Inspirational Outdoors 2018 – a two-day conference

The conference is hosted by Niki Willows – Outdoor Play Consultant and Trainer, and Martin Besford – owner and manager of the Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ outdoor nursery, Highway Farm.

Following some excellent feedback from 2017, we are pleased to bring you our 2018 conference. The most popular request from last year was for the conference to be longer. We have listened and are giving you a whole two days. We may release day tickets in the new year if we have capacity.

This conference is aimed at Primary staff (Heads, Teachers and Teaching Assistants), Early Years Practitioners, Home Educators, After School and Holiday Club Managers and their staff. We’re also more than happy for interested practitioners in other fields to attend. During the sessions we hope that you will share your knowledge with others.

Workshops will be added to this page as we book them.

The aims of the conference are:

  • To enable your staff team to collect practical, low cost or no-cost ideas which they will be able to take away and start using today
  • To enable practitioners to develop high quality outdoor learning environments which will have a positive impact on children and staff
  • To provide practical and hands-on workshops, backed up with research and evidence about the benefits of outdoor play and learning
  • This conference will cover many aspects of outdoor learning including:
    • Logistics of getting out of the classroom/setting
    • Increasing staff confidence outdoors
    • Create exciting learning opportunities outdoors
    • A wealth of practical ideas and activities linked to the curriculum
    • Professional development and upskilling
    • Evidencing outcomes within Outdoor Learning
    • Resources
    • Links, support and advice

The venue is Mount Pleasant Ecological Park which has been developed over the last 10 years as a unique community resource, all set within 42 acres of organic farmland, in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the north Cornish coast. If you are interested in buildings, the Eco-Park has the largest load-bearing rammed earth structure in the UK; a tyre amphitheatre; a walled fire circle and covered courtyard. A perfect location for this inspirational training opportunity.

Running order –

Day One

Keynote – Niki Willows – Outdoor Play Consultant ”Making The Most of Your Outdoor Space”

Niki was previously Play Development Advisor for Wiltshire Council, and has lectured on Outdoor Play for Early Years & Childcare degree courses. She also has run Forest School training. She now lives and works in Cornwall running outdoor play sessions for families, has a licence from Cornwall Council to run school Beach Teach sessions and continues to create CPD opportunities for school and nursery staff.

Quest with Phil Waters

Phil Waters was a PhD student at the European Centre Environment & Human Health analysing the use of narrative as a means to engage children playfully in the natural environment.

Throughout his career Phil has worked with thousands of children in many different contexts using play as both a vehicle for transformation, while also valuing and celebrating its intrinsic value in children’s daily life experiences. Phil has written and delivered various playwork training programmes in the UK and the USA.

Collectively all these elements conspired to make the content for Phil’s PhD; the use of narrative as a means to engage children playfully in the natural environment, with ambitions of increasing their physical activity and their ecological literacy and altruism for the natural world.

Vegetarian lunch

Workshops 1 & 2

Q & A – Close

Early evening – weather dependant, inspirational chat around the campfire in The Small Wood or on Porthtowan Beach. Skill sharing and networking opportunity.

Day Two

Keynote – Martin Besford – Owner of Highway Farm Activity Centre

Highway Farm – The Outdoor Journey. “ Passion, Possibilities and Perseverance “

Martin Besford has a background in Early years, primary education, outdoor pursuits and play work. Martin has delivered training for Cornwall County Council, Playlines, Playwork Partnerships and the University of Gloucester, leading him to develop, write and deliver training independently. Martin has more recently delivered various training abroad and has been asked to deliver a keynote speech at a conference in America next year for David Sobel.
Previously Martin has worked in various roles across play and education and in 2006 he started Highway Farm Activity Centre with just a farmer’s field offering outdoor holiday play schemes. Now it is a centre classed by Ofsted as ‘ Outstanding ‘ providing an outdoor nursery, holiday play scheme and after school club, in an exceptionally nurturing outdoor environment. Martin also offers training and consultancy to schools, nurseries and the wider education sector.

Workshops 1 & 2

Vegetarian lunch

Grand Finale

You will choose your workshops as you arrive each day. This will be on a first-come first-served basis.

Please dress for the glorious Cornish weather – this could mean sunscreen, or full waterproofs, or most likely- both! Please be prepared.

Learning Outdoors – The Spring Curriculum

The Spring Curriculum

Aimed at EYFS and primary practitioners and teachers, childminders, afterschool and holiday clubs. This spring workshop will look at the joys of outside at this time of year and how you can best use your outside space.

