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Get Children Outdoors

Freedom 100 is a Resounding Success!

October 4, 2015

It has been such an honour to works with 100 people from all walks of life, and from all continents over the past 6 months on the Archimedes Forest Schools Training in Sheffield.

I’d like to say a big Congratulations to you all – you have all been absolutely AMAZING!!

We have had delegates from Moscow, Turkey, Dubai, Ireland, Denmark, the US and of course from all over the UK from Cornwall, to Kent, Scottish Highlands to the mountains and valleys of Wales, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Sunderland, Staffordshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, London, and South Yorkshire and Derbyshire to name a few.

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It was a trial process this year as the Fast Track required Practitioners to attend the first week in March or April this year and then to complete their portfolios, which are intense and hard work, as well as to deliver their Baseline Assessments and their observations and analysis of the process.

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All of this before coming back for a CPD Practical day in the woods to fine tune and hone those practical skills before assessment, and then of course attend the final 4 days of further training progression and skills and ethos assessment.

The quality of portfolios of evidence are outstanding, the professionalism of delivery and practical skills teaching is exemplary.

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So all in all I am really proud of everyone i have met and had the honour to train and work with on their journey. In addition to know that these 100 people are now qualified Forest Schools Practitioners, all going gout into the world to transform the lives of all of those they work with from here on in.

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If each of these Freedom 100 people go onto work with 100 children in the next year, that is 10,000 children touched by the Archimedes Forest Schools Model in the next 12 months.

If each one of those 10,000 children tell one parent then that is 20,000 people whose life is touched. if each of those 20,000 tell a brother or sister that is 30,000 and then the parents tell 2 family friends and a grandparent that is 50,000 people who will know of the wonders of nature and experience it for themselves as a result.

If this is multiplied by 10 years then by 2025 as a direct result, and this is a conservative estimation, then that is half a million children, grown ups and others that will have heard of and experienced either directly or vicariously the amazing nature of Forest Schools and the new connection to the natural world around them.

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Imagine the health benefits, not only physical but also emotional and social, the sense of self and a personal confidence in their own abilities as a result of their experience.

I’d like to thank everyone who has made this possible, my staff team for the organisation and administration, and to all the learners who have participates and to all the children and schools in which the Archimedes Forest Schools Model is now becoming a way of life. Now and in the future.

We will be having another Freedom 100 programme of study next March and April 2016 and so if anyone is interested in participating and becoming a part of this amazing and transformational programme called Archimedes Forest Schools then do contact info@forestschools.com for more details. This offer will not be on the main diary as it isintended to make Forest Schools available to all and is open to those from around the world, from all walks of life.  DSCF3398

Get Children Outdoors

You up to become the Forest Schools Kindergarten Deputy Manger in Sheffield UK?

June 3, 2015


Forest Schools Kindergarten in Sheffield is no ordinary nursery

cropped-7550_254248858069574_675983131_n.jpgOpen for only 6 months we are developing and growing at an extraordinary rate and are looking to expand more to enable children to live and learn outdoors and to offer parents a supportive and safe setting for their children.

Our present staff and managers are passionate about children’s growth and development through Forest Schools Education and their own love of the outdoors. It is this innate understanding that they pass onto others and work to the strengths of the babies and children they work with every day.

Baby HeadIf you are interested in letting us know how your skills and passions can compliment the present staff team and most importantly the children’s development and become the baby room team leader, then we would love to hear your story.

family 1993Based in the North of Sheffield we are the only Forest Schools kindergarten in the region with our own setting, Ofsted registered and working in partnership with the local council in providing access to woodlands and parks.

Glen Howe Woods was the setting for the Ragged School in 1890 for Sheffield Slum children, and now 130 years later we are proud to be educating and playing back in those wonderful woodlands for the health and wellbeing of our children and families

I Love OctoberBe wonderful, be part of our team and the educational change of children in South Yorkshire

Dep Manager job des[1]

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Is Critical Thinking Important for the Forest Schools Practitioner Trainee?

March 18, 2015

When working on the development of children we do have a lifelong learning mission; And that is to enable children to develop strategies that will facilitate their own movement to independent thought and processing of information
Bloom is a star in my eyes and encapsulates the progress and development theory so beautifully – and we get pictures too!

