The week before term started in Autumn 2019 I visited Dacres Wood to deliver some materials, and as I cycled up to the gate I spotted a poster with a picture of a cat on it. LOST it read, REWARD if found. I recognised the cat, it was Ginger, the friendly mottled cat who had been a regular at Dacres Wood in our first year. Ginger was a little like the fox in the Little Prince to each child at Dacres Wood. There are even areas of the woods which are named after her use of them.
That evening as I mentioned this to a friend, I found myself crying. I don’t know if I was sad about the potential loss of ginger, or about the loss I anticipated the children would feel. Continue reading “Goodbyes”
On a tidy up time forest check walk with one of the children, we hear a sharp rasping sound. We both stop as we spot a squirrel running up a tree. We hold still. We often see squirrels at Dacres Wood, but this squirrel is up to something. It stops, freezes. It starts to bob its head. Its tale shivers. It suddenly calls out abruptly like 5 taps on a snare drum. We also freeze and observe it for about a minute until it scurries up the tree and disappears into the canopy. What was it doing? Continue reading “Ecologically minded – Part II”
Why are they sitting on the floor?
Why are their arms locked together?
What are they doing?
That policeman looks like he’s one of us. He’s just standing there watching.
What are those boxes for?
Why is he serving food?
Why is she dragging her feet? Does that hurt?
Why does that helicopter have two propellers? Continue reading “Ecologically minded – Part I”
Free We Grow is a unique learning community in South London looking for an enthusiastic and capable facilitator to join our team in spring term 2020. We are looking for an exceptional candidate who has experience working with children aged 5 to 11 and is passionate about self-directed and democratic education. We are based in a nature reserve and are looking for a candidate who is as comfortable outdoors as indoors.
Download the full job description:
Could this be something for you?
Send us your CV with a cover letter stating why you are interested in this position to firstname.lastname@example.org
Application deadline: January, 10th 2020
A wonderful thing happened to me this spring.
I got to spend six days with Rowan, Sally and the amazing children at Free We Grow.
Actually I am in Dacres Wood right now.
I can ‘be’ here, in this ‘lived moment’, in the here and now, in this beautiful space, and the children remind me to be in the ‘here and now’, ‘to be’ with them fully, and with what ever appears. Continue reading “A Wonderful thing happened to me this spring”
“I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behaviour is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning”. Carl Rogers
What a two years we’ve had at Dacres Wood (Nearly two years! We’ll celebrate at the end of this summer term). And what an opportunity it’s been to learn freely about ourselves, about others, and about our interests. I say ‘we’ because I can’t help but include Rowan and myself in the group of learners, and I think that this is just how things should be. Last week, Rowan and I were tidying up after pickup and stopped to admire some of the creations from the day… drawings, sketches and posters for the climate strike that took place on May 24th. Among the creations, Rowan had sketched a beautiful rhino, and I had painted a big blue whale, and we were both so proud! Continue reading “Self-discovered, self-appropriated learning”
Free We Grow is delighted to invite you to our next Open Day, Saturday 29th June from 1 till 4 PM.
In this occasion, we are dedicating the afternoon to the exploration and reflection on the topic of Empathy.
As part of the activities for the day, we will be screening the documentary Love, Hate and Everything in Between by filmmaker and director Alex Gabbay.
‘The documentary looks into the world of neuroscience, psychology, education and technology to explore the extraordinary relevance of empathy in today’s increasingly interconnected world.
Man’s capacity for kindness and compassion is overshadowed only by his ability to be as cruel and destructive. Can empathy resolve issues of aggression and subjugation, where wars, politics and economic sanctions have failed? ‘
Film will be projected at 2 PM with a duration of 55 minutes.
After the film we will have time for reflection and exchange of thoughts.
Please note that film is suitable for children over 12 years old, due to the graphic nature of some of the scenes. Activities for smaller children will be available during the projection of the film. There will be always an adult from FWG to accompany them and look after them while parents are watching the film.
Entry is free and there are 20 spaces available. Please email us if you would like to attend or have any questions about the event: email@example.com
During same day and times, Dacres Wood Nature Reserve will be accessible to the public, as part of the Friend of Dacres Wood Open Day. Everyone is welcome to come and wonder around this hidden gem in the heart of Forest Hill.
We look forward to sharing with you this fantastic day!
It’s 8:30pm on a Monday evening and my WhatsApp pings. I receive this message from Sally:
For the treasure hunt: I was thinking of changing the ending of this Aesops fable so the grasshopper is grateful for a drink of wine and then leaves the owl to go to sleep.
Continue reading “The owl that dared”