ISGA Leadership Council member Julie Mountain was invited to represent the International School Grounds Alliance at an early years conference in Bucharest, Romania. Hosted by First7 Parents and Educators Coaching, the conference attracted 130 delegates from the Bucharest area, who came to hear about the latest research and practice in early years wellbeing. Julie joined international speakers on dance, mindfulness and happiness and provided a workshop focusing on ways to evaluate wellbeing outdoors.
Outdoor play has an important role in developing young children’s self esteem, physical health, collaborative skills and confidence, all key elements that combine to create that all important feeling of wellbeing. Participants at the workshop heard about the work of Professor Ferre Laevers (Leuven University) and looked at examples of Professor Susan Herrington’s 7Cs approach to playspace design (University of British Columbia). Practical activities included testing ways to use ‘loose parts’ and ‘free and found’ resources to stimulate sustained shared thinking, problem solving and communication skills. All in all, a great opportunity to promote International School Grounds Month in Romania.
Julie Mountain is Director of Play Learning Life, based in Winchester, England.