News
NEW STYLE NEWS 2018
July 2018

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**** It's Festival Time! ****

We are super proud and excited to be curating and delivering the Arts and Crafts at our local festival "The Vicars Picnic" in Yalding on 20th-21st July. With our range of activities to suit every age and taste right next to a whole heap of great music, good food and lots of other splendid activities, We're sure you are going to love it. The festival has been running for a few years now and it's a perfect sized event, with approx 4,000 people due to attend. Just right for families.

We will be providing a good mix of FREE drop-in art activities as well as some great value-for-money workshops that will be a nice blend of creative crafts as well as our popular camp-crafts.

Regular posts and updates will be put on our Facebook page so make sure you 'Like' and follow us.

To book tickets for the festival, check out vicarspicnic.co.uk. We look forward to seeing you there! 

 

March 2018

Phewey... What a super-busy month!

Not only have we been busy reading through and posting up some a-maaazing testimonials (scroll down to see) from some of our lovely teachers and pupils, we have also finalised plans for our PLAYGROUP!! Woohoo!

Starting on Monday 16th April (and then every Monday*) in the grounds of the completely beautiful Godinton House, our outdoor playgroup is the perfect way to let your little explorers find their wild side! Spaces are limited so booking is advisable. There's more info available, as well as how to book your space, on our PLAYGROUP page. We hope to see you there!

And if you've never been to Godinton before and want to suss it out before booking for the playgroup, I will be there as part of their Spring Week on Thursday 12th April, creating a willow tipi. Times annd prices can be found in the link.

Come and say 'Hi'!

*Just a little sidenote about playgroup dates - we aim to open every Monday but will post up full term dates to confirm

 
February 2018

Goodness, we are only just into this month and yet MORE exciting news!

From Spring 2018 we will be introducing our first Parent & Toddler sessions. We are just finalising the location, but we can tell you... it is STUNNING! The sessions will be held in Ashford on a Monday morning and spaces will be limited.

WATCH THIS SPACE for our official announcement or to be the first to know, join our mailing list below!

 
January 2018

Well as its the start of a new year we thought it a good time to give a refresh to our skills. 

Paul has continued to enjoy assisting at the Woodland Ways skills courses throughout 2017 and is keen to carry on through this year. 

Last year, Lorna spent some time at the inspiring Stanmer Park in Brighton to find out more about living in a self-sustainable way and enjoyed an introductory course on Permaculture, which has helped hugely in understanding the natural cycles, systems and patterns in nature.

This year, we will be expanding our learning with more courses, starting with a Building with Cob course. We are very excited about understanding the many and varied uses of this natural product and can't wait to share our new-found knowledge.

 

We don't want you to miss out on the fun!... :)

We still enjoy getting in touch with our techy inclinations and like to make sure you are kept up to date with "what's happenin" at Onodrim via our social media channels (see there, just in the menu bar), or via our newsletters.

Why not sign up to be kept up-to-date with our latest events, offers and activities? We promise not to bombard you with lots of emails, nor will we share your information with anyone else.

It's super-easy, just pop your email in the Mailchimp box below...

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We thought it was about time you heard directly from those who have experienced our sessions, so here's just a few of the lovely comments and bits of feedback we have gathered from some of our schools, as well as some examples of a couple of our activities: 
 
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A HUGE 'Thank You' to all of those who took the time to provide and forward the feedback. This really does help us to make sure we are giving the best possible service!

 

teaching tales

 

In February 2016, Paul from Onodrim had the fantastic opportunity to join an expedition of eight to visit a Maasai tribe in the remote Rift Valley, Kenya. Travelling with the charity organisation ‘The Woodland Ways Bushcraft Foundation’, Paul had the opportunity to spend time with the tribe for almost two weeks, soaking up their culture, sharing knowledge, making friends and being indoctrinated to the tribe as a ‘true warrior’.

Despite having very little, these amazing, happy people were keen to demonstrate their appreciation to the expedition members and were happy to share their daily lives in this video journal (filmed by the charity) showing how life can been improved with a little help and support from people who want to do the right thing.

Previous expeditions have funded various opportunities and ways to support the tribe, most notably providing much of the funding required to set up and build a modest but functioning school there in 2012 and subsequently helping to fund the teaching provision.

Having only had a school in their village for 4 years, the children of the tribe are enthusiastic to learn and Paul was able to capture some of their learning time on video. We're keen to share this video because it brings such joy to watch.

