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Childhood Development, Get Children Outdoors

Early Years Toolkit – Supporting Childrens’ Development

March 16, 2015

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It is the Education Endowment Foundation that has created this new Tool Kit to assess effectiveness of using a variety of different learning strategies through research.

Cost and Effectiveness are always being balanced in education

The Foundation has developed guidance on how Early Years Professionals to use the resources to aid improvement in learning for disadvantaged children, and the tool kit led by Professor Steve Higgins has been produced along with academics from the School of Education at Durham University.

Forest Schools Education bases its developmental ethos on enabling children to develop self awareness and self regulatory strategies, thus enabling them to understand the town behaviours and learning. The foundation found that these strategies had a very positive impact on disadvantaged children, as well as those from more socially economically sound backgrounds.

We know that the understanding and practice of self regulation leads to self motivation and as such has a lasting effect on learning at school, resilience and the ability to persist during life long learning because of a change and development in positive social behaviours. 
So many wonderful things to make with mud

So many wonderful things to make with mud

The researchers suggest that this self regulation can in some children lead to an average of seven extra months of progress.

The report says, ‘It is not possible to tell from existing evidence whether providing extra hours (at nursery) is a more promising strategy for three-year-olds or four-year-olds.’ However, where the integral ethos to the nursery as it is at the Forest School Nursery, is to promote these aspects then it could have a positive benefit

Research has been formulated from 1,600 studies and the toolkit addresses the following topics

  1. Communication and language,
  2. Earlier starting age in early years education,
  3. Early literacy,
  4. Early numeracy,
  5. Digital technology,
  6. Extra hours,
  7. Parental engagement,
  8. Physical development,
  9. Physical environment,
  10. Play-based learning, and
  11. Self-regulation strategies.

 

The new resource was launched by Dr Collins at 4Children’s Early Years Matters conference in London this month.

Steve Higgins, Professor of Education at Durham University, acknowledges that evidence is now available to enable early years professionals to make important decisions around their every day planning and strategy. He is hopeful that the Early Years Toolkit helps to bridge the divide between research and practice and will enhance a more effective early years provision for all children.

  •  The Early Years Toolkit can be found here

 

Get Children Outdoors

Forest Schools Principles

March 8, 2015

Lone TreeEach child’s journey of discovery is different and because Forest Schools is  long term, the beginning of a lifelong connection and affinity with nature. The great awe and wonder of the universe itself, we hold a very special, very precious and very unique, a place in providing opportunities for the child in creating substance, accountability and a notion of ownership and stewardship. The earth will reward our children as they begin to cherish and show compassion with nature and all the diversity that life beholds.Schools promotes, supports, encourages, guides, is informed by, inspired by, blown away by the child and all their magic and joy and creative spirit.

Forest Schools principles[2] have been developed in order to allow those looking in from the outside that there is a distinction between Learning Outdoors, Outdoor Learning, Outdoor Play, Outdoor Development and other types of Outdoor Programmes.

They are also used to encourage practitioners and trained leaders that what they are aiming for, what their visions and goals are for programme, provisions experiences and opportunities thought up and devised, are all there for the good of the child and their journey.

If you are interested in training then there are few options to choose from on the FSE course diary. I know that your children will benefit from your input immensely as they learn their own connection to nature and also with confidence that those you are already practicing are creating the change we wish to see in this world

 

 

Get Children Outdoors

7 Reasons Why The Dangerous Adventure Club is Good for Kids

March 7, 2015
Imagination is the key to happiness

Imagination is the key to happiness

 

The Dangerous Adventure Club isn’t just engaging and energising, it may also be extremely good for you.
In recent years and decades, scientists have studied the effects of outdoor learning and play  on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.

Here are 7 reasons why The Dangerous Adventure Club may actually be one of the healthiest holiday provisions on the planet.

1. The Dangerous Adventure Club Can Make You Smarter

The Dangerous Adventure Club doesn’t just provide stimulating and exciting outdoor adventures, it may literally make you smarter as well.
The active ingredient in The Dangerous Adventure Club;  exercise and creativity,  releases chemicals in the brain that makes children feel good – boosting self-esteem, helping  concentration as well as sleep, looking and feeling better and spurs on the imagination to go and share the experiences with family and friends and go do something in the woods during free time at weekends as well!
Improved self-esteem is a key psychological benefit of regular physical activity. When we exercise, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in the brain and reduce perception of pain because they act as analgesics. Endorphins also act as sedatives. manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of our bodies are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.

