In 2005, I trained as a Forest School Practitioner and incorporate Forest School into our days at Paddock Cottage. I also work as a freelance practiotioner in schools and deliver CPD courses to other Forest School Leaders.
Forest school activities run throughout my childminding year. I often choose a theme such as 'spring' or ‘insects’ or ‘day and night’ on which to hang our activities which are designed to give form to our outdoors experience, they are the framework on which we hang our experiences, ideas and achievements, and when we come home, we have something to show and share and reflect on.
This means that if a child does not want to collect leaves for a collage for example, and has absolutely no interest at that time, he is allowed to freely explore and play independently. It may be that he comes back to it, dips in and out, or follows another pursuit entirely. My job as a practitioner is to ensure his safety, provide encouragement and opportunities to further his play if needed.
In 2019, Judy Agate from Green Caterpillar Forest School and commitee member for the Forest School Association, joined our small team. this now allows us to incorporate Forest Schol principals and activities easily into our day in an informal way which suits under 3s and a more formal way for the older children. We use our outdoor space daily and take trips across to Bury Green on foot regularly, and further afield along the riverbank and to the fields beyond.
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