One of the most exciting developments in the world of Early Years education is the rise in popularity of ‘Forest Schools’, a concept that first originated in Sweden in the 1950s. In recent years, with studies showing that children are playing outdoors less and less, this concept has really been taking off in the UK.
Our Head of Early Years, Mrs Leanne Bnidar, is a qualified Forest School practitioner and she introduced Forest School sessions to the Falcons Pre-Prep curriculum in September 2018. She is passionate about getting children engaged with nature and developing a love for the outdoors and the sessions have become a key highlight of the week for our Nursery and Reception year groups.
Forest School sessions allow children to take a break from the traditional indoor classroom environment as playing and exploring outdoors offers such a rich additional layer of learning opportunities. These foster independence and a sense of achievement, both of which have a very positive effect on all areas of a child’s development.
We visit our local green spaces such as Harvard Hill Park, Chiswick House Gardens and the Gunnersbury Triangle where they learn to take calculated risks, climb trees, roll down hills and get their hands dirty in the mud. They take part in new and exciting activities such as nature collections and bug hunts and learn to use tools such as a hand-drill to create forest medals and wood files to jazz up sticks. Each season brings with it a new canvas to learn from.