At the Edmondsham Forest School and the Elves & Fairies Woodland Nursery, the philosophy is to inspire and encourage individuals of all ages. Through positive outdoor experiences using nature as the teacher. Forest School provides holistic development through self directed learning. By allowing individuals to participate in achievable tasks and activities. In a woodland environment their confidence and self esteem is raised which aids their learning and development.
Forest School is a way for children of all ages who are able to visit a woodland area on a regular basis to learn about nature, develop socially and emotionally, improve their language, communication skills and develop physically and creatively whilst playing in natural surroundings. The open space allows children to develop freely taking time to explore their thoughts and feelings and to interact positively with their peers. They can also take part in more unusual and creative adult led activities such as: shelter building, nature games, den building, nature crafts, camp fire skills, singing and enjoying food cooked on the camp fire.
We have several members of staff who are experienced in leading Forest School sessions in addition to being qualified in Child Care Learning & Development level 3 or above, which allows us to confidently incorporate the EYFS requirements.
picking-nettles tasting learning-to-lay-fire
adult-lighting-fire eating-round-fire adult-extinguishes-fire
In these pictures the children are making nettle & wild garlic soup to be cooked on the camp fire. They help pick the nettles wearing thick gloves and experience tasting fresh wild garlic.
They learn what is used to build a fire and experiment with things such as snapping twigs which sound a little like a fire crackling.
Cooking on the campfire is a regular occurrence during Kindergarten. Eating around a fire is a great experience for everyone, it opens up a huge area for social communication. For children to benefit as much as they can from cooking on camp fires, the area needs to be safe. We achieve this by following a careful camp fire procedure. Children are made aware of their boundaries and that the fire is there for a purpose, to cook snacks on and enjoy sitting round. A member of staff is always present at the fire side.
earth painting tasting
Here you can see painting on canvas with different coloured earths and red cabbage water. They also rub their canvases with grass and dandelions to create lovely natural colours on their pictures which are then framed in beautiful stick frames.
dream catchersalder necklace
The children learn to work with elder wood and other natural resources to make necklaces wands and all manner of crafts to name but a few. The boys are holding up the dream catchers they have made, strung with string which they then weave treasures into whilst on woodland walks.