Our Ethos

Putting children at their best advantage; seen, heard & unhurried.

This sits at the core of all that we do and drives us forward as sector leaders. Innovative approaches are required when you see children as capable and wildly complex whole beings requiring trust, freedom, and autonomy.

We are here to advocate for your child’s right to a childhood unhurried.

Natural Rhythm

Each day we see the immense benefits of freedom and autonomy. This extends to how we group children, or more to the point, how we intentionally do not group children.

At Dripstone children choose where and with whom they engage.


To be attuned is to be aware of, and responsive to, another. We believe that relationships with attuned adults are critical for all children, every day.

We accept all behaviour as communication and we promote trust and understanding between adults and children through attunement.


We are guided throughout the day by routine rituals. These are special practices that help children navigate emotionally important tasks or transitions. They enhance and deepen connectedness and relationships. Routine rituals at Dripstone include;


Sleep and rest

Nappy changes and toileting

Farewelling and greeting families

Risky Play

"In nature children learn to take risks, overcome fears, make new friends, regulate emotions and create imaginary worlds" - Angela Hanscom

Supporting children to engage in Risky Play requires us, the adults, to walk the line between support and challenge.

We understand that children need to move their bodies against gravity to develop optimally. Swinging, spinning, hanging and climbing support strength and balance patterns critical for growth, development and postural control.

There's a fine line between interference and interaction and the biggest hurdle we adults face is trust. Trusting children is a daily practice at Dripstone.

Loose Parts Play

A simple way to recognise the value of loose parts is to think of a young child with a box. Pretty quickly that cardboard box has been transformed and transitioned through any number of roles in the play. Loose parts are easily manipulated, arranged, tinkered with, changed and redesigned an unlimited amount of times by the user.

Age and stage of development are rarely a barrier to collaboration and exploration between children. Effortless distribution of and availability of resources among children means that everyone has what they need within the environment.

The loose parts theory focuses on critical thinking behind the invention, development of creative ideas and connectedness. When children are creating something together the process is valued more than the final product, this is often because children will interact while honing their connectedness to self and others.

We believe that Loose Parts play invites holistic investigation which in turn helps children develop skills for life. Download our Director Georgia Cleanthous' thesis discussing Loose Parts Play.