Within the Forest School woodland experience, children explore their surroundings, investigate creatures in their habitats and find out about how seasonal changes affect the environment. It is wonderful to witness their enthusiasm and excited squeals – often before we have even reached the woods themselves!
As well as the obvious health benefits of spending time outdoors, studies have shown that it improves language and communication, encourages personal and social development, promotes cognitive development and a greater sense of achievement for children. Here at the Wolds, we are committed to encouraging every child to experience and learn about their environment.
Our Forest School site is on our very own Nursery grounds (almost an acre!). It is securely fenced off to protect it from any unwelcome visitors. When utilising the Forest, it is risk assessed and control measures are put in place to minimise the risks.
Although these sessions will be loosely ‘planned’ in accordance with the EYS framework, the main objectives will be to involve and enthuse all children in participating and enjoying these natural surroundings.
The philosophy of Forest School is to encourage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences, to engage their strong desire to explore the natural world.
The adult/leader is there to guide and encourage whilst giving the children the freedom to explore and share their experiences and explorations. This approach is to promote the desire within the children to engage in nature, stimulate their sensory awareness and create a partnership between themselves and nature directly.
By introducing the Forest School and adopting a ‘freedom to play’ approach, children benefit from a level of self-understanding that develops as their comfort and inquisitiveness increases.
Children attending early years Forest Schools tend to arrive at school with strong social skills, the ability to work in groups effectively, high self-esteem, and confidence in their own capabilities.
At present, pre-school children have the opportunity to partake in planned Forest School sessions. Our Forest School leaders are level 3 qualified Forest School Practitioners and support us in the extension of learning in our Woodlands.
For more information on our Early Years settings, please get in touch