Cases and references
An extract from the Professional Learning Sabbatical Report of Rebecca Andrews (2012 Australian Early Childhood Teacher of the Year):
“Earth, water, air and fire. We talk about the importance of sensory play for young children. Sand and water play are quite common, however more natural experiences such as mud, fire and tree climbing are less common and are sometimes related to OH&S or risk. The Forest School approach has encouraged me to assess risk and benefit so as to provide a 'safe-enough' environment.”
Jean Lane, EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) Development Team Leader, Bournemouth Borough Council:
“Inside-Out Nature training has proved to be an inspiration to practitioners at all levels. The effective balance of theory and practical has resulted in unprecedented levels of understanding and development of excellent outdoor practice, from which our children are now reaping the benefit.”
Meropi Chatzivei, Headteacher, Chatzivei School, Greece:
Five teachers from our school attended a "Forest School” seminar. Returning from the seminar, I realized that as a person and as a mother, a new desire was born, to be closer to nature. Something changed inside... At the same time, we (all 5) had the desire this new approach to be applied to the whole school. After the seminar, a teacher staff meeting was organized, in order to share knowledge and experiences. This school year, more and more teachers intergraded "forest school" to their lessons and visit the park we have nearby.
Lesley Donohue, Early Years Consultant, Liverpool City Council:
"I feel that Inside Out Nature 'Outdoor Practitioner' courses have had a very positive effect on the outdoor practice of the participants. Over the last twelve months I have visited many of the settings who attended the two day courses last year and I have seen a marked improvement in the attitudes and practice of the participants and their colleagues.”
An extract from Dana Rose's residential study visit report:
“My biggest take-away from this course has been the role of the pedagogue in the outdoor environment. The pedagogue serves as a guide or coach for the children. Too often, teachers feel that they need to over structure their curriculum to guarantee their students’ success. I felt keenly, while in Denmark, how important it is to guide, rather than lead. The idea is that each child is on his or her own journey. They need guidance along the way, but should not be the follower of the pedagogue. Mistakes that the children may make serve as avenues of growth. If we, as educators solve all of our students’ problems before they encounter them, then our students will miss out on valuable opportunities for learning and development. As educators, we need to have the confidence to trust our students and support them in their decision-making processes.”
Tsvetelina Terzieva, Teams & Dreams, Bulgaria
"I took part in 2 days training course in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. I am a parent of 2 children and my ideas about what children can do outside totally changed after the course. I got so inspired by Inside-out-Nature that I am motivated to spread this approach in Bulgaria so more children have the opportunity to experience the wonderful nature around us."