At Woodland Outdoor Kindergartens, we strive to provide a safe, stimulating and nurturing environment for children to learn and grow. Each member of our staff team is carefully selected as a result of their knowledge, experience, motivation and personality. Before meeting the children, new staff have PVG Scheme Record check and we obtain two written professional references. All of our staff team have completed first aid, child protection and a period of woodland training in order that they are aware of health and safety issues relating to childcare and activities in the outdoor learning environment. All staff are registered with the SSSC or other appropriate regulatory body.
I have a Higher Diploma of Education in Primary Education. My studies involved practical modules providing me with valuable experience of working with children from the ages of 3 – 11. It is from this experience that I discovered my interest and enjoyment in working in the early years stages.
I strongly believe that Woodland Outdoor Kindergartens enables children to develop a strong sense of physical, mental and emotional well-being and I enjoy being part of a team that provides the opportunity for children to grow and learn in a fun and challenging environment and to purse an active and healthy lifestyle.
I love being part of the WOK team. I find it really exciting to come to work and explore the woods with the children every day. I think the woodland environment offers such a range of enriching experiences. Since joining the team and having the opportunity to see the children have fun and learn through a natural environment has changed my views on how children learn. It’s great seeing how the woodland environment can offer the children real and valuable learning experiences and I cherish being able to see them develop their confidence and independence.
I am a qualified practitioner with a PDA Childhood Studies and I am currently at university studying BA Childhood Practice. In my spare time I enjoy reading and taking my two dogs on woodland walks.
After completing my BA in Childhood Studies and my PGCE 3 years ago, I was so happy to start at WOK. I love the outdoor and seeing how much children benefit from everything the woods has to offer. I really value the opportunity to observe the children enjoying and respecting the natural environment. The woodland environment allows the children so many opportunities to grow in confidence and independence. In my spare time I enjoy going hiking, camping and playing music.
I first met everyone at WOK last year, when I joined the team whilst studying NC Childcare & Early Education. This year I am studying my HNC and I couldn’t have been happier when asked to come and work part-time as I continue my studies.
I grew up in the countryside for most of my childhood and was given so much freedom and encouraged to be independent. Growing up as an only child, it was important for me to learn to make the most of the outdoors so WOK seemed like the perfect place for this to be passed on to other children. I believe children being able to explore the outdoors is such a valuable part of their development.
I like to spend time walking and (sometimes) cooking lovely food!
My eyes have been opened since working for WOK! I see childcare in a different light and love to see the benefits the outdoors can bring to a child’s development and learning.
I have worked with children of all ages since 2007, I worked as a youth worker and indoor nursery practitioner up on Shetland, where I am originally from. This is where I also completed my BA Child and Youth Studies with University of the Highlands and Islands.
My favourite things about WOK is of course the environment – its challenging, ever changing and offers natural materials for imagination play! WOK is the first child led practice I’ve worked in and I am seeing the benefits it brings to each child, they learn at their own pace, focus on what they’re personally interested in and naturally learn to risk assess them selves, using their common knowledge and being aware of their surroundings.
I first heard about WOK before I started college and I remember being fascinated about the idea of outdoor learning. Now two years later, after finishing my HNC in Early Education and Childcare, I am so glad to be working at WOK. Everyday in the woods is different. I love the outdoor environment and all that it has to offer for the children. It is wonderful seeing the children connecting with nature. The outdoor environment helps to build their resilience and also provides them with challenges that promote self esteem and the development of problem solving skills. The natural environment is also great for imaginative play. I love seeing how the children grow in confidence as they explore play with their peers.
Ella Van Loock
I am a true believer in outdoor learning – after five years as a primary school teacher and teaching assistant in London, and having completed a BTEC in Forest School learning last year.
When I moved to Glasgow in September 2016, I arranged to spend some time at both the South side and the West End Kindergartens. I was amazed by both teams and was hooked on the concept…I was crossing my fingers a job might come up!
I am convinced that children (and adults) need to be outdoors as much as they can. I am so glad I get to be part of something that encourages them do that and we are so lucky it is in the beautiful environment of Dawsholm Park.
Having spent the last six years as a WOK ‘mum’ and with first hand experience of the impact the kindergarten has on both a child’s learning and life experience, I am delighted to have now joined the staff team.
I have always been fascinated by the way children learn and absorb information and believe children are physical learners, and through their time in the woods it is easy to see the children’s confidence, problem solving and physical abilities grow and develop. As a team member I am constantly in awe of the children’s relationship with their surroundings, their ability to adapt and their imaginations. It is an honour to both witness and be invited into their world of play each day.