Early Years Training &

Professional Development

Riverside Cottage Nursery is nationally and internationally recognised as a best practice early years service provider. After years of building up our reputation and hosting many visits and educational study tours, in 2018, we have started to officially offer training, consultancy, professional development and networking for early years professionals. 


Training sessions usually take place on Fridays and are with our staff team and manager, Luke Addison. Luke has delivered training, consultancy and keynote speeches locally, across Scotland and internationally, in Australia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Luke also teaches on the BA in Childhood Practice at the University of Edinburgh and guest lectures on Post Graduate courses.


We are currently offering three on-site training packages which include time with Luke, our practitioners and children, and home-cooked veggie food if required.

Prices apply for groups of up to 10 delegates (please get in touch if you are part of a small group or an individual). A short day (4hours) is £180 and can be offered as a morning, afternoon or twilight  session. A full day is £250.

We also offer bespoke training around your team's needs and can arrange for training to take place in your setting, too. Other days, including weekends, are available on request.

Training Packages

Exploring The Elements

A presentation bringing in to focus current research around play, nature and the early years. We will discuss ideas and concepts which challenge traditional ‘developmental’ models of childhood and bring in exciting and useful new ways of thinking about children and how they encounter space and matter. We will then reflect on these with examples from practice and spend time in nature with children to observe how these might happen in real life.



We will explore the politics and ethics of ‘risky play’ in the early years, what risky play might mean to us as adults and what it might mean to the children we care for and work with every day. A presentation will connect contemporary theory and research to practice, and will support practitioners to gain an understanding of national policy as well as how to develop setting policy. We will spend time reflecting as a group while in a ‘risky’ space with children and critically assess our understanding and beliefs of children and childhood.



Let’s discover together interesting ways of building pedagogical documentation that becomes your professional legacy. This is documentation which is meaningful and powerful (to you, the child and their family) and which reflects on:


  • Your relationships with children

  • Interactions with space

  • Holistic learning ongoing in the experiences children encounter

  • Value in play, joy, love, happiness, connection, movement, experience, and materials

Bespoke Programmes

Please email us with any training, consultancy and support needs you have and we will develop a training program that best fits the needs of you and your team. Prices will depend on requirements and numbers. Your session/s can include a delicious home-cooked meal if required.

Recent Projects

Riverside has continued to grow international connections through Winter and Spring. through Luke, who has been working and learning in Australia, Czech Republic, Athens and Brazil.

Luke has also been working with Dr Lynn McNair and the University of Edinburgh to research the concept of quality in early years education and childcare. 

Winter 2018 / Spring 2019

Luke  worked with the Network for Children's Rights, an NGO in Greece, with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh to open up discussions and inform practice. This revolved around topics such as pedagogy, play, children’s spaces, and resources.

Riverside hosted its first, and hugely successful, Nature Pedagogy Convention. We brought together three highly inspirational speakers and engaged thoughtful and motivated delegates to share ideas for building practice based on trusted, respectful relationships, nature, children’s rights and more!


Luke presented with Dr. Lynn McNair OBE as a keynote at the Care And Learning Alliance annual conference in Inverness. Other speakers included Maree Todd, the Minister for Children and Young People; Play Scotland CEO & Tam Ballie, former Commissioner for Children and Young People.


Riverside hosted a study tour of delegates from Iceland who visited just three UK settings as examples of best practice.

Autumn 2018

Luke facilitated a discussion on Pedagogical Documentation with examples from Riverside and ran a team-building / ideas session with a Glasgow local authority nursery. Following this, Riverside is developing a documentation network - bringing dialogue and connections to early years practitioners which facilitates ongoing practititioner communication and ideas sharing around documenting pedagogies.

Luke presented at Glasgow City Council Early Years Conference.

Riverside hosted an American Study tour visit.

Summer 2018

01506 650583

9 Riverside Lea, Blackburn, Bathgate, West Lothian,  EH47 7EL, UK

©2018 by Riverside Cottage Nursery