Our preschool sessions are on Mondays and Wednesdays 9.15am-12.15pm during termtime
Ashdon Forest School has been running outdoor preschool sessions all through the year for five years using the “Forest School” approach which is based in a Scandinavian philosophy and practice.
‘A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.’
The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences. By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment each participant has an opportunity to develop intrinsic motivation, sound emotional and social skills. These, through self awareness can be developed to reach personal potential.
Forest Schools has demonstrated success with children of all ages who visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis and through play, who have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. We are in woods in all weathers (except for high winds). Children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, learn about nature and the world around them, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self motivated.
Meet and Greet – Sue, Hannah and Carol greet the group and assess their needs.
Health and Safety – Sue shares any specific hazards with the group. At the beginning of a programme certain procedures may need to be practiced through games e.g. behaviour around fire area.
Idea ‘seeds’ – The forest school leader gives an introduction to the session using a story, song, game, activity, special item, puppets, characters etc., to ‘seed’ ideas in the children. The specific ‘seed’ would be selected based on observations from previous sessions.
Free choice - Children choose which activities they would like to engage in, adults may model certain ideas and skills to support learning.
Circle time - at the end of a session there is time to reflect and share experiences.
Field activities – minibeast hunts, