Browsing Tag

early years

Get Children Outdoors

The Archimedes Forest Schools Model

October 4, 2015

I am very pleased to announce the publication in Kindle or iBooks of our new book outlining the Archimedes Model that is applied to Forest Schools Practice and also to Beach Schools and the Social Forestry provision and qualifications developed over the last 15 years in the industry.

The Archimedes Forest Schools Model

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It is available through the Amazon Store now if you follow this link

Its the first in a series and hope that you enjoy it

Book Overview

This publication is about the theory, practice and methodology of the Archimedes Forest Schools model of outdoor learning, carried out in a woodland or wild environment. The practice evolved from Scandinavian models found in Denmark, Norway and Sweden from the 1950’s through the 1990s as Forest School in UK and now it has assumed a respectable and meaningful place within the wide variety of delivery methodologies for the overall development of children and as a significant and intentional process for improving learning in children of all ages as well as adults in and for the environment and forest education universally.

Forest schools as an educational concept was introduced into the UK from its origins in Scandinavia in 1994. Since those humble beginnings, the Forest Schools concept has blossomed throughout the UK and as I write there are at least 300 training organisations that train practitioners in Forest Schools education with over 11,500 practitioners who are delivering Forest Schools programmes and sessions to a range of audiences.

There are many ways to use the Forest Schools concept in a variety of settings, with a range of audiences delivering an equally diverse set of outcomes. The wide variety of Forest Schools experiences being offered reflects this opportunity for different applications. The Archimedes Forest Schools model is unique in its approach and delivers on its goal “To transform the lives of children on every continent around the world”

Archimedes from the outset has recognised the ultimate potential of this educational concept is that it can be highly effective in creating positive transformational behavioural changes in the participants who experience it. The Archimedes model is all about transformation of children’s lives over time by engaging with the natural and wild spaces around them.

 

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

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

Hanna_Home_Inspection_satisfaction_guaranteed-300x271

 

 

 

 

 

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

Monty Python advises Assessing for Opportunities ‘A4O’ or Benefits Analysis

February 18, 2015

Always look on the Bright Side of Life!

I believe that is what the Monty Python Team sang in one of their Films

1623363_254250071402786_1806562203_nI have taken this advice and since Archimedes started training leaders back in early 2002 our Policy on Risk is that the word itself conjures up negativity and a can’t do it attitude. We revoked this and began the mantra ‘Assessing for Opportunities’

As professional experience grows, the ability to be intuitive and almost unconsciously detect and be aware of potential hazards and evaluate the probability as well as the severity if the harm happening is undisputed. Its called ‘Longevity of Practice’

stockvault-the-farm-life104242The farm life by Charl Christiani

But we have to start from somewhere.  Being able to break down the assessment and evaluation process, allows us as the Safety Officer, – as that is what we become if we are responsible for keeping others safe and well – to make judgements that allow us to put in place preventative measures – our Normal Operating Procedures  and Emergency Action Plans.

When we have put preventative measures in place it is at this point that we know that ever precaution within our power has been taken so we are then free to offer the widest range of possibilities, opportunities and experiences to those we are caring for and whom we are actin Loco Parentis.

When we are covering all bases it is then and only then that we can begin to provide freedom for our children to explore and for them to learn through experience and self initiated investigations.

The Health and Safety Executive supports the concept of leaders, teachers, practitioners considering the benefits of the experience along side that of the considered risk.

Children need challenge and children need to experience hazards that can cause harm. Our job is to identify the benefits and make a judgement as to whether the benefit outweighs the potential harm from the hazard if it actually happens.

stockvault-childhood-memories102844Childhood Memories by Elli Garnett

Ferre Leavers uses a measure of Challenge as an indicator of Well being in children and states that if the incorrect level is not provided, or children can not experience dealing with challenge, then they will not mature, will not feel ‘well’ and will not become engages with the opportunities or the experiences that you provide. Challenge adds a dimension to learning that is essential for holistic development to occur. Intact without challenge certain traits will be absent as children grow into adulthood. Without these traits there is a greater risk of harm, both physical as well as psychological. this can lead to mental health issues, stress, anxiety, antisocial behaviour as well as self harm and suicide. 

