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T h e   K i n d e r   C r o f t   T e a m
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Manager

Joni Mackay

I was born and raised in the Highlands and then spent many years studying and working in Glasgow. I am delighted to be returning to the North and to have the opportunity to work at Kinder Croft.

 

I am a qualified Primary Teacher and Forest School Leader and hold a Certificate in Therapeutic Skills for Outdoor Leaders. Over the years, I have worked with a range of age groups and abilities in the outdoors, but my passion is facilitating child-led and nature based, learning through play.

 

When provided with a safe and nurturing environment, children will follow their intrinsic motivation to play. Through this they develop their knowledge and understanding of the world around them, practical skills and also the confidence and resilience they will need to adapt to this ever-changing world.

 

As adult educators I believe it is our role to provide children with the optimum environment for them to learn and I have repeatedly observed children flourish through spending quality time in a woodland setting. The natural world provides an ever changing and motivating backdrop where there is always something new to discover and explore! 

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Nursery Practitioner

Stephanie Martin

 

Working with children is my passion and I've had the privilege to have worked within the early childcare sector for over 11 years. As a qualified Forest School leader I have a love for outdoor learning with four years of forest school experience and knowledge.

I am enthusiastic to promote outdoor education and know

first-hand how it helps to grow children's abilities in a fun way, whilst also letting them be children.

I strongly believe that the best way to learn is through play.

Nursery Practitioner

Jo Marsh

Raised locally in the beautiful village of Ullapool I have fond memories from my childhood of playing freely outside, exploring with friends, climbing trees and sampling delights from the garden with my family. These lasting experiences have shaped my love of the outdoors. I feel strongly that outdoor education can be extremely effective, whether planned or spontaneous whilst also giving children ample time and space to learn and grow at their own pace, encouraging them to become more resilient, well rounded little people.

I have worked as a qualified practitioner with children for the last 10 years, with a particular affinity for teaching early years. My passion for forming relationships with individuals and their families, developing their strengths and natural interests and watching them thrive is what drives my enthusiasm. 

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Lead Practitioner - under 3's 

Rob Kinghan

Rob has recently moved to Ullapool with his young family and is working as Lead Practitioner with the under 3's. We are delighted to now be able to include under 3's at Kinder Croft and to welcome Rob as part of the team.

Bio to follow...

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Nursery Practitioner

Rhiannon Van Muysen

I've been involved with Kinder Croft since its early beginnings and have been inspired by the loose-parts play, child-led, approach to learning at Kinder Croft. I have recently become qualified as an Early Years Practitioner and combine this role with my vocation as an artist. I especially enjoy working creatively with the children on site, and would like to develop this more within my practice.

 

I am originally from Durness where much of my childhood was spent out and about on walks and adventures with my Mum and brother, looking for wildlife and learning about local plants and birds. As children growing up there was so much freedom and a feeling that the landscape around us was ours to discover and explore. Since having my own two children I feel it important that they also grow up with a similar feeling of freedom and a sense of a connection to the natural world around them.

I've been involved with Kinder Croft since its early beginnings and have been inspired to develop my skills in Early Years Practice with a focus on Outdoor Education, and have recently become qualified as an Early Years Practitioner.

It is wonderful to be a part of Kinder Croft and to know that children local to Ullapool as well as my own children will be able to benefit from so much time exploring nature on their own terms and in turn learning more about themselves and the wider world.

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Merlin Planterose
John Woods

Co - Directors

 

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Andy Grant
Samuel Planterose
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Rachel Grant
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Dorian Braun
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