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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

 

I am delighted to have joined the Kinder Croft team, to have found such a beautiful place to work and to apply the skills and experience I have gained in working as a teacher, both in primary and secondary schools, to an early years setting.

 

Encouraging play and creativity has always been a core part of my own educational philosophy and it is liberating to have the scope to do this in a setting where play is seen as a core developmental experience. I have always appreciated the calming and nourishing effects that being outdoors has had on me and believe there is something essentially healthy and healing in spending time in nature, where the clean air, sunshine and physical activity can permeate our bodies and minds. I believe that enabling our children to grow, explore and develop relationships in this outdoor setting will have a lasting positive impact and hope that by encouraging resilience, empathy and self-confidence we will be giving the children who attend here a great start to their time in education.

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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 native plants, birds and animals. As children growing up, there was so much freedom and a feeling that the landscape around us was ours to discover and explore. 

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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Co - Directors

 

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Merlin Planterose
Dorian Braun
Samuel Planterose
John Woods
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Charlotte Nunn
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