Browsing Tag

Forest School

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

Get Children Outdoors

Forest Schools Symposium USA

January 15, 2015

So it’s coming!

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Do you want to be a part of the first cohort of qualified US practitioners?

Do you want to burn the torch of excellence and draw others to you?

Do you want your children to experience Forest Schools everyday of their childhood- look no further!

IMG_2781Forest Schools Education is coming to America this year and we will see you there at the symposium and we will  have a very special Free gift for you if you sign up!

It’s a once in a lifetime offer, it can’t be repeated – so make sure you don’t miss out!

Go to www.forestschools.com for more information about this leading Forest Schools Training Academy

Are you wanting to establish a Forest School, a Forest Nursery, a Nature Nursery or other type of nature immersion programme we can’t wait to meet you later in 2015.

www.forestschoolskindergarten.com shows what can be achieved at Middlewwod a Nature Nursery

www.forestschools.com gives an overview to Forest Schools and training opportunitiesIMG_3584

Send us your email and details on the contact form on either website and you will be the first to receive your Early Bird Offers!

Phone +44(0)114 2834060 for more information

 

 

 

 

Get Children Outdoors

Working in the Outdoors with SEN Impulse Control Related Disorders

January 9, 2015

Many of us are truly passionate about the natural environment and the basis that Nature is a healer and has a therapeutic impact on us all.

1959972_261101760717617_1265695520_nI have had the pleasure to know Matthew Briggs for about ten years now and as a young man stepping out on his career as a professional working with adults and young people with ASD and other Impulse Control Disorders, he has unimaginably come into his own.

I wanted to thank you Matthew, because of your work, your insight and your passion for something that is for some, beyond the very veil of conception, let alone putting it into practice. And now seeing the most dynamic and transformational change in young people, of course my son Aaron being one of them, whom you have taken on their own life’s journey to have the confidence to explore and to step into a world that for some with SEN or those that look after them and support them, would, and is not conceivable; but whom none the lesshave a right to know themselves, to know others, to know their world and their place within it

 

I hope that some of you will take the time to read Matthews published work and to understand a way of working that is both dynamic, sentient, spiritual and passionate. A process of working Hand, Heart, Head and how the principles develop from early childhood into adulthood through a development theory using a progressive range of resistant materials, form wools and fabrics, to wood to metals. A process that is not only a physical process, but one that transcends all of that into a realm of the unknown.

 

And then how this physical process moves into the metaphorical

Matthew has for me, and I believe for many of you out there who know it right, but not always got the route to the knowing, or the explanation of a way of working will all sigh, and know that this has something very special wrapped up in it folds that can be unpacked and teach us all a great deal about ourselves and about our practice. Through reflection of the fundamentals it takes not only us on a journey, but also those we work with.

cropped-1947470_271693402991786_90879418_n.jpgPlease click on the link to take a look. We are arranging a workshop where Matthew will share his research and practice and if you are interested them please do get in touch.

What are the Therapeutic and Pedagogical Benefits of Craft for Impulse Control related Disorders within the SEN Further Education Sector

 

MBriggs MSc Thesis 2014

 

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!

Get Children Outdoors

Developing Self Confidence Through Self Awareness and Challenge at Forest Schools Kindergarten

December 13, 2014

There are different stages of severity of risk at Forest Schools and these go from Comfort Zone, to Play, to Challenge, to Adventure through eventually to misadventure. (Blackwell 2013). Misadventure happens when, in the wrong hands, i.e. those who do not have a full appreciation of the eventualities and consequences, or have an good understanding of the physical, linguistic and cognitive skills of each of the children, or adults that are participating, provide opportunities that end in injury and harm, and this can be physical or philological remember, according to the HSE 1974 Act, Conversely though if a child is continually in their comfort zone, then there will be lack of growth and development for that child.

Children’s brains are like muscles, oh, indeed they are muscles! If we don’t stretch them they will not grow stronger, it is through appropriately engaging challenge that growth occurs. It is the role of the practitioner, parent and teacher, to understand not only the presence of the risk but also the prevalence of any benefits and opportunities to learn new things that the child will be engaged In For example in Forest Schools, there will be muddy areas in the UK as it is common for rain to be present.

923564_275896705904789_5714965072686216262_nNow when we look at risk we are defining the likelihood of harm coming to pass as a direct interrelationship between, child, person, equipment or environment and the identified hazard. The hazard is the thing that could cause harm, physiological or physiologically. So in relation to the muddy ground the likelihood is that someone will slip over, and if they do, what are the consequences, i.e. twisted ankle, broken bone, bruising etc, identified on the Risk Assessment forms.

