Forest Schools provide opportunities for children to experience nature and the outdoors in a safe, secure, hands-on way. We have our very own Forest School, lead by Kelly Fong, our qualified Forest School Practitioner. Our ‘forest’ is a small woodland area here in the grounds of Eureka! We’ll let you know before your child starts attending Forest School sessions to give you plenty of opportunity to ask questions. But in the meantime, here’s some background information about Forest Schools, what they include, and the benefits.
If you have any questions please ask Kelly Fong, Lead Practitioner in Pre-School.
Forest Schools started in Scandinavia, based on research into engaging with children who rebelled against traditional schooling. Children were given the opportunity to explore nature and the outdoors by investigating and playing, using a range of activities and natural resources. The research found that children’s personal and emotional skills were positively impacted by the regular sessions, as well as their knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental issues. Forest Schools are now run around the world.
You don’t need to literally run the sessions in a forest – any natural landscape, large or small, will do. Forest School sessions are run over a long period of time, with regular and frequent sessions in a natural, wooded environment. The sessions combine activities designed by the session leader but also place an importance on allowing children to develop their own interests and narratives.
The health & safety of the children in our care is central to the Forest School programme. Our site has been risk-assessed, and appropriate procedures and policies are in place. Children are closely supervised at all times and all staff are trained in first aid. Sessions are run by our qualified Forest School Leader (ONC Level 3) who plans, observes and reviews sessions to ensure that our children are safe and able to achieve their potential.
Not only will children learn about the natural environment and how to care for it, but they benefit in many, many ways, including: