I am someone who thrives on new experiences and adventure! I love meeting new people, and finding out about new cultures and ways of living.
My latest adventure took my wife Tansy and me off on bicycles on a 9000km journey road Europe and India. We spent nearly six months living in a tent and cycling to our next home which was often a beach or woodland. We carried on our bikes our bedroom, kitchen and wardrobe! We found that by cycling through countries you experience things a new and fascinating way. We went to places we never would have gone to and found an abundance of beauty in both nature and humanity.
The most incredible and humbling part of the experience were the people we met. I learnt that people are good! We had young people in northern Spanish cities offering a sofa to sleep on, farmers along the canal du midi in France giving us camping space and a hearty breakfast. In India the kindness and generosity was astounding! People would actively go out of their way to help you, offer you food, shelter, directions, company and friendship expecting nothing in return. There was a real happiness about the people we met in India which was infectious and wonderful.
It is through these kind of experiences that I have developed an ability to look at the bigger picture in both life and education. The big picture in education has to be about developing children in a way that makes them happy, resilient, confident and eager to seek out new experiences.
Through all my experiences working in education I have realised that without doubt:
I am a qualified primary school teacher who has been teaching in London for over 6 years. I recently moved to full time teaching in the forest with Little Forest Folk and I'll never look back!
Come rain or shine the children learn so much more. Their language, creativity, empathy and resilience is unbounded. They truly learn to care for themselves their friends and the natural environment. I have witnessed two and three year olds rushing to help a friend who has fallen asking "You ok?" They talk to each other and listen to each other. These are skills that far surpass what is normally expected from children of their age. They are also free to use their own wonderful imaginations - in one day I have seen a simple log stump be a 'train', 'drum', 'rocket ship', 'oven', 'jumping platform' and 'fire pit'! The possibilities are endless!
Alongside this as educators we are able to go fully with the children's interests and develop their learning at a truly deep level. One two year old child has learnt the names of all the water birds at Little Forest Folk Chiswick - he can name swans, Egyptian geese, Canada geese, coots, moorhens, tufted ducks, mallard ducks and the grey heron!
I believe that using the incredible environment that we have access to at Little Forest Folk intertwined with a daily diet of music, singing, getting creative, using tools, reading stories, telling stories, acting out stories, climbing, jumping, running and moving in different ways will give the children a magical educational experience that they will never forget. It is what every child deserves!
Ever since I was about two I have been going on bug hunts. My favourite bug is the bombardier beetle that can shoot boiling liquid from its body to protect itself from predators.
In preparation for opening in Barnes on 17 July 2017, Charlie has been making natural building blocks for the children :-)
Find out more about our new outdoor nursery opening in Barnes (we have places available to start from Summer): Little Forest Folk Barnes