Activity increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter and sends signals to other nerve cells and has a major role in reward-motivated behavior. If you can imagine a types of reward, then this increases the levels of dopamine in the brain. It is most responsible for cognitive alertness and supports the production of norepinephrine the neurotransmitter most responsible for vigilant concentration.

Many controlled trials have examined the effects of activity on the brain, demonstrating that physical movement can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and cognitive function. It is known that a decreased production level of dopamine, results in decrease production of norepinephrine and together with serotonin are all essential for feelings of well being. Without these there is a high level of depression and anxiety,

The Dangerous Adventure Club improves both mood and brain function.

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2. The Dangerous Adventure Club Can Help Your child become fitter, burn calories, reduce the likelihood of obesity and Improve Physical Performance

There’s a good reason why you will find happy and healthy children who are exposed to being in the outdoors .

Researchers have found that children who spent from five to 10 hours a week outdoors have a stronger sense of self-fulfillment and purpose than those who don’t.

They also found that the parents of the children who expressed the highest affinity toward nature and the strongest spirituality had spent significant time outdoors during their own childhoods.

(Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2620499/The-secret-happy-clever-children-Swap-technology-fresh-air-outdoorsy-lifestyle-says-new-study.html#ixzz3TiNQGJFn
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3. The Dangerous Adventure Club  May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease that has reached epidemic proportions, having increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicting about 300 million people.
This disease is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.
In observational studies, reducing obesity levels through activity  has been repeatedly associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The reduction in risk ranges from 23% all the way up to 67%

Bottom Line: Being Active is one of the 5 ways to develop and maintain Wellbeing according to the NEF:  Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Keep Learning and Give. Activity is associated with a drastically reduced risk of developing type II diabetes. People who are active and eat healthily are the least likely to become diabetic.

Mark making

Mark making

Not only can physical activity make you smarter in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age, research shows that those adults who have a grater affinity with outdoors, nature and physical activity are more likely to have had an active engagement in childhood themselves. So by providing your child with the ability to play and learn outdoors, you are setting in motion a predisposition to seek out nature, wildspaces in their future.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world and a leading cause of dementia. Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, because of the death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain.

In a large study from Sweden, it was shown that a medium level of daily physical activity is associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, especially in males.
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Bottom Line physical activity can be associated with a much lower risk of dementia and the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Increase physical acitivity to reduce heart failure risk

A Swedish study of nearly 40,000 people followed from 1997 to 2010 has concluded that increased leisure time physical activity is related to a reduced risk of heart failure.

Exercise also has these added health benefits:

It strengthens your heart.
It increases energy levels.
It lowers blood pressure.
It improves muscle tone and strength.
It strengthens and builds bones.
It helps reduce body fat.
It makes you look fit and healthy.

4. The Dangerous Adventure Club  May be Extremely Good For The Immune System:

It’s no surprise that many children that play out regularly, are exposed to the elements, are active and creative, are more able to resit illness and are are generally healthier than those that aren’t. This is because on a regular basis these children are exposed to dirt, animals, pests, bacteria and everything else that make parents restrict children’s freedom to investigate and explore. Thinking that dirt, animals, plants and bacteria do more harm than good it’s actually a fallacy. Children at the Dangerous Adventure Club come into contact with these things in a natural way everyday they are outside and by engaging on a regular basis, they are less likely to develop autoimmune disorders and allergies.

5. The Dangerous Adventure Club May Decrease the Risk of Dying Young

Many people still seem to think that physical activity and being outside is dangerous and dirty for children.
But this is intact in exact opposition with what the actual studies say.

Forest Bathing or Shinrin-Yoku has been well researched in Japan for decades and there has been reported increase levels of a positive mood and feelings of energy

It has been shown to reduce the levels of stress hormone, cortisol, and reduced blood pressure levels. High levels of cortisol suppresses the immune system increasing the likelihood of sickness and illness. So being in woodlands increases the ability of the immune system to fight those illnesses

Phytoncides are natural chemicals secreted by trees an by being in the presence of these phytoncides results in a build up of Natural Killer Cells or NK Cells in the body.

These NK Cells increase the  ability  of antiviral cells to work effectively in the system and the increases amount of intercellular anticancer proteins present fighting any cellular changesThe Japanese found that by spending just 20 minutes of walking into the woodlands altered cerebral blood flow and induced a state of relaxation.

