The Stomping Grounds Story

Sophie reads an article about Forest School

May, 2015

It is the first she’s ever heard of it but it sounds amazing.

Training

August, 2015

Sophie does an inspiring week of Level 3 Forest School training in Sheffield and meets other practitioners.

Stomping Grounds is born!

October, 2015

The first ever under 5s, Saturday Club and Home Education sessions takes place at Thornley Woods in the Derwent Valley. It rains dramatically and everyone has a great time.

Building A Team

October, 2015

Sophie meets Susan Byrne – an experienced Forest School practitioner who starts helping out at various groups. Susan and Sophie’s skills and experience complement each other perfectly and the quality of the sessions improve as a result.

Building Partners

November, 2015

Stomping Grounds partners up with Chopwell Community Association and receives a grant to deliver Forest School Youth sessions in Chopwell Community Woodland.

Local School Engaged

January, 2016

Local School Engaged

Stomping Grounds gets its first school contract, working with Mountfield Primary School in Kenton, Newcastle.

Jess Joins the Team

February, 2016

Stomping Grounds starts working with Jessica Lloyd from Chopwell Youth Club. Jess’ broad experience in education in both school and non-school environments strengthens the Stomping Grounds’ provision.

Registration as a Community Interest Company

February, 2017

Stomping Grounds Forest School North East CIC is formed with Sophie, Susan and Jess as Directors. 

Grant Funding Received

February, 2017

Grant funding is received from Tesco, Seedbed, Durham Area Budget Partnership, Land of Oak and Iron, Newcastle City Council, Prudhoe Town Council and the Catherine Cookson Trust

Washingwell Primary Sign-Up

September, 2018

Washingwell Primary Sign-Up

New contract at Washingwell Primary School, Gateshead delivering PPA cover to KS1

Leadgate

January, 2019

Start delivering a year long youth project in Leadgate, County Durham.

Crowdfunder

April, 2019

Successful crowdfunder campaign raises the additional £5,000 needed to assist with the private purchase of Dukes Hagg Wood in Prudhoe, Northumberland for the exclusive use of Stomping Grounds

Crowdfunder Video

 

Dukes Hagg Launch

July, 2019

Dukes Hagg Launch

Launch Day for our new home at Dukes Hagg Wood engages local residents, businesses and our supporters to celebrate this exciting stage in our development

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Stomping Grounds Forest School

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Bringing Forest School to you. We work with schools & community groups to develop confidence, creativity and communication through woodland adventure

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Stomping Grounds Forest School

16 hours 37 minutes ago

Got to love Teacher Tom! I remember quoting Simon Nicholson in my first ever pitch. Still fundamental to our ethos.....
‘This is about more than tree cookies and toilet paper tubes and clothes pins. It’s about more than old tires, shipping pallets, and planks of wood. At it’s core, the theory of loose parts is a theory about democracy, about self-governance, and the rights and responsibilities of both individuals and groups to come together to shape their world according to their own vision.’

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Stomping Grounds Forest School

17 hours 14 minutes ago

Who needs to meet Santa when you can make your own?! Under 5s used a saw and peeler, painting on a red hat and white beard, to create mini Santas 🎅🏼
Jess is jingling her way to lead our last session of the year next Monday, so I'll say thank you now to all the wonderful families who make Under 5s so special - it's just a joy to work at Dukes Hagg with you and I can't wait to see in the next season in 2020!

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Stomping Grounds Forest School

1 day 47 minutes ago

So much of what I’ve been doing recently in both work and personal life has resonated with me, and everything seems to come back to the same principles. We need to own our feelings and express them freely and we need to support children to do the same. We need to develop awareness of self, others and environment to feel connected to those things. It’s ultimately what seems to be lost in today’s busy modern consumer society. Connection. 🙏

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Stomping Grounds Forest School

1 day 17 hours ago

Fantastic party today at Dukes Hagg in Prudhoe....hot dogs, hot chocolate, magic wands, magic river, wet children, happy children! Thanks Clara and Sarah for your magic.
We run parties throughout the year, it’s never too cold or too wet to make magic in the woods.
#BeWild #BelongTogether

Stomping Grounds Forest School

5 days 20 hours ago

Baby friendly community cafe in Low Fell needs your support to stay afloat....

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Stomping Grounds Forest School

5 days 21 hours ago

Studies have proven that even looking at photos of nature is good for your mental health. That’s a start. Next step is bringing the outdoors in....so even being able to see and touch natural materials supports wellbeing. Then being out in it.
Ultimately, connecting and engaging in some way with nature-working with wood, crafts, foraging, photographing, planting....all of these things have the highest impact.

This was my view today. I hope it helps brighten up your day too.

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Stomping Grounds Forest School

1 week 4 hours ago

Alexia Barrable from Dundee University spoke on Sunday about her research on Nature Connectedness and its impact on early years. In a nutshell, engagement with nature in early years improves nature connectedness which in turn positively impacts awareness of self, others and environment, which ultimately grows a generation of humans who see their place within the eco system not as superior to it. We need better nature connectedness if we want life on earth to be sustainable.

https://discovery.dundee.ac.uk/en/publications/the-case-for-nature-connectedness-as-a-distinct-goal-of-early-chi

Copy and paste above link into browser to read the full study

Stomping Grounds Forest School

A beautifully crisp morning for Under 5s - perfect for making salt dough decorations and chocolatey porridge on the fire. Mixing, stirring, squeezing and moulding dough with their hands was a brilliant way to keep little fingers warm. Thanks to our excellent volunteer, Sandra, a salt dough expert. I had some fantastic help to keep our fire going - under 5s know their Birch and Larch kindling. We headed off to unknown lands with full tummies and discovered tree dens, puffballs and waterfalls. Our hot water bottles were a well used addition to the session and will be returning every week while it's chilly. See you next week for more festive makes!

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Home, certificate in hand! This weekend covered sensory processing disorder, speech and language difficulties, nature connectedness, attachment theory, emotional regulation, play therapy and so much more. Watch this space to see how we put into into practice!

Stomping Grounds Forest School

Stomping Grounds Forest School

1 week 2 days ago

Spotted outside of their natural habitat...Sophie & Suzanne in a shopping centre next to a fake tree that you’re not allowed to climb. Both reverted to flight mode and retreated to the safety of the open sky once they had fulfilled their primitive urge for food.
Back in Manchester for the final 2 days of our Theraputic Skills training. Fascinating but emotional day learning about attachment theory, play therapy and embedding this in practice when working with looked after children. Or, as one of the other participants said that her adopted son had pointed out ... ‘aren’t all children ‘looked after’?’