The Kindergartens are excited to be one of the first group of nursery schools in London to set up its own Forest School. Forest Schools was initially developed in Scandinavia in the 1950s, aims to increase the understanding and appreciation, particularly among young people, of the environmental, social, and economic potential of trees, woodlands and forests.
The children at The Kindergartens take part in Forest School fortnightly using various areas of Wimbledon Common and Holland Park. Learning is brought to life by providing children with real experiences by making it meaningful and purposeful.
The aims of our programme are to encourage the children to:
- make choices independently
- develop an appreciation of nature and all living things
- assess their own risks
- work as part of a team
- develop inquisitive minds by questioning the world around them
- develop their problem solving skills
- develop positive attitudes to learning
The learning programme follows the children’s interests and lines of enquiry. The children explore freely the changing natural environment. Our Forest School ethos is part of the curriculum and is not something that is tagged on to the learning experience.
Activities might include:
- climbing trees
- learning how to use real tools safely
- catching mini beasts
- collecting signs of seasonal changes
- problem solving – building 3d structures in the woods, hunting for treasure, cooking, getting dirty!
With consistent praise for achievements and for ‘having a go’, children develop self-esteem, confidence and a positive relationship with learning. As the programme continues the children become eager to try new things in an environment that encourages them to make mistakes knowing that they have space to try again and reflect on what they could do differently the next time. In addition to this, the children learn to take risks safely by learning to assess the risks of activities independently.
OUTSTANDING: Children are confident, highly motivated and eager to learn. They develop a deep understanding of how to use their learning and skills. They experiment and problem solve. For instance, they use salt and warm water to melt snow making predictions as to which will melt it the fastest.
The Park Kindergarten SW2, Ofsted Report 2017 .