A crafty education revolution with Macmerry Primary School 

Andy Hamilton, Head of Marketing at MacGregor Healthcare 

This year we have donated money to our local nursery school in Macmerry to help fund a new woodwork education section. Using woodwork in childhood education has almost disappeared but in Macmerry it’s making a comeback. I caught up with Fiona Dryburgh, Senior Early Years Practitioner at the nursery, to find out more. 

Fiona said “Woodwork, using ‘real’ tools, is an enjoyable and unique learning opportunity for children. Being surrounded by complex technology every day limits their use of simpler technology. It helps to provide essential personal, social and emotional development, but it also aids physical development, creative and mathematical thinking, scientific investigation and developing language. Then there’s the obvious motor skills too.”  

As well as tools and materials, I was interested to hear that our donation is also helping to fund the training of all the early years practitioners to teach woodwork. I asked Fiona why this was important. 

“For the whole team to be trained fully is of course about safety of the children and us. But it’s also about consistency of the lesson across the nursery. Although woodwork is new to us and we don’t do it every day, we have to be able to rely on our resources, and we already feel much more confident with this new educational area – and we’re starting to see it having an impact on the children too.” 

This won’t be the only example of a craft revival. It’s refreshing to see the benefits of back to basics skills being relevant today. Helping us in this sometimes overly digital or complicated world. I’ll be popping into the nursery again to see how it’s all going. Maybe I can time it over snack time again. Something was smelling rather good in the kitchen.