A chance for children to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and enjoy a wild childhood at their own pace, amongst 600 acres of woodland.

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About Our Kindergarten

About Our Kindergarten

A fully outdoor play-based learning environment for children aged 2-7 years at National Trust Gibside.
Our activities will follow the lead and interests of the children, whilst effortlessly covering and going beyond the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum requirements.
The vast, ever-changing outdoor environment enables the children to participate in a wide range of exciting nature based experiences, learning directly from the seasonal changes and the natural world we will be immersed in.
The opportunities for imagination to flow, to learn, to collaborate and solve problems together and alone are endless.

Term Dates & Session Times

The Kindergarten is open four days per week during Gateshead Schools term time, to children aged 2-7 years.

Monday, 9am – 3pm

Tuesday, 9am – 3pm

Wednesday, 9am – 3pm

Friday, 9am-3pm

Monday 6th September-Friday 22nd October
inclusive, and;
Monday 1st November-Friday 17th December
Kindergarten will resume on Tuesday 4th
January 2022.


From January 2022, we are hoping to run five days per week, Monday to Friday 9-3pm during term time.


Funding & Eligibility

Stomping Grounds Forest Kindergarten is registered with Gateshead City Council to
offer Early Years Funded places to eligible 2 year olds and all 3 and 4 year olds. You
can use the 15 universal entitlement or the 30 hours Extended Entitlement with us.
You can spend your childcare vouchers with us. You are able to share your Early
Years Funding between two settings if your other Early Years provider is happy to.

Homeschooling and Flexi Schooling children up to the age of seven are welcome to join too for a daily rate of £30 per day.

Priority will be given to children who are able to take up a minimum requirement of two days per week. We will consider all family circumstances and exceptions may be made to this if we feel this is both beneficial to the family and viable for Stomping Grounds.

More info about EYF childcare schemeAsk us about using your childcare voucher at stomping grounds
Funding & Eligibility
Outdoor Resource Fund

Outdoor Resource Fund

As per government and Gateshead City Council guidelines Stomping Grounds Outdoor Kindergarten charges for additional services that are beyond the standard day-care nursery or preschool provision. This is the Outdoor Resource Fund payment which enables us to provide high quality outdoor education for our children. The Outdoor Resource Fund enables us to maintain high adult to child ratios, provide qualified Forest School practitioners with additional Therapeutic Forest training, alongside specialist equipment. If a parent uses EYF they will be invoiced for a payment of £10 per day which covers the Daily Outdoor Resource Fund.

We expect that 50% of our families will pay this daily fee and the other 50% of families will be subsidised by Stomping Grounds trading profits. 50% of our spaces will be reserved for families who would not usually attend a Forest Kindergarten, in line with our Positive Action programme.


For any further questions about the Daily Outdoor Resource Fund, or to ask about eligibility, please contact

Register your interest in joining us at kindergarten

Positive Action Statement

Our mission is to give children and families from all backgrounds the time and space to connect with nature, build relationships with the land and grow communities.
We actively encourage applications from low income families, girls, non binary and LGBTQ+ young people, people who experience racism and young people with disabilities.

At the Kindergarten, this means we are financially supporting 50% of the spaces to enable low income families to attend by covering the Outdoor Fund on their behalf and have employed staff to proactively engage with and encourage registration from local families who would otherwise not be National Trust members or consider an outdoor setting for their child.
The Kindergarten does not generate profit.. We use trading profits from other parts of our provision to ensure the Kindergarten is in line with our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion practice.


Meet the Team


Our dedicated Kindergarten team  are all Early Years Forest School Practitioners with a wealth of knowledge and experiences. From visiting Denmark to learn from established Forest Schools, leading Forest School provision for children with a variety of educational needs and delivering Forest School to Early Years in mainstream schools, they are working together to create high quality, responsive and nurturing setting within which your child can thrive.


Victoria Davis
Victoria Davis Kindergarten Lead Practitioner
Rachel Watson
Rachel Watson Kindergarten Manager
Rhoda Practitioner
Emma Bell
Emma Bell Early Years Practitioner

Registration and Charging

View the full policy for more info

Ready to join us at Stomping Grounds Kindergarten?

Stomping Grounds is more than just a Kindergarten

What is Forest School?Our Impact