Jon Cree Masterclasses

Forest School Ireland is so happy to welcome back our dear friend, Jon Cree for four Masterclasses this October, 2022 designed to meet the needs of our times.

Jon Cree, making a tree ladder during ‘play structures’

The four Masterclasses are:

  1. ‘Supporting Children through Anxiety and Trauma while in the outdoors’, Sat, 22nd Oct, 2022, 9.30am to 4.30pm.*
  2. ‘Therapeutic Story-work’, Sun, 23rd Oct, 2022, 9.30am to 4.30pm.*
  3. ‘Play Structures’, Tues, 25th Oct, 2022, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
  4. ‘Integrate health and well-being with core curriculum subjects alongside the natural world’, Wed, 26th Oct, 2022, 9.30am to 12.30pm.

* This course also requires attendees to do some extra online study prior to the course which includes watching three short webinars on ethos, a needs based approach and the autonomic nervous system and some nature based exercises to do beforehand.

Suitable for Forest School Leaders and trainees, educators and any adults interested in working with groups in the outdoors.

More about the tutor, Jon Cree…

Jon Cree has almost forty years’ experience as an environmental/earth educator and trainer. His passion is helping others ‘get in touch’ with the natural world through dynamic learning programmes and hand-on learning experiences. He has for many years worked in Forest School, particularly with learners who are often stressed by our education system, home circumstances or other situations that set them apart from ‘the mainstream’. And yet we all bring gifts to the communities we are part of.

During the pandemic signs of stress, anxiety and even trauma have become more prevalent and Jon has been diving deeper in ‘somatics’ and body based approaches.  He has been asked to run even more trainings on anxiety, stress and trauma, and how the more than human world and creative practises can support healthy nervous systems.  This is based on the many years he has worked with young people, especially adolescents.

Jon also had a passion for working with handtools and string since he could hold a knife.  This has greatly informed his nature education practise and he has been making greenwood ‘stuff’ with children and young people for the past 40 years.  


Details of Masterclasses with Jon Cree:

1. ‘Supporting Children through Anxiety and Trauma while in the outdoors’, Sat, 22nd Oct, 2022.*

Date: Sat, 22nd October, 2022, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Venue: Larchill Arcadian Gardens, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Cost: €100 + booking fee. 10% discount when you book more than one class.

Slowing down
Observing

‘Everyday in a hundred small ways, our children ask ‘Do you hear me?’ ‘Do you see me?’ ‘Do I matter?’, their behaviour often reflects our response.’ L.R. Knost

This CPD training course shares knowledge and opens discussions about how outdoor learning practitioners and teachers can support children through times of anxiety and trauma.

Jon Cree, will call on current neurological understanding and share practical ideas to help you understand and support childrens’ emotional wellbeing in the natural world.

(Saturday is an introductory class. For further exploration join us for Sundays Masterclass ‘Therapeutic Storywork’, a smaller group format, practising approaches to working with therapeutic space in the outdoors.)

The course will cover:

● Creating a safe space ● Anxiety and trauma – what are they? How do we recognise?
● Recognising behaviour is communication.
● Working with sensory preferences
● Grounding and centering outdoors – Embodiment and integration
● Polyvagal theory and the five touchstones of somatic practice – how does the natural world inform these and our own regulation?
● Importance of co-regulation
● Working with stories and poetry outdoors in a therapeutic way
● Nature-based meditation
● Reflections and embodiment practices
This course will reaffirm your knowledge of the emotional benefits of working with groups in nature.

By the end of the course participants should have:
● Understanding of working with sensory preferences
● Knowledge of embodiment and integration practices
● Recognise the importance of working with themselves as well as their learners
● Understand the crucial role nature interactions can play in supporting emotional regulation
*This course also requires attendees to do some extra online study prior to the course which includes watching three short webinars on ethos, a needs based approach and the autonomic nervous system and some nature based exercises to do beforehand.


2. A deeper look ‘Therapeutic storywork with groups in and with the natural world’, Sun 23rd Oct, 2022

Date: Sun, 23rd October, 2022, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Venue: Larchill Arcadian Gardens, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Cost: €100 + booking fee. 10% discount when you book more than one class.

In these times of growing anxiety and often unresolved trauma, contact and , importantly, deeper connection, to the more than human can provide essential respite and often resolution to some of the anxieties we all face. We are creatures of metaphor and the language of story can help us find meaning, hope and ways of working through life’s problems.

