OUT THERE Inspired to Learn
Inspired by the success of our Kindergartens, we are opening our provision up to older children. This pilot project, called Out There Inspired to learn, will run on Tuesdays during term time from our Stapleton site. It will run from September 2019 for an academic year for a small group aged 4-7* (some seven-year-olds will turn eight before summer 2020). It is offered as an educational provision, loosely following the National Curriculum (plus EYFS framework for the younger children) to support the transition between this and other educational providers. As well as giving children opportunities to develop the skills encompassed by the National Curriculum and EYFS framework, the project’s educational approach is very much rooted in the vision and ethos applied in our current Kindergartens.
* As we want to ensure a mix aged group, places for 4 year olds will be limited. Preference will also be given to 4 year olds who turn 5 within the academic year September - July). We are happy to offer a Kindergarten place to children who turn 4 in August if places are available.
What makes Out There INSPIRED so special?
here are some of the PRINCIPLES which we value and which will shape our educational approach:
Nature connection and outdoor learning
Child initiated learning and child-led projects
Learning through play and exploration
An honest and nurturing approach which is flexible and tailored to the individual
The adults are there as facilitators to the children’s learning in ways which are open-minded and non-interfering, where children can try things out for themselves and adults offer skilful guidance and challenge where appropriate.
Acknowledge that we are all learning together. We don’t believe that the adults ‘know more’ or are the experts. We believe in the process and the richness of exploring and experiencing. There are no ‘outcomes to arrive at’ or ‘correct ways’ to do something
Mixed ages together
Developing social and emotional skills
Everyone’s voice is heard and respected
Helping children to manage conflict, find ways to express their needs and emotions and co-exist respectfully and empathically as a community
Nurturing courage, self-worth, creativity, resourcefulness and ingenuity
Encouraging children to explore their interests, find their passions and discover how they fit into the wider world
Social and environmental responsibility and sustainability
Honouring differences and diversity and letting children learn things in their own way and at their own pace.
Read more about Out There’s influences and inspiration in the OUR VISION AND ETHOS.
Structure of the day
Children are welcome to arrive from *9.15 for a 9.30 start
*NB: if you would like to drop off earlier than 9.15 we can arrange for children to join the kindergarten group from 8.00 - 9.15.
9:30 - 10:00 Circle time and Welcome in the Garden Shelter
10:00 - 12:00 Session 1 (possible activities are listed below) and morning snack (children can self serve when they are ready).
Lunch 12:00 - 12:45 Please provide a packed lunch
On some occasions a shared lunch will be prepared and cooked by the group.
12:45 - 14:30 Session 2. This session will be more child-led allowing children the opportunity to choose whether they want to continue working on their project from session 1, develop more advanced skills with the help of an adult, explore their ideas which are currently interesting them or play in the garden. There will also often be singing and storytelling.
14:30, Reflection time. A chance for connecting more deeply with oneself and each other (as much as each child wants to). We will practise sitting quietly in nature, exploring our feelings, sharing what we have found interesting or challenging or how we have made personal developments. Plus, sharing our ideas for future sessions or what we would like to explore further.
15:00 Session Ends
BELOW ARE Some of the learning activities the children will experience
Making fire and cooking on an open fire
Making things from wood
Finding minibeasts and building bug hotels
Bows and arrows to learn about forces
Exploring pulley systems
Creating and using woodland musical instruments
Making cordage and learning different knots
Art in nature
Sitting quietly in nature
and lots more!
MEET THE TEACHER
I studied neuroscience at university and worked as a carer for children and young people with complex additional needs in various settings before training to become a secondary science teacher.
I taught in a mainstream school for three years after which I decided to leave the mainstream school environment in search of a more nurturing, flexible, tailored-to-the-child approach, where success is not about achieving a narrow set of predefined criteria, but where we celebrate growth in all ways. I also wanted to address the imbalance I perceived in terms of the value placed on academic performance and knowledge retention over personal, emotional, social skills and well-being.
Since then, my work with vulnerable young people struggling with the mainstream school system, as well as the secondary STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) sessions I’ve been teaching in a woodland environment have inspired and motivated me to start up an outdoor school. Having experienced the profound benefits of teaching and learning in the ways outlined above (see vision and ethos above) I am very excited to be launching this pilot project and hope it will grow to benefit more children.
I believe that all children deserve an approach that honours their individuality, allows them to express themselves and helps them become secure, interested and motivated, empathic, resourceful, courageous and respectful adults.
A sample of books we will be using as inspiration.
Click the book cover for more details and where to buy it