Hollie’s Story

Over my teaching career I’ve worked at two completely different Primary Schools. My first one was a small village school where I completed my NQT year in an Early Years Unit (Nursery & Reception) followed by a year in Year 2. Between the Schools I took a break from teaching which saw me working as a learning mentor and cover teacher; giving me experience of the full Primary age range and a more holistic view of education. My second school was a large 3-form entry setting where I worked in Year 1 developing my practise in play-based learning.

I loved developing continuous provision for Key Stage 1

I ran a blog and social media pages called ‘Bag of Beans’ (shout out to those who may still be keeping up with me!) My passion for the outdoors naturally evolved from this approach as I loved providing my classes with real-life, hands-on learning!

Nature is where I feel at home

As a recovered sufferer of CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome) the outdoors and spending time in nature plays a huge role in maintaining my personal health and wellbeing. Whenever I used to feel overwhelmed in the classroom, I would take my class outside. Sometimes it was only for a few minutes of mindfulness practices. Others I would adapt the entire session to the outdoors; because when I’m outside the chattering in my mind slows down. Which makes me less tense, and therefore a better teacher!

I’ve witnessed the impact nature can have on children’s wellbeing. After a few minutes of cloud watching I remember one of my Year One’s saying to me “I feel like I’ve forgotten everything, my head is so fresh!” (Don’t they just have a beautiful way with words?!)

I’ve also witnessed how inclusive the outdoors can be. Children who struggle to sit still and listen are engaged outdoors; those with over-powering energy can run; children who lack self-belief develop the courage to try. These are my why. They are my drive. I believe all children deserve to feel like this in their education and I’m really passionate about unlocking this approach for as many teachers as possible.

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