Providing children with the right levels of challenge and exposure to the right levels and the right kinds of risk allow health development physically, intellectually, linguistically, emotionally, socially as well as spiritually.

The concept is becoming a greater prevalence and is becoming an acceptable process now in play, adventure and education, and through pioneers such as Tim Gill in his book, Nothing Ventured; Balancing Benefits and Risks in the Outdoors and Living in  Risk Adverse Society the powers that be are allowing those with an urgent desire to allow our children to play outdoors, to do exactly that.

There are a number of very good places to look and to investigate when considering  Assessing for Opportunity – A4O.

  1. Bath and North East Somerset Council developed the Tool kit for Benefits Analysis
  2.  Health and Safety Executive Children’s Play and Leisure, Promoting a Balanced Approach

So when the process of Assessing for Opportunities commenced in 2000 through our process and procedures and a desire to look positively, to use a method concentrating on aspirational language and take away the negative connotations and biased view of Risk Assessments, I am pleased to see that it is now becoming common practice by outdoor professionals throughout the world and supported by the government and other official authorities giving us more freedom to explore and to create positive learning opportunities for out children.

 

 

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

 

Mark making

  • 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

1486626_255388597955600_1203342996_n

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

Childhood Development

Autistic Children and Natural Play

January 17, 2015
Autism in the Outdoors

I think that, reading what the physicians and psychologists are saying, Autism is on the increase and this is confusing professionals as to what the reasons for this can be.

Life is an adventure, exploration, discovery and challenge brings out the best in all of us!

Life is an adventure, exploration, discovery and challenge brings out the best in all of us!

There is too little time over the last 15 years, that has seen the marked increase in ASD diagnosis to blame genetical changes, so the only other conclusion is the environmental atmosphere and conditions in which we live.

There is research into metals in the air, electromagnetic waves impacting on synapses and neurotransmitters, the calcium imbalance decreasing the filters that will inhibit hypersensitivity to natural stimuli. Resulting in anxiety, stress and overstimulation.

We are overly impacted and exposed to technology and manufactured objects and ‘things’ and stuff’ that all looks the same and these can be found everywhere we look. In the home, schools, nursery, shops, and walking out in the streets. Much of this modern technology engages but also can remove our sense of place and self as we become more and more isolated communing more intently through our computers, phones, iPads, and tablets.

All of this isolation is of course removing us form the interaction with the natural environment
and we see it everyday in the press and even in schools and the local community, that many
people see the natural world as something to possess, something that will bend to our rules and desires and something that we look at from a distance. There is after all an increase of the nature programmes on TV. unfortunately this does not increase or produce environmental attachment, i.e. the inner compassion for nature that will engender a passion to love and care for it in the future.
Grow
Autistic Children and Adults, irrespective of the cause of the condition, tend to have an ability to become overly stressful, fearful, nervous and research is revealing the health benefits to all of us of and being outside allows us to be influenced by the rhythms and flows of time, seasons and for natural curiosity to take place. We all acquire a sense of calm, a sense of place and it is a place where all trees, plants, leaves, every molecule is different and unique, in the same way that we are and as a result we are automatically in a place of balance and non judgement. We are not open to criticism and we can be the masters of our choice and in control of our own moment.

We know that there are both physical and mental benefits and helps us to build an understanding of the world and a sense of ourselves within it
This is as important for Autistic children and adults as it is for us that think we are not affected by ASD!
The value of being ourselves, being in the wildness of outside and though a repeated opportunity to visit and potentially connect with nature for the firs time this will develop a range of life skills essential for adulthood where knowing and understanding that simply being in nature soothes and heals, and that when in a stressful state we can visit and be to help to make ourselves well.