We understand from science and doctors that stress is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease. In Australia, an expert group concluded that there is indeed a strong and consistent link between depression, social isolation and lack of quality social support and heart disease. These factors are as significant to heart health as abnormal blood lipid levels, smoking and high blood pressure.

The Dangerous Adventure Club provides children an opportunity to make friends, to learn how to develop coping mechanisms though being in woodlands that reduce stress, it allows them to feel better about themselves increasing self esteem and ability to cope in the world with a decreased possibility of social isolation and depression.

So the DAC can help you live longer!

6. The Dangerous Adventure Club is Loaded With Vitamins, Nutrients and Antioxidants

The Outdoors Provides Vitamin D: Good Food Provides a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices with balanced nutrients

It’s important that  children get Vitamin D, as well as a balanced diet. Vitamin D  is provided by the sun. Vitamin D helps promote better moods, energy levels, memory, overall health and more. Just 10-15 minutes out in the sun will give  children their daily dose of Vitamin D.

This may not seem like much, but if children can play outside every  day then this quickly adds up.
Bottom Line: The Dangerous Adventure Club provides  several vitamins and minerals, though the healthy eating programme provides children with a good support for wellbeing and healthy bones and muscles.

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Take Home Message

7. The Dangerous Adventure Club Stimulates the Imagination:

Sadly, many of today’s children are lacking  imagination. the tide has changed and  we are in the technological age –  children are literally presented with and shown everything they need.  There is no need to go outside and play cops and robbers when they can watch a film about it or play a video game. Infant they oddest even need to go to their friends house because they can play virtually though the internet. But please do not be fooled, ther visual cortex is essential in supporting the development of problem solving skills and conceptual abilities late in life. If they receive visual imprints all the time, the vital neurotransmitter do not fire up and get hard wired.  Playing outside helps children develop their imagination, which is something that television, video games, computers and iPods, do not do.

At the end of the day, it does seem quite clear that playing outdoors is NOT the villain it was made out to be.
If anything, the Dangerous Adventure Club may literaraly save your child’s life

 

www.forestschoolskindergarten.com | 0114 2834060

Holiday and After Schools Care | Book Today

Middlewood Nature Nursery | WInn Grove | Sheffield | S6 1IN

8am to 6pm | £35 per day  | Reductions for siblings and full week bookings

We can wait for you to join us on the Dangerous Adventures we will be having together! 

Childhood Development, Get Children Outdoors

Children are nurtured by the natural world just like seeds

March 7, 2015

We are all becoming increasingly aware of the scientific research in early childhood development. Children require connection with nature in order to support their brain function and holistic development in intellectual, cognitive, creative, linguistic, emotional, social and physical processes.

Shutter stock Thank you for the photo that represents our children as they grow in nature

Shutter stock Thank you for the photo that represents our children as they grow in nature

 It is the joy and exuberance that becomes so noticeable when children are playing in nature, becoming co-inhabitants of the space and totally integrated with the cycles, interrelationships and magic. It is the awe and wonder that connects, surprises and gives children that sparkle in their eyes. Without this connection, life can be very different, and I believe all the poorer.’

Sarah Blackwell – Forest Schools Kindergarten – Founder

Celebration Day 28th March 2015

Becky Joy Photography will be at the event capturing beautiful moments for parents

Get Children Outdoors

Let the Forest School Nursery Children take you on a Walk in the Woods

March 6, 2015

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Have you ever wondered why children are so happy at Forest Schools Nursery? They want to show you why……..The ethos behind the Forest Schools Kindergarten is simple,  nature is both nurturing, therapeutic, educational and the perfect place for children to learn and grow as they explore the environment, their world and their place within it.  Woodlands and wild spaces develop an inquisitive mind, a strong body and sound social and emotional skills.

Join us on the adventure of a life time.  Our Children are very excited about showing you what they get up to at Middlewood Nature Nursery!

Saturday 28th March 2015 is Celebration Day

Please do come and experience what we get up to and why our children are so happy and love coming everyday, and incidentally, why our parents are talking about it and telling all their friends.

As a parent or carer we are passionate about our children and we want the best for them. Children growing up in nurturing environments flourish. We know that children thrive when they are building strong relationships with other children, with grown ups and the environment in which they live and learn, supports this. Nature is the perfect environment for children. You know from your own childhood that the fondest memories, the greatest learning probably happened when you were outside playing with your friends. The nursery is replicating that experience with the children in a safe and caring place allowing all the children to learn freely.

