What is Forest School?

Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia where the concept is now well established as way of learning. Forest Schools move the “classroom” into the outdoor environment  and there are many widely recognised advantages of this approach to early years education. At Pumpkins Nursery we have always places a high importance on outdoor learning but from September we will be extending this approach by introducing Forest School sessions for Pre-School children on certain afternoons in the week.

The Forest School approach to learning is exciting and inspirational in which children participate in a series of sessions in the natural environment. Children are offered rich opportunities to promote their well being and confidence in the outdoor environment and are given the freedom to develop their own ideas, make decisions, solve problems and take risks.

Forest School Sessions

Pumpkins Nursery runs Forest School sessions at both of our nurseries on the following days

Tuesday afternoon 1pm – 4pm  (Badminton)

Tuesday afternoon 1pm – 4pm (Tormarton)


The fun we have at Forest School

What happens at Forest School?

Children  spend the whole afternoon session (Tuesday afternoons 1pm – 4pm) in the “forest”. They will be supplied with suitable protective clothing (waterproof dungarees) so that sessions will take place regardless of the weather. Parents are asked to ensure that their children have other suitable outdoor clothing ie hats gloves coats so that the children are adequately prepared to face the elements.

Sessions  take place in the private wood opposite the nursery in Badminton (by kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Beaufort) and in the grounds of Somerset House in Tormarton (by kind permission of Mr and Mrs B Finnemore)

All equipment necessary for the session is taken with us including water bottles and snacks.

The exact detail of the session will depend on the children but they are likely to be involved in activities such as

  • Storytelling
  • Mini beast hunts
  • Den making
  • Circle time
  • Collecting/sorting
  • Investigating
  • Recording
  • Mark making
  • Listening

What are the benefits of Forest School?

  • Children are given the opportunity to experience the elements and enjoy “real” experiences
  • Offers opportunities to learn that caters for different learning styles – learning is more informal and stimulates thinking forming the basis of life long learning
  • Space and freedom to move around and develop physical skills – active learning
  • Develops risk taking and more importantly develops the understanding of risk in a managed way
  • More time to explore and investigate and develop own ideas
  • Open – ended with no pre-requisite end result – develops self esteem and sense of pride in own achievements
  • Provides opportunities for real creativity and imaginative play
  • Physically challenging with associated health benefits
  • Is fun!