The Gravesham Buddying Project commenced in April 2009 and was a collaborative partnership between Kent Early Years and Future Creative, with additional support from The National Strategies. The project team worked with 32 settings across North Kent to develop effective and sustainable models of ‘buddying’ and collaboration within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Approximately 1000 pre-school and reception age children visited Shorne Woods each month.
In collaboration with Future Creative practitioners, the project built on the Communication Language and Literacy Development work, and the Well Being and Involvement training already delivered in Gravesham, and it introduced the work of Forest School and Reggio Emilia.
In her role as an Early Years Regional Adviser for The National Strategies Gail was asked to add additional support to the project. Following on from the practitioners visits to the Forest at Shorne Park, Gail delivered sessions with a focus on finding ways to sustain children’s engagement and involvement in their own space through;
1) identifying and overcoming the barriers to improving the use of the schools’ and settings’ own outdoor space
2) developing opportunities to use the locality and the wider environment.