Our second Men In Early Years meet-up was another great success! On 3rd July, 6 male staff from Toad Hall Nursery Group were joined by colleagues from other settings at Barrows Hills School in Surrey to engage in forest school training and network as part of our commitment to increasing the numbers of men in childcare.
The team learning and networking… for more photos, head to our Facebook page here!
Over the course of the morning the group engaged in outdoors activities such as fire lighting, eating a cooked breakfast, making bows and arrows and also used the time to share experiences of their outdoor provisions and discuss challenges faced from other practitioners about being outdoors.
Zak Harding, Nursery Nurse at Toad Hall in Chessington said that it was “such a good time and was really nice to meet and catch up with my male colleagues in Toad Hall and also other men in childcare! There was much to learn from everyone about problems we may have faced being men in a female dominated career and how to deal with them!”
As well as providing useful networking and support opportunities, Zak is already planning how to “get some natural play equipment for the garden at Chessington” and is planning to head off to the forest soon to pick up some items to use for teaching!
The group were also joined by Luke Russell, a BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education Studies student at Birmingham City University. Luke found out about the event following the first Toad Hall Men in Early Years event that took place in April and said that the “numerous published articles and papers focus on the barriers to [men working in early years] rather than finding solutions to this.. I am going to be in talks with my local authorities about doing something similar in the Midlands, as I feel your work is exemplary.”
The next Toad Hall Men in Early Years event is taking place on Wednesday 21st October 2015 at Homerton Early Years Centre (Cambridge). If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate tocontact Sophie Haylock by email here.