I was doing. I told him I was waiting for the picture to come back on and he told me to head home to my mother and that the film wouldn’t be coming back on.

“My friends saw that I never came out and had told my mother I was still there, and she was getting ready to go up to the hospital to try and find me. As she opened the door, I was walking up the stairs and I remember the look of relief on her face. I think that saved her from the traumatic experience of seeing the children who had been killed and injured in the cinema at the hospital.”

Robert’s friend, William Spiers, who had sat beside him and fled during the panic did not survive the crush that day.

When news of the disaster spread through the town the entire community went to the Glen Cinema to try and help get the children out. Emily’s mother was one of those who pulled children from the cinema and loaded the injured onto trams for the hospital – not knowing if her children were safe or injured or worse. Emily’s mother was the only resident from Hunter Street who didn’t lose someone that day.

The funerals of all 71 children took place in early January of 1930. The town came to a standstill to pay their respects to those who died – everyone turned out including the hospital staff who treated victims and survivors and the Boys Brigade – who walked in the funeral procession. The children were laid to rest in Hawkhead Cemetery where a memorial still stands to remember all the victims of the Glen Cinema disaster.

News of the disaster was far-reaching with letters of condolence being sent to the town from people across the globe. The impacts were global as well – as the Cinematograph Act 1909 was then amended to ensure all cinemas had more exits, that doors opened outwards and were fitted with push bars. A limitation was also placed on the capacity of cinemas and a requirement for an appropriate number of adult attendants to be present to ensure the safety of children.

The Glen Cinema survivors and their families continue to commemorate the disaster every Hogmanay alongside members of the local community. They gather at 11am at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre where they lay a wreath for those who lost their lives that day.

The Glen Cinema disaster of 1929 is considered one of Scotland’s worst human tragedies.

Renfrewshire Foodbank2

The number of people using Renfrewshire Foodbank continues to grow – but kind donations from the people of Renfrewshire ensured people had supplies over Christmas.

Renfrewshire Foodbank2

From the start of April 2018 until the end of March 2019, the foodbank received 95 tonnes of donations and gave out 100 tonnes to a total of 10,200 people.

This Christmas, people received food parcels and butchermeat vouchers for Graeme’s in Paisley, John Marshall & Son in Johnstone, and Bannatyne in Renfrew.

Local charity the Night Before Christmas also donated boxes full of toys and gifts to the foodbank so that they could be given out to youngsters in need.

Renfrewshire Foodbank project manager Elizabeth Alexander hopes that there is no need for a foodbank in 2020 but is grateful that the people of Renfrewshire do so much to help people in need.

Elizabeth said: “The number of people we’re helping has definitely increased and our donations have increased in response to that.

“We’re extremely grateful that the Renfrewshire community is so willing to support us. It’s the people of Renfrewshire that keep us going. Without their help, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.

“We have a tremendous team of volunteers and work closely with charities, churches and schools to make sure no one goes without.”

On Wednesday 18 December 2019 alone, the foodbank provided parcels for 75 people in five hours.

Renfrewshire Foodbank links up with community organisations to provide the best possible service to people, and is also working with St Mirren FC on the Festive Friends initiative to provide support to people who will be spending Christmas on their own.

Renfrewshire Council employees donate to the foodbank through the Council’s Food Bank Food Rush Initiative.

Since the initiative started in 2014, more than 130,000 items have been donated. A three-week collection at Renfrewshire House in June gathered 433.95g of supplies which equates to 1,033 meals.

Renfrewshire Foodbank operates from Paisley Central Baptist Church. You can find out more via the website – renfrewshire.foodbank.org.uk

Reclaim the Night march1

Renfrewshire Council has become one of the first local authorities in Scotland to formally introduce a domestic abuse policy for staff.

Reclaim the Night march1

The policy demonstrates the Council’s commitment to a zero tolerance approach to all forms of abuse – psychological and physical – and shows its support for all employees impacted by domestic abuse, past or present.

Employees who are victims of domestic abuse are now able to request special paid leave to receive necessary support and attend any relevant appointments.

According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, in the UK in any one year, more than 20 per cent of employed women take time off work because of domestic abuse and two per cent lose their jobs as a direct result.