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There are dramatic observations of children’s physical and linguistic developments even in a few short weeks of them attending and they want to show you all of this at the Forest School Nursery Open Day. Little Leela was even Slack Lining for the first time this week!

Contact us on Sheffield 0114 2834067

Visit www.forestschoolskindergarten.com

FaceBook – Middlewood Nature Nursery

 

 

 

 

Get Children Outdoors

Stakeholder Groups – Landowner Relationships for Outdoor Learning and Forest Schools

March 3, 2015

When we work with children we all get permission in the form of consent forms, and we make sure that families, parents and carers are all informed of what we do and how we do it. We have DBS and we have procedures and we have Risk and Benefits Analysis processes.

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Our policies and procedures in place that we review and our  Daily Dynamic Risk Assessments daily risk assessment check blank ensure that we keep going through the review process to make sure we can keep our children safe. This is an example of one that you can use or adapt for your specific groups or location

In the same way we have a responsibility for the land and wild spaces and woodlands that we use. We can do this in so many ways through our A4O process and our Benefits Analysis, but there is more to it than that and this begins with the association we create with local communities and with the landowners who allow us to utilise their land in the first place. Without this good, healthy and supportive relationship we can end up skulking around with no legal access that could to some extents and in some situations null and void our insurance. Something we simply do not want to consider.

Without Landowners to support our programmes and projects  we have no environment in which to take our children to.

Before we take our children or groups into the local woodlands or wild spaces, even parks, if we are a commercial business, or not for profit or charity it is essential that we contact the landowner whomever they may be to ensure we have permission

Landowners can be

  • local council
  • private
  • estates
  • common ground
  • charity owned
  • Crown
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Find out through local residents, through contacting the local council, or farmers, or land registry if necessary. But it is essential that the landowner is a part of your programme for Forest Schools or Outdoor Learning programme

There are instances of companies having to either shut down, restrict or postpone visits because they have not built up a relationship with the landowners and sought permission before commencement

Archimedes Earth and Forest Schools Education -FSE- all advocate and promote and positively encourage you to liaise with landowners.

Its the same as someone coming into your garden and playing without asking first.

Get Children Outdoors

FREEDOM 100 has arrived! – Fast Track Forest Schools Training

March 1, 2015

EarthForest Schools Education offers one of the quickest ways to Fast Track Forest Schools with your children…

FSE Freedom 100 for Business Owners Use the link here to access the full colour version

They are a perfect way to…

  • Increase place take up from parents wanting qualified Forest Schools practice at the nursery setting or school they choose for their child
  • Provide parents with the confidence that you are the best educator for their child utilising the Archimedes Forest Schools Model
  • Learn from the longest established private Forest Schools Training Provider in the UK and the rest of the world
  • Receive tutoring from expert practitioners and teacher trainers
  • Increase the learning potential of your children
  • Begin to Establish Archimedes Forest Schools Quality Mark status demonstrating your prestige and value in education (Preferential Rate – 20% discount for those on this programme)
  • Offer quality provision to transform learning and increase confidence for improved standards of learning in school
  • Increase physical as well as mental capacity, resilience and wellbeing
  • Support CPD for teachers and practitioners by investing in quality training

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YES, Confirm My Place

Is Freedom 100 Forest Schools Training Right for Your Business?

Yes, because your staff will have the knowledge, skills and information, which when you share it with your parent customers will enhance your relationship with them and enable them to envisage how you are experts in your industry – and this will have a major impact on your ability to sell your setting to parents as customers

 Here are just some of the businesses already using Forest Schools Education successfully:

  • Alphabet Nursery
  • Alfreton Nursery
  • Ashbrow Nursery
  • Back 2 Nature
  • Baskerville Special School
  • Doncaster High Melton University
  • Derbyshire County Council
  • Manor House Nursery
  • Middlewood Nature Nursery
  • Nature to Nurture
  • Reflections Nursery
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Wildlife Trusts

There are hundreds more examples just like these from every type of education, children’s service, adults, outdoors, youth development as well as colleges, schools, nursery businesses you can imagine.

Every early years, school, college or support service organisation, charity or business could and should be using Forest Schools Education, whether you sell childcare, afterschool, wraparound care services to parents or other businesses.