Now lets consider the benefits of walking on muddy ground; environmental awareness and the consequences of the weather and potentially seasons on the earth and the woodland that we find ourselves. We discover that our boots slide about, and if its really deep, we can make funny noises, we can dance and it can gloop. If its gloops too much, we take some of the mud with us on our boots and it erodes that particular area of woodland potentially exposing tree roots. Now tree roots can then cause a trip hazard.

1959876_269660456528414_1940686957_nBut by each child becoming mindful of the ground and change that happens, then it can increase communication and language, it can develop empathy and social skills, self awareness and regulation. As a result of regulation it can allow us to problem solve and make decisions, How do I need to alter or change my initial plans?, Do I need to tell someone?, Do I need to walk around a different way?, How strong am I? Can I balance on here?, What are the other children doing?, Can I help them, support them and tell them of the dangers that are here?.

I can tell the practitioner and as such I can develop my relationship with adults as information sharers and people who value me as a person. They can give me instructions and I can then understand those, or ask more questions.IMG_2781

Get Children Outdoors

Forest Schools Kindergarten

May 23, 2014

Risk and Benefits

April 30, 2014

What is the issues regarding Risk in our society Do we take risks and if so when and how and what is the role of the parent, carer and practitioner or teacher in reducing or managing high risk activities and opportunities?

If we draw the conclusion, which we may, or may not by the end of this analysis, what does this absence of a life without risk in childhood look like, and what are the consequences for us as a society and for children as they experience life and grow up in a world where risks are generally associated in a negative way.

If you invest money as a grown up it is likely that you are asked to fill in a form that asks questions as to your risk taking levels, i.e. are you a high or low risk taker. When you chose the occupation of adulthood, will this be safe and dependable or will it be more risky in its demands, its stability and other aspects. In the past as we grow older and we leave education, no matter what age, it was likely that we would be in a job for life, until retirement at 65 and then a pension would be granted to us. It is now the average that we remain in any job for only 3 years on average. The consequences of this continual moving and readjusting and movement and social as well as physical revamping and reconditioning entails a great deal of personal and social resilience. The ability to adjust to new guidelines, new processes, new managers, new rules, new social processes, we need to dig deep and find a new resilience to overcome, difficulties or problems that may attack us, like feelings of insecurity, isolation and the pressures that are put upon us to be successful.

All of these attributes of both social skills, empathy, resilience, problem solving, emotional literacy as well as being good at our job, can all be tester of our stamina, integrity and resilience. These skills need to be learned, and how are they learn in children today. Forest Schools is a prime example where children have the opportunity to learn through play, though the understanding and adherence to certain social and physical boundaries and rules, to understand the bigger picture, to know that on a holistic and emotional level, how the world works. It is a whole experience and as such all the emotions are engaged during Forest Schools, and even though it may not always appear to be of benefit, the highly emotional content of the experience allows the storage of the session and its intricacies deep in the memory.

The issue with childhood is that it sets us a foundation of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that shape our beliefs, values and attitudes towards the world and the opportunities that it offers to us as we grow up. If we have had positive experiences in a range of situations as a child this is more likely to set us up with a positive mental attitude, where everything is possible and there is a belief that I as an individual are capable, able and resilient to whatever the world throws at me.

Conversely if I have had very few experiences, few opportunities for positive outcomes, a curtailment of my natural curiosity, sense of adventure and wish to explore and play to the full extent of my capacity, I may well believe that I am no good, that the world is a poor place to live that it offers fearful situations, that I have no experience of dealing with, a range of individuals that I don’t know how to communicate with and this will influence the value that I put on myself, others and the world around me. Research shows that in order to develop an environmental identity, children need to be present in nature over the long term, and with a passionate and inspired individual. In order to be in nature we need to be exposed to the weather, the seasons, to dirt, to irregularities to the unexpected, to a wide range of people, situations, problems, processes and in these cases we do need to make certain decisions as to how we will manage these and develop the skills in order to progress.

There are different stages of severity of risk at Forest Schools and these go from Comfort Zone, to Play, to Challenge, to Adventure through eventually to misadventure. (Blackwell 2013). Misadventure happens when, in the wrong hands, i.e. those who do not have a full appreciation of the eventualities and consequences, or have an good understanding of the physical, linguistic and cognitive skills of each of the children, or adults that are participating, provide opportunities that end in injury and harm, and this can be physical or philological remember, according to the HSE 1974 Act, Conversely though if a child is continually in their comfort zone, then there will be lack of growth and development for that child. Children’s brains are like muscles, oh, indeed they are muscles! If we don’t stretch them they will not grow stronger, it is through appropriately engaging challenge that growth occurs. It is the role of the practitioner, parent and teacher, to understand not only the presence of the risk but also the prevalence of any benefits and opportunities to learn new things that the child will be engaged In For example in Forest Schools, there will be muddy areas in the UK as it is common for rain to be present. Now when we look at risk we are defining the likelihood of harm coming to pass as a direct interrelationship between, child, person, equipment or environment and the identified hazard. The hazard is the thing that could cause harm, physiological or physiologically. So in relation to the muddy ground the likelihood is that someone will slip over, and if they do, what are the consequences, i.e. twisted ankle, broken bone, bruising etc, identified on the Risk Assessment forms.

Now lets consider the benefits of walking on muddy ground; environmental awareness and the consequences of the weather and potentially seasons on the earth and the woodland that we find ourselves. We discover that our boots slide about, and if its really deep, we can make funny noises, we can dance and it can gloop. If its gloops too much, we take some of the mud with us on our boots and it erodes that particular area of woodland potentially exposing tree roots. Now tree roots can then cause a trip hazard.

But by each child becoming mindful of the ground and change that happens, then it can increase communication and language, it can develop empathy and social skills, self awareness and regulation. As a result of regulation it can allow us to problem solve and make decisions, How do I need to alter or change my initial plans?, Do I need to tell someone?, Do I need to walk around a different way?, How strong am I? Can I balance on here?, What are the other children doing?, Can I help them, support them and tell them of the dangers that are here?.

I can tell the practitioner and as such I can develop my relationship with adults as information sharers and people who value me as a person. They can give me instructions and I can then understand those, or ask more questions.

So the presence of the risk, even though creating a high likelihood of incident, or accident, also has surrounding it many benefits and positive outcomes. Emotions that are created in challenging situations produce neural connections and as such these help to store the memory in the hippocampus. If its there in my historical timeline of experiences then I can use that information in the future to make judgements and conclusions about new experiences, when I need to decide if I can achieve something, if its worth the effort, or if the outcome of the past experience was negative, as to whether to avoid that situation again in the future.

Children need to engage with risk in order to learn new skills and to embed knowledge and understanding in their cognitive and emotional centers of the brain. Challenge during outdoor play and at Forest Schools where deep level learning opportunities are presented by the Level 3 Practitioner allow the brain to process and take in a wide range of situation and environmental information very rapidly and allows children to test their own limits of physical, intellectual and social development Bob Hughes suggests that there are over 16 different play types and children need to test the boundaries in each one of those types in order to learn the rules of engagement in life for when they grow, mature and develop. If a child has not had the opportunity to push their physical boundaries, to balance, to climb, to move, to stretch, to throw, to jump and swing then there will be a serious deprivation physically and emotionally for that child. If they have not been given an opportunity to test the boundaries of communication, but trying out words, sentences and intentions in a safe, environment, then they will be inhibited in offering their own opinions and thoughts later in life when it become important that they do. If children are not able to explore social boundaries, and understand that they are able to make and set their own in certain circumstances, then they will be fearful of those boundaries set by others as they grow, they may lack the ability to question them, or to follow them and as such put themselves into greater danger later in life, where the risk of physiological and psychological harm could be greater. If a child has no sense of self worth and self awareness, then it is very difficult for that child to make rational and balanced decision as as they grow as they lack confidence and resilience. The challenges offer opportunities to get things wrong, to have to re think at Forest Schools and as a result to create something new and better and to know why it is better and more robust. By using the tools with a level 3 practitioner it is possible to understand that the process of rule setting, learning tools talks and being able to demonstrate these with ease and unconscious competency, allows children the freedom to understand trust. It’s the risk that is involved in using the tools that builds the positive attitudes and the robust way of working. Young boys especially, but also with girls like ritual, repetition and focused processes. It helps them to know where they are, feel safe and confident. By using a focused and repetitive model, this will very quickly aid learning of risky processes and allow children to use and adept these and become skilled crafts people if they are so motivated. We live in a world where children are very ‘molly coddled’ and protected. There is a decrease in the external school visits, the distance children are allowed to travel independently away form home, and the age at which they can do this. The media has a lot to answer for with regards to influencing parental decisions and choices It is interesting though that if we look at the fear that allowing our children to play in the woods is creating, then by looking at the sometimes scary marketing agendas of big companies like Nickelodeon and the message it is selling to children regarding parental and commercial behaviours, with a little more personal investigation can be much more sinister and risky in the long term, than allowing our children to function and play long term at Forest Schools. But the reality is that the protection we as parents and teachers provide could be in fact creating more dangerous and more serious issues for our children, such as obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, depression, lack of social ability and a dependence in the words of others through social media for our sense of self worth and place in the world as opposed to the confidence that we can ‘do ‘that, be that, develop that, grow that, plan that, reflect on that. Forest Schools, is truly, not the only process where risk can be learned, but is a good one, and as it relates to the research that suggests that children should have a right to play, to experience the world and to grow in understanding, then nature is the prime place to learn in a holistic way about risk, a supposed to discussing the aspects in the classroom