Outdoor Learning Conference: Myth Busting Outdoors!

poster for outdoor learning conference Nov 2019

A chance to reflect upon risk taking, challenge and adventure in early childhood

Start the new academic year with an inspirational morning all about learning outdoors. Hear keynote speaker Kathryn Solly and look around our outstanding provision to give you lots of tips and ideas to take back to your own setting.

Key Information as follows:

  • Saturday 2nd November 2019
  • 9.30am -1.00pm (approx)
  • Keynote speaker: Kathryn Solly
  • Pikes Lane Primary School, Gibraltar Street, Bolton, BL3 5HU
  • Site tour including; 2 year old provision, EYFS and Forest School site
  • Refreshments and light lunch included
  • Stalls from related businesses
  • Raffle including prizes from great businesses like Muddy Faces

The morning will include an introduction by Chloe Grey (@missgreyandplay) and refreshments. This will give you time to browse the stalls and enter the exciting raffle. The seminar will then start at 10.00am and will include a short break. At around 12.15pm the seminar will be followed by a light lunch and tour of the setting. You will have a chance to see the outstanding provision including the Preschool (two year old) and Early Years classrooms and outdoor areas and also the newly developed Forest School provision. The event will finish at around 1.00pm but you are welcome to depart at your convenience.

Please contact Chloe Grey with any questions or comments either via social media (@missgreyandplay) or by email: missgreyandplay@gmail.com

About the keynote Speaker: Kathryn Solly

Kathryn Solly (@SollyKathryn) started life as a secondary school teacher on Voluntary Service Overseas in Papua New Guinea for two years. Since then she has taught across all the phases of education including a short time in an Albanian kindergarten. She realised that if she was to really make a difference she had to re-train to teach in the early years and has since achieved a special needs qualification and an M.A. in Early Education and Care.

After two nursery school posts outside London both involving garden development projects, she became the Head teacher of Chelsea Open Air Nursery School and Children’s Centre for nearly 17 years. Here Kathryn developed a highly inclusive learning community in cosmopolitan Chelsea, building upon the creative learning ethos started by COA’s founder – Dr. Susan Isaacs.

She was awarded the Unilever Fellowship researching aspects of Early Years Leadership and Management. She has contributed to several journals and books on a variety of aspects of early childhood pedagogy, practices and partnerships. Her first book ‘Adventure, Risk and Challenge in the Early Years’ was published in 2014. She is now writing ‘Leading Learning Outdoors from Birth to Seven.’

Kathryn now concentrates on specialist early childhood consulting, training and authorship. She is a Froebel Trust Travelling Trainer, an Associate for Early Education, Vice Chair of the Early Childhood Forum, and a leading member of Keeping Early Years Unique. She continues to be fascinated by young children’s learning, the pioneers, nature and the world around us and is continuing to explore it with a variety of practitioners in her daily work and research. She also enjoys ‘hands-on’ experiences with her grandchildren.

Host: Pikes Lane Primary School

Pikes Lane Primary School is situated close to the centre of Bolton in Greater Manchester. It is a two-form entry, outstanding primary school that serves a multi-cultural and diverse community. It has several areas of outdoor provision for its early years pupils and has recently developed an area of Forest School provision on site.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Family Forest School Fun

Go on an adventure this Easter holidays with our Forest School inspired session set in the heart of Lee Valley Regional Park. The kids will learn about the wonder of nature through wild play in our tree park at Waltham Abbey Gardens as well as use basic bushcraft tools and take inspiration from the world around them to create works of art and craft a journey stick to take home with them. This session is great for school holiday fun and as part of a home schooling programme Plus accompanying adults go FREE!
Please be aware, many paths are not paved and uneven or have vegetation, which maybe difficult for prams and wheelchairs.
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Booking is required for this event
Suitable for 4-12 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Stone Age Family Fun

Delve into the Stone Age with this fun educational session! Your children will learn about the tools used by Stone Age Man as well as flora and fauna that was around 40,000 years ago. With an exciting scavenger hunt quiz, testing out tools and caveman fire lighting this session is perfect for those covering Stone Age at school or as part of a home schooling programme. Plus accompanying adults go FREE!
Please be aware, many paths are not paved and uneven or have vegetation, which maybe difficult for prams and wheelchairs.
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Booking is required for this event
Suitable for 4-12 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Wild About Wetlands

Wild About Wetland is back for 2020! This FREE family fun day set in the heart of Lee Valley Regional Park will give your children a taste of what our wild world has to offer with pond dipping for our water dwelling creatures, tackling our Wetland Detective Trail and meeting bees, bats and birds with the experts. This and much more will get your summer holidays off to a flying start.

