Nursery & Primary School Programmes

Available All Year Round

Our nursery and primary school programmes provide outdoor, hands-on experiential learning opportunities, all tailored to meet the curricular outcomes of the Curriculum for Excellence. 

As well as the banks of the Water of Leith and the protected woodlands of the Craiglockhart Dells, the Water of Leith Centre offers a popular interactive river exhibition and a fully resourced classroom/lunchroom. 

We also have wellies and waterproofs which can be borrowed upon request. 

Booking Enquiries & More Information

You will find more info on individual Nursery & Primary Education Programmes below. 

For additional information or to book a programme please call our Outdoor Learning Officer, Ruth Prince, or our administrator on 0131 455 7367 or email [email protected]


Nursery Groups (All Year)

We offer an one-and-a-half hour interactive visit to the Centre and riverside, to experience the nature and wildlife of this special place. Topics are seasonally adapted and nurseries can choose from the following topics:  Weather and Water, Woodlands, Plants and Animals on the Water of Leith, and Looking after Our World (litter and recycling). 

Nurseries can use the classroom for a snack break during the visit.

Cost £5 per child

Primary School Programmes

All our Primary School workshops run from 9.30 am to 2.15 pm for P3 to P7 and 9.30 am to 12.30 pm for P1 and P2 (with the option of staying on in the classroom to eat lunch after the workshop).

Living Things, Wild Places, Our Environment

Rivers & Water P3-P7 (All Year)

Explore the Water of Leith, learn about the diversity of its wildlife and its rich human history, see the water cycle in action and consider ways to conserve this valuable resource. Activities: interactive exhibition, activity walk, river dipping, surveys and art workshop.

Cost £5 per child

Woodland Places: Seasonal Changes P1-P7 (All Year)

Explore the rich diversity of woodland habitats, investigate life cycles and food chains, consider the adaptations of woodland plants and animals and understand the importance of plants to life on earth. Activities: interactive exhibition, sensory and discovery walk, surveys and art workshop.

Cost £5 per child

Bugs and Beasties P1-P7 (All Year)

Explore the world of invertebrates, investigate their habitats, learn about food chains and life cycles and find out about their important role in nature. Activities: interactive exhibition, sensory and discovery walk, surveys and art workshop.

Cost £5 per child

Active Citizens – Sustainable Rivers P3-P7 (All Year)

Join our river charity for a hands-on day to find out how we look after the river: discover the biodiversity of the ancient woodlands and investigate the potential impact of climate change upon the river and woodland habitats; explore the ways in which we as individuals can help the environment. Activities: interactive exhibition, conservation activity, environmental investigation of the Water of Leith, river dipping. 

Cost £5 per child

Biodiversity Matters P3-P7 (All Year)

Investigate the importance of the interdependency of all living things, with an emphasis upon the wide variety of plants and animals in our local environment. Explore the impact of climate change on the environment and discuss ways in which we can help the planet develop resilience. Activities: interactive exhibition, environmental walk to river and woodland habitats, art workshop. 

Cost £5 per child

People and Place: Past and Present

Jacobites in Edinburgh P4-P7 (All Year)

Take a step back in time to re-live and explore the issues and consequences of the 1745 occupation of Edinburgh by the Jacobite army. Activities: classroom activity and slide talk, Jacobites at Grays Mill drama activity trail and encampment, art workshop.

Cost £5 per child

Water, Sustainability and Our Milling Heritage P4-P7 (All Year)

Explore Edinburgh’s milling legacy on the Water of Leith whilst looking at the river’s future use for sustainable energy production. Activities: interactive exhibition, river walk, drama activities and renewable energy art workshop.

Cost £5 per child

Other Primary School Workshops

JASS at the Water of Leith P5-S2 (All Year)

Come to the ancient woodlands of the Craiglockhart Dells to earn the Adventure section of the JASS award. This outdoor programme explores the woods and develops survival skills through orienteering, shelter building and even fire-making. Learn about the plants and animals in the woods and contribute to the health of the river by participating in a conservation challenge.

9.30 am – 2.15 pm

Cost £5 per child

Winter Outreach Programme

In addition to our Centre-based programme, you can now book our Outdoor Learning Officer to come to your school to deliver one of our unique Winter Outreach Programmes for P3 – S2 classes.

Please note, Schools must be within walking distance of the canal or river to take part in our full or half-day Winter Outreach workshops.

Your Local Environment P3-P7 (November to April only)

What did the environment around your school look like 12,000 years ago? Or 120 years ago? What are some of the animals and plants that grow and live along the waterside? Who were some interesting or famous people who used to live right next door? In this bespoke programme, our Education Officer spends the day with your class to help you find out more about your Local Environment. Activities: interactive timeline and guided walk along the river/canal and art workshop (for the full-day option).

Cost Full-day £75, Half-day £50

Plants and Wildlife. Food Chains. The Water Cycle. P1-P7 (November to April only)

Choose one from these three topics for a hands-on, interactive, one-hour workshop bringing the plants and animals of the Water of Leith right into your classroom. Activities: PowerPoint presentation, interactive classroom activities and games.

Duration – 1hr

Cost £25 for one hour session

Booking Enquiries & More Information

For additional information or to book a programme please call our Outdoor Learning Officer, Ruth Prince or our administrator on 0131 455 7367 or email [email protected].