Can't believe yet another holiday has passed. It was a great start to the week - sunshine and a feeling of Spring in the air. We baked bread outside, sat around the camp fire and ate our fill.
We loved 'bird day', and the children went home with bird feeders and little bags of bird food tailored to the varieties of bird that they might find in their gardens at home.
Camp building day was a great hit, and I was amazed at the different styles of camp that the children produced. And I must thank Roger for sawing and hammering away and making such a great frame for each child to get their camp started.
It was an interesting holiday, with a few ups and downs, and as a result we have made an effort to allow the Secret Garden to evolve and become even more efficient and exciting for the children and us. It's very exciting! I'll list below some of the changes which we have made.
But please don't worry, there will not be any changes that you need to be concerned about, and all future bookings are secure.
- We have decided to operate as a provider of Environmental Education throughout the year, offering Summer School and other holiday workshops - nothing will change for you, except that we will be able to take children from 5-14 for as many days as we wish without being required to register on any of the Ofsted registers. This is a move away from being purely 'childcare' which is required to register with Ofsted if offered to under 8's for more than 14 days per year. We are fully conversant with Ofsted regulations, and are in communication with them. We'd just like to stay uncomplicated and independent for as long as we can. And as everything we do is linked to Environmental Education, it makes total sense to be what we are!
- Another difference you might notice is the way we structure the days. We had a little experiment last holiday, and we discovered that contrary to what we expected, the days when we had 12 children were much more successful than when we had, for example, 6 children. The larger numbers allowed us to play a greater range of games, the children seemed really considerate of the need for order and behaved really well when they were in bigger groups. So we will be continuing to look carefully at groups and structure. We will decide what works best for all of us. We will also be employing at least one further member of staff in order to ensure that we are able to address the needs of all our little visiting peeps!
- You will notice a new page on the website too, which I'd really appreciate you reading to your children - it just reiterates our rules and sets out our expectations in terms of behaviour etc. As children come on different days and arrive at different times, it's easier to present this information via the website before they come. We just can't practically sit them down as a group to go through it. Thank you so much for helping us in this way.