Why Forest Schools Education is Also Essential For New and Growing Businesses

If you have a newer nursery business or setting up your own you need to get customers fast and you need to do it in a cost effective way.

What better way to bring in new customers than to show them the finer benefits of outdoor learning and education through Forest Schools Qualified Practitioners who can give them high end and useful information and then demonstrate by make a compelling offer of the uniqueness of your setting.

 Forest Schools Education Practitioner Training – What is it and Who is it for?

Freedom 100 Forest Schools training is a 6 month programme for a maximum of 100 business owners or Practitioners wanting to work personally with Sarah Blackwell introducing the Archimedes Forest Schools Model into their businesses and settings.

It’s for any dedicated and highly motivated individual interested in adding value to children through education and learning in the Forest Schools context, increasing value to their business and rising its profile though training with experts in Forest Schools adding these life enhancing programmes to their business model.

 

Forest Schools Training has three key components:

  • Initial Training; 6 months consolidation and Portfolio Building; Final Assessment and Portfolio Submission
  • Personal Support from Sarah Blackwell. You will be able to ask Sarah any questions you have during the programme in an exclusive private online forum.
  • A 200 plus page manual packed with information and background to the Archimedes Model plus templates for designing, running and monitoring Forest Schools

 

Here is Everything You Get on Freedom 100 Fast Track Forest Schools Training…

  1. SIX Month Course

The first and last weeks of the programme are live and current in Sheffield – the next Consolidation Weeks are in your own setting developing your work, portfolio and programmes. You get full access to the exclusive Archimedes Training Forums and direct communication with Sarah Blackwell though this page

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Here’s the schedule for the Training and Certification

Training Week

5 Dates to choose from : April 7th – 10th | April 13th – 17th | April 20th – 24th | April 27th to May 1st | May 5th – 8th 

Month 1

Section One: Essential Forest Schools Training for Skills, Knowledge and Understanding

April and May

Month 1 & 2

Section Two: Research and Reading and beginning to complete the pre required areas for delivery of the Baseline Assessment Programme

MAY to AUGUST

Month 2 to 6

Section Three: Deliver your SIX Week Baseline Assessment Programme, observe and assess children’s holistic development profiles ready for their long term programme in the outdoors

 Follow UP Development Week 

August 17th – 21st | August 24th – 28th |  September 1st to 4th | September 7th – 11th 

Month 6

Section Four: Attend the Practical Development Week

August and September

Month 6

Section Five: Hand in your Level 2 or 3 Portfoliosarah

  1. Personal Support From Sarah Blackwell

As one of the 100 business owners or practitioners on the course, learners will have access to an exclusive online private FSE Training learners area where they’ll be able to ask Sarah questions during the programme, while they are starting to build their understanding of Forest Schools in your business.

This access to Sarah Blackwell is priceless. She is the world’s leading implementer of Forest Schools Education – You will be able to tap into her expertise to maximise your own personal learning and to increase the value of your setting

Here’s what you’ll be able to do in the private learners area:

  • Ask Sarah Blackwell any questions you have about Forest Schools Portfolio Completion during the course
  • Ask Sarah to look at your portfolio structures and give her input
  • Ask Sarah any aspects to support of your learning process
  • Interact with other learners on the programme

WARNING: This WILL sell out!

Because of the personal support from Sarah Blackwell, this course is strictly limited to a maximum of 100 learners supported by you as a business owners.

 Support Materials –

  1. Manual plus License to Use Forest Schools logo Trade Mark

You will be given a hard copy version of the Archimedes Forest Schools hand outs which includes countless portfolio building information.

This material has generated interest from thousands of individuals around the globe for Sarah Blackwell and comes with a license for you to use the Logo Trade Mark at your setting

This course is worth at least twice the special price we are giving it away to you for today.

(Note: Training is for Practitioners within businesses and organisations wanting to deliver Forest Schools Programmes to children and Young People and is not for those who intend to compete with Archimedes Earth by offering Forest Schools Training to learners and these businesses or individuals will not be entitled to a license to use the materials, concepts or Trade Mark.)

 

Your Investment for ‘Freedom 100 Forest Schools Training’

First, to qualify for this course you MUST be serious about adding VALUE TO YOURSELF or THE LEARNER AND TO THE BUSINESS using the Archimedes Forest Schools Model

The size and type of your business, setting, school, or organisation does not matter. You can be well established for years and decades, or a new and emerging one person business or a new start up company.

