Forest School is an educational approach to playing and learning outdoors. Denmark established Forest schools in the Early Years in the 1980s, which are based on providing children with a nursery education that encourages children to appreciate and learn about the natural world.
Forest School provides a beautiful, natural and fun environment for children to develop:
- Strong social skills
- High self esteem
- Confidence in their abilities
- Their knowledge of boundaries – physically and emotionally
- A sense of freedom within rules that are set for their safety, as well as identify and manage risks
- Their knowledge and understanding of nature as they see the woodland changing with the seasons.
- Their communication and language
- Physical ability
- Use of phonic knowledge and
- Their ability to work together to achieve their ideas
Each Forest School session is planned to ensure children are making progress towards the Early Learning Goals.
Forest School fosters children’s curiosity and motivation to learn and explore. It supports children to respect each other, themselves, the natural world and their local community.
Practitioners at Oak Tree Day Nursery are currently undertaking a BTEC level 3 Advanced Forest School Leaders Award which enables them to provide a Forest School at Bath Spa University’s campus. The woodland is a safe, well maintained outdoor learning environment where children are able to benefit from learning in their natural environment.
During all seasons and weathers, children meet at the nursery and then take a walk to the woodland. The morning is then spent at Forest School where children explore and use the natural materials found within the woodland.