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The Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery --> Nancy ovens Award for play

The Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery opened its invisible doors in September 2008, receiving at this time the Nancy Ovens Award for Play ‘Outstanding Contribution to Play’ and from Play Scotland ‘Best Practice in Action’.

Based in a 25 acre woodland north of Letham village in Fife, the nursery offers explorative full-time outdoor play, 4½ days a week, for 49 weeks of the year from 8.30am – 5.00pm. With a present roll of about 40 children attending between 4 hours and 3 days per week the enthusiasm for outdoor play and learning appears to be rising.

Yurt and tarps offer shelter from weather; fires and much physical movement also keep the cheer and warmth. Our practitioners develop a strong stable presence in the natural environment to ensure that children are safe, secure and are offered excellent child care and educational development. The nursery makes use of the village park and shelter on a daily basis and has been pivotal in supporting and funding the park transformation for all in the community.  

Play Scotland



Enrolling at the Secret Garden...

Please contact us if you might be interested in enrolling your child at the Secret Garden.

Into the Middle of Nowhere

The magic of the Secret Garden was wonderfully captured in a short documentary called Into the Middle of Nowhere, directed by Anna Ewert. Anna kindly produced the following additional footage providing a taster of what the children experience. Much gratitude to Anna for all she’s contributed to The Secret Garden, not least her gentle presence of the skilled film maker and her artist’s ability to join up children’s play with the light and humorous touch of the musician so skilfully.

Music: Andrew Bird www.andrewbird.net

Education Scotland report

In May 2012, The Secret Garden was inspected by Education Scotland. We were delighted to receive the following evaluations:

Children's experiences.........................


Meeting learning needs........................

Very Good

Improvements in performance...............

Very Good

The curriculum....................................


Improvement through self-evaluation......


Our key strengths were identified as:

  • Motivated children who are confident, resilient and joyful learners

  • Children as leaders of their own learning through play

  • Staff interaction encouraging children to think and problem solve

  • Positive and supportive partnerships with parents

  • Commitment, vision and leadership of the manager in developing outdoor learning

The full inspection letter is available by clicking on this link.

This Education Scotland inspection followed our excellent Care Inspectorate report (Service Provider: CS2008176034), from our inspection in November 2010.



Company Limited by Guarantee Registered in Scotland SC304572 Denbank House, 22 Crossgate, Cupar KY15 5HW
Correspondence Address: Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery, Room 1, Volunteer House, 69-73 Crossgate, Cupar, KY15 5AS
Email: enquiries@secretgardenoutdoor-nursery.co.uk T:01334 652276