National Tree Week

Let’s celebrate National Tree Week 2019!

National Tree Week

 

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration beginning the start of the winter tree planting season.

We are from a woodland culture!

 

 

What is a tree?
An oxygen maker,
A flood abater, a carbon absorber,
A climate recorder, a healthy aspect, a place to reflect,
A nest for an owl, where gruffalos growl, a climbing frame,
The fuel for a flame, a soil stabiliser, a picnic sun-visor, a provider of fruit,
Winter quarters for newts, the pages of tome, the heart of a home,
A pollutant filter, a neighbourhood gilder, a treatment for liver,
A stress reliever, an artist’s spark, an ancient landmark,
A noise muffler, a blue tit’s supper’s supper,
A temperature reducer,
A primary producer,
A wind breaker,
A wood maker,
A natural sculpture,
just outside the front door.

Between 10,000 and 4,500 BC our climate stabilised and wildwoods developed. Tree species like birch, aspen, pine, hazel, oak, lime, holly and beech began to make up these wildwoods. Around 5,500 BC Britain became an island and the wildwoods would probably have been a mixture of scrub-land grassland and tree groves rather than a continuous wood from John O Groats to Land’s end.

By the First World War, 90% of our timber was imported and the Forestry Commission was set up in 1919 to protect and grow our own timber. Many mixed woodland were destroyed often using herbicides to clear areas for conifer planting. And here we are, nearly in 2020 and we are gradually rediscovering the value of trees and woodland.

Celebrate National Tree Week - Our woodland site near Laughton, East SussexCircle of Life Rediscovery welcomes all our groups to a stunning 10 acre of beautiful mixed broad-leafed woodland known as Mill Woods. It is near Laughton Village, located 10 miles from Lewes in East Sussex. This land is part of the newly formed 171 acres of Vert Woods Community Woodland (VWCW).

 

All CLR work at our site prioritises care for the woodland, with the aim to increase biodiversity. We work closely with a wide range of nature enthusiasts to manage and support a long-term woodland plan that enables these woods to thrive whilst providing quality nature connection opportunities for all ages.  We are committed to providing access to nature for people from all backgrounds.

The Woodland Project in East Sussex offers days out in nature for families who have a child with a severe physical or learning disability, families who have a child experiencing mental health issues and 11-18 year olds who are accessing mental health services.

We have taken careful steps to build structures that sit naturally within the landscape. A beautiful and simple canvas shelter, enables up to 30 people to remain dry in some of our wetter days!

We have created a simple clean and sustainable compost toilet, and we have constructed a disability-friendly toilet for our Flagship ‘The Woodland Project‘.

All water is either brought onto site, or gathered using permaculture principles.

 

Forest Bathing

This year we are introducing our seasonal ‘Forest Bathing days’.

National Tree Week and Forest BathingA growing body of scientific research is affirming what we’ve always felt, being among trees is good for us. From the way they clean the air of pollutants and pump it with fresh oxygen to the immune-boosting phytoncides they release, we boost our well-being simply by breathing in their presence.

 

Forest Bathing invites us to be in relation to our surroundings with all of our senses – when we are sensing, we are in the present – and trees provide engaging stimulation for our senses, be it the sound of wind through the trees (one of the top 3 soothing sounds), their beauty, the varied textures of their barks and leaves.

The practice of Forest Bathing not only provides us with a pleasurable health-boosting experience but also deepens our knowing and appreciation of these incredible tree-beings so crucial to the health of our planet and all its inhabitants.

Support Trees for Life for National Tree Week!

Circle of Life Rediscovery has started to ‘Plant a Grove’ to help offset some of our trainings abroad.

Trees for Life’s vision is of a revitalised wild forest in the Highlands of Scotland, providing space for wildlife to flourish and communities to thrive. If you would like to contribute to this please follow this link. 


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life RediscoveryWe provide exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.


Other organisations:

https://www.9trees.org/: Planting trees is one of the best ways to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere and lock away carbon. Trees take time to reach their full potential and we only have 12 years to fundamentally change our carbon footprint before irreversible damage is done.

https://treesisters.org/: Tree Sisters is a global network of women who donate monthly to fund the restoration of our tropical forests as a collective expression of planetary care.

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/: A National organisation set up to care for our
woodlands and plant millions of trees!

Outdoor Classroom Day 2019

Happy Outdoor Classroom Day 2019!

young people thrive through learning and engaging outside the classroomOn Outdoor Classroom Day we bring you ideas of how to get children outdoors in line with the new Ofsted Education Inspection Framework guidelines.

Below are extracts from Reports, Papers and the Education Inspection Framework.

In 2014 the growing weight of evidence was finally recognised by Nicky Morgan, the Secretary of State for Education at the time, who stated that England was to become a “global leader” in teaching character, resilience and grit to pupils.

‘There is growing evidence that children’s social and emotional skills – their ability to respond to setbacks, work well with others, build relationships, manage emotions and cope with difficult situations – are associated with success at school, as well as positive outcomes in adulthood.’ (Education Endowment Foundation 2017 Report).

There are many different definitions however, probably one of the most compact and accessible definition of the terms ‘resilience’ and ‘character’ has been developed by ADEPIS (ADEPIS Report (March 2015) ‘Building Resilience and Character in young people’ as outlined below:

‘Resilience is the capacity of an individual to ‘bounce back’ from adverse experiences, and to manage positive resources and skills, such as ‘character’ and ‘grit’, that can allow minimising negative outcomes of adverse circumstances.’

‘Character is a set of capabilities (including application, self-direction, self -regulation, and empathy) and soft skills that allow people to achieve their potential.’

The ability to manage setbacks and build on them, seeing them in a positive light that young people can learn from is essential. As Einstein noted ‘Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure, it just means you have not succeeded yet’.

Get outside on outdoor classroom dayThere is compelling evidence built up over many years that children and young people thrive through learning and engaging outside the classroom.

In September 2019 OFSTED introduced the Education Inspection Framework (EIF) which is built around the ‘connectedness’ of the curriculum. Assessors will focus on quality of education with the curriculum extending beyond the academic to include broader development such as: personal development, behaviour and attitudes, character and cultural capital. This presents an opportunity to extend into the outdoors!

Below are some key notes taken directly from the OFSTED EIF:

Q: How can development of character/personal development be supported in schools?

Personal development:
28. Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of learners by evaluating the extent to which:

  • The curriculum extends beyond the academic, technical or vocational. It provides for learners’ broader development, enabling them to develop and discover their interests and talents.
  • The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy.

Everything we do is based in nature

Children can be supported in building resilience, confidence, independence and in knowing how to keep physically and mentally healthy.

The foundation of our work here at Circle of Life Rediscovery is built on the above qualities. Everything we do is based in nature.

Inspectors will make a judgement on behaviour and attitudes, including the extent to which:



‘Learners’ attitudes to their education or training are positive. They are committed to their learning, know how to study effectively and do so, are resilient to setbacks and take pride in their achievements’.

Q: What is Cultural Capital?
Early Years Inspection handbook p16:

Cultural capital
140. Inspectors will evaluate how well leaders ensure that the curriculum they use or create enhances the experiences and opportunities available to children, particularly the most disadvantaged. Some children arrive at an early years settings with poorer experiences than others, in their learning and play. What a setting does, through its curriculum and interactions with practitioners, potentially makes all the difference for children. It is the role of the setting to ensure that children experience the awe and wonder of the world in which they live, through the seven areas of learning.

We know that outdoor learning experiences can improve a young person’s feeling of well-being. A meta-analysis of 96 studies (see Report) shows that there are significant improvements in independence, confidence, self-efficacy, self-understanding, assertiveness, internal focus of control and decision making as a result of outdoor adventure programmes.

Outdoor Classroom Day 2019

 

What we see every day: Learning in a natural environment has a high positive impact on a child’s behaviour. This is linked to the quality of facilitation.

Key approaches in the outdoors enable:

  • Child led learning – allows children to discover interests in their own time and at their own pace. Intrinsic motivation and sense of agency is also developed.
  • Learning in nature – hands on learning with a range of natural materials to encompass all learning types including kinaesthetic learners, e.g. clay, sticks, stones. Nature as metaphor and deep investigation.
  • Physical health – wider range of movement in the outdoors such as, climbing, running, crawling, jumping and proprioception. Woodlands naturally provide logs, trees, hills, ditches, stumps which promote movement.
  • Mental health – research has shown being in the outdoors reduces stress. The community of learners provides a safe, emotionally literate, welcoming atmosphere.
  • Building resilience, confidence and independence – regular experiences in the outdoors provide opportunities for children to take supported risks at their own pace and to build on their abilities thus increasing confidence and self esteem.

Download the full document here: ‘Character and Resilience and the Outdoors

Forest School Shelters

 

Would you like us to build you an outdoor classroom? Visit our website for details!

 

 

Enjoy your Outdoor Classroom Day – we hope you manage to get outside today!


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life RediscoveryWe provide exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

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