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‘Wow’ I couldn’t of ever imagined the true impact the Hygge Accreditation would have made on me, my family, and my setting.

Aug 20, 2021
‘Wow’ I couldn’t of ever imagined the true impact the Hygge Accreditation would have made on me, my family, and my setting.
Cholsey Pre-School
I just wanted to firstly say ‘Wow’ I couldn’t of have never imagined the true impact the Hygge Accreditation would have made on me, my family, and my setting. We started the accreditation within our Pre-School at the beginning of Covid 19, not knowing the true impact that covid was going to cause, at this time I had lost my nan to a stroke, my emotions and mental well-being were effected massively, as well as grieving, supporting my family with bereavement and running a Pre-School. I had felt a lot of pressure on my shoulders at once to make sure everyone was ok and everyone was coping with what was going on in the world. When I reflect back now, I can see I was probably the lowest I had ever been, but never showed this to anyone. As always you put on a smile and support the people around you and don’t think of yourself.
A staff member came across ‘Wanderlust Nature child study’ during lockdown, all our staff completed this training and feel in ore of it, from the training we started implementing lots of different things, one big one was our teaching, we looked and reflected on this massively. During the Covid period it was a very different way of working how we normally would, it was difficult, we weren’t used to it, but it gave us the chance to reflect on our setting and ourselves.
Thinking about how the world was at that time and the impact it could have on all of us was food for thought and we decided we wanted to change. We knew we wanted Pre-School to be a place of calm, a place where children and adults felt safe and secure, a place of fun learning and have the opportunity to slow down and work on our mental health. So, we then decided we would take up the accreditation for the setting, and expand on this more, a lovely journey with staff, children, and families.
As we started the accreditation and we all looked at ourselves, this was a big thing, and it helped us to support each other with actually how we were all truly feeling and not covering it up with a smile. We looked at the five pillars of being a successful early year’s educator, and worked on these. This was the start of our journey.
Second steps was our environment, then our teaching, following the child’s interest, which is what we have always done but doing the training made it ok for us to truly make the most of it. We have been implementing so many changes and seeing the impact it’s making along the way, some changes were hard, one change that staff found difficult was the standing back and observing, what play and interactions where happening, and watching how children learn, what are children actually interest in from observing their play,how we document learning, less paperwork was a big one and allowing ourselves to see this was ok. This has had a big impact on well-being of staff, and all documenting is meaningful and has a purpose.
Using loose parts more and observing the magic from how a child critically thinks and uses loose parts to extend their play interactions and representing of objects, role play.
We changed the colour of our environment to a lighter tone and got rid of the block bright colours and the busyness of our walls; we had years of things up that had become wallpaper to us all. We lessoned the resources, had stored them nicer with some organisation. With fewer resources out, play was much more purposeful and children were more engaged with what they were doing. The children’s involvement was very high. The children were actively learning and really playing and exploring.
The children remain leading their learning and following their interests and they are more independently using new skills and life skills that will support them through their adult life journey.
Staff have become more confident with their teaching and more confident because they have better well-being, they understand themselves more, their emotions more, and are better mentally to support the children in our care. This training has brought back the love of early years and driving staff to bring back their passion and love for their jobs, it’s not so overwhelming.
For myself, my journey has been an amazing experience, I have learnt about myself, learnt to slow down, and learnt to take care of myself. I have brought nature into our setting as well as my home life, and as a setting we are more outside then in, previous years it was probably the other way round. My mental health and well-being has improved massively, I am loving life and loving my job again.
As a team we want to thank you for the amazing journey, which we will continue to implement and carry forward, and inspire other people.
Thank you.

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