Further news on the expedition, the work of the charity and its current fund-raising aspirations can be seen here.

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WELCOME TO OUR FIRST 'EVER' BLOG!

 

Ooh, we sure procrastinated over what to write about as our opening piece! But thanks to some spot-on guidance, chose to start with something that meant the most to us, something that underpins why we're doing what we're doing: Re-connecting people and nature...  

  

For most of us adults, our earliest memories will be of time spent at the park with our peers, on the swings, climbing trees, playing footie, enjoying the sunshine, making daisy-chains and coming home filthy dirty at tea time (or sometimes later, which meant a big ticking off from mum!).

How quickly things can change. So many news reports now suggest that this current generation of children are completely dis-connected from the outdoors and all things associated with outdoor playtime.

A combination of fear for our child’s safety, a lack of suitable outdoor space and the meteoric rise of electronics & gaming consoles have resulted in a huge decline in the amount of time we let our children spend outside. Happier to see them safe in the confines of the house, kept amused by ‘electronic sedatives’, have we as parents unwittingly condemned our children to poor self-esteem, lack of social skills and even mental health issues?

If current media reports are to be believed (and there is much evidence to support it), twenty years ago, depression and mental disorders in children were almost unheard of. Alarmingly, a recent study carried out by the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) stated that the fastest rate of increase in depression was amongst young people with an estimated 80,000 children in the UK suffering from severe depression. 80,000. How? And why?

Now, there’s lots of sub-text to this data and plenty of facts and hypotheses that can contribute to formulating an opinion on the matter, but could it, in some instances, possibly be anything to do with the fact that so many kids simply don’t have the chance to explore, grow and form the social bonds in the great outdoors, that are so essential to a healthy development?

I recently read an article online (of which there are several – take a look!) on the benefits of Forest School and outdoor time, in particular for young boys.

The article discussed the biological ‘caveman’ need for outdoor time, connecting with nature, running, exploring surroundings, being creative. These are all essential activities that a frightening number of young boys are missing out on.

And it’s not just the boys who benefit from these activities. I have seen first-hand, in several primary age girls, a hesitance in their ability to complete a task, who then breeze through the activity and finish the session with a huge grin. So rewarding. And then there are the girls who are just busting to do such activities but rarely get the chance.

For those of you that don’t know, most learners fall into one of three categories - Audio, Visual or Kinaesthetic (hands-on). Most of us generally have a capacity to apply all learning styles, with some more predominant than others. For some learners however, they may only have the capacity to adopt one learning style. Many school environments cater predominantly for the first two, with the classroom designed to address learning based around speech and the written word. But for those students who do not naturally excel with these skills, there is little suitable alternative provided that will allow them to grow and develop a good sense of achievement at the same rate as their academic peers. Poor self-esteem and a negative concept of themselves follow as they witness their classmates develop whilst they may be left battling with feelings of failure.

Tasks set at forest school (and beach school) look to address this. Always fully inclusive, the tasks allow for an element of risk but are achievable, so the completion of the activity for the learner boosts their confidence and this naturally encourages an openness of the learning pathways. Essentially, it can also provide opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction, social and communication development and more generally, a greater understanding of the world around them and their place in it.

Forest School sessions vary and are adapted to suit its audience. For the younger participants, exploring the natural world is encouraged and imaginative play has a pretty free reign in the outside environment with so many resources at hand. Sessions for older children may include sessions that link in with the relevant curricula whilst still providing opportunity to have fun, be creative and develop logic. So survival tasks such as shelter building, water collection or making fire may form part of the offer, or sometimes more creative tasks such as campfire cooking, weaving or art & design using a mixture of natural and man-made media are the more appropriate activities to set.

Whatever the tasks, we believe there is always plenty of opportunity for being active and on the move, ensuring the body’s natural endorphins (happy hormones) are being released whilst reducing the body’s stress hormones (believed to play a role in ADHD, depression and hypertension).

It’s great to see more and more schools embracing forest school and even practical sessions being introduced into the classroom learning. Hopefully, with support from parents and an extra push to embrace the beautiful outdoors, we can help our children re-connect and flourish.

 

 

Sorry - here's the boring bit!...

This is a personal blog. Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to Onodrim Woods and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations that we may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated.

Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organisation, company, or individual.

All content provided on this blog is for information purposes only. Onodrim Woods and its contributors makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Onodrim Woods and its contributors will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information, nor will we be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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