Tips for Adults in a Child-Supporting Role at Beach and Forest School

The Forest School philosophy is about connecting children (and adults) to their natural environment, creating opportunities to develop creativity, confidence, resilience and learning, as well as promoting ways in which children can experience risk. Forest School is often described as a child-led process, but I think it is much more helpful to think of itContinue reading “Tips for Adults in a Child-Supporting Role at Beach and Forest School”

The Power of Playgroups

Playgroups have fallen out of favour in the UK in recent decades – they no longer appear to be seen as a valued place for early education for a number of reasons – the ‘schoolification’ of early childhood education has led to a rapid devaluation in the power of play. In the UK, the diversionContinue reading “The Power of Playgroups”

Embracing Animal Allies: Nurturing Nature Connection in Children

Going bird watching is a classic outdoor learning activity. An easy lesson in local species and diversity, it plays a role in citizen science, often with a bit of maths thrown in to boot. However, wild birds (apart from our ubiquitous herring gulls) can be quite an illusive bunch, especially when they’re faced with aContinue reading “Embracing Animal Allies: Nurturing Nature Connection in Children”

The Magic of Loose Parts – How to incorporate Loose Parts play in to everyday learning

Ever got frustrated that your child was more interested in the box than the Christmas present that was contained inside it? It’s because children have the most amazing unhindered imaginations. They are creative people that are able to make that simple box in to absolutely anything and everything. This is what we mean when weContinue reading “The Magic of Loose Parts – How to incorporate Loose Parts play in to everyday learning”

Social & Emotional Learning at Beach School

When I was a home-educator*, the most frequently asked question was about how my child would socialise. It felt like a bit of a preoccupation with any form of slightly alternative education. A holistic school or nursery setting can provide many social opportunities for children. However, it is really not the only way children can learnContinue reading “Social & Emotional Learning at Beach School”

The Importance of Names

”One of my students told me that every time she learns the name of a plant, she feels as if she is meeting someone new. Giving a name to something is a way of knowing it” – Richard Louv . Names are important. It’s an integral part of identity, but also essential in cultivating connection.Continue reading “The Importance of Names”

Beach School meets Montessori

“Let the children be free; encourage them, let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and; when the grass of the meadow is damp with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet” – Maria Montessori At firstContinue reading “Beach School meets Montessori”

Beach Schooled: I’m not the Teacher

What’s the first thing you think of when I say ‘learning’ to you? Books? Classrooms? Pupils and teachers? Probably not playing on the beach. At Little Gulls, our approach to learning is inspired by the Forest School ethos. We’re not a traditional learning establishment, we don’t deliver education in the traditional manner. But we doContinue reading “Beach Schooled: I’m not the Teacher”