We launched our first Kids adVentures Forest School in February 2017. At the time we were increasingly looking to use the outdoors for education and were really starting to see the benefits of it.
We run a community garden called Garden Needs and decided to turn half of the site into a forest school centre.
When we first opened the site we planned for our Prestwich Nursery pre-school to visit the site a few days a week for sessions. However, these sessions were so popular we quickly turned the site into a full time pre-school provision.
This was no small task – we had portacabins on site with water and heating but we only had a composting toilet. To turn the site into a full time provision we had to get connected up to the water mains and build a toilet block. We also turned half of the large cabin into a classroom and added a separate entrance for the nursery.
We held an opening event on a cold drizzly day in February 2017 and were pleasantly surprised with the support we got – lots and lots of families came to visit! We had outdoor crafts, forest school games, chilli in mugs and luxury hot chocolate – it was a busy day for all!
Since then we have expanded to offer forest school holiday club and home education sessions.
Additionally, we have started running forest school sessions at our other nurseries where we utilise any park or green space that we can easily walk to.
We have employed our own forest school trainer and can now offer Level 3 Forest School Leader training to all staff free of charge.
In October 2019 we achieved an Ofsted Outstanding rating for our Prestwich Forest School Pre-school provision.
The benefits for children have been massive. Teachers report back that when our forest school children start school they are more ready for school having increased confidence and lateral thinking skills.
In the last 18 months we have also extended these services by providing free Woodland Wellbeing sessions for adults utilising our forest school knowledge. We have found this to have real mental health benefits both in reducing social isolation but also in using nature as a mindfulness tool.
The Kids adVentures and Social adVentures teams have been really busy during the coronavirus pandemic from delivering out of hours keyworker childcare to delivering food parcels and combatting social isolation.
The Kids adVentures parent company, Social adVentures, is a public health provider who usually operate around a programme of bringing people together to improve health and wellbeing. However, in 2020 we have had to do things a little differently.
During the national lockdown we provided keyworker childcare for frontline workers including extended hours and bank holidays. Our nursery teams were dedicated during this time to providing a safe and welcoming space for the children of keyworkers in a difficult time.
We also provided emergency food packages to vulnerable families in Bury and vulnerable individuals and families in Salford. We also provided extended support to our local school during the school holidays.
At our community hub in Salford, The Angel Centre, our team supported people through local telephone support services dealing with everything from loneliness to arranging medication deliveries.
At our community garden, Garden Needs, the kitchen was turned into a busy food hub cooking 600 hot meals a week to feed the front line NHS staff at A&E, Covid Triage Centres and at the testing Centres.
As national lockdown ended we have continued to support people. We have opened a food club and are delivering lots of online support and postal packs including Neighbourhood Boxes and Art packs to help tackle loneliness and isolation. Additionally, we are helping people back into work and training through a package of online 121 work coaching.
In our nurseries our teams have worked hard to provide an environment for the children which is safe and welcoming and we are extending the amount of outdoor education that we carry out.
To find out more about any of the services we provide email firstname.lastname@example.org.UK
We are delighted to introduce Becky Hunter who has joined the Salford Kids adVentures team as Nursery Manager.
Becky has over 20 years of childcare experience in both private nurseries and children’s centres. Becky joins us from the Bertram Nursery Group where she had responsibility for several of the Holyrood Nursery settings for many years.
Speaking about her new role Becky said, “I am excited about working with Kids adVentures and look forward to getting to know the Salford families and developing the nursery.”
Scott Darraugh, chief executive of Social adventures who run the Kids adventures Nursery group said, “Becky is an experienced professional who brings and wealth of expertise and enthusiasm to Salford, we are really looking forward to working together with Becky to grow the nursery and develop new opportunities.”
At our Radcliffe nursery the offer is open to all ages from 3 months up to 5 years old. We have recently opened a dedicated forest school at our Radcliffe nursery as we are committed to providing lots of outdoor education opportunities.
At our Salford nursery the offer is open to children aged between 2 and 5 years. This is a new provision which opened in February 2018. It has a large garden and a fresh and bright indoor space where we utilise natural resources as much as possible. We will be opening a forest school at this site in February 2019.
Kids adVentures is a not for profit nursery, we are dedicated to providing high quality early years childcare experiences for all. All proceeds go back into providing more high quality childcare, this enables us to provide experiences like forest school across our provisions.
By February 2019 every Kids adVentures nursery will have a forest school. We have been running forest schools for 2 years and have seen massive benefits from providing outdoor education. The children are more engaged in learning, they gain confidence, naturally learn team work skills and, find out about risk taking in a practical and safe environment.
These are both Forest School Holiday Clubs based mainly in the outdoors with indoor facilities available for extreme weather conditions.
At Kids adVentures we are passionate about outdoor learning and the fantastic opportunities that this brings for children. Forest schools have been shown to increase a child’s confidence and teamwork skills but also to be an excellent place for children to learn about risk and decision making.
Our October holiday clubs will be full of autumn activities. We will be building shelter, cooking over a fire and going on lots of exciting adventures. We will be searching for conkers, going on bug hunts, making bird feeders and playing games in the woods.
Open to 4-12 year olds, we work in two age groups to do age appropriate activity.
Kids adVentures has been running forest schools for 2 years and has 4 forest school leaders with all staff having undertaken outdoor training and first aid training.
Our holiday clubs are open from 7.30am through to 6pm offering flexibility for parents.
On a typical day parents drop off at the forest school or setting where the children are offered breakfast before heading outdoors. We then have a circle meeting led by the children where we decide what activities we are going to plan into the day.
Bookings for the two Forest School Holiday Clubs are now open online via Eventbrite. We accept all childcare vouchers and there are full instructions on the booking page on how to use these. You can book as follows:
Kids adVentures, Radcliffe has recently been given a ‘New Look’. The nursery rooms have been renovated in a way that was inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach.
Extra natural light has been added to the main toddler room. A large internal window has been added in to provide this. Extra comfort has been added across the rooms to give the kids comfy places to read books or to just take a minute to relax. An array of scattered cushions and blankets give them all they need in their cosy
The rooms have been decorated in a calming cream colour. Hessian has been placed on the display boards enabling the children’s artwork to stand out from the board. This allows the kids to admire their artwork in a clear and colourful manner. Kids adVentures staff say they have noticed that the children have been playing in a more calm and cooperative manner since introducing this approach. The staff also claim that it has made a difference with even the children displaying the most challenging behaviour.
Kids adVentures aims to offer a lot of sensory experiences throughout the nursery. This includes treasure baskets with wooden, metal and material resources and sensory bottles containing various noise and visual items such as rice and pasta and also water with sequins inside.
New equipment has been brought in to provide lots of opportunities for role play in the nursery. There are role play areas around the setting such as wooden fruit, vegetables and other cultural foods alongside a range of props which aim to stimulate imagination in the children’s play.
We are very excited about all the new renovations and equipment that we have added to our Radcliffe nursery. We look forward to welcoming in some new families for a look around. We have recently set up a new free of charge stay and play session and everyone is welcome to come and join in.
To find out more give us a call on Tel: 0161 7240700 email@example.com