The Forest School Approach - An approach to thriving in the Forest!
“Play is a crucial element in supporting children’s health, development and well-being and a means through which they experiment, develop their abilities, get creative and explore the world around them. Effective play enables children to explore and create rules and understandings; develop resilience; be active; be creative and imaginative; practice new skills; learn about risks; stimulate their senses and build friendships and relationships. Play can contribute immensely to children’s enjoyment of childhood, offering a place of sanctuary and also providing a therapeutic function by helping them to deal with emotional circumstances and issues that can occur in their lives. Reimagining outdoor learning spaces Primary capital, co-design and educational transformation.
Outdoor learning activities
The natural world offers so many opportunities for learning. Here are a few specific outdoor learning activity ideas linked to the Forest School approach. Many of these ideas could also work well in settings with limited access to outdoor spaces.
- Cook on an open fire
- Create a woodland nest for a bird
- Create dens, shelters, bridges and sculptures
- Collect colours from nature
Our Continuous Provision and Child Initiated Play
At Loxley Nursery, we know how vital it is for children to have the opportunity to explore their own interests and choose activities and resources for themselves. To support this, our nursery is laid out in different areas including the following - music, mark making, sand, water, paint, craft, construction, small world, maths, investigation, role-play, dressing up, reading and listening, outdoor, and cosy area. All these areas in our provision make up what we call a 'continuous provision'. Each of these areas are resourced excellently and to an extremely high standard. The resources, which make up this continuous provision, are permanent and always available to the children, allowing them to move between areas independently giving the children the opportunity to repeat play and develop their skills. Each week a number of enhancements are planned for each area by the staff team, this reflects what the staff team have observed and is always in keeping with the children's current interests and next steps in their learning. To balance child initiated play, the staff team also plan a variety of adult led activities in which staff directly support and lead a group of children, scaffolding their learning and modelling behaviour. Throughout our nursery day, the majority of time is spent in child-initiated play between the outdoor and the indoor area, allowing children to move freely between areas, which interest them.