Hapazome in the forest gallery

This workshop will equip educators with some of the tools of working in a therapeutic way with nature based stories, storylines and storymaking. While this does not equip educators with counselling or therapy skills it will provide a framework for educators to work with their learners in a therapeutic and playful way through story in nature.
For people who have been on the ‘Reframing Challenging Behaviour course with Jon or the one day workshop ‘Anxiety and Trauma in the Outdoors’ (Saturday’s course), this course is an extension of these two courses but equally stands alone for those new to this area of work.

The day will cover:

●     the therapeutic benefits of storymaking and telling – what is trauma and anxiety and the role of story.

●     Exploring body sensation and emotion through some simple story exercises.

●     techniques of working with traditional tales and their meanings.

●     the key components of a ‘story’ to bring meaning to stressors in the human world.

●     using a non violent communication model when creating stories with the aid of natural world materials.

●     When and how to work with story – it’s all in the timings!

●     Ways of processing story in groups in the nature space – through various ‘emotional
playgrounds’ and ‘activities.

●     Creating and telling our own stories through nature based metaphors.

●     How to effectively work with pace, passion, place, pitch and tone – body and voice together.

●     Resources and stories (old and new) to lean into.

* This course also requires attendees to do some extra online study prior to the course which includes watching three short webinars on ethos, a needs based approach and the autonomic nervous system and some nature based exercises to do beforehand.


3. Introduction to Making Play with Rope and Wood in the outdoors including ‘play structures’, Tues 25th Oct, 2022

Date: Tues, 25th October, 2022, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

Venue: Larchill Arcadian Gardens, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Cost: €100 + booking fee. 10% discount when you book more than one class.

This is a one day course spent building your own play structures with rope and natural materials. 

The course is for educators wishing to be a little more adventurous with creative
play structures at their sites, building them out of wood and rope and combining these with the natural features at your site. We will be sharing techniques and know-how on building safe but slightly risky (!) structures with children that can enhance creativity and physical play at your forest school site or in the outdoor space you work in.

We will be looking at techniques for making:
 
● Rope swings, rope bridges, rope crawls and rope walks.
●     Combining wood with rope including simple rope ladders.
●     Making free standing wooden structures such as ladders and sculptures and
rope courses to climb and play on.
 
Including tips on:
 
●      How to minimise impact of structures on Forest school sites.
●      Keeping within the health and safety guidelines for safe construction and use of
natural structures.
 
We will look at basic tool work, knot and rope work in order to construct ladders, ‘climbing frames’, temporary rope swings and rope courses, as well as putting up and playing with strap-lines. The day will concentrate on how we work with young people in constructing basic structures that includes working with trees or if the trees in your own settings are limited how to construct features by working with A frames and ‘safe anchoring’. 
 
We will cover all the health and safety aspects of working with ‘constructed’ play structures and ropes, looking at risk benefit assessments and key requirements.
 
Aims, by the end of the course participants should:
● Skills and confidence to build safe natural play structures from wood, ropes and
natural features
●     Knot tying skills and techniques for building ladders and setting up rope courses
●     Knowledge on how to minimise impact of natural play structures on your site
●     Understanding of Health and Safety guidelines for safe construction and use of
natural structures


4. ‘Integrate health and well-being with core curriculum subjects alongside the natural world‘, Weds, 26th Oct, 2022

Date: Weds, 26th October, 2022, 9.30am to 12.30pm – half day course.

Venue: Larchill Arcadian Gardens, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare

Cost: €50 + booking fee. 10% discount when you book more than one class.

Bringing together rich nature connection experiences with the school curriculum.
A community of learners

Half-day course, 9.30am to 12.30pm.

Cost: €45 + booking fee. 10% discount when you book more than one class.

This morning workshop will include a number of experiences of rich contact with the natural world and is tailored for teachers and educators who are faced with the pressures of delivering the school curriculum who wish to experience an integrative, more holistic approach to learning. See how Forest School and outdoor learning experiences can be meaningfully integrated into the curriculum to achieve Wellbeing goals and encourage engagement with the national strategy on Education for Sustainable Development in Ireland.

Forest School and outdoor learning experiences can be integrative springboard experiences and we will show how real world learning can make the curriculum meaningful and healthful, with immersive activities that combine art, literacy, maths and science (and the rest!).

Published by forestschoolireland

Ciara Hinksman is delighted to share he love of the outdoors through her work with children and adults.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: