Jump in the puddles of course! We love rain at Outside Tribe – it reveals spider webs; it gives us puddles for splashing; it makes mud. We provide each child who attends the pre-school good quality waterproof dungarees and a waterproof coat, and we always have spares. If the children are warm and dry, they just keep playing. Some children like to play in our lovely shelters when it rains – with the workshop, art area and cosy log circle; others keep playing in the open ground. If the weather is really extreme, of course we have our beautiful wooden cabin which is full of art materials, books and quality toys and we can warm our toes by the stove.
Both Lizzy and Steph are experienced teachers and know that ‘school readiness’ does not mean knowing how to fill out a worksheet! Key factors that help your child be prepared for Reception Year are their ability to be independent (both with their personal skills such as dressing or washing their hands and when working on tasks), personal, social and emotional skills such as making friends or resolving conflict, and communication and language skills. All of these skills are developed particularly well through a forest school approach. Research has also found that the ability to sit still begins with developing children’s large and small muscles through lots and lots of movement. Movement in the pre-school years actually helps children to sit still when they are older! (see https://1000hoursoutside.com/blog/outside-play-is-crucial-for-emerging-readers-and-writers?fbclid=IwAR0Vmd9btGGLzhMDrwWYNMeNqOk2Lgf4d3C5C0QE8bouZjc30OoB-U0a07A) Children at Outside Tribe move a lot!
Of course we listen to stories, count, draw and sing songs just as a ‘traditional’ pre school does, but in addition to this our hands on approach in nature means that children have the space, time, and freedom to fully explore and understand the sorts of concepts they will be learning about later in school. Science, maths, literacy – in fact ALL of the subjects taught in school – need a sound foundation of real life experiences to be able to be fully understood in the classroom – our pre-school provides them in bucket loads!
More importantly than school readiness, children at Outside Tribe develop the confidence, curiosity, skills and knowledge that lay a foundation for life long learning and success.
We have beautiful compost toilets with a baby change area and hand basin. Luxury!
We have a stunning wooden cabin filled with quality open ended toys, books and creative materials which is warmed by a woodburning stove – a space we can use when we need a break from the weather.
We keep active by exploring and playing games, we light a campfire and have a hot drink. We can also use our cosy cabin – it’s a beautiful place to be away from the elements if we need to be. As we provide each child who attends with quality fleece lined waterproof dungarees and jackets, and we advise on the correct layers to wear underneath, we rarely get cold!
We are extremely lucky that our site is like a little oasis, and very sheltered from the prevailing winds. If we do experience extreme winds on site, we use open areas, or go to the cabin.
We know how important it is for children to rest and sleep if they need to. We have lots of calm times during the day when we are involved in quieter activities such as listening to stories or simply sitting together under an apple tree and chatting. Our site has lots of lovely areas to find a peaceful spot and children can nap in our hammocks or in the cabin if they need to (all the fresh air can tire you out!).
The safety of the children we care for is always our highest priority.
OFSTED requirements are 1 adult to every 8 children, however we choose to exceed these by ensuring there is generally 1 adult to every 4 children and there are never more than 1 adult to 5 children.
We follow safer recruitment procedures for each member of staff including obtaining references and enhanced DBS checks (previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau Check) before they are allowed to work with the children. All our staff hold an up to date paediatric First Aid qualification and are trained in safeguarding and child protection.
Our site, activities and equipment are risk assessed and regularly checked and maintained. We support the children to identify risk and keep themselves and others safe.
We carry out fire/ emergency evacuation drills with the children, so that they become familiar with the routine, and should we have an emergency, we will be able to clear the site quickly and safely.
We only allow your child to be collected by a named individual specified by you. Any visitors attend by prior appointment and are not left alone with the children.
When your register your child with us we will ensure we are aware of any medical issues, learning, social or emotional needs your child has and will ensure we work with you to support them.
Of course! We have a changing area and can support those children who are potty training too.
Yes, of course! We hold open days, and outside of these times visits can be arranged to the site.