A group from the nursery class spent the day at Little Explorers Forest School near Farley Mount, Winchester at the end of April. The 2/3 hour morning sessions are led by a fully qualified and experienced Forest School practitioner and accompanied by the nursery staff. The sessions give the children a chance to feel comfortable in the forest surroundings which then enables them to develop their personal skills through a mix of group and individual activities.
There are a variety of activities in the forest including campfire cooking and den making. There are generally themes to each visit.
During the April visit there were safety games of hide and seek and some looking /exploring for bears. There was a game about camp fire safety followed by lighting the camp fire using a fire steel to strike a spark. Pupils then made their own flat bread (damper bread) and cooked it over the camp fire whilst they made their own butter. (Shaking the cream in a marble jar). This linked well to the class phonics work on letter sound bbbbb. The children also decorated picture frames using natural materials found whilst exploring the woodland.
During the next visit on 12 May the theme will be fairies and include making fairy cakes over the fire. Another on June 23 will be based on pirates and an end of year celebration on 30 June will include a teddy bear’s picnic and cooking hot dogs.
Forest Schools were developed in Denmark in the 1980s for their pre-school children. Forest School helps children develop self-esteem, confidence, communication skills, social interaction skills and an ability to assess risks being in a slightly riskier environment than being indoors.