In August 2011 Niki met up with Ron, Wendy and Elaine of AISWA in Perth and a possible study visit to the UK was discussed to allow AISWA members the opportunity to visit high quality educational centres - in particular to explore nature education. In October a further meeting included Claire Warden of Mindstretchers in Scotland and the BIG plan was formed by the team. A lot of work behind the scenes by Mindstretchers and AISWA has led to the realisation of this dream with Niki of Inspired EC as the facilitator.
Participants of the AISWA Early Childhood Study Tour are on the road visiting early learning centres and forest kindergartens, professional learning workshops and seminars throughout England and Scotland. The purpose of the tour is to provide ECE leaders, an opportunity to share teaching and learning experiences from different backgrounds, exchange ideas for kindergarten set-up risk management, and learning through adventurous play in natural environments.
Day 1 - Monday 24th September 2012
With great excitement 26 West Australian delegates met up at the Pullman hotel, London, for lunch to mark the start of our 2012 study visit. Ron Gorman, Deputy Director AISWA, welcomed the group and thanked those that had been part of the planning and organisation of the trip for their input. Over a delicious lunch there was a lot of socialising and catching up with each other before we walked to St Pancras station for our train journey to Corby. I don’t think anybody told the train service that the cabin would be occupied by a large group of Australians with HUGE bags (some had been shopping in London too!) so there was a lot pushing and shoving to fit all the bags in. Peter did a great job as bag handler!
We arrived in Corby and descended on one little black cab. Word soon spread that a group of tourists needed taxis, some of these were filled with bags while the owners of the bags decided to walk to the hotel. The walk was a bit longer than we had been led to believe but those that walked decided that it had been well worth it.....we even had time to admire the numerous large puddles along the way!
Some went to the shops - I believe many pairs of boots were purchased and we will be having a welly boot parade at some stage. Kate bought a pig onesie ....... must try and get a photograph of her in this!
At 6pm we met for a drink - and were introduced to Glen who will be driving our bus for the next 2 weeks. Dinner and then to bed to be ready for a busy day tomorrow.