Join us for our guided minibeast walks in the Cornmill Meadows at 11:00 and 13:00
Get your face painted as your favourite animal
Make the most out of the summers day with a picnic in the beautiful Waltham Abbey Gardens. Refreshments are also available at Waltham Abbey Church
Parking is limited so please arrive early. Parking charges apply.

Family Woodland Explorers Day

Rewild your child with our sell out Family Woodland Explorers Day! Let them embrace the outdoors, like you did when you were a child with den building, bug hunting, making elder necklaces and enjoying the great outdoors together. You’ll even get to sample some campfire treats that are provided. This session is great for school holiday fun and as part of a home schooling programme. Plus accompanying adults go FREE!

Please be aware, many paths are not paved and uneven or have vegetation, which maybe difficult for prams and wheelchairs.
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Please bring along your own lunch for the day. You’ll get to sample our tasty treats as well.
All equipment is provided for the activities
This previously sold out event only has 25 spaces, so make sure you get your children’s today.
Booking is required for this event
Dress ready for the weather, there maybe mud!
Suitable for 4-12 year olds. All children must be accompanied by an adult

Nature Kindergarten Day at award-winning Auchlone

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten is a multi award-winning early years centre for 2-5 year olds in Perthshire where children spend over 85% of their time outdoors.

Our Nature Kindergarten Day includes a visit to Auchlone with an exploration of the ethos and methodology of Nature Pedagogy as developed by Dr Claire Warden. We’ll provide an in-depth tour of the areas of inside the setting, outside in the landscaped environment and beyond the gate into wilder spaces, explaining the thinking behind our practice. There will be ample opportunities for questions, sharing experiences and discussing specific situations. We’ll address a wide range of practical issues linked to outdoor learning.

Our Senior Trainer and/or Auchlone Manager will share their wide breadth of knowledge regarding all aspects of running a Nature Kindergarten and adjust the content of the visit according to your needs and interests.

Following the visit to Auchlone, we’ll continue your learning with a practical workshop session. We’ll address the practical considerations of delivering daily outdoor education. You’ll also get an insight into how we support inquiry-based learning with the Floorbook Approach, created by Dr Claire Warden. Finally we’ll explore how you can implement parts of the nature kindergarten ethos and the Floorbook Approach into your own practice to create authentic and rich learning experiences and to improve your practice.

Our Nature Kindergarten Day is ideal for practitioners who wish to begin intertwining nature into all forms of learning whether they are in a rural or urban setting, educators who currently work in an outdoor learning centre or anyone looking to set up an outdoor learning centre. It will support increased engagement with the natural environment and help you improve your own practice inside, outside, and beyond!

Aims:
– To explore the origins and approach of Nature Kindergartens internationally and to look at the methodology behind Nature Pedagogy as defined by Claire Warden.
– To be able to plan for a relevant nature space in consultation with children.
– To look at the layout and day-to-day operation of an outdoor learning environment.
– To explore how the Nature Kindergarten methodology can be implemented in any kind of setting or practice.

Outcomes. You’ll be able to:
– Implement aspects of Nature Kindergarten practice to your setting.
– Record and evidence children’s learning using the Floorbook Approach.
– Create natural spaces inside and out and establish rich learning environments that stimulate and engage children.
– Design or source natural resources with children to use across the curriculum.

Testimonials:

“I was really looking forward to visiting Auchlone, I’d heard so much about it and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll be putting what I’ve learnt into practice as soon as I can.” Nursery Practitioner

“Amazing, a total eye-opener! I can’t wait to start introducing learning with nature to our children.” Nursery Manager

“Inspiring, encouraging, exciting and invigorating. Kate and Mona were wonderful hosts and their enthusiasm for Nature Pedagogy is infectious.” Primary School Teacher

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten Visits

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten is an award-winning early years centre for 2-5 year olds in Perthshire where children spend over 85% of their time outdoors.

Your visit to Auchlone will involve an exploration of the ethos and methodology of Nature Pedagogy as developed by Dr Claire Warden. We will provide an in-depth tour of the areas of inside, outside, and beyond, explaining the thinking behind our practice. There will be ample opportunities for questions, sharing experiences and discussing specific situations. We’ll address a wide range of practical issues linked to outdoor learning.

