Read on to find out about our unique approach and the lovely people who help make the magic happen!
Passionate people who really care
When it comes to learning, relationships are the most important thing. Each member of staff at Outside Tribe is experienced and highly qualified – dedicated teachers and forest school leaders trained to support and inspire children’s learning whilst keeping them safe, secure and happy. Most importantly, we all share the same core values of respect, care, curiosity and creativity and an enormous enthusiasm for inspiring play, discovery and learning outdoors.
Being a member of Outside Tribe means each one of us, children and adults, are a valuable member of our small and special group, but we also remember that we are part of a much bigger global tribe! This means we take care of ourselves, we take care of each other and we take care of the environment.
The founder of Outside Tribe, Lizzy has over 20 years experience working with children as a primary school teacher and early years manager. She is a Mum of 2 boys, fully qualified Forest School Leader, passionate about play and was born to be outside with kids!
“There is nothing more wonderful than watching a child learn and grow. It’s a total privilege to be part of that journey – to be able to build relationships with each child and help them to develop a real love of learning and a connection with nature – I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather do!”
- BA hons (First Class) QTS Primary Teaching
- Level 3 Forest School Practitioner
- Paediatric First Aid Trained and Outdoor First Aid trained
- CACHE Level 3 Home Based Childcare
- Safeguarding Level 3
- Food Hygiene Level 2
Cathy has 18 years of experience working with children and young people in schools. She is a qualified, experienced child and adolescent counsellor with a passion for supporting the emotional and social growth the children in her care. She has a special interest in attachment and behavioural support and is a dedicated Mum of 2 boys.
“What I love most about my work is building relationships with children and watching their confidence bloom.”
- BA English Literature
- BACP Accredited Counselling Diploma
- Post Qualifying Diploma in Child and Adolescent Counselling
- Paediatric First Aid
- CACHE Level 2 Childcare
- Safeguarding Level 3
- Food Hygiene Level 2
Steph is a Forest School Leader / Trainer and Wildbeach Leader and has set up Forest School in several schools around Cornwall, running sessions for 2 year olds to 72 year olds! She previously worked as an Early Years Teacher and managed a pre school for 10 years. She is excited to be part of this long term project can’t wait to get stuck in!
- BSc and PhD in Zoology
- Post Graduate Certificate (PGCE) in Primary Education
- Level 3 Forest School Leader
- Level 3 Wildbeach Leader
- Outdoor First Aid trained
The right to be a child
At the heart of Outside Tribe is each child. What we do is based on respect for young people and a belief that they are born with the motivation to explore, investigate and be curious about the world around them. It is our job to help this to flourish! We believe in children’s fundamental right to play; the right to be outside in natural environments such as woodland, beach or meadow; the right to access risk and the beauty and vibrancy of the natural world; the right to experience and explore a healthy range of emotions, and the right to build resilience and a sense of self that will allow them to embrace all the challenges and joys that life will bring.
Time to be a child
Our approach is focused more on the process of learning than it is on the content – more on the ‘how’ than the ‘what’. We know that meaningful learning – and the real ‘magic’ – happens not through structured activities, but seeing where the children take us, joining them and supporting them on their own journeys of discovery. Through the year themes are gently explored using the natural rhythms of the seasons to guide us. Skills and knowledge are taught ‘in the moment’, always starting with the child and their interests. The children are trusted and encouraged to direct their learning – our role as adults is to skilfully inspire play and exploration in the outdoors, knowing when to work alongside a child to help them develop or when it’s best to step back. We observe the children as they play, learning what makes each child ‘tick’, supporting their interests and working to create an environment and a community where these interests can blossom.
Our natural setting is central in supporting this very dynamic approach to learning, as it provides such a rich and ever-changing environment for children to interact with. Here they can fully engage all their senses, experience changes in the weather and the seasons; countless smells, textures, sounds and tastes and sights – near to far, high to low, from the magnificence of a Elm tree to the tiny intricacies of an ant. Without the confines of four walls, and roofed only by the sky, children are free to move – to run, jump, roll, skip and climb, and are free to be noisy, or to find their own place to be calm and feel the peace of the natural world. In our increasingly busy, structured and technology filled world, time here links children to a deep relationship with nature that human beings across all cultures have shared for centuries.
A place to be a child
Our site is a beautiful old Cornish orchard, with stunning areas of woodland and meadow, bounded by Cornish stone walling and native plants and trees.
The word Kindergarten translates as ‘children’s garden’ and our site is just that! It is full of wild spaces to explore and hide in, trees to climb, mud to squelch and long grass to run through. As well as all this wonderful natural space we have enhanced the site with mud kitchens, rope swings, hammocks, raised beds for gardening, areas for tool work, an outdoor kitchen and log circles for gathering together to share food, stories and songs.
Our composting toilets are also rather lovely!
It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place to be – in the spring the trees are bursting with blossom, in the summer the meadow flowers grow tall, in the autumn the wooded areas are carpeted with golden leaves for crunching through and in the winter the frost jewels the grass and the rain makes muddy puddles perfect for splashing in!
We have a beautiful wooden cabin with a cosy woodburning stove – a space to rest, snuggle up and listen to a story, or to play and craft in when we need a break from the Cornish weather! We are developing a pathway through the neighbouring fields to the dunes at Treyarnon beach, opening up access to another rich, exciting environment for learning through play.
Care for our environment
We know that the children we look after are the ones who will inherit this planet, so care for the environment runs through all we do.
We use natural or repurposed materials as much as possible and completely avoid single use plastics.
We have lovely composting toilets, use natural, plant based soaps and detergents and compost all our food waste.
We promote a car share scheme and encourage walking or cycling to site as much as possible.
There is no better way to develop care for nature and the environment than to spend time in it.
Children at Outside Tribe do just that – they don’t just learn about the environment – seasons, plants and animals – they experience it. Feeling the wind in their hair, studying spiders web or a snail in their hand, collecting leaves, listening to bird song…time in nature helps children to love it!