Commission figures also reveal that 75 per cent of women who experience domestic abuse are targeted at work – from harassing phone calls and abusive partners arriving at the office unannounced, to physical assaults.

The Renfrewshire Council policy provides guidance for any employees who are living with domestic abuse and employees who suspect that work colleagues may be suffering. It also outlines the steps supervisors and managers should take to support colleagues who choose to speak out about their abuse and who are seeking help.

Domestic abuse policy champions are being introduced at a senior level across the organisation.

Councillor John Shaw said: “As a local authority, it’s vital that we recognise the devastating impact domestic abuse has on individuals and families.

“As one of the first local authorities in Scotland to adopt this approach, we want to send a clear message that we will support anyone affected by domestic abuse.

“We are working towards creating a safe and supportive environment which encourages employees to report all forms of harm.

“By putting a policy in place, we are ensuring the correct support is available to staff who may be directly affected and creating a clear reporting route for anyone who may have concerns about the wellbeing of one of their colleagues.

“We hope that the introduction of this policy raises awareness that there are formal procedures in place and helps colleagues to feel that they can approach domestic abuse policy champions for support and advice.”

Renfrewshire Council has also been working closely with UK domestic abuse charity SafeLives to support the implementation of the new policy.

Liz Thompson, director of external relations at SafeLives, said: “Domestic abuse is everybody’s business and this includes employers. We know that more than two million adults experience domestic abuse each year. It is something that will impact upon almost every workplace.

“Employers are well placed to spot the signs in colleagues but without the right training, leadership and guidance, it can be hard to know what to do.

“We’re so pleased to see Renfrewshire Council committing to this policy, breaking the silence on domestic abuse and supporting all staff and colleagues to get the help and support they need.”

The policy has been agreed and developed in partnership with trade unions and complies with relevant legislation,  including the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 and Equally Safe – Scotland’s Strategy for Preventing and Eradicating Violence Against Women and Girls provided by the Scottish Government and its partners.

The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 covers not only spouses, civil partners and cohabitants but also people in intimate personal relationships who do not live together, and as well as physical abuse, it covers other forms of psychological abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.

Oakshaw-Bins-07638

Residents in Renfrewshire are being reminded that bin collections will not take place on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, with these collections rearranged to earlier in the week.

Grey, blue or food waste bins due to be collected on Wednesday 25 December or Wednesday 1 January will be collected the previous Sunday, on 22 and 29 December.

Oakshaw-Bins-07638

Green bin, brown bin, sack collection or bulk bin recycling due to be collected on Wednesday 25 December or Wednesday 1 January will be collected the previous Monday, on 23 and 30 December.

Bulk bin residual, food or trade waste due to be collected on Wednesday 25 December or Wednesday 1 January will be collected the previous day on Tuesday 24 and 31 December.

All bins due to be collected on all other days will be collected as normal.

Renfrewshire’s Household Waste Recycling Centres are open every day, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, for any excess recycling or waste generated over the festive period.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We know how important collections are at this time of year and our teams will be working extremely hard to ensure that all bins are uplifted as normal.

“If you’re due a collection on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day then please make sure you know when to put it out instead.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone in our collection teams for their hard work and dedication over the festive period, it really is appreciated.”

All residents will have received a new collection calendar to their home, which includes their festive collections, and these are available to download from www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/mybins.

Nursery - Grow Your Own Froebel - group shot - 21 Nov 2019 - JCON

Nurseries across Renfrewshire are bringing play and autonomy into the heart of teaching young children after practitioners completed a highly-praised course.

Around 50 nursery managers and officers from Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, part of the West Partnership, have completed a Froebel and Childhood Practice CPD Certificate, a professional development course developed with the University of Edinburgh and the Froebel Trust.

Nursery - Grow Your Own Froebel - group shot - 21 Nov 2019 - JCON

Friedrich Froebel was a German educator who pioneered new ways of thinking about education for very young children and is most famous as the creator of the first ‘kindergarten’ – a child garden.

Froebelian principles say that children need to lead their own learning through play to become confident learners, and that their environment plays a big part in their development.

Since going on the course, nursery teams in council-run and approved funded private and voluntary providers have been using what they have learned to enhance practices within their centres and classes.

