Our Forest School in Cookham stems from the desire to provide learning and personal development opportunities for our children within the naturally stunning woodland surrounding our nursery.
Through Forest School and other environmentally-based initiatives, we hope to enable your child to develop a life long love and understanding of the natural environment, whilst developing the core purposes of the Forest School ethos, namely, development of self esteem, confidence and social skills.
This seems particularly pertinent for the modern child when studies and reports are constantly informing us that children are becoming estranged from the natural world, and where national obesity and fitness levels are giving cause for concern. Forest School offers children the opportunity to reconnect with nature in a magical and stimulating setting.
The concept of Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia where there has always been a belief in the importance of the outdoors to a person’s well-being and health. Being outside is embedded in the ethos of many European nurseries and most children spend a day a week in the outdoor environment The movement began in England in the early 1990’s and since then there has been growing interest and demand for this provision.
At our nursery, the Principal undertook her national Forest School Leader qualification in 2010. She found this experience so powerful that she set up a Forest School base in the beautiful beech woodland close to the nursery as soon as possible. Here the children are encouraged to explore and experiment within this natural setting. Sometimes the activities they choose are exciting and challenging (such as den building, tree climbing, making rope pulleys, camp fires, cooking). Sometimes a child might prefer to explore, looking for bugs, insects, badger dens, bird nests. At other times children create wonderful role-play and make believe games. Almost invariably the woodland setting truly inspires children, providing opportunities for personal and social development and laying foundations for other learning.
Forest School wonderfully complements the Montessori ethos and we are pretty sure that your child will love, look forward to and greatly benefit from this aspect of our provision!