This week is Learning At Work
Week and recently, CPD Trainer Katheryne Cobb had the opportunity to experience
forest school at Busy Bees Nurseries in Kettering. Here she speaks about why
the experience was so impactful:
When you have had the
opportunity to experience a great outdoor space for children you really see the
benefits right in front of your eyes.
I had the pleasure of
spending a morning at a Forest School experience at Busy Bees Kettering. The
three words I would use to describe my time with an enthusiastic engaged group
of children and staff would be……
Relaxing, exciting and adventure!
Sometimes the benefits of
outdoor experiences can be overshadowed because it’s a bit cold, too hot or too
wet! However, I ask you to consider the
fact that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just being badly prepared for
it. If we are prepared for the weather
conditions and risk assessments have been checked or completed and children and
staff have the right PPE, then there is no better place to learn than outside.
It is hugely beneficial for
children’s physical, personal, social and
emotional development. It really provides opportunities to explore and use
their own imaginations and extend and develop a wide rich vocabulary along with
obvious physical and mental well-being benefits.
In the few hours I spent
with the group I learnt from the three and four year
olds that there are 46 different types of ladybird, that the tree
they were climbing was a Willow and that you don’t pick and you don’t
lick when you're outside. These are just a
small examples of the confidence and knowledge these children have developed as
part of the everyday outdoor experiences.
I was shocked and surprised to see not a single incident or any
challenging behaviour from the group. If
anything, I saw how this supported a number of children including those with
EAL and SEND. The forest School lead was
able to explain that outside these children’s behaviour and interaction and
communication increased. As professor Ferre Laevers states “well-being is the
beautiful stage in which children can be when they feel ok, they feel at ease,
they radiate and they are open to anything that comes in”
Being outdoors helps impact
positively on mental health and can relieve stress and anxiety. The benefits were clear to see both for the
children and the staff that were supporting this amazing outdoor experience.
In these difficult
unprecedented times, giving children time outside in the garden is even more
important than before, and I have learned a great deal being with them.
For more of our learning at work
stories, stay with us this week as we celebrate Learning at Work Week!