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Free Forest School Training
6th January 2020

Parents and Early Years workers who live in the Better Start Bradford area (Bradford Moor, Bowling and Barkerend and Little Horton), have an exciting opportunity to develop their skills for working outdoors with children this year, thanks to courses on offer through Get Out More and Kindling Play and Training.  Once again, we are offering free places on accredited forest school training courses in 2020, funded through the Forest School Play Project, our commission from Better Start Bradford.  We are running 2 courses; level 1 course for those who would like an introduction for forest schools, and level 3 course for those with some experience of working outside with children, who are ready to become forest school practitioners.

There are a limited number of places on each course, awarded by eligibility and merit.  We are currently accepting applications for both courses.  You can download further information, check eligibility and see the application form by clicking the links below:

Level 1 course:   23-25 September

Level 3 course:  20-24 April and 16 – 20 November 2020 (Participants must attend both weeks)

2019 REVIEW OF THE YEAR
16th December 2019

We hope you enjoyed some time in nature this year, despite some variable weather; heatwave in February, downpours in August!  We may be living through strange times, but nature remains a space for solace, wellbeing and fun.  Our expanding team have been working hard to provide positive outdoor experiences for people of all ages, so as the year draws to a close, we like to look back through the photo album and reflect on how we did.

Here are some of our 2019 highlights:

JANUARY The start of the year saw the launch of ‘Breathing Spaces Keighley’, a lottery funded booklet which encourages people to take time out to enjoy nature on their doorstep at hidden beauty spots in Get Out More’s home town.  The free booklets were available to pick up around the town and were soon snapped up.  A Bradford Breathing Spaces booklet is now planned for 2020.
FEBRUARY Children from our Wild Woods Club enjoyed a trip to the Yorkshire Dales this half term, where they spent a day exploring Bolton Abbey with our All for Play team, Lizzie Lee and Sam Colman.  The weather was so unseasonably warm they even enjoyed ice cream by the river!  This year-round programme of outdoor play is funded by  Keighley Big Local.  
MARCH Stronger Families supports vulnerable families into work and training through building confidence and positive role models.  In March we were pleased to work with parents and children on two fun days of outdoor skills in Bowling Park.  The games and activities helped families to bond and make friends; “The trips helped me to socialise which I rarely did before”
APRIL In April, we were one year in to the Forest School Play Project with Better Start Bradford.  90 children and 9 nurseries had already taken part in  the programme, which aims to engage 3 year olds and their parents living in an inner city area, with nature. This month we increased the number of settings we work with from three per term to four.  “Forest schools should be in every school. My child enjoyed every session and so did I 😊 “
MAY The Lost Words is a very special book hoping to ‘re-wild’ children’s vocabulary.  We were overwhelmed by the standard of the submissions for the Lost Words competition  we ran at the end of 2018. It was a tough decision to make but the winners were Poppy Chapman of Steeton Primary and Tyler Smith from Oakworth Primary. Both won forest school taster sessions for their class which took place in May. A great time was had by all.
JUNE We were delighted to win Social Enterprise of the Year in the 2019 Keighley and Airedale Business Awards.  The award was sponsored by Keighley Social Lights and recognises our seven years of growth from ‘one woman band’ to a blossoming team of seven, as well as our social commitment to reinvesting in the communities in which we work through our donations of money and time from our profits.
JULY Alastair Humphreys is an adventurer and author of  many books including Microadventures (which inspired Get Out More’s 2015 blog).  This summer he got on his bike an spent a month cycling around Yorkshire to interview people about what living adventurously means to them.  As part of his travels he met up with our Managing Director, Annie Berrington, to interview her about what motivated her to start  Get Out More.  The podcast series  Living Adventurously is out now – Annie’s episode will be available in the new year
AUGUST It was another busy summer with holiday forest school programmes at Bingley, Ilkley and Saltaire. In Keighley, our programme was boosted with funding from the Healthy Holidays programme which meant our outdoor play sessions were enhanced by family outdoor cooking sessions, foraging and allotment visits.  Huge thanks to Rachael Neild from Healthy Growth Initiative who brought her knowledge of plants and cooking to help make delicious meals out in the woods!
SEPTEMBER Woodland Wellbeing sessions aimed at adults living in the Keighley Big Local area began in September. The sessions provide time and space for calming woodland activities to help people feel good and connect with nature. Participants take part in fire lighting, nature craft and cooking on campfires.

