I started off my career studying a BEd (Hons) in Primary Education with physical education at the University of Plymouth. This provided me with the foundation to start my teaching career and begin nurturing young minds. My passion for outdoors and physical education stemmed through all my teaching and learning. This added to my creativity and drive to always trying something new with teaching which meant that on a daily basis I would invite children to a learning experience where learning through play is encouraged. One day we could be boarding a class rocket bound for the moon wearing our space suits and googles to crash land in the school sand pit where we begin learning about planets and the next we are following detective clues around the school grounds to track down a missing dinosaur. Children naturally love to learn when taught in engaging and child focused ways and as a Teacher you are in a privileged position to facilitate this. I am passionate that play builds the kind of characters our future country needs, children who are resilient, independent and curious who do not fear failure or taking risks.
In each school I have worked in within mainstream and special schools I have had a huge focus on raising the profile of physical education and learning outdoors. The benefits of play and outdoor learning cannot be underestimated. I have seen academia, behaviour and confidence in children flourish through the development of effective outdoor provisions. Children become actively engaged in their learning during lessons and have positive and socially enriching play times where they learn crucial social skills in communication, conflict resolution and turn taking. In my experience as an adult and my experiences working with children, learning through the context of play is always the most memorable and enjoyable.
I am now excited to be starting the next chapter in my career working with Pentagon Play to assist in developing vibrant and effective play provision in schools, improving the learning environments and play experiences for children on a national scale. Working with a great team of professionals who share the same passion and vision for developing learning through play.
In my personal life I see life as one big adventure, and am always looking for new ways to step out of my comfort zone and try something new. In the last few years I have travelled lots of parts of the southern hemisphere, jumped out of a plane, taught in a school in the Gambia, sat on a ‘friendly’ crocodile called Charlie, trained Elephants and even hand delivered a new born lamb. Life is about having fun and in my job working with Pentagon fun is the cornerstone of all that we do.
A quote that resonates with me and my hopes for the future provisions of play for children in schools is that:
‘Children need the freedom and time to play.
Play is not a luxury.
Play is a necessity.’