The Curriculum

A natural approach to learning

Our curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum and the six principles of Forest School. These are both entwined together to give your child the Best Possible Start in Life. Forest school practice puts the child at the centre of their learning experience, engaging with the rich outdoor learning environment.

We will support and care for each individual child. Their physical, social and emotional wellbeing, health and learning. We know how important connections are within family, communities, cultures and the natural world.

All children develop in different ways and this depends on each unique child being given the opportunity to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments. All children have the curiosity to learn and we understand how best to support their development.  They will build resilience, confidence and creativity.

The Forest School approach to learning is rooted firmly in the key progressive education theorists of the past one hundred and fifty years - from Froebel to Steiner, Vygotsky to Montessori, Dewey to Gardner – all of them put the child at the centre of their own learning; all talk of the importance of children being allowed to explore the world with appropriate support. Forest School encourages children to explore their own innate learning in the richest classroom we have – the outdoors.

 

The six principles of Forest School:

Forest School is a long-term process, rather than one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.

Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.

Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

Forest School offers children the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

 

To underpin these principles we have core beliefs.                                                                                    

Children are all equal and unique individuals. They deserve to be listened to.
Children are competent to explore, discover and learn.
Children are entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge.
Children are entitled to choose, and initiate their own learning.
Children must experience regular success.
Children are entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people.
Children are entitled to develop a strong, positive relationships with their natural world.

The Characteristics of Effective Learning;

How we learn. The three aspects are Playing and Exploring, Active Learning, and Thinking Creatively and Critically. These characteristics are fundamental in the early years as young children form attitudes to learning that will then last a lifetime.    Promoting and supporting a child's ability to learn and think for themselves will enable them to respond and face challenges in their future. We will encourage and support children to make choices, take responsibility and face challenges.

The 7 areas of learning;

 

Communication & Language.

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all 7 areas of learning. At the Forest School we will offer a language rich environment, whilst following children's individual interests. We will offer books and singing activities to actively engage the children and provide them with extensive opportunities to learn and use new words. There will be quality conversations in group activities as well as one to one sessions, sharing ideas through back and forth interactions.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Who we are (personal), how we get along with others (social) and how we feel (emotional) are foundations that are crucial to lead healthy, happy lives. As we move through life, we are continually developing our sense of self as we weave a web of relationships with self, others and our world. We will build strong, warm supportive relationships with the children and help them manage and understand their own feelings. This will enable each child to develop a positive sense of themselves, have confidence in their abilities, make new friendships and learn how to resolve conflicts.

Physical Development.

Gross motor skills provide the foundation for healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control helps with hand eye co-ordination. All of these skills are learnt through play. Play is essential for a child’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, relate to others, set their own goals and solve problems. The Forest School outdoor environment provides rich opportunities for sharing ideas and feelings with peers.  Playing in such a rich learning environment, children will become deeply involved in activities. They will build on existing learning, through interactions in the quality environment with open-ended resources. Children embed skills and knowledge, explore and experiment with ideas and new ways of thinking, support their own creativity and develop their individual dispositions.

 

Literacy.

Is crucial to develop a life-long love of reading. At the Forest School we will read with the children, enjoy rhymes and poems and sing songs together. Learning through interests and repetition, children will learn word reading and language comprehension.

 

Mathematics.

Forest School offers so much opportunity to develop a strong grounding in number, spatial awareness and patterns to then excel in maths. We will offer rich opportunities for learning, using the natural environment, navigating through the woodland, exploring less, more, heavy, light. Recognising differences and patterns will enable children to see connections and build in their own mathematical confidence.

Understanding the World.

The frequency and range of children’s experiences increases their knowledge and sense of the world around them. As well as exploring the Forest School environment, we will use stories, rhymes and poems to foster a child’s understanding of our culturally, socially, technologically and ecologically diverse world. The children will learn how to care for their natural environment and learn how important it is for our future.

 

Expressive Arts and Design.

The Forest School will develop each child’s artistic and cultural awareness to support their imagination and creativity. Every day we will engage with our natural world, observing what we see and hear. There will be lots of opportunity to express themselves using different materials and resources.