Saplings Nature Kindergarten & Forest School understand that

“The best classroom is roofed only by the sky“.

Our staff, Georgina, Michelle, Sharon and Lauren,  love outdoor play and learning. Our combined decades of experience in working with children from the early years up to KS2 in the outdoor environment has given us a deep understanding of the holistic benefits of learning in nature, this helps us to provide opportunities tailored to each child’s interests and learning style. We offer a nurturing, secure and supportive base from which our children can explore.

We are an Ofsted registered eyfs and childcare setting, our staff includes qualified teachers, early years professionals and experienced Forest School practitioners. All staff are first aid trained and are continually developing their practice aiming to provide the best possible care for our children. Saplings provides term time day care through our Nature Kindergarten, the first of it’s kind in Co. Durham, holiday clubs for school aged children and forest school programmes to schools, nurseries and home-ed groups.

We see each and every child as a unique, competent learner who has a natural understanding of the world around them and a fascination with all aspects of it.  In order to achieve their potential :

We believe in outdoor play, every day, for all children, throughout the year

We are a Community Interest Company,  which means  our business benefits the local  community. We do this not only through our education programmes and community events but by the support and conservation of our local environment, in  particular Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve.

 The dene is home to an extraordinary variety of birds, more than 450 species of plants, and mammals including roe deer and fox. We are committed to helping children and families access this beautiful, local environment and to help preserve it for future generations.

Saplings is a unique and exciting setting based at the Oakerside Dene Lodge in Peterlee, an entrance to the nature reserve. We would love you to be part of our community here at Castle Eden Dene so all of our children get the opportunity to develop nature connections in this amazing community asset.