Browsing Tag

Self Awareness

Get Children Outdoors

The Changing Seasons can bring such happiness and joy, but also sorrow and sadness

October 8, 2015

It is fun isn’t it how the beginning of autumn begins to change us. Even when we have had a ‘bad summer’ there is something about the air, the chill, the leaves and the colours of the sky. The sun doesn’t rise so high in the sky and it stings our eyes as we walk through the streets or the woods or the park.

 

Autumn for me is the time of change, of new beginnings or eternal hope and freedom. Maybe it was the chance to be in a new class at school, have a new teacher who may help me, leaving school and moving into the world, running away from home and starting a new life. Leaving work and moving into a bus and traveling Europe. The season I started a new Job, had a baby, left my job and came self employed, Autumn has always been a time of excitement, anticipation, a feeling that anything could happen and that I was the master to some extent of my own destiny.

Sea

We are so lucky here in the UK with our 11,000 miles of coastline. I was here today which is why I posted this picture from the North East coast.

Each footstep, each footprint we take unravels a new treasure. It can bring us joy and happiness as we take in through al our senses the beauty of our natural world. It is possible also to invoke a wealth of old memories and feelings that can sprig up into our hearts and minds revealing hidden jewels that may not have surfaced for years!

But the change in the seasons, the places that can inspire us, that can make our hearts sing, can also for some conjure up memories or emotional experiences from a past that just emerge from nowhere and can make us sad or despondent and full of sorrow.

sea3

 

The visual is such a powerful sense, it has the power to build us and strengthen us, but also the power to blindside us and bring us crumbling down.

Im not trying to be negative here at all, all I’m thinking is that for some people a sight may cause pain in equal measures whilst to someone else it may bring intense happiness.

When we are working with adults or children, sometimes we are not aware of the deep emotions locked deep within because we do not know of or understand their memories or experiences from before. We may observe a reaction that seems irrational or out of character or even out of synchronicity with the world around us.

Be still, be gentle, be aware, take note, was there a catalyst, was there a trigger.  As we become more aware of others reactions and behaviours, we are able to open a door of experience that may mean laying down a whole new foundation of responses for that person, simply by being there and being honest and true to ourselves and to them. We value their reactions, value their feelings and value their vision of the world. And this new set of experiences where positive memories can be formed, can in time  bring happiness and peace, that today may causes pain, sadness and sorrow, but for tomorrow, love and compassion and a true sense of self.

Have a great day.

 

Get Children Outdoors

March 26, 2015

The Archimedes Forest Schools Model is based on the elements to develop 

Respect of Self, Respect for others and Respect for the Environment

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!

 

  • Love and Compassion
  • Collaboration
  • Excellence and Integrity
  • Inclusion and Diversity

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Outcomes

 

Holistic Development

  • Increased self awareness, self regulation, self motivation, empathy and social skills including self-confidence and self-worth, resilience and respectfulness
  • Rooted compassion towards self, others and the environment

Capable Learner

  • Development of the capacity to know how to learn, the resources to learn effectively, the ability to set goals, and be motivated to achieve them.
  • Development of the desire to be excellent, to strive for the potential of learning and self fulfilment and happiness

Personal Sustainability

  • Know self and how to function successfully in the family, educational world, community,   society and the world
  • The development of  a positive environmental identity & responsibility.
  • Understand the 5 essential elements of wellbeing:-

                        Connect | Be Active | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Give

 

 

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

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