What is Forest School?
Forest schools originated in Scandinavia in the 1950’s. Since 1995 forest schools in the UK have grown in popularity with many early years’ workers and primary school teachers seeing the huge benefits of forest school learning for all children. Most recently this has seen a huge emergence in Special Educational Needs schools and continues each year to benefit pupils all over the world.
“Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers children and young people opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment.”
Our Forest School grew in April 2012 from staff’s desire to provide a curriculum at Simba’s Den which reflected the naturally stunning area in which the nursery is situated.
Through the Forest School and other environmentally-based initiatives, children attending Simba’s Den are able to develop a lifelong love and understanding of the natural environment, whilst developing the core purposes of the Forest ethos, namely, development of self-esteem, confidence and social skills. Through carefully planned activities, all children have the opportunity to take part in the Forest school which enables children to excel in all areas of their personal, social and emotional development.
At Simba’s Den, we operate our Forest school on two sites.
The first site our own private forest school area within the village. Children aged 3+ visit this site twice a week on a Monday and a Thursday.
Our secondary site is Bulwick Village Centre Green, which is a short walk from our nursery. This site is a lovely introduction to forest school and the children enjoy visiting every Tuesday and Thursday.
The freedom of the ‘forest’ allows the children the opportunity to experience a realistic experience in which they are able to practice their skills and further develop their understanding of a woodland environment. It raises expectations and develops insights into individual learning styles and schemas.
Our Forest School aims to develop:
• Self Awareness
• Self Regulation
• Intrinsic motivation
• Good social communication skills
• A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
There is a plethora of research and evidence that shows the benefits of forest school and we are lucky enough to witness how children’s confidence and self esteem grow through our forest School program.
Each forest school session looks different and more information is explained under the age band headings.
For children attending our forest school a kit list is sent out to all parents as we believe the right clothing is essential. As a free flow nursery we provide ski trousers and ski gloves.