Children are always ready to shake the tree of knowledge - Loris Malaguzzi

The development of the Forest School approach is a new project at Greenfields and one that we are very excited about!  The Head of Centre and Class Teacher are currently taking part in an accredited course for Forest School Leaders and we are exploring options as to how we can implement forest school at Greenfields.  Some elements, such as; the mud kitchen and vegetable garden are already embedded in practise and we are just beginning to take small groups of children out to explore local woodland areas.

Forest School is a growing philosophy in the UK and has been adapted from the approach of Scandanavian countries, such as Sweden and Denmark. The philosophy is based on the desire to provide young children with an education that encourages an appreciation of the wide, natural world and which would encourage responsibility for nature conservation later in life.

Forest School draws on the work of a number of educational theorists, including, Fredrich Froebel, John Dewey, Margaret McMillan, Rudolph Steiner, Susan Isaac’s and Chris Athey. It fits well with the play based principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage and the emphasis on quality outdoor learning experiences.

Forest School is fun. It takes place on a regular basis in a natural (as possible) environment and builds on the children’s knowledge and familiarity of an area.  It gives children opportunities to lead their own learning with all planned activites being based on children’s interests.  It also helps children to understand and manage risk, develop confidence, self esteem and language skills.

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