What is a Forest School in Early Years?
Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation, and review links each session that takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world. It’s an approach that takes a long-term sustained approach to outdoor learning. Forest schools seek to encourage, motivate, engage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences. Forest schools are closely entwined with the concepts of free-flow play and learning from play.
How does Forest School link to EYFS?
Forest school offers an excellent opportunity for play and exploration, however, practical tasks linked to the national curriculum and EYFS are designed to enhance children’s development are what drives the forest school initiative. Forest schools help to promote a healthier lifestyle for children.
We try to ensure our children attend the Forest at least twice a week through Autumn/Winter, and in Spring/Summer the children are in the Forest daily. The Forest school programme is prodominatly aimed to our preschooler aged children who during the summer months from 2021 will be spending full days in the forest, whilst our babies and the toddlers aim to visit the forest for a few hours each day.
Due the the large outdoor garden space we have and the wonderful grounds that surround us, we are able to embed the Forest school ethos into our children’s learning even when we are not in the forest. Forest example, the children grow their own vegatbles and fruits, and explore nature in the garden and by Cray fishing in the lakes that surround us and project work on the Chickens and eggs.
Our forest school leaders our all training for their level 3 in Forest Schooling.