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Forest School

What is Forest School?

The ethos of forest school is a unique approach to learning and play which gives the opportunity for children to build their confidence and capacity for learning through regular visits to a woodland setting. Forest schools originated in Scandinavia as a way of learning about the natural world, and they are an integral part of the Danish early years programme.

Through play, children learn about the natural environment in a multi-sensory way, how to handle risks and to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. The programme runs throughout the year, going to the woods in all weathers except extreme winds. Children play, learn boundaries of behaviour (both physical and social), and learn to use tools safely. Through these activities they grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation.

Health and Safety

A visual check will be done before children enter the area. Risk assessments have been done on everything the children will come into contact with including the journey to the site, the use of tools and the base camp (where the fire will be lit). At the beginning of each session certain procedures will be practised through games e.g. boundaries and how to be safe. A first aid rucksack, a telephone and contact details for your child will be with us at all times.

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We advise your child comes to nursery in their Forest School clothes and to wear old clothes as it highly likely they will get muddy!

For Forest School, your child MUST have with them or in their bag:

  • A warm, waterproof coat with a hood

  • Gloves NOT mittens

  • Warm hat no dangling strings

  • For safety, no scarves as they may get tangled in trees

  • A long-sleeved top to protect them from sunburn and scratches etc.

  • Long trousers to protect them from sunburn and scratches etc.

  • Warm socks (or welly socks)

  • Wellies

When the weather gets colder please ensure your child has a warm layer underneath their clothes; for example, an extra layer of clothes, tights or pyjamas all provide good extra warmth.

Spring/ Summer

  • Sun hat and wellington boots

  • Sun cream will be needed if weather is hot

Checklist for Parents
What We Will Do

Generally, a session will be split into the following routine:

Arrival - Children to arrive at nursery by 9:00am; we then take the register, go to the toilet, and make sure we're dressed appropriately

Travel - at 9:30 we travel to site in a walking bus (children hold hands and walk in pairs, adults to be front, middle and behind)

Group time - there is an introduction to the session using a story, song, game, activity, special item, puppets, etc.

Snack time

Free choice - children choose which activities they would like to engage in, adults may model certain ideas and skills to support learning.

Circle time - time at the end of a session to reflect and share.

Closing – a song, action, story or activity that takes place to signify the end of the session.

Departure - at 11:45am we head back to nursery ready for lunch.

Please feel free to talk to me before your child attends a session with any questions, queries or concerns.

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