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Forest School gives childminding a whole new dimension

Posted by FSLI_Admin on November 9, 2015

Training to become a Forest School Leader has opened up a whole new world for experienced childminder Millie Colwey, who described her experience for the Bristol Early Years Research website recently.

When Millie Colwey trained with FSLI, through the Redcliffe Children's Centre in Bristol, she had little idea of the impact Forest School would have on her childminding practice.

Millie's training - as one of a group of twenty childminders sponsored by Bristol City Council - was the start of a two-year journey of discovery for herself and the children in her care.  Writing for Bristol Early Years Research, Millie describes being "staggered by the impact spending time in the woods had had on our children."

The opportunity for children to explore risk and develop their own resilience was an eye-opener, as Millie explained: "As a childminder it’s easy to become very risk-averse, but I learnt that risk-taking is a key part of children’s development.Now in my setting I write ‘risk benefits’ instead of 'risk assessments!"

Chris Dee, FSLI director, commented: "Childminders have a vital role in shaping the learning and development of the children in their care, and getting outdoors to connect with nature is a fantastic way to build children's confidence and self-esteem, help them become more active and to fire their creative imagination. It is fantastic to see increasing numbers of childminders continue their professional development through Forest School leadership training."

To read the full article by Millie Colwey, follow the link to Bristol Early Years Research HERE.

Millie sums up the benefits in a nutshell: "Forest School is not a place for planned activities, chosen and overseen by adults, but a place where children have freedom to explore, investigate, think of ideas, make decisions and take risks."


Useful links: 

Bristol Early Years Research -  A fantastic resource for anyone working with children. Look in the 'Specialist Hub' section for 'Outdoors Hub' where you will find a range of articles, news and comments on outdoor learning.

Redcliffe Childrens Centre, Bristol - Ofsted rated Outstanding Early Years Provider 2013/14, the centre is in the 30% band of the most deprived areas in England. Check out the website which has a wealth of interesting information about early years services, study opportunities and more.