"The best classroom and richest cupboards are roofed only by the sky" Margaret McMillan
The Great Outdoors and Forest School
Our outdoor environment is one of our biggest assets at the nursery. We have no shortage of space but it’s what we do with it that really counts. Whether it’s watching spiders build their webs on a frosty day or squirrels climbing a tree on a spring morning we utilise every moment to find opportunities for learning and development.
We’ve invested heavily in our outdoor area to ensure that the weather acts as no barrier to us enjoying the great outdoors. All you have to do is provide the wellies and the waterproofs and we will provide the priceless opportunities to explore and satisfy the most curious of minds.
We are extremely lucky to have a large Forest School at the back of the nursery, which is away from the rest of the nursery. We have three Forest School Leaders that are Level 3 qualified, that are based in the Toddler and Pre-School rooms. Together they take children to Forest School on a daily basis, morning and afternoons. We have a fire everyday, use flints, use a range of tools, play games, look after our animals, and much, much more.
At Forest School children are physically active a lot of the time and their stamina improves as they go through their Forest School sessions. Their experience can also help to lead to the development of healthier lifestyles as children ask parents to take them on trips to woodlands and green spaces outside of nursery times. As the children gain confidence and improve their self-esteem this can impact on their emotional and mental well-being.
Benefits of Forest School
Research now backs up what we have known all along – that children and young people are stimulated by the outdoors experiences, over time, an increase in their self belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication and problem-solving skills and emotional well-being.
For more information about forest school research please visit this website.
Forest School helps children to develop their confidence. As they become familiar with Forest School they can take their new-found confidence into other areas of their lives. Children learn to solve problems and be creative and imaginative at Forest School thus showing enterprising behaviour.
Enjoying and Achieving
Forest School sets learning in a different context for children where they can undertake a range of practical activities and carry out small achievable tasks. At Forest School children can develop their team working skills and also learn to become more independent. Those who are unfamiliar with woodlands and green spaces can become confident in using them and this can form the basis of a life-long relationship with natural spaces.
The ‘wild’, and yet controlled, safe environment of Forest School ensures that children taking part naturally learn to assess risk and are encouraged to make sensible and informed decisions about how to deal with unfamiliar and unpredictable situations (such as exploring or climbing trees, using tools to build shelters and dens). Much of the learning for a child comes as a result of the opportunities they have for testing their own abilities in a real life context.