What does matter is your mindset. Because of the personal attention from Sarah Blackwell, this programme is limited to 100 participants and we only want those places taken by people who are going to take action on what we cover. You will have to return on the given dates within 6 months and have completed your Portfolio of Evidence byt the assessment date. (There is a fee for late submission of portfolios of £200 and rescheduling of Assessment incurs a £400 fee)

The full investment for the programme is £799 – but if you book now before the booking deadline of 1st April 2015, you can save up to 50%.

 

Yes Confirm My Place

Plus Receive 20% Discount on YOUR Archimedes Earth Quality Mark APPLICATION

If your setting is not currently a member of the Quality Mark Membership Group, you’ll also receive a 20% Discount on application to Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards including a 10% discount off Full price training on all future courses for the lifetime of your membership.

We are So convinced that this course will change the course of your life, we are offering a 100% money back guarantee. If, after the first day of training your learner is not satisfied you will receive your money back

This is a risk free offer to your business

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Get Children Outdoors

Sarah Blackwell – From then until Now – Freedom 100

March 1, 2015

Sarah Blackwell and the History behind Freedom 100

DAC
Born in the 1960’s, in Cheshire, England, Sarah Blackwell developed a love of people and social welfare at an early age, but her career didn’t take off until she joined Chelfham Mill School in Barnstaple in 1981. Her traveling was inspired when she joined a group of other young people on a busking trip around Europe in 1982. Sarah realized that she had no ear for music and was sacked from the band in Venice! Taking up juggling and fire eating she enabled her own trip to continue as she found a niche to making money to support the group.

After visiting a number of countries Sarah returned to Devon where she worked as a dressmaker and a seamstress selling locally in the markets and at festivals such as Glastonbury. Sarah married and she gave birth to her first child in January 1986. Joe himself now a young man with a wanderlust and a sense of adventure lives in Thailand and is a Men’s Clothing Designer and supports other businesses with web design and app development.

Sarah and her husband and baby Joe set off again in their beautiful bus and returned to Germany where they travelled for a few months before returning to Sheffield, parking up at the end of her mother in laws street, where they lived for 18 months until baby Aaron was born in 1988. Having to move to a house environment was an interesting experience and as it became increasingly obvious that Aaron was developing a range of additional needs, not speaking, sleeping and having outrageous outburst of frustration and violence. This was finally diagnosed with Autism when he was nearly six years old. This knowledge had a devastating impact on Sarah at the time.

Grassy field sunsetWild Child

Sarah continued her work as an entertainer and had an agent working around the country. As this work progressed Sarah working with a business partner set up social play schemes and worked with disadvantaged young people and children in order to build self confidence and courage in the face of some deeply difficult socially dysfunctional situations. Sarah’s Passion for people was being satisfied though her work breaking new ground in personal development through performance and circus skills. Her work as a child minder gave her valuable insights into working with children and professionals in their baby days!

For years, Sarah had struggled to escape from the confining family environment where expectations of social adhesion was the norm, and has spent much energy and passion trying to overcome her memories of her difficult years there, and enabling others to overcome and become independent and courageous individuals. Sarah gave birth to her daughter Elly in September 1999 and is now an International Business graduate from Cardiff University and has set up her own company called Fro Yo Joy traveling and working in Australia.

family 1993Sarah was a lonely child and found social interactions difficult and these were not encouraged by her family. Adopted at the age of 6 weeks she always struggled with her sense of belonging and this resulted in a battle for self worth and self esteem. School was difficult and left home at 18 after having run away on a number of occasions looking for better options and care and attention that she so longed for. Academically Sarah survived but it was not until she returned to education in her 30’s that Sarah started working toward the path that she now finds herself upon.

Sarah undertook a range of outdoor qualification and she worked at the Outdoor Education Department in Stockport and again it was her desire to help to transform lives that led her to work with young people out of education and some young mothers. Her degree in Countryside Recreation Management, which she achieved a First Class Honors and was awarded the CPRE (Council for the Protection of Rural England) award for her research on the impacts of the outdoor adventures in social communication of children with autism. Her fourth child Euan was only 7 days old when she returned to complete her last year at university.

Sarah, knowing that it was always through a recognised ‘profession’ that it is easier to move on an up in the industry that she loved, as a result, with four children to look after she continued her education and training for an additional year to become a Business Education Teacher and gained her PGCE from Sheffield Hallam University.