Our Senior Trainer and/or Auchlone Manager will share their wide breadth of knowledge regarding all aspects of running a Nature Kindergarten and adjust the content of the visit according to your needs and interests.

This visit is ideal for people looking to set up an outdoor learning centre or those who currently work in one as well as educators who wish to begin intertwining nature into all forms of learning whether they are in a rural or urban setting. It will support increased engagement with the natural environment and help you improve your own practice inside, outside, and beyond!

Aims:
– To explore the origins and approach of Nature Kindergartens internationally and to look at the methodology behind Nature Pedagogy as defined by Dr Claire Warden.
– To be able to plan for a relevant nature space in consultation with children.
– To look at the layout and day-to-day operation of an outdoor learning environment.
– To explore how the Nature Kindergarten methodology can be implemented in any kind of setting or practice.

Outcomes. You will be able to:
– Implement aspects of Nature Kindergarten practice within your setting.
– Create natural spaces inside and out and establish rich learning environments that stimulate and engage children.
– Design or source natural resources with children to use across the curriculum.

Testimonials:

“I was really looking forward to visiting Auchlone, I’d heard so much about it and I wasn’t disappointed. I’ll be putting what I’ve learnt into practice as soon as I can.” Nursery Practitioner

“Amazing, a total eye-opener! I can’t wait to start introducing learning with nature to our children.” Nursery Manager

“Inspiring, encouraging, exciting and invigorating. Kate and Mona were wonderful hosts and their enthusiasm for nature pedagogy is infectious.” Primary School Teacher

Forest School Leader ITC Level 3 Award – HYBRID COURSE

We’re the only Forest School training provider to incorporate the Floorbook Approach created by Dr Claire Warden, in our training. This child led approach to planning and documentation supports key learning associated with Forest School themes and many aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence. It allows the transfer of information and methodology back to the school, linking learning across the areas of inside, outside and beyond. The Floorbook Approach is currently promoted by Education Scotland, Care Inspectorate and other governing bodies as good practice.

This ITC qualification is approved by and meets the requirements of the Forest School Association.

Our Forest School hybrid course has been developed for staff who may struggle to take 5 days out of their busy lives to receive the traditional format of theory and practice in face to face training.

The course consists of 11 online modules exploring the theoretical aspects of Forest School. Within these you will be asked to reflect upon their own practice and document your learning. 5 pre-requisite modules will be provided upon your enrolment and payment. These should be completed prior to your face to face training, the remaining modules can be completed within 6 months of registration.

You will attend 2.5 days face to face training in the practical aspects of Forest School, during this time our trainer will assess your skill levels.

The course culminates in your creation of a Forest School portfolio to evidence the five Forest School Level 3 units of Delivery, Learning and Development, Planning and Preparation, Practical Skills and Woodland Environment. Supportive learning materials, remote trainer and online support are provided.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:
– Understand the structures of woodlands.
– Know how to identify a range of flora and fauna.
– Understand the importance of flora and fauna identification for the Forest School Programme Leader.
– Understand the management of woodlands as a sustainable learning environment.
– Be able to deliver a Forest School programme.
– Understand relevant theories of learning and development and their application to a Forest School programme.
– Understand how a Forest School programme can support holistic development and learning.
– Understand the impact of behaviour on learning and development at a Forest School programme.
– Be able to reflect on your own Forest School training.
– Understand the development of the Forest School ethos.
– Understand the ecological impact of a Forest School programme.
– Know the relevant policies and procedures requires for a Forest School programme.
– Be able to plan a Forest School programme.
– Be able to facilitate a range of woodland skills appropriate to a Forest School programme.
– Be able to facilitate campfire management appropriate to a Forest School programme.

Course Involvement Level:
– 2.5 days face to face training in the outdoors.
– 11 online modules (estimated duration for completion 65 hours – including assignments and reflection time).
– Delivery of 6 sessions over 6 weeks whilst tracking the progress of 3 children.
– Portfolio evidence to be submitted within 1 year.

Mindstretchers will take responsibility for the delivery of the entire programme and this will include the registration of candidates with ITC, support with course bookings, the administration of course delivery, evaluation of course outputs and initial report, on-going and final reports regarding the contract. Methodology follows ITC guidelines. We believe in equal opportunities allowing candidates to present evidence through a range of techniques: video, written portfolio, artistic representation and Floorbooks.

