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.
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.
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
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
4. Children are taught how to manage and assess
risk for themselves.
5. Participants learn to respect and appreciate the
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Lakehouse and Stationhouse Nurseries