Childcare

Film: Outdoor kindergarten in Arctic Norway

At long last, outdoor nurseries and kindergartens are getting some official encouragement in Scotland. Pioneers like the Secret Garden in Fife and about a dozen others have offered an alternative to indoor early life for over a decade. But now Inspiring Scotland’s been funded by the Scottish Government to work with eight councils setting up new outdoor play projects. The need to get kids moving and enjoying outdoor activity is urgent. Five years ago, a study of 38 nations ranked Scotland joint last for physical activity, while childhood obesity levels here continue to rise, with a quarter of five-year-olds deemed to be at risk of becoming seriously overweight. So what does the future look like? Maybe a bit like Norwegian kindergarten today – minus the snow. So here’s a sa...Read More

4. Podcast: Get oot to play – school can wait

How would you measure success in the early years of a child’s education? In the Bukkespranget Norwegian kindergarten (where children aged 1-6 play outdoors in all weathers) they ask two simple questions. Does the child ask for more and do the parents tell stories? Note – no tests. All this play contrasts with Scotland’s formal school-based education for 5 year-olds – even though academic research shows children learn sharing, communication, cooperation, creativity and confidence  long before they can sit still enough to begin formal education. The urge to stuff the three R’s into 4 and 5 year-old brains may be understandable in a competitive, dog-eat-dog world – but it’s not rational, helpful, productive or kind. Certainly, at seven the ‘force-fed’ kids of Scotland ...Read More

The story so far.

Journalist Lesley Riddoch and activist Dan Wynn organised a launch meeting in Holyrood during April 2010 introduced by an MSP from each of the main Holyrood parties and conducted in a round table format to include contributions from other MSPs like former Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander, Nordic, German and Scottish academics, policy specialists and interested members of the public. Around 70 people were present and some Napier students made a short film you can view here. In August 2010 The Viking Feminists was a Festival of Politics event with two speakers – Agneta Stark a member of Sweden’s gender equality movement the “support stockings” and Henny Aune, a pioneer of Norway’s outdoor kindergarten system. We had help from Nordic/Scottish based businesses Boda Bar and Kinnarps, thin...Read More

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