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BUS STOP PRE-SCHOOL, NURSERY AND FOREST SCHOOL Our Journey to LOt. C Mark Gold.
2005 IN THE BEGINNING… • • • Family team, qualified in Early Years, levels 3 - Level 6, EYP, Pack away pre-school, based in a Youth Centre in need of upgrading, Edge of local village, In 2011 the Local Authority condemned the Youth Centre and closed it down, Pre-School was moved into Kate’s house for 6 months,
• • We set up a committee that raised funds to refurbish the building, Rented a portacabin on the Youth Centre site for 4 months, whilst building was being refurbished, In January 2012, we moved back into the Youth Centre, which had become a Community Centre offering sports facilities, Soon realised the Centre no longer suited our needs and searched for new premises,
• • Our real journey to LOt. C GOLD began in August 2012 when we moved to a bungalow in the grounds of the beautiful National Trust Estate of Polesden Lacey, in Bookham, Surrey. Throughout the uncertain times all our preschool families remained loyal and supported us.
We had moved 1 mile outside of the village, however we did not leave the village behind…
Keswick House Every year we visit Keswick House, a care home for elderly residents to sing our Harvest Songs. The children and families collect harvest gifts to present to the elderly.
Library and School Transition Visit to local Infant School to support Transition Visit to local Library
Out and about in the Village Families meet us in the local park, • Safe place and toilet, • High Visibility jackets, • Walking Bus line, • 4 Seater buggy, • Lots of lovely Comments from Passers by. •
Pen Pals from Sweden Last summer we were contacted by a British teacher, now teaching at a pre-school in Sweden and asked if our children would like to become pen pals with her pre-school children. Now in the Early stages of Contacting Spain And France.
DEVELOPING THE PRE-SCHOOL GARDEN Areas of the main garden: • Natural Art area, • Water play area with pulley’s and drain pipes, • Story circle,
• • Natural Den, Natural balancing, Natural interest table, Slide, See-saw, Climbing frame, Bikes and Cars, Big walk-in sand pit,
• The Big running garden, • Outside Music, • Activity Garden.
• Fire Square, • Children’s fire square, • Safety Square for tool work.
Learning and Development – EYFS in action. . . Our planning is flexible and child led. We plan activities that can take place inside and outside. We look for the ‘Risk benefit’. Children free flow between the inside and outside environments ‘Whatever the Weather’.
Bus Stop Moto Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain.
Forest School • • • We have been a Forest School for 4 years, We are both Level 3 Forest School leaders. We trained with Surrey and Sussex Wildlife trust. 2 members of staff just handed in their Level 3 portfolio, 2 members of staff hoping to do their level 3 Forest School leaders training, We are currently delivering Forest School sessions to 2 local infant schools, following practitioner workshops.
• • Forest School plays a key role in our approach to learning outside the classroom, Everyone goes to Forest School, no one is left behind, Babies and toddlers sleep in the woods Nappy’s are changed in the woods,
Forest School activities down in the woods… Safety Circle Den Building Cooking lunch and stopping for snack
Out and about in the Polesden Lacey Estate… We enjoy Wander Walks around the Estate: • Visiting the big house for a Christmas tour, • Visiting the restaurant,
Family Events Every term we hold events, where all families are invited to join us: • Harvest Song Time, • Christmas Party and Concert, • Polesden Lacey House at Christmas visit, • Spring Song Time, • Sports Day and School Leavers Event, • Strawberry picking, • Family Forest School Cook Out, • Parent/Carer Forest School Workshop.
Workshops • Parent and practitioner Forest School workshops, • We host EYP/EYT networks • We are members of the Surrey Forest School Association Local group and host network meetings.
Partnership with Parents Without the support of our parents, LOt. C would not be possible at Bus Stop. “Ro and sie’s 2 “Every week something new seems to appear in the day she s year garden for the children to sit on, hang from, hide fre. Hoo till ha anniv in, touch, smell or generally wonder at” (Susan, r e woo sh air ay fo sn’t h rsary 2015). r a 201 dland h all t d a s 5) wal ealt he lo ick ks” h vel “Thank you for caring for my children like you would. (H y y eid your own. Thank you for messy play, muddy walks, i, filthy clothes. You will always be a major part of our memories as carers, teachers and friends. (Louise, 2014). utdoor all the o rly love es and particula us Stop organis rning “We “Every toddlers dream, getting back to nature us lea that B ctivities o on – to a in a truly wholesome and caring environment. they g und us he walks nd the world aro From campfires in the woods toasting all t 2015) ture a marshmallows to singing harvest songs to the about na ortant!”. (Emily, mp elderly”. (Maxine, 2013) is very i
Top Tips for ‘GOLD’ • Look at what you are already doing within your setting, • Motivate your staff team: - Outdoor workshops, - Staff Recruitment policy. • Partnership with parents: - Outdoor workshops, - Develop an understanding of the positive impact upon children’s learning and development outside the classroom.
What does the future hold for Bus Stop… • To develop Bus Stop as a Forest School training centre under the Cambium umbrella. • Continue to support local Infant schools to deliver Forest School sessions. • Develop our setting as an ECO school. • Support and encourage local practitioners to go on their own LOt. C journey.