CriticalThinkingBlooms-TaxonomyWhen we develop reflection strategies with children we are looking to develop their ability to think about information, knowledge, skill, experience and activity that can be stored, built upon and used as a platform for further growth, cerebral, physical, emotional, social creative and spiritual.

For the level 3 practitioner on training there is an opportunity to experience many things for the first time, this could be practical elements, or theoretical elements that go to make up the essence of excellence of learning for your children. However, more relevant to some extent at this point is how you as an individual learner will move from this knowledge through the stages of Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis and the Evaluation. On training therefore you are coming and experiencing so many things, but without the comprehension of the process, the why we do the things we do, there will be a limited application to your lives and how you develop our own practice. As this comprehension and deep rooting of the process takes place, it it then that you begin to apply it to your teaching, and the opportunities you offer to children; the Forest Schools Baseline Assessment 6 weeks, that you deliver. Now here comes the wonderful part, as you deliver you begin to analyse it – what worked, when, why, how, was is random, or was a pattern emerging in the way I did things and the way children respond. It is this that then takes you back to the beginning of the pyramid.

Critical Thinking Allows US to See a World From a Whole New Perspective
Once you have done the same things for a while and analysed those patterns and processes it is then that the process of synthesis takes place – you redesign from a strategic level and re- intertwine things, the interrelationships alter and a whole new pattern for your children. This is when the evaluation and creativity comes into play, because you can now make informed judgements and you can make balanced decisions by comparing your ideas and processes and concepts.
When you are filling in your portfolios we are looking for this evaluation, that comes from longevity of practice of immersion into the concepts, the exploration of the ideas and then designing flexible programmes that meet the needs of the children so that they can follow the same developmental route that you have just taken.
Forest Schools is a means to an end, it is to facilitate capable learners and all for independent and personal sustainability. You may be the only key to that journey. Our Forest Schools learning journey allows us to know in the present, what it is we want to offer as a gift to our children who walk with us in the woods!

Thinking Cap

 

Photos taken from : http://www.b2ttraining.com/2015/02/06/critical-thinking-whats-it-good-for-part-2/ and its a good read too

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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! 

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
     StormPan2

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

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

Forest Schools Baseline Assessments

February 17, 2015
Popcorn and sharing

Popcorn and sharing

Baseline Assessments are the initial 6 weeks of your long term Forest Schools Programme and you will deliver well planned, well prepared and well practiced

In order to run any session, especially those first 6 weeks that comprise the initial elements as part of the Baseline Assessment there are basic requirements that are needed in order to provide you with the information you require as a practitioner to assess children’s levels of development in order to provide them with the best opportunities for their life ahead.

156873_247374625423664_1235936706_nWithout this initial assessment you have no information on present levels of development in the outdoors in the recognised areas of Social, Physical, Intellectual, Communication & Language, Emotional and Spiritual. These are commonly called the areas of Holistic Development.

There are ‘normal’ ranges for children and we are not suggesting that all children are the same, but it is acknowledged that in order for children to to grow into independence and adulthood these guidelines are suitable to be used as a reference model and tool. (The handouts for Archimedes Forest Schools Education Trainees includes this information for easy reference. It includes the expected ranges of ability for babies and children up to the ages of 5 years and you can use these as your reference point during the 6 week baseline assessment evaluations)

To create your Baseline Assessment for all the areas, collate info for each child through your observations, monitor and then evaluate your findings. As a result of that report you can devise a programme to support each area of development for each child by providing resources and opportunities for the children to experience a full range of possibilities and opportunities.

This will inevitably maximise the potential for each child or learner to grow and mature appropriately giving then the best opportunity to enter into the state of the ‘Capable Learner’ to ensure ‘Personal Sustainability’

The Baseline Assessment process is essential for you as a leader and practitioner in order to find out where each of the learners starting point is at the beginning of th long term programme.

This will include what a baseline state is in terms of emotional and ‘normal’ ways of behaving for that child, regarding both neutral and positively challenging but also overly challenging situations. It includes S>P>I>C>E>S. (Social, Physical, Intellectual, Communication, Emotional and Spiritual) for that particular child. Each child is unique and each child will be different but there are ‘norms’ none the less.