This three hour workshop will –

  • Cover all areas of the EYFS & Primary curriculum
  • Discuss the logistics of getting out of the door
  • Give your staff team ideas to come back to your setting or school and put into practice immediately
  • Be full of practical, hands-on ideas
  • Enable each attendee to complete a risk benefit assessment of a chosen activity
  • Counts towards your CPD hours

Please dress for the weather, this course is mainly outside and on a windy hilltop. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided.

Diary Date – June 11th & 12th 2018 – Inspirational Outdoors Conference.
This workshop and Inspirational Outdoors is a collaboration between Niki Willows Outside and Martin Besford of Outstanding Nursery Highway Farm Activity Centre.

Making Natural Playstructures

Rope swings, rope bridges, rope walks (in fact any rope things for creative play) and other simple structures will be built, along with considerations of health and safety and risk assessments.

Course Tutor – Jon Cree.

Cost: £55 or £50 if booked two months in advance.

Little Forest Folk – CPD Training

We recently gave a presentation and delivered a workshop at the National Associate of Head Teachers conference and as such, requests for individual training and site visits have been coming in thick and fast. Our capacity to cope with the level of enquiries has officially hit its limit!

In response, as we know so many of you are extremely keen to see what we do at Little Forest Folk, to feel inspired and to ask those burning ‘how do you..?’ questions, we are excited to announce the launch of Little Forest Folk training days.

Little Forest Folk training days will take place in Wimbledon, South West London on selected dates in 2018 for small groups limited to a maximum of 16 attendees per training day.

Cost: £40 Half Day / £125 Full Day

Forest School Level 2 (Scotland)

girl peeping through a hole in a leaf

This qualification is intended for those who wish to become an assistant Forest School Leader. The units for Level 2 include ‘Skills for the Forest School Programme Assistant and Support Learning and Development at a Forest School Programme’.

Minimum age 16 years and some experience in Forest School advised.

Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria

  • Understand how a Forest School can support an individual’s learning and development
  • Know how experiences can support learning and development at a Forest School
  • Be able to perform the role of Assistant at a Forest School
  • Understand sustainable woodland management at a Forest School
  • Understand the role of risk assessment at Forest School
  • Be able to carry out practical tasks at Forest School.

Course involvement level

  • 3 days training
  • Portfolio to be handed in within 6 months

What’s included?

  • 3 days training
  • Your supportive learning materials
  • Remote trainer and online support

Duration: 6 months to complete submission

Nature Kindergartens

sign saying Auchlone Nature Kindergarten

Auchlone Nature Kindergarten is an award winning early years centre in Perthshire where children spend over 85% of their time outdoors. By visiting Auchlone and learning and exploring the ethos and methodology of a nature kindergarten as defined by Claire Warden, you will be able to improve your own practice inside, outside, and beyond!

This course will be delivered via powerpoint presentation and will also include a visit to Auchlone Nature Kindergarten where you can explore the site and ask questions.

We will address practical issues linked to an outdoor education on a daily basis to help you develop outdoor learning in your practice. You will also get an insight into how we use Floorbooks to support our practice. We will then explore how you can implement parts of the nature kindergarten ethos into your own practice to create authentic and rich learning experiences and to improve your practice.

This course is not only ideal for people looking to set up an outdoor learning centre or those who currently work in one, but is also for educators who wish to begin intertwining nature into all forms of learning whether they are in a rural or urban setting. Develop the way that you engage with the natural environment.

Aims

• To explore the origins and approach of Nature Kindergartens internationally and to look at the methodology behind nature education 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.

Learning outcomes/objectives

You will be able to:
• Implement aspects of Nature Kindergarten practice to your setting
• Record and evidence children’s learning using nature as a mechanism to cover the whole curriculum
• Create natural spaces inside and out, establishing rich learning environments.

Wonder Full Early Years Training Hub Open Day

Open Day – 25th January 2018
10am-4pm. Last entry 3pm.
£5 per person (reimbursed when booking on future courses).

Come and visit us at our Wonder Full Early Years Training Hub.

Visiting us on one of our open days gives you the opportunity to see our inspiring space, including the fascinating areas of provision set up in our outdoor woodland area and, if you like, take photos. Our spaces offer a wealth of rich, stimulating ideas, resources and materials for supporting young children’s learning and development, so take your time to wander round, think and reflect, or develop ideas as a team.

For more details, or to book a place please email info@wonderfullearlyyears.co.uk

Creating Young Leaders in Sustainable Development conference

Sustainable development conference flyer

This fantastic conference will enable practitioners to support learners to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development (Global Goal 4.7). The conference will be a combination of workshops and activities to inspire and engage. There will be many opportunities to network, link research to practice and share your own knowledge and expertise.

Who would benefit from this conference: EYFS practitioners, primary school practitioners secondary school practitioners and post 16 practitioners in higher education and university who have an interest in environmental education or sustainable development.

– Collaborate with colleagues across and within educational settings
– Address the role of research and development in education
– Contribute to transformative education to support ambitions regarding sustainable living and livelihood
– Understand the Global Goals for Sustainable Development in more detail
– Network with colleagues, receive resources and freebies
– Hear from regional and national partners including Eco-Schools, Practical Action, Earthwatch, Buglife and Sustrans

This event is £25 for practitioners & professionals and a reduced rate of £10 for university students.

Introducing the Pikler approach

Pikler Approach Flyer with image of young child rolling over on the grass

A series of four workshops facilitated by Pikler specialist Dorothy Marlen and Pikler enthusiast Clare Caro.

Do you have, or work with, very young children?
Have you heard of the Pikler approach and wondered what it is?
Would you like to fnd out more about how this will help you in your role?

The Pikler approach provides a new paradigm of early childhood care for the 21st Century. Created and developed by Dr Emmi Pikler and her team in Budapest, Hungary, the Pikler Insttute in Budapest trains professional carers from all over the world.

We in the UK now have the opportunity to learn about Pikler’s extraordinary insights into how to care for the true needs of the young child, particularly from birth to three.

The main principles of the Pikler approach are the importance of self-initiated movement from birth and the importance of relatonship based care. Together these two principles provide the ideal conditions for healthy development, play and learning.

These workshops will provide a thought-provoking introduction to the approach; the Pikler Institute in Budapest and the Pikler UK Associaton both offer more extensive and in-depth courses.

Download the workshop booking form: Introducing The Pikler Approach Booking Form (.doc)

More information about the workshops: Pikler Approach Flyer (pdf)

Woodland Play in the Early Years

2 children playing with big metal bowls in a woodland setting

This course will help practitioners to understand the vital role woodland play is within the EYFS and how using the natural world as a resource can aid learning and development of a child

Learning Objectives:

• To consider the context of Forest/Woodland type education in the Early Years and its effect on the well-being of children
• To develop an understanding of the principles of this approach and how it supports EYFS practice
• To link policy to practice and consider the resources necessary to successfully introduce Woodland practice
• To develop a policy which can be introduced to parents and staff
• To consider “Risky Play” and how this is communicated to all staff and parents
• Delegates need to be prepared to go outside for a part of this session

Trainer: Cath Larkin

Adventure and Challenge Outdoors – is it worth the risk?

AdventureChallenge A4Poster

Gain new insights and practical ideas for your nursery with Kathryn Solly.

Join us with your whole nursery team and explore the Early Excellence outdoor classroom and resources.
Visit our forest school site and find out about the benefits, challenges and new developments in outdoor learning. Only £20 each (includes light lunch).

Book through admin@st-lawrenceprimary.co.uk

Introducing the Pikler approach

a flyer with a hpto of a toddler rolling on the grass

A series of two workshops, facilitated by Pikler specialist Dorothy Marlen and Pikler enthusiast Clare Caro

  • Do you have, or work with, very young children?
  • Have you heard of the Pikler approach and wondered what it is?
  • Would you like to find out more about how this will help you in your role?

The Pikler approach provides a new paradigm of early childhood care for the 21st Century. Created and developed by Dr Emmi Pikler and her team in Budapest, Hungary, the Pikler Institute in Budapest trains professional carers from all over the world.

We in the UK now have the opportunity to learn about Pikler’s extraordinary insights into how to care for the true needs of the young child, particularly from birth to three.

The main principles of the Pikler approach are the importance of self-initiated movement from birth, and the importance of relationship-based care. Together these two principles provide the ideal conditions for healthy development, play and learning. These workshops will provide a thought-provoking introduction to the approach; the Pikler Institute in Budapest and the Pikler UK Association both offer more extensive and in-depth courses.

 The two workshops will give you a practical introduction to:
• ‘Relationship is all’ – how to understand and practice relationship based care;
• Creating the right conditions for calm, focused play from birth;
• Being in nature and the Pikler approach.

Play – Saturday 23rd March, 9.30am – 2.30pm

• Appropriate toys and play for different ages
• Setting up the right conditions – environment, routines, attitude and skill of the
carer
• Managing and reducing conflicts
• Experiential exercises, video footage and time for discussion.

Outdoors in Nature – Saturday 15th June, 9.30am – 2.30pm

• How play unfolds – universal play patterns
• Our relationship with the outdoors
• The roles of movement and care in play
• Lessons in child-led play; adult roles and approaches
• Exercises, slides and time for discussion

Who is this training for?

• Parents and carers of babies, toddlers and two year olds
• Educators (such as room leaders, childminders, lead practitioners…) with an interested in this age group
• Others interested in deepening their understanding and practice.

Where?

• All workshops will be held at Cambridge Steiner School
• Workshop 2 will include practical sessions outdoors – please come dressed for the weather

How much?

All prices include a light lunch
• Single workshop – early bird until 28th February 2019: £60
• Single workshop – full price from 1st March 2019: £70
• Both workshops booked until 28th February discount price: £110
• Both workshops booked from 1st March discount price: £130
To book a place on these exciting events please complete the attached booking form or contact Menna Godfrey on mennagodfrey@gmail.com.

Introducing Woodwork in Early Years Education

Lead Facilitator: Pete Moorhouse
Audience: Leaders and teachers working in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

This practical workshop will look at ways in which woodworking can be safely introduced in your early years setting. We will look at the theory and how woodwork meets many learning and development aspects of the EYFS. We will examine the historical context and look at examples from other countries that have been working successfully with wood for many years. Participants will explore the tools, gain confidence and share the experience of making creations in wood.

During the sessions participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Understand the value and theory of woodwork
  • Learn about the historical context of woodwork
  • Understand the potential of woodwork for creativity and critical thinking
  • Learn how to introduce woodwork safely, implementing an effective risk assessment
  • Understand the most suitable tools for young children and how to use them
  • Be confident to develop a woodworking area
  • Know where to buy the most appropriate tools and materials

Introducing Woodwork in Early Years Education

Lead Facilitator: Pete Moorhouse
Audience: Leaders and teachers working in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

This practical workshop will look at ways in which woodworking can be safely introduced in your early years setting. We will look at the theory and how woodwork meets many learning and development aspects of the EYFS. We will examine the historical context and look at examples from other countries that have been working successfully with wood for many years. Participants will explore the tools, gain confidence and share the experience of making creations in wood.

During the sessions participants will have the opportunity to:

    • Understand the value and theory of woodwork
    • Learn about the historical context of woodwork
    • Understand the potential of woodwork for creativity and critical thinking
    • Learn how to introduce woodwork safely, implementing an effective risk assessment
    • Understand the most suitable tools for young children and how to use them
    • Be confident to develop a woodworking area
    • Know where to buy the most appropriate tools and materials

Landplay Therapy

Post qualifying training for Play Therapists, Counsellors and Psychotherapists.

This two-day training will provide you with the tools you need to extend your therapeutic practice to include indoor and outdoor sessions.

Landplay training ensures the practitioner is confident in providing safe and boundaried therapeutic play space in a natural outdoor environment. It encourages practitioners to incorporate a simplified tool kit with a focus on more natural materials.

Those participating in the training need to have studied Person Centred Counselling and be a qualified child and/or adult counsellor and/or need to have trained in Jungian or Person centred approach and have a post graduate qualification.

Working with Young People with Challenging Behaviour, in the Outdoors, with Jon Cree

This course is aimed at any educator who feels they want to engage and work with students in the outdoors who may be reluctant learners (of any age).

This course will delve into:

  • What challenges us as leaders in the outdoors
  • Theory on challenging behaviour
  • Up-to-date neural research; triggers and causes for challenging behaviour
  • Ways of dealing with ‘real life’ scenarios in the outdoors
  • De-escalation
  • How to transfer outdoor strategies into an indoor and other settings – including looking at the validity of sanctions and rewards
  • Reviewing your own policies.

Date: 17th, 18th & 19th June OR 20th, 21st & 22nd November 2019
Lead Facilitator: Jon Cree
Where: Mill Woods, East Sussex
Cost: £325 for the 3 day course, £55 for the Accreditation (optional). This Level 3 West Midlands Open College Network Accredited Course.
Time: 09.00 – 17.00.