Forest School Leader ITC Level 3 Award – 5-day course

We’re the only Forest School training provider to incorporate the Floorbook Approach created by Dr Claire Warden, in our training. This child led approach to planning and documentation supports key learning associated with Forest School themes and many aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence. It allows the transfer of information and methodology back to the school, linking learning across the areas of inside, outside and beyond. The Floorbook Approach is currently promoted by Education Scotland, Care Inspectorate and other governing bodies as good practice.

This ITC qualification is approved by and meets the requirements of the Forest School Association. It is intended to provide the skills and knowledge required to set up and deliver safe and effective Forest School Programmes, for those who wish to become Forest School Leaders.

Learners will learn about these topics:
– Woodland habitats – its structure, species identification and sustainable management.
– Programme delivery – it’s planning, management and safe facilitation.
– Monitoring, tracking and evaluating children’s progress over their time at Forest School.
– The theory behind Forest School – understanding how the whole child develops during their Forest School sessions.
– Reflection of practice to move forward in your personal development.
– Support in creation of a Forest School handbook.
– Develop practical bush craft skills in shelter construction, knots, tool use, fire management and cooking outdoors.
– Assessment tasks will result in each candidate producing a portfolio of evidence meeting each assessment criteria in each unit.

MINIMUM AGE:
19 years. You should have some experience of working outside with children prior to attending the course.

Please be aware this involves submission of a portfolio to an academic level equivalent to the first year of a degree. We can accept a range of evidence for people with specific learning requirements. You should have some experience of working outside with children prior to attending the course.

Course involvement level:
5 days training – 14-18 September – 96 guided learning hours, portfolio of evidence to be handed in within a year

What’s included:
5 days training
Your supportive learning materials
Remote support throughout the course
Duration: one year for completion of submission of portfolio.

Forest School Leader ITC Level 3 Award – HYBRID COURSE

We’re the only Forest School training provider to incorporate the Floorbook Approach created by Dr Claire Warden, in our training. This child led approach to planning and documentation supports key learning associated with Forest School themes and many aspects of the Curriculum for Excellence. It allows the transfer of information and methodology back to the school, linking learning across the areas of inside, outside and beyond. The Floorbook Approach is currently promoted by Education Scotland, Care Inspectorate and other governing bodies as good practice.

This ITC qualification is approved by and meets the requirements of the Forest School Association.

Our Forest School hybrid course has been developed for staff who may struggle to take 5 days out of their busy lives to receive the traditional format of theory and practice in face to face training.

The course consists of 11 online modules exploring the theoretical aspects of Forest School. Within these you will be asked to reflect upon their own practice and document your learning. 5 pre-requisite modules will be provided upon your enrolment and payment. These should be completed prior to your face to face training, the remaining modules can be completed within 6 months of registration.

You will attend 2.5 days face to face training in the practical aspects of Forest School, during this time our trainer will assess your skill levels.

The course culminates in your creation of a Forest School portfolio to evidence the five Forest School Level 3 units of Delivery, Learning and Development, Planning and Preparation, Practical Skills and Woodland Environment. Supportive learning materials, remote trainer and online support are provided.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:
– Understand the structures of woodlands.
– Know how to identify a range of flora and fauna.
– Understand the importance of flora and fauna identification for the Forest School Programme Leader.
– Understand the management of woodlands as a sustainable learning environment.
– Be able to deliver a Forest School programme.
– Understand relevant theories of learning and development and their application to a Forest School programme.
– Understand how a Forest School programme can support holistic development and learning.
– Understand the impact of behaviour on learning and development at a Forest School programme.
– Be able to reflect on your own Forest School training.
– Understand the development of the Forest School ethos.
– Understand the ecological impact of a Forest School programme.
– Know the relevant policies and procedures requires for a Forest School programme.
– Be able to plan a Forest School programme.
– Be able to facilitate a range of woodland skills appropriate to a Forest School programme.
– Be able to facilitate campfire management appropriate to a Forest School programme.

Course Involvement Level:
– 2.5 days face to face training in the outdoors.
– 11 online modules (estimated duration for completion 65 hours – including assignments and reflection time).
– Delivery of 6 sessions over 6 weeks whilst tracking the progress of 3 children.
– Portfolio evidence to be submitted within 1 year.

Mindstretchers will take responsibility for the delivery of the entire programme and this will include the registration of candidates with ITC, support with course bookings, the administration of course delivery, evaluation of course outputs and initial report, on-going and final reports regarding the contract. Methodology follows ITC guidelines. We believe in equal opportunities allowing candidates to present evidence through a range of techniques: video, written portfolio, artistic representation and Floorbooks.