Sandra Brackenridge, Senior Early Learning and Childcare Officer at Foxlea Early Learning and Childcare Centre, said: “Since being on this course, we’ve been putting the Froebelian principles into practice in our nursery. We have changed all our activities to be open-ended so children can be creative and find their own solutions.

“As a team, we have been sharing our experiences with art and creative play, block play, baking, outdoor play and community links with each other.

“I’d want to see more nursery managers and officers have time to go to this course and have the opportunity to embed these principles in their work. I can’t wait to see the impact these principles have on a child’s learning when they get into primary school and into life-long learning.”

Nursery Manager at Stepping Stones Nursery, Lorna Bradley, said: “This course consolidated everything I wanted to do and what I believed was important to help children develop and grow. It helped me see the theory behind the practices and why they are important.

“It has motivated me to study and read again and I’ve been qualified for 25 years. It’s also helped me motivate my staff and everyone is on board with embedding the Froebelian principles. I’ve put forward my depute to go onto the next course.

“It has changed our ethos and how we deliver learning for children. We have taken a step back and let children have their own autonomy. We’ve also started growing our garden, which helps children appreciate living things and, in the end, appreciate themselves.”

Michelle Goodwin, Depute Head of Centre at Hillview Early Learning and Childcare Centre, said: “My main learning was that it is best to keep things simple. Natural surroundings are great places for children to develop and flourish on their own.

“Some of my colleagues have already been on this course and when they came back to the centre, they were incredibly passionate about embedding the Froebelian principles into our nursery. I think it is important that all staff get this opportunity, so everyone has that same passion and ethos.

“Our nursery is already working with the Froebelian principles, so I want to continue to develop our practice now that I’ve been on this course.”

Head of Centre at Glenfield Early Learning and Childcare Centre, Alison Lauder, said: “For me, the biggest learning was that children need hands-on experiences outdoors with nature. That’s why I chose to create an area to house chicks and hens and involve parents and children in looking after them. Having a two-way partnership with parents is great. We learn from them and they learn from us.

“During the course, we did a practical lesson on block play. We all sat down on the floor and played with the blocks around us, but we were all playing as individuals. Then the course organiser said we could help ourselves to small parts and we started building things and helping each other out. Knowing we could do what we wanted helped us be more creative and we need to allow children the same opportunities.”

Julie Lindsay, Early Years Graduate at Williamsburgh Early Learning and Childcare Class, said: “The course has consolidated everything I believed in. It has given me the confidence to join a new team and drive the Froebel principles forward. Everyone in the team has excitedly taken the principles on board and are eager to get on with it. It’s been very empowering.

“There is a lot of enthusiasm from the team to go on this course too. Everyone should get a chance to go on it. It really brings meaning to everything we are already doing to support children’s early learning and development.”

Senior Practitioner at Maxwellton Park Nursery, Roslyn McLardie, said: “I learned a lot from this course, such as the importance of children being outdoors and in nature. It has reinforced that children should experience natural play and growing things.

“It also changes your perception on the importance of little things that support the bigger picture, such as relationships. I think it would be beneficial for all members of staff to go on this course and the learning is spread across all teams.”

Gayle Millar, Nursery Manager at Carli’s Kindergarten, said: “As a nursery manager, this course has given me the confidence to upskill my staff and support children to have valuable outdoors opportunities. The Froebelian principles are inspiring staff to be creative and allow children to get experiences they wouldn’t normally get day-to-day.

“I have two nurseries and two out-of-school care groups and I’m developing the Froebelian principles across all four services. This means the children can come in and play with the younger children during outdoor learning experience.”

Depute Head of West Primary School and Early Learning and Childcare Class, Vicki Wiszniewski, said: “It was a huge experience. I am a new depute and it has helped me make positive changes within the nursery. Three members of staff went on the course with me and it was great that we all had the same mindset and that our staff are being brought along with us in terms of the changes we are making.

“Many of the principles were things I already believed in, those from my childhood and raising my own child, but I just didn’t know they were Froebelian.

“This training is an incredible opportunity and the changes we have been able to make in our nursery have been incredible too. Children now have an improved free-flow environment, both inside and in the outdoor play and growing area which is in the shared playground with the primary school. It is a long time for children to be indoors all day and they have the freedom to choose where they want to be.”

For more information on careers in a Renfrewshire nursery, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/ELCCareers.