Autistic children and adults need to understand that they have the capacity to feel well, to be well and how to become well in times of overwhelm and stress in the modern world that we all live

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Forest School Nursery is a way for ASD children to begin to understand themselves and how therapeutic the natural environment truly is
Forest Schools Kindergarten has been a conduit for peace and calm over many years and had a positive impact on children

for more information then please contact Forest School Nursery Sheffield – Middlewood Nature Nursery – Forest Schools Kindergarten www.forestschoolskindergarten.com and Book a visit, we would love to meet with you

Get Children Outdoors

Forest Schools Education Introduction

January 16, 2015

Thank you to all of you who have requested information about Forest Schools Education
I Love OctoberFor all of you that have shown an interest in the Archimedes Forest Schools Education Symposium 2015

You are an inspiration and this is going to be your year!

I am committed to collaboration and I am so pleased to introduce myself

I am Sarah Blackwell and in 1995 I returned to education and completed my outdoor qualifications in Caving, Climbing, Mountaineering and Canoeing then went onto get an honours degree in Countryside Recreation Management. In 2000 I qualified as a teacher and since that time I have worked in education with children in early years right through primary, secondary, FE, HE at university and now run my own Training Academy with adult students attending from around the globe. But, my love of learning, natural enquiry, education and social change came at a young age. I started my career as a residential social worker in 1983 after studies in psychology, sociology, welfare in society and social biology.

“Totally surpassed in every way. I feel connected with the great outdoor with a passion I hope to hold on to forever. Wonderful delivery, faultless”

Now I hope to work with you. Archimedes staff have over 60 years collaboratively of working in Forest Schools and I can guarantee that we have had successes, things that haven’t worked quite so well, not only in working in nature with children but also establishing programmes and making the difference to children and grown ups lives. We have learnt form experience and these success and challenges have made us the leading experts in our field. We want  to share as many of these with you this year so you can be the best that you can be!

As promised here is an overview of Archimedes Forest Schools Education

Make sure you download About Forest Schools Education 2015 and then email us with your registration of interest

Contact me through www.forestschools.com to find out more information

email me on info@forestschools.com if you have any specific questions

Ensure that you are a part of the Dream. Be you you want to be, we want to work with you.

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Get Children Outdoors

Working Mums and Childcare

January 7, 2015

If you are anything like me, choosing the right childcare is a nail biting experience to say the least!

As mums returning to work, there is always the anxiety and the guilt involved with parting from the most precious part of your being, your own child.

We choose to go back to work for a number of reasons;

  • because we want to
  • because we have to financially
  • because we need to for our sanity and self esteem
  • because we want to hold onto the part of our own selves that functions in the wider world and doesn’t revolve around nappies and unfulfilling sleep patterns to name just a few

We all have our own reasons and motivation, but irrespective of those we also want the very very best for our children when they are not with us for the most part of the day.

We want their lives to be stimulating, happy and challenging. We want for them, pleasure, acceptance, a sense of value, a sense of self, a sense of place.

We all know how beneficial the outdoors is for us and it is the same for our children, irrespective of their age or gender, or ability.

Outdoor play supports learning and development and so finding a unique nursery that offers this provision can help you to make the right decision for your family right from the very start.

1522053_241207072707086_1250774215_nThere are untold physical benefits to being in the outdoors

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Dexterity
  • Manipulation
  • Walking, running jumping
  • Hopping
  • Stacking
  • Throwing
  • Stirring
  • Connecting
  • Digging
  • Filling
  • Floating
  • Building
  • Pouring

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These are just a few of those that spring to mind. Many of these activities children in the Early Years and School simply do not get the opportunity to investigate and explore and conduct their own research in all its forms and varieties due to the limitation of space, time, knowledge of practitioners or resources available.

Give your child the best start in life by allowing them to have as much fun as they can all day, everyday. Be confident that their holistic development needs are being met and work with those who understand the value of Nature as the Third Teacher and work in collaboration by offering your child a Scandinavian Forest Schools Experience.

Visit Middlewood Nature Nursery in Sheffield UK and lets Start this Adventure!

www.forestschoolskindergarten.com

We are so confident that your child will literally have the time of their lives and that your expectations for your child will be totally met  everyday, we are offering a massive 10% off Full Time Fees for your Under 2 for a whole 12 months if you Register your place before 15th January 2015

We can’t wait to meet you!