EYFS - Enabling Environments

Monday, October 31, 2011

Provide the very best environment and resources for your setting

  • Using the environment as a learning resource in the EYFS: one-day course teaching the importance of the natural environment in helping babies and young children to learn



Provides training to enable practitioners to create a safe nurturing experience.

  • Level 1, Forest schools skills: three-day course for practitioners with little or no experience working outdoors. Basic woodland skills, including flora and fauna, covered.
  • Level 2: five-day course aimed at individuals who want to help a Forest School practitioner (Level 3) in the delivery of Forest School sessions in a woodland environment.
  • Level 3: five-day course giving an opportunity to explore a different approach to using the outdoor environment to a higher level. You will investigate how best to design and run a Forest School programme and look at how to approach and apply it safely and effectively.
  • Level 4: The Archimedes Forest Schools Level 4 OCN Award has been developed for individuals and organisations who would like to start running their own OCN Forest Schools training courses from Level 1 up to Level 3.



  • Maths outdoors in the Foundation Stage: explores outdoor play as a powerful learning medium for children to develop mathematics, with the potential to develop problem solving, reasoning and numeracy through fun outdoor activities.



The school's training programme aims to train those wishing to set up and run Forest Schools.

  • BTEC Forest School Skills: held monthly. Qualifies participants to support a Forest School leader by introducing them to working in woodlands.
  • BTEC Forest Skills top-up: an opportunity to become a leader having completed the BTEC Forest School Skills qualification.
  • BTEC Edexcel Advanced Award in Forest School leaders: two-hour weekly sessions over 30 weeks including a one-weekend first-aid course and a two-day management skills course. Covers topics including child development, fire lighting and health and safety.


  • Outdoor Classroom


  • Playful adults, playful children: enables adults working with children to develop skills and knowledge in five key areas of how to facilitate playfulness.
  • Games, games and more games - for anybody who wants to have some co-operative games up their sleeve for when children ask you to play.
  • Playwork - principles into practice: enables playworkers to develop their playwork practice in line with the Playwork Principles and to meet the requirements for playworkers under the EYFS.
  • A playful approach to behaviour: focuses on the way that adults act and re-act to children when dealing with 'behaviour'.
  • Play and risk - introduction to risk: benefit assessment from a playwork perspective



  • Bees, trees and dirty knees: half-day or one-day course exploring ideas for outdoor play opportunities all year round.
  • Transform your urban outdoor play: half-day or one-day course focusing on making the most of outdoor play and natural resources in an urban environment.


  • Purposeful, real and fun – making sense of literacy: developing interactive, fun, verbal, stimulating and literacy-rich environments indoors and out.


  • A focus on the powerful impact of Forest schools: introduces and explores the key principles and methods of Forest school learning.
  • Imaginative outdoor play – developing the wonderful world of den play: this one-day course examines the appeal of dens and their importance in children’s interactions, play and development.


  • Communication friendly spaces (CFS): delegates will be offered new insights into the importance of the spaces in which we communicate across the age ranges, viewing programmes and projects that use CFS in a wide range of contexts.


  • Introducing environmental games and activities: one-day course on using games to achieve a variety of different outcomes and atmospheres, blending activities together to ensure coherence, and ensuring that children get the most out of their experience in an outdoor setting.
  • Sensory environmental exploration for early years: this one-day course introduces simple ways to help young people enjoy their environment. It offers ways to deal with many subjects such as the senses, the seasons, colours, shapes and numbers through craft activities specifically designed for this age group.
  • Working with dried willow: this training day gives a whole experience of using dried willow (or ‘withies’). It provides tips on how to care for and use withies, plus creating small 'take away' objects; lantern making, larger structures and simple weaving techniques. The event is suitable for anyone who wants to use willow in their work environment, whether as staff or volunteer.
  • Enhancing sites for natural play: explores the process of enhancing sites for children’s play in parks, country parks, heritage sites, school grounds, play areas and other open spaces. It will examine current research and introduce techniques for the design process, focusing on using natural elements to provide informal opportunities for play rather than on designing formal play spaces and play equipment.
  • Arts and crafts activities with an environmental theme: one-day course of ideas on how to lead art and craft activities with an environmental theme which are easy for anyone, with or without art experience.


  • A creative approach to environmental education: combining environmental discovery with creativity, this event includes a range of activities to enrich education sessions.


  • Art without drawing on the beach: the aim of this training session is to inspire and build confidence in adults working in pre-five centres to use the outdoors as an extension of their playroom.


  • Language and literacy development through outdoor play: an interactive session for EYFS practitioners who work with children from 22-36 months and above. Topics include using collections of everyday objects as starting points for child-initiated learning, using stories as a springboard for imaginative play in the outdoors, and using the outdoors to develop mark making skills.


  • Spaces and places – planning creative spaces for children: developing an understanding of creating innovative and exciting spaces for children and young people in out-of-school, early years and other childcare settings.


  • The Ultimate Early Years Environment: how to improve the outdoor learning and emotional environment and building strategies for developing the environment.
  • Outdoor learning: Practitioners will be provided with a step-by-step guide to creating an outdoor classroom to support the EYFS, and making the transition to Year 1 with outdoor learning, health and safety aspects and risk assessments.
  • Sustained shared thinking: recognising and supporting children’s thinking by creating an environment that nurtures children’s thoughts.


  • The great outdoors: this course will explore practical games, constructions and creative activities which encourage outdoor play using the four elements and natural materials to create individual art.


  • Playing with the elements: two-day course looking at a range of ideas and opportunities available for playing outdoors with the four elements, focusing specifically on the winter months and how to make best use of the weather and the darker evenings.


  • Adventuring out: this course helps early years educators to develop reflective pedagogy and practice in the natural environment.
  • House of objects: a three-day course for those interested in setting up a creative recycling resource space, encouraging new creative play for children through the use of recycled, natural and ‘intelligent’ materials from local sources.


  • Organised chaos: emphasising the importance of room organisation for the under-3s.

  •  ‘E’ is for Environment: identifying ways of providing a safe and stimulating environment for babies and children.


  • The great outdoors: one-day course exploring the outdoors as an enabling environment and ways of enhancing provision for learning in outdoor spaces.
  • Getting physical with maths: half-day session examining the mathematical potential of both the outdoor and the indoor environment through the exploration and construction of recycled materials.
  • Inspiring environments for communication: new half-day course exploring ways of establishing exciting, stimulating environments that encourage sustained conversations between children and children and adults.





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