Aston Clinton Nature Exploration Centre (Woodland Folk)

Robyn Asprey, Director  |  Published: May 29th 2015
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Woodland Folk is an outdoor based childcare setting. We will initially be opening May half term, and Summer Holidays with a view to be operating full time from September. For the initial school holiday provision we will be operating from a Yurt within the grounds of Green Park, allowing us to use the fantastic outdoor space that is onsite. During their time with us, children will run to their own agenda, following their interests, exploring the things that “grab them, drinking when they are thirsty and resting whilst they are tired! They will regulate this themselves without being dictated to.

As I say we will follow the children’s leads, however the types of activities we envisage doing are things such as, den building, tree climbing, fires,  mini beast hunting, story telling, creating things with real tools, felting, natural jewellery making… the list goes on and on.

It will be a small setting with only 24 spaces for children at any one time, to ensure that we can create a family environment in which all children know each other and all adults. We are adding a social purpose clause to our limited company documentation in which we reinvest at least 50% of our profits back into the project to enable us to be able to offer our services to more local children.

We have submitted our planning application in order to renovate a bungalow on site to use as our main base for our early years provision which will run during term time, offering long hours (7.30am-6.30pm) to enable us to accommodate working families, taking children between the ages of 2-5 years. The same ethos and way of working will be adopted as is used in the school holiday provision. We have also applied to Bucks County Conucil for funding to do the works however the outcome of the grant is dependant on planning permission. We are about to launch a crowdfunding pitch to also support with start up costs.

Children in the Early Years will follow the EYFS curriculum, and we will therefore be conforming to their adult : child ratios to ensure the safety of all children in our care.

We are aiming to provide a magical setting for the local children to enjoy, and get them away from screens and back to nature. All the while, their self esteem, risk management, language and imaginative skills will be being enhanced in a setting in which each child is nurtured as individual both by staff and by nature.

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