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Environmental Interests

Sarah had had a range of experiences in the natural environment growing up and it was not by any stretch of the imagination the most sought out environment for her when she was growing up. However her new found confidence in the understanding of the power of nature to heal and to nurture during this time of her career drove her onto her first ‘grown-up’ job as she describes it; Environmental Education officer at Thornbridge Outdoors. The outdoor center that provided adventures for all children from Sheffield. So finally, after graduating from university, something she never thought would happen in her lifetime, Sarah sought to challenge attitudes, introduce new processes for working with young people and children and she quickly realized that working within the traditional system, was not the way to go about it. There were too many constraints and expectations and there would be a limit to the possibilities that would be open to her dream.

In the summer of 2000 Sarah left Thornbridge highly motivated and excited about what the future could bring for her and for society as a whole. Sarah moved to Buxton in Derbyshire and began her new business of Forest Schools Education. This was later registered, due to its success as Archimedes Training Ltd.

Wild and Free

Sarah began Delivering programmes that lasted a full year to young people in inner city and rural areas in local woodlands on personal development and emotional well being projects. The results were stunning. The relationships, confidence, language skills and communication processes that enable so may of these young people to begin to return to school, to learning and to function more fluidly and flexible in their communities and families was remarkable. Sarah ran the first Urban Forest Schools in 2001, she worked with teenagers, adolescents, those with special needs, mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction, youth justice and prolific persistent offenders, parents, teachers, babies, children, boys, girls, men, women and grandparents of all cultures, nationalities, languages and races. Sarah is passionate about cultural identity, heritage and a sense of place in the world.

 

Work grew and in 2002 Sarah wrote the first independent Forest Schools Practitioner Award and this started her delivery of training that now take her and her company across the globe. Sarah has not looked back.

Having now worked and trained with over 6500 practitioners, each one having influenced the loved of over 1million children, parents, families and communities, Sarah has a desire that all children, in every situation, country region, nation can experience Forest Schools, or Beach Schools or River Schools or Bush Schools. The essence of change, of self belief, of passion, of a desire to live strongly and brilliantly in the word is at her heart.

In November 2013, Sarah re assessed her own personal aspirations, desires and journey. Handing over the reigns to her training company Forest Schools Education to her newly appointed Managing Director and Commercial Director. This decision has released her to follow other passions and dreams that will go towards creating the big picture and the international vision that she has. Archimedes Earth. Not only this but the development and inspiration of the Forest Schools Kindergarten is going from strength to strength. A plan she had for educating her own children 28 years ago, but which never came to fruition, but now it will, just in time perhaps for grandchildren and the local communities in which they will be set, in woodlands of course !!

 

The present, the Future and you

Sarah knows that the work she does is valuable and essential. That without it there will be many children in this world who will never discover who they are, how they fit into the jigsaw of life, and will never experience their own vision of success and possess the internal motivation and independence or the power to achieve their goals.

Sarah is working on all continents; she is passionate about you and about your children. She is looking for partners, trainers, teachers, educators, youth workers, mental health professionals, special needs coordinators and practitioners who are willing to step out on a limb, to take courage and to work with us to expand our provision across all communities, cultures, boundaries and generations around the world

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I am committed to change; I am committed to a flourishing generation; I am committed to babies, children and to their mothers and fathers, to families; to diversity; to education.

Most of all I am committed to a life worth living, free from internal and external oppression, and I will support you in your desire to live a life, to give a life, to educate for a life of freedom through this vision.

 

Join us on FREEDOM 100 this April for the Fast Track Level 3 Forest Schools Training Programme

www.forestschools.com

Get Children Outdoors

Empathy is waiting in the shadows – you have the power to release its full potential

February 27, 2015

We are learning so much about the brain and childhood and my goodness, how influential can you be on the future lives of the children you come into contact with!!!

childmsallfIt is the Environment and Nurturing of the Adult who has an ability to develop Empathy and this impacts on Epigenetic and Neurological Development of children.

