A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning. Forest Schools have been developed from the concept which originated in Scandinavia during the 1950’s and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Their philosophy is to encourage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences and they are proven to be particularly beneficial in Early Years Education.
We are very fortunate to be able to use a dedicated Forest School site, hosted by the Wildlife Trust at Glapthorn Cow Pasture Nature Reserve. This facilitates a more child-led outdoor curriculum than that followed at Tansor Village Hall.
Sessions are held in an area of local woodland just outside the village of Glapthorn every Thursday from March/April through to late October. This activity is done in all weathers except very heavy rain or high winds so the children need to arrive suitably dressed. We abide to the philosophy of “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”!
The children visit the woodland site and, through play, learn about the natural environment, how to solve problems and work with each other, learn to manage risks and explore for themselves. Once a group are established in the woodland and routines are set up, the project develops through a child led approach with opportunities for projects being taken back to the indoor setting to be continued. The skills learned at Forest School and the opportunities in an outdoor setting have enabled children to gain an effective foundation that raises academic achievement.
Research has shown that outdoor play in a Forest School has a substantial impact on the development of children. The children are/have:
More socially confident
Have greater concentration levels
All of the skills learnt at Forest School are supported by the Early Years Foundation Stage educational framework and are looked upon favourably by Ofsted.
What activities can the children do?
There are a range of activities that children participate in and are often based on a ‘theme’ for the session. They include some of the following:
Bird nest building
Teddy hunt / Teddy Bear’s Picnic
Hide & Seek
Woodland art and sculptures
Parents are responsible for transporting their children to and from the area of woodland.
During the winter months, all Thursday morning sessions are held at Tansor Village Hall.
If very poor weather is expected, such as very heavy rain or high winds, the forest school may be relocated back to Tansor Village Hall. Parents will be notified of this in advance by email.
Places at the Forest School sessions are currently only available to children aged 3yrs+. Children under 3yrs of age are welcome to attend our Thursday morning sessions when these are relocated back to Tansor Village Hall during the winter months (from after the October half-term until Easter).