  • The Observation Form provided on training will assist you in collecting the information that includes:
  1. Wellbeing Scores of 1 to 5
  2. Levels of Challenge 1 to 5
  3. Social Language
  4. Eye Contact
  5. Behaviour, positive, neutral, negative
  6. Relationship with Peers
  7. Relationship with Adults, significant i.e. leaders and insignificant e.g. irregular visitor or volunteers

 

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  • Your Benefits Analysis Profiles
  1. This will include how the opportunities provided each session can benefit the child or group. It is common to use the areas of development from SPICES. (See next Article)
  • Risk Assessment
  1. Site
  2. Weather and general Welfare
  3. Collecting Natural Material
  4. Using Rope and String
  5. Being Raised up off the ground (e.g. Tree Climbing)
  6. Blind Fold Activities
  7. Using Water
  • Programme Aims for the Baseline Assessment
  1. Consider what the purpose of the first  weeks are to achieve
  2. What do you want to find out
  3. How are you going to do it
  4. How will you break down the programme into sessions
  • Theoretical Process
  1. Which theoretical processes will you be using in order to support children and have a framework for your observation e.g.
    1. Schema (Piaget)
    2. Multiple Intelligences (SMARTS)
    3. Play Types (Bob Hughes)
    4. Taxonomy of Learning
    5. Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky)

 

  • Programme Planning
  1. What experiences will you provide in week one that will give you the information you need in order to plan for the week after (observation of child’s intrinsic motivations)
  2. This will include opportunities for children to explore and to have opportunities for you to observe all areas of holistic development as well as their relationship to self, peers, adults and environment
  3. What will your reflection processes be to find out what the children have learnt and to ensure children can transfer learning by the end of the session.
  4. What is your delivery methodology
    1. Visual
    2. Auditory
    3. Kinaesthetic
    4. Auditory Digital (thinking about thinking)
    5. Individual
    6. Pairs
    7. Group

 

  • What Resources do you need
  1. Packed Happy Bag
  2. Completion of First Aid that covers children, adults and outdoors. (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974)

 

  • Procedures
  1. What are the Normal Operating Procedures (NOP)
  2. What are the Emergency Action Plans (EAP)
  3. Policy Documentation and Insurance

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Once the Baselines are completed for each child and the data collected evaluated after the session, it is at that point that the leaders will make recommendations for the next session in the initial 6 sessions. You will be deciding what it is that you need to provide in order to either allow children to investigate further, in order to observe behaviours and areas of development that you may not have seen in their full array and need to establish perhaps what the schema are for children, i.e. are they revisiting and developing the Schema when you provide the resources an opportunity for them to discover, experiment and investigate on their own.

After the 6 Week section, the Baseline Assessment process, you as the leader, and with your team members will sit and devise a programme for the next year that will again identify the aims for the children, each one individually, as well as a group to lead to the Transition Phase.

You will not under any circumstances write a full session designed programme for them but you will ensure that you understand the development needs for the children and you will then consider a range of opportunities for the children in order to provide them with the widest and most powerful possibility for each child or learner to (amongst other things)

  • achieve
  • mature
  • develop confidence
  • self worth
  • resilience
  • environmental identity
  • a reasonable and responsible actual self
  • realistic ideal self

Above all have fun, enjoy the process.

There is a skill in the process, and so with any skill, practice hard, practice well and reflect on your own practice and adjust and adapt and develop as required to ensure that the Forest Schools Programme is a transformational process.

Get Children Outdoors

Forest Schools Practitioners – The importance of the long term programme

February 7, 2015

cropped-1011073_249701278524332_1467877916_n.jpgArchimedes Earth’s work is not and never has been entirely simply about the children you are working with, it’s about the wider community, society and the sustainability of the world. This is established through involvement of adults, either in school, in a position of power and those within the close knit and more fragmented family life of those children you are working with. Archimedes Forest Schools Education has at its soul and core a purpose that develops a deep understanding of our own impact on emotional literacy and wellbeing, though a heightened self awareness, awareness of other people, and an awareness of environmental surroundings, atmosphere, nuance and energy. As an Archimedes trained practitioner how do we create all of that with our body language, how do we manage and understand the most appropriate levels of eye contact, using cadence, tone, modulation, or modality, the right pitch of voice at the right time and the right place. The relationship between you and your staff is going to have a massive impact on what’s actually happening with you as a person and then the direct impact that this will have on the relationship with those that you are in a position of power to influence.

We already know that all behaviour is a representation of a personal need and whatever has happened today so far will be impacting on the way that you think feel and manage your body, face, voice and relationships with others. Forest Schools level 3, a qualification for those wanting to become a qualified practitioner and this particular section we are discussing is about children, emotional trauma and attachment. In the UK, and I am sure that this a universal trait and one I think interesting is that many doctors, a lot of social workers, a lot of people who are working with children actually do not have a deep or complex understanding of social behavior that is responsive and reflective of lacks of attachment, or impacts of this trauma on early childhood. There is a lot of information underneath that some adults actually have no awareness of. GP’s are in the same position when it comes to that of disability and it is not the position of the doctor to actually diagnose, not diagnose, but even so do not have a good understanding of the root causes or the root symptoms with children for example with ADHD or those with autistic disorders (ASD) and its very interesting, as they are called general practitioners for a reason. As a result of this lack of specific knowledge, then it is one of the things that we are looking in trying to develop by offering doctors and other specialist a deeper and better understanding of some of these areas in order to be able to support that child more readily and allow access to the specialist services that are required to reach their potential now and in later life.

There is much research about attachment and a recent study in the UK pointed to potentially over 35% of young children having attachment issues. For example, If you walk along the road to any school, you look at parents who are picking their children up, how many of them were on their mobile phones, something like 25%, A Guardian report published these findings, and it is demonstrating how we as parents are becoming disassociated from our children and because what’s happening is very real, we are looking to social media and technology for our own self esteem and self gratification, It is actually privatizing, or isolating and excluding our social interactions from those that we love and care for and you know this can only have a negative impact in a long term so it is really real and very sad. It will be impacting on the emotional wellbeing of our society in the long-term future.

When you come to do your Level 3 Forest Schools assessment it is a process not only for you to find out whether you can tie a knot, or not, whether you are able to light a fire or not, those are literally tools to your development of therapeutic intervention, learning, and facilitation as a leader. You can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. But, you, if you have a deep knowledge, a deep understanding, tons of empathy and the ability to be able to actually create different ways of working, sometimes through trial and error at Forest Schools or Forest School nursery, then the outcome for that individual child, as they move into adulthood can be transformational. It actually means that they can carve a place in the world as opposed to actually being disparate, you know, and forever just floating, not really sure where they are going and what’s the point of this all. You are the one who can make the difference through your Forest Schools Education process.

This is part one of the series and supports the Level 3 Forest Schools Practitioner Training www.forestschools.com

And is a foundation of the Middlewood Nature Nursery www.forestschoolskindergarten.com

Get Children Outdoors

Forest School Nursery – Sheffield

January 17, 2015

Forest School Nursery is  a unique, but totally natural way for children to grow and develop in the world. There is an emerging demand for full time early years provision and care that offers children and families access to nature, to woodlands, to wild spaces all day everyday as they grow and progress towards maturity and school life

Every moment is a fresh beginningMany families have not had the opportunity to access a Forest Schools Nursery in their local area. But those who have make the commitment to allow their children to have the opportunity to play and learn in this new and emerging Forest School Nursery and Forest Kindergarten environment such as Nature to Nurture and Forest School nursery in London, Scotland and other regions have all had wonderful experiences and so have their children.

Follow us on twitter @naturenursery_14 @nature_nursery as well as on Face book Forest Schools Kindergarten and Middlewood Nature Nursery

If you live in Sheffield, it takes 15 to drive from Fulwood to the Nursery, it take, 10 minutes from Broomhill, and Crookes and Walkley, Tapton and only a couple from Middlewood and Hillsborough.

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Book a visit today and come and see what we are doing. Come and see why Middlewood Nature Nursery, the Forest School Nursery is attracting so much attention

Our sole purpose is to support healthy, happy and rounded children who are resilient and able to manage themselves socially, emotionally, physically and intellectually in the world