This impact is unleashed in conditions of relaxation, wellbeing and appropriate levels of challenge. It grows in an environment of love, care and compassion.It is nurtured over time and space and by those in a position of power who are able to relinquish this, who are able to empower and to feed the growth though intention and understanding and care.

childrensmfStress in children releases neurone inhibiting chemicals into the brain, cortisol. It suppresses the development of emotions and empathy. Physical Survival becomes the number one unconscious consideration for the child, who becomes self motivated to remain alive and this is a primeval need. The secondary need for love or to love and care for others and the environment is secondary to the survival of self. Thus the need for the emotional centres in the brain are not required, and the chemicals inhibit them from growing. What a disaster for personality traits such as love, care, compassion and empathy.
Therefore it is reasonable to deduce that the reduction in childhood trauma, childhood abuse including emotional, sexual and physical will minimise the cortisol levels in the brain and as such enable and the increase the ability for neurological development.

Oxytocin is the chemical released in the brain as the child experiences close and nurturing relationship with mother as well as others. This Oxytocin is an essential chemical in the brain to grow emotional, empathy and social interaction, respect and a sense of self and place.
The ability for the child to develop these attributes is a right for children to experience, and as such we have a duty of care to enable this attachment to take place in all that we do

spadesmallfBecome the Empathy Farmers for the next generation, sow the seeds, tend, nurture, fertilise, support, protect, and love the children who are entrusted to your care. This takes time, it can not happen in a day or a week or six weeks. A farmer cannot grow a crop in a month, it takes different seasons and conditions for the seed to reach its potential

Children are NO different. Time and Place and Space and Opportunity and Intention.

Provide opportunities through your Forest Schools Programmes to develop attachment, opportunity, relationship, self worth, environmental relationship.

Empathy is a potentiality that is centred in the brain, this genetic part of the DNA is awaiting the environmental conditions to encourage its growth; if a child is given the support to develop through experience and continual exposure to the concepts, opportunities to develop in this area, as children grow into adults, there will be a shift in the way that these adults relate tho themselves, to others and to the world.

Peaceful Citizenship, a movement away from self inflicted harm, violence to self and others and the environment increase momentum towards ensuring of a Positive Environmental Identity and a further Sustainability can be achieved through the children who attend the programmes that you offer when you are clear about your ethos, about your relationship, about how you wish to develop your own understanding of the future.

As leaders you have to ability to nurture, to plant the seeds of change in the children, but this takes commitment and intention to do so. It means that your programmes will be long term as intended, there can not be an unleashing of the empathy gene orOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA a hard wiring of neurones to sustain its long term development over the course of a 6 week programme. Neurology does not work that way.

Get Children Outdoors

The Symbiotic Relationship of Child and Woods – Are you Sustaining Both?

February 24, 2015

EIA and MP MIddlewood ExampleIf you are an educationalist and a teacher, then the chances are you love nature – or you wouldn’t be reading this site! – but loving being in nature is not always enough to ensure that we preserve, sustain, conserve and maintain the woodlands we use for education, learning, play or leisure

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Qualified Forest Schools Level 3 Practitioners have  duty of care to children, no one disputes this – how many consider the duty of care to the natural environment and what that entails

Children and Nature interrelate on a biological and cellular level

You can’t have a child growing up in isolation of the elements, the natural cycles, the trees, grass, mountains or rivers without a part of that child’s inner most being as a human losing a part of its self that is essential to life.

In the same way you can not have woodlands and wild spaces growing up in isolation of the love, care, compassion and respect of children, because nature without children will in the future be destroyed completely and habitats die.

Nature is dependant for its wellbeing and health on children and their appreciation and respect to it, as much as children need nature for their wellbeing and health

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The process of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Management Planning can only be of any substance and any relevance when we as Practitioners and Leaders understand the importance of the need for sustainability. When we understand our role in the process as conduits for learning and love of nature with our children, we can begin to put an emphasis on learning species and relationships and how the natural systems depend on each other

When we know this, we then can apply with great joy and intention the Phase One Survey EIA where we acquire the knowledge and information of the woodlands we will work in

This can then lead to the Development of the Management Plan and monitoring process. Though our Role Modelling of our care and compassion, then children can begin to imitate our love and concern and this will lead onto Environmental Identity for the future

Have a go at this simple EIA Activity as an introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment if you are unsure where to begin

Ive included an example of  EIA and MP MIddlewood Example that as a Forest Schools Leader you might find helpful when processing and completing the Environmental Impact Assessments and Management Plans for your own Forest Schools Programmes

The Management Plans can be thought of as an Action Plan for the Setting and what will be done when, where and how, and by whom. 3 Year Management Plan can look like this though you can organise it in any format that is easily readable and through which you can pass on the information to stakeholders.

 

 

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