Who we are
At Naturally Creative we are passionate in our commitment to giving children the best possible start in life irrespective of their family, ethnic, religious, social or economic background.
We believe that the quality of relationships and experiences of children in their early years has a massive impact on their future wellbeing and development. Our values are based on the importance of seeing young children as capable, intelligent, curious, and with a natural drive to learn and make meaning of the world. All children need a nurturing environment which provides a sense of belonging and develops their empathy for other people. Rich, hands-on experiences in which children develop their skills at their own pace following their interests and fascinations, should be shared with capable and confident adults who retain their sense of humour, optimism and excitement. We believe that young children's natural creativity
can be fully expressed when they are given time to play and learn outdoors in natural spaces and with natural materials.
We are passionate about developing creative learning environments, practice and resources that support outstanding teaching and learning for young children. We hope you will find interesting ideas, resources and useful links that will inspire your practice and encourage you to develop your own natural creativity and that of the children in your setting!
FOUNDER, TEACHER, TRAINER, LEAD CONSULTANT
Ann is an Early Years Consultant and Teacher with over 20 years experience teaching and leading practice in a variety of Early Years settings including schools and PVIs. She is currently based at Sandfield Natural Play Centre, an internationally renowned setting where young children thrive in a natural woodland environment. Ann set up Naturally Creative EY Consultancy in order to offer bespoke training and consultancy opportunities for Early Years Practitioners who want to be inspired by nature and the magic of being outdoors!
Since qualifying as a Primary teacher (age range 4-8 years) Ann has specialised in early years education and has been fascinated with discovering the best practice, learning environments and resources for nurturing young children. She has been fortunate in having had excellent professional development and training throughout her teaching career and has had the opportunity to be part of an extensive network of early years enthusiasts that includes local, national and international practitioners with whom she shares and develops her approach to early years teaching. Ann has experience of working within a wide range of settings and has worked with excellent staff, parents and other professionals who have taught her so much and continue to influence her practice in a positive way. Most importantly she had the privilege of spending most of her time working directly with young children, sharing their everyday experiences, being motivated by their enthusiasm, interest and drive to explore the world with their innate sense of wonder. Ann believes that this sense of wonder should be preserved and nurtured in early years settings as it is the pathway to life-long learning.
RESOURCE AND PUBLICATION DEVELOPER, CONSULTANT
Clare is an Illustrator, Painter and Visual Storyteller. As well as having a degree in Illustration, she is also a qualified EYT with five years experience leading creative practice within Early Years settings. Clare has developed resources and environments both indoors and outdoors and is particularly interested in creating art studio spaces to inspire and enable creative thinking. She has developed these in a number of different settings as well as designing and resourcing outdoor natural play spaces.
Clare now creates artwork and produces illustrated books through her independent publishing label C.P. Thompson Press, including those in the Naturally Creative range. She is also Artist in Residence at Sandfield Natural Play Centre and spends time working on creative projects with children and on the creation of training and publication material.
Clare's role within Naturally Creative is to combine her experience within both Art and Design and Early Years to work with Ann on the development of resources and ideas in the form of books and training videos. When on location in schools, she demonstrates innovative ways to use resources by creating provocations for creative play, offers advice and co-develops environments with Ann. She also provides the opportunity for settings to have the progress they have made recorded and edited into a film documenting professional development and environment transformation processes.
Please get in touch if you would like more information or to find out how we can support your setting with staff training, a visit to Sandfield Natural Play Centre or developing your indoor or outdoor environment.
Thank you for taking the time to visit!