Childcare students discovered exciting ways to educate young children outdoors on a trip to Hackney Forest School.
A group from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) visited the school, which provides a wide range of outdoor teaching and learning sessions for children and their families, on 26 January.
The school is based at Clapton Park Children’s Centre with sessions taking place in the centre’s landscaped garden and on Hackney Marshes.
The students, who are all studying for a Childcare and Education Certificate Level 3, were led through some of the various activities by Lauren Mills from Hackney Forest School.
They took part in activities, including a nature trail, building a shelter with a waterproof sheet and string, walking along logs, climbing trees, identifying different woodland creatures and creating mud faces.
The students were also told about potential hazards of working outside with children, health and safety and preparing risk assessments.
Childcare student Ayse Kaya, 17, said: “I was surprised at how much you can do outside to educate children, and that you don’t always need a pen and pencil.
“I come from a big family and looked after my brothers and sisters from a young age.
“People say it’s hard work looking after children, but it’s not really if you enjoy it.”
Another student, Sarah Jaigirder, 20, said: “It’s helped me to learn what children can do outside, and how important it is for them to explore the environment.”
Sarah left university to pursue a vocational course at CONEL as she felt the work experience offered would be more beneficial.
“The teaching at CONEL has been great. It’s been the best choice I ever made,” she said.
Also taking part in the activities was student Jeannie Weaver, 18, who has been undertaking a three-day work placement at Hackney Forest School since November.
She said: “It’s the best course I’ve experienced. It’s very challenging, but the teachers never give up on you.”
Hackney Forest School was developed as a collaborative project between Hackney Learning Trust and Clapton Park Children’s Centre, which also provides nursery for children at the centre for children from birth to five years.