 

OCTOBER This month we welcomed a new member of staff, Hazel Thompson, to the team.  Thanks to the popularity of our Forest School Play Project, Hazel has been recruited to provide sessions for families with under 4’s throughout the Better Start Bradford area including in Bowling Park, Peel Park and Bolling Hall.  You can find details of her sessions on our website

 

NOVEMBER The charity Grandparents Plus supports kinship carers, family members looking after a child full time because their parents are unable to.  Fellow social enterprise Enable 2 CIC used some of its profits to pay us to offer some forest school sessions to give carers some bonding time with children in their care, or much needed respite.  We ran 2 family sessions and a half term programme just for the kids at St Ives estate and look forward to more sessions in the new year.
DECEMBER Earlier in the year we were delighted to have been selected as one of 5 UK organisations awarded funding for Community Forest and Woodland Outreach projects, part of the government’s £10m Children and Nature Programme. Our project, Forest Pathways began this winter and will continue for the next 3 years with 25 schools in the Bradford District. To help us deliver it, we welcome another new member of staff, Clare Proctor, and we’re looking forward to bringing you more news about these sessions as we go into 2020!

 

Once again, we want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone we have worked with, played with, learned with and explored with over the year – we can’t do it without you.

Here’s to a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Hope to see you in 2020!

 

Family Play Sessions get off to a flying start
28th October 2019

Following on from the success of our Forest School Play Project,  which has been running for over a year, we’ve started weekly family play sessions in local parks. In addition to running our regular sessions for 3-year-olds attending nurseries in the Better Start Bradford Area (Bowling & Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton), we are now running drop-in sessions for all of the family, so siblings can join in too!  All sessions are free – just turn up and join in. So far we’ve been making autumnal crafts such as conker necklaces, playing on swings and making badges and flags.

Sessions take place every week during term time at the following venues:

Tuesdays at Bowling Park 11.30-1pm & 1pm-2.30pm.  Meet near the cafe

Thursdays Shine at Stephen’s Church 9.30am- 11am

Thursdays Horton Park 1-2.30pm  Horton Park Ave entrance

Saturdays Peel Park 2-3.20pm.  Cliffe Road entrance

Come and join us! Siblings are welcome to join us too. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information and updates on any changes to sessions, check out our Facebook group

Autumn newsletter
9th October 2019

As the leaves start to turn golden on the trees and the conkers begin to fall, we have details of our holiday forest school programme for October half term. We also have fantastic news of new long term funding that we’ve been awarded, exciting new projects that we’re delivering and we’re pleased to introduce our new forest school practitioners.

We hope you have a great autumn and see you soon.

Annie and the Get Out More Team

In this issue:

  • Holiday forest schools are booking now!
  • Forest Pathways lead to success
  • Healthy holidays are a hit!
  • Woodlands improve wellbeing
  • We’re growing- meet the team

Read the full newsletter here

Forest Pathways Lead to More Jobs
10th September 2019

Get Out More are delighted to announce that they have been selected as one of only five organisations across the UK to be awarded funding for Community Forest and Woodland Outreach projects.  The woodland fund is one of the three strands in the government’s £10 million Children and Nature Programme, designed to help schools with the highest proportion of disadvantaged pupils boost their contact with nature and support health and wellbeing.  The programme is supported by the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Education, and administered by Natural England

From November this year we will be running Forest Pathways, an exciting 3-year programme of woodland outreach projects with 25 schools in the Bradford district, to include primary, secondary schools and Alternative Provision Institutions.  The programme will use a progressive forest school approach, from taster sessions to full forest school programmes and staff training, for pupils at eligible Bradford district schools receiving high levels of pupil premium.  We will be testing the effectiveness of our tailored approach to help sustain and expand the use of woodland outreach activities to benefit mental health and school school engagement.

Forest Pathways will be a fantastic opportunity to extend the benefits of forest schools to more schools in our district, whilst also creating new jobs in Get Out More.

We will soon be recruiting schools to take part in the programme.  There are 76 schools (primary, secondary, special and alternative provision) in the Bradford district eligible to take part in the programme.  To find out if your school is eligible, find out more information or register an interest in getting involved, please contact us

 

 

We’re recruiting! Join our team…
5th July 2019

Are you looking to join a small friendly social enterprise with a passion for the outdoors?

We are currently recruiting for an Outdoor Play/Forest School Practitioner to work on our Forest School Play Project, a Better Start Bradford Project, and our All for Play programme, commissioned by the Keighley Big Local. Due to the success of both programmes we are seeking an additional worker who can supplement our delivery in Bradford and Keighley. We are looking for a friendly, dedicated and proactive person who enjoys working with children and can share their love of outdoor play and nature with people from a range of backgrounds.

Further details can be found in the Outdoor Play Job Description 2019

Summer newsletter
4th July 2019

This time last year was wall to wall sunshine. This year we’re dodging the showers, but our outdoor programmes continue come rain or shine! Read on to find out more about our summer holiday programmes, which are booking up quickly this year.

It’s celebrations all round as we mark the first year of our Better Start Bradford programme, awarded prizes to the winners of our Lost Words competition and Get Out More picks up and award or two. Well done to all involved.

Whatever the weather, enjoy being outdoors this summer!

Annie and the Get Out More team

In this issue:

  • Summer forest schools now booking
  • Lost Words competition
  • We’d like to thank…
  • Party in the park
  • Healthy kids, happy holidays

Read the full newsletter here.

And the winner is…
2nd July 2019

…Get Out More!  We are delighted to announce that Get Out More won Social Enterprise of the Year in the Keighley and Airedale Business Awards 2019.  The prize was awarded at a glittering awards ceremony at the end of June, when Look North presenter Harry Gratian presented the award to the Get Out More’s Chair of the Board, John Hamilton and Board member Rachel Shaw.  The award was sponsored by Keighley Social Lights and recognises our seven years of growth from ‘one woman band’ to a blossoming team of six, as well as our social commitment to reinvesting in the communities in which we work through our donations of money and time from our profits.

In the last year we have made donations to community groups working hard to improve the environment of the Aire Valley, namely Friends of Park Wood, Friends of St Ives and Hirst Wood Regeneration Group.  We have also donated 40 copies of award-winning poetry book, The Lost Words; one for every school in Keighley plus copies for local libraries, hospitals and hospices too.  We have given assemblies at over 20 schools, telling the children about this important book which seeks to bring nature words back into children’s vocabulary.

As a business we are continually striving to increase the positive impact we can have on our beneficiaries across Bradford and West Yorkshire.  Recent commissions with Better Start Bradford and Keighley Big Local mean we are able to provide year round activities for children and families in local communities.  We recently have been granted funding through the Healthy Holidays scheme to promote healthy eating and ensure children don’t miss out on good meals during the long summer holidays and our summer holiday programmes in woodlands across the district continue to be popular with parents who want active, safe and adventurous fun for their children, instead of being stuck inside, glued to technology.

We have some ambitious plans to grow, create more jobs and increase our impact – watch this space for details of new projects and job opportunities coming very soon!

We would like to thank the judges making us an award-winning organisation and all our supporters and hard working teams of staff, board, practitioners and volunteers who make it happen

Lost Words Competition Winners
17th June 2019

Congratulations to our competition winners Poppy Chapman of Steeton Primary and Tyler Smith of Oakworth Primary who won first prize and runner-up in our Lost Words competition last year and enjoyed their prizes of a forest school style day for their whole class this May.  Year 3/4 from Steeton Primary enjoyed a full day of den building, games and a campfire at St Ives, while Year 1 visited Griff Woods for a half day of woodland fun.

The Lost Words is a beautifully illustrated book of nature poems that is becoming a national phenomenon, as grassroots campaigns seek to get a copy in every school in the country.  Get Out More donated forty copies of the book to schools in Keighley and Bradford, as part of its social commitment to support the communities in which it works.  We delivered assemblies at over twenty schools and invited schools in Keighley and surrounding area to create pictures or poems inspired by the book to win a forest school session for a whole class.  We were delighted to receive over 200 entries from 10 local schools and found it hard to pick just two winners.

The winning entries: 

We loved this poem which, like the poems in the Lost Words, captures the essence of the bird and cleverly uses the acrostic format (read the first letter of each line downwards) to describe its  habits and lifestyle.

Goldfinch by Poppy Chapman

Golden twinkles in the sky

Open beaks singing high

Lunchtime visits, they come to feed

Down they come for their favourite seed.

Fluttering on the thistle heads

Inspecting moss and plants for their beds

Nests cosy where the finch snuggles up warm

Cheeping chicks are being born

Hatchlings huggle in the nest, getting ready for a rest

 

Hedgehog by Tyler Smith

We were very taken with this collage by young Tyler, who has made a colourful and creative interpretation of one of our favourite mammals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Entries from Lees Primary, Harden Primary, St Joseph’s Primary and Parkwood Primary were all highly commended.

Making a Great Start with Better Start
19th March 2019

We are about to complete our first year of the Forest School Play Project, an adventurous programme to encourage very young children from areas of Bradford to develop better health, confidence and resilience through engaging with the natural environment.  Better Start Bradford commissioned Get Out More to deliver the programme last April, and by the end of March we will have run 99 sessions with 9 nurseries and 90 children, with many of the parents coming along for one or more session too, to see what its all about!

“Really good for the children to explore and get them to embrace the outside world and use their imagination. Really good for parents to get involved. I had so much fun!”

“These sessions really bring out the best in my children! Their curiosity, wonder and creativity are all nurtured beautifully by being outside and how responsive Get Out More and the nursery staff are.”

Parents of children on the Forest School Play Project

Better Start Bradford is an ambitious programme to develop an evidence base and new ways of working to improve the outcomes for young children and families based in three Bradford wards; Bowling, Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton.  Our Forest School Play Project is busy gathering evidence of what works in the forest school approach with young children and this is being evaluated by researchers from Born in Bradford’s Innovation Hub.

Call Out To Parents and Early Years workers in the Better Start Bradford area!

Forest school programmes:

We are about to go into our second year of delivering and are now looking for more nurseries who would like to take part over the next 2 years.  Our enthusiastic pair of qualified forest school practitioners, Sam and Lizzie, come each week to run a two-hour outdoor session for ten weeks with 3 year olds from the nursery, visiting local parks and woodlands for lots of outdoor fun, such as games, exploration, nature discovery and crafts.  Nurseries who have taken part so far are noticing how the programme is helping the children grow in confidence, bringing on their language, social skills and physical development in very obvious ways,  such as noticing children using more varied language, asking more questions and becoming more confident walkers

Forest school Training

Excitingly, we are also offering accredited forest school skills training for early years workers and parents from the area who would like to take their interest in outdoor play and learning with children to the next level. The Level 1 and Level 3 courses equip early years workers and parents with the skills, confidence and ideas to support or lead forest schools, and can be a transformational and empowering experience.  We are running two courses in  Bradford in 2019:

Level 1 Forest School Practitioner Award:  A 3 day course for anyone wanting to gain skills in working outdoors with children.  7-9 October 2019. 

If you are an early years worker working in the Better Start Bradford area (Bradford Moor, Bowling and Barkerend and Little Horton), download the application form here:Forest School Training application form Level 1 2019

If you are a parent living in the Better Start Bradford area (Bradford Moor, Bowling and Barkerend and Little Horton), download the application form here:  Forest School Training application form Level 1 for PARENTS 2019

Level 3 Practitioner Award will equip learners with the skills to lead forest schools.  Two full weeks of training plus first aid training and portfolio completion. 3 – 7 June & 2 – 6 December 2019. Download the application form here: Forest School Training application form Level 3 2019

All opportunities are free to settings / individuals in the Better Start Bradford area.  To discuss getting involved or find out more information, get in touch today