Grant holder
Sharon Imray, Poppies Pre School Ltd
Project status

A Scottish nursery school leader explores, develops and deepens understanding of the key principles of promoting practice which is fair, inclusive and equitable.

Project summary

The team at Poppies Pre-School in Aberdeenshire, Scotland reflected and scrutinised the ways in which gender and race were portrayed in their nursery school.

During training with Dr Stella Louis, the team were challenged to consider the question, “Are we doing everything to ensure that every child/family in our community has a sense of belonging?”

Sharon Imray was awarded a Froebel Trust Action Research Grant to explore this further, writing:

"Froebel himself emphasised that our community of learners will be made richer by embracing and valuing the uniqueness and diversity of all children. We are a small nursery in a rural, predominantly white community and, having an awareness of this, we have been reflecting on these questions in particular:

  • How do we celebrate multi culture without seeming to be tokenistic?
  • Are all our celebrations in the nursery meaningful and recognisable to every child?
  • Are we supporting our children to understand different views and perspectives?
  • Do we have an environment that is safe, inclusive and respectful so that we can all learn within it?"

Preliminary gatherings as a team suggested that educators in their setting were uncomfortable discussing race and gender and this led them to reflect and try to understand why. The team devised a whole setting approach to improvement, involving staff, children and families."

Using the findings from this Froebel Trust funded project, the nursery school team worked on how to improve and create working policies on equality, diversity and anti-racism which demonstrated a true commitment to the values of Froebelian practice.

Final Report - A sense of belonging published November 2023