Forest school sessions are currently held in the afternoons in the woods near to playgroup. A team of three staff, led by either Helen or Jo, our qualified forest school leaders, take a maximum of twelve children to our forest school clearing which has been designated for us by the Elmbridge rangers.
At forest school your little ones are free to explore the woods and the wonders of nature under the watchful eye of the forest school team. At the beginning of the year in September when we have a lot of new starters, the focus is on safety and learning all about the hazards that we need to avoid, such as staying outside the fire circle but within the forest school boundaries. Children quickly understand the few important rules and in no time they are making mud pies and building their very own 'fire'. In the winter we use the fire to toast marshmallow or maybe have jacket potatoes or some other yummy treats which always go down well with a warming drink of hot chocolate. If it rains we snuggle under the canopy for our lunch and then, with appropriate clothing of course, we carry on playing.
Both Helen and Jo our forest school leaders have a BA Hons in Early Years and in addition have gained a level 3 forest school leader qualification with specific paediatric forest school first aid.
In summer we run a Forest School Summer Camp which means that as well as children who currently attend we are often able to welcome back children who have previously attended forest school but have now moved on to big school. For more information about the summer camp please contact us.
The benefits of forest school are now well know but for further reading please see the following from the forestry commission.
"Collecting my son from forest school is magical - the memories of this are so special and will stay with me forever. All the children look so happy, carrying flowers and sticks - and it’s so clear they have all had a fantastic time."