Forest School

Our philosophy at Lakehouse Nurseries Ltd has always been to provide children of all ages with an amazing environment, where through exploration and physical activity children are inspired and encouraged to realise their potential. With mud kitchens; great outdoor space; frequent trips out into the local environment and lots of natural and unusual resources incorporated into play, we have always been committed to providing a more holistic approach to learning. We are now taking this philosophy one step further and will be incorporating Forest School learning into our core curriculum. Initially for our 3 to 5 year olds, we will be dedicating a full session to hands on outdoor learning experiences. Partnering with Wales and West Forest school ensures that we can benefit from the considerable experience and expertise of Mike and Alyson (both qualified teachers) whilst our own nursery team work alongside them to ensure each and every child has an enjoyable experience tailored to their individual learning goals.200.JPG

Forest school has long been renowned for powerful learning experiences and especially in the development of confidence, problem solving and communication skills. Often nurseries and schools don’t fully embed Forest school learning and therefore it becomes a one off event. We believe we are ideally placed to ensure this is a long term commitment and through working with specialists will ensure Forest School becomes fully embedded at both nurseries.

We will be developing this page to provide updates on our experiences along with photographs capturing children and staff immersed in their learning.

A Parent/Carers Guide to Forest School

 

What is Forest School?

Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment.

 

Who are Wales & West Forest School?

Wales and West Forest School is owned and operated by Mike & Alyson Welti, a husband and wife team with a passion for outdoor learning and working with young people.

 

Alongside their business responsibilities, both are qualified teachers and hold existing part time teaching positions in the Bristol and North Somerset area. As a result, they have considerable experience and expertise in working with children both at nursery and primary school level.

 

Why is Forest School such a great opportunity for your child?

1. Research has proven that learning that takes place outdoors is more powerful because it involves more of your senses.

2. The Forest School approach is child led and focuses on the interests of those participating.

3. There is a strong emphasis on developing speech, language, social skills and empathy whilst also acquiring academic and practical skills.

4. Children are taught how to manage and assess risk for themselves.

5. Participants learn to respect and appreciate the outdoor environment.

 

About each session

Sessions will take place every Monday during term time with the pre-school children from Stationhouse taking part in the afternoon whilst the pre-school children from Lakehouse will participate in the morning. 015.JPG

 

A limited number of sessions will be held within the grounds of Lakehouse and Stationhouse but most will be held offsite. Most sessions will be held either at Portishead Lake Grounds, the nearby Eastwood & Battery Point Nature Reserve or on nearby beaches. We may also schedule trips further afield once the Forest School program is firmly established.

 

Sessions usually start around a log circle where activities are explained and safety points discussed. Your child will have the opportunity to learn both independently and with others. 

 

Children will gradually build up to different activities as trust is gained. Activities will be planned in order to meet specific objectives from all areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum. Activities might include: creating muddy faces, den building, collecting fire wood, using basic tools under supervision, nature walks etc.

 

Each session closes with a reflection around the log circle.

 

How children are kept safe

·         There is always a high ratio of adults to children in Forest School. 

·         There is always a Forest School leader present who is trained in Outdoor First Aid.

·         Full risk assessments of the site, tools used and all core activities will be carried out to ensure that Forest School sessions are as safe as possible and the risks involved are properly managed.

·         In the event of a more serious incident the parents will be contacted in line with the Lakehouse and Stationhouse Nursery accident and emergency procedure.

·         Children are shown the boundaries of the outdoor learning space and are given detailed training on all activities.

 

Clothing

As Forest School sessions take place outside whatever the weather (unless the weather presents a danger), please kindly equip your child with the following:

  • Wellies or shoes/trainers which can get dirty.
  • Hat (either woolly or sun, depending on the weather).
  • Extra layers and gloves should the weather be cold.
  • Waterproof clothing. It will help keep the children slightly cleaner and ensure their arms and legs are covered. Wales & West Forest School have a limited amount of waterproofs which will be supplied as and when they are needed.

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How can you help?

  • If you would like your child to take part you next need to complete and sign a consent form to enable them to participate.
  • Please send them to nursery in clothing appropriate to the weather.
  • We will inform you of when Forest School parent/carer open sessions are scheduled, you are warmly invited to come along and join in the fun!
  • Children attending Forest school at Lakehouse will return for tea by 5pm. If you would like them to have tea at nursery please can you collect them after 5:30pm

 

Cancellation

Forest School will only be cancelled in extreme weather, if the site is deemed unsafe or if there are not enough adults to accompany the children.

 

I hope you share our excitement in this new experience and look forward to sharing lots of stories and photos over the next few weeks.

 

Regards,

 

Zoe Parsons

 

Owner

Lakehouse and Stationhouse Nurseries


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