Kate has been working with NECA Community Garden in South Tyneside as they launch a new 'stay and play' outdoor group for local parents/carers and their babies and young children.

"I recently had the privilege of working as a Froebel Trust endorsed Travelling Tutor with a group working in a community allotment. Some of the staff are volunteers who work with children coming to the allotment. None of them has had any experience of working within a traditional educational setting.

The volunteers’ knowledge of and passion for being outside in nature is abundantly clear. They take the importance of working with nature as their starting point. They had asked for support in developing a Froebelian ethos in their work with children and families and this was how I came to work with them.

To Friedrich Froebel, the importance of engaging with and learning from nature could not be overstated. We spent some time exploring key Froebelian principles and ideas, in particular:

• the importance of starting where the child is (not where you want them to be or think they ought to be

• the importance of rich first hand experiences

• freedom with guidance (not being too free and easy and not taking tight control)

• unity or inter connectedness

• and the law of opposites (where Froebel recognised that to understand something fully, you also have to experience its opposite).

Over time, as we worked together in the allotment in a practical way, the group of volunteers came to understand these ideas using the resources that they found readily in the allotment...."

Please download the full article to read more about Kate's work with the community group.

Reflections from Kate Razzall on her work with a community allotment group