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Reflect on the influence of legislation on working practices within early years settings.

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Introduction

B.) Evaluate how the recent initiative supports practice within early year's settings. A.) Evaluate how the current research collected in E7 can support practitioner's professional practice. (Combined) "The Forest School concept was brought here from Scandinavia by early year's practitioners at Bridgewater College in Somerset in 1995." (forestschools.com) The Forest School initiative provides regular access to an outdoor environment to enable children to feel confident and to achieve in that environment as well as in others. Although Forest School sessions have a structure and a plan, there is a focus on free play and child centred learning within that environment. This can support practitioners in their practice as they can take a "back seat" role in the teaching of children. Furthermore, the initiative supports there practice in that it enables more choice of activities they can plan for when in the forest. ...read more.

Middle

They are encouraged to make sensible and informed decisions about how to deal with unfamiliar and unpredictable situations (such as exploring or climbing trees, using tools to build shelters and dens). Much of the learning comes as a result of the opportunities they have for testing their own abilities in a real-life context. Enjoy and achieve - Forest School sets learning in a different context for children, in which they can undertake a range of practical activities and carry out small, achievable tasks. Children can develop their team-working skills and also learn to become more independent. Those who are unfamiliar with woodlands can become confident in using them, and this can form the basis of a life-long relationship with, and enjoyment of, natural spaces. Making a positive contribution - Forest School helps children to develop their confidence. As they become familiar with Forest School they can take their new-found confidence into school and into other areas of their lives. ...read more.

Conclusion

In my setting we have a forest school and from my own experiences in observing "lessons" in the forest I could see that the children were more engaged and seemed happier in the outdoors. Furthermore, from my settings forest school I can see that parents/carers seem just as interested as the children are. The settings forest school increases the amount of visitors and parent helpers coming to the school. The initiative has an impact on the settings policies because since the initiative was introduced to the school, a forest school policy was made which enforced that children in the forest must have parental permission, be wearing high visibility jackets and to make sure that there is the correct staff to child ratio. The policy supports practitioners in there practice as it gives them strict guidelines to follow and can direct planning. For example, planning is done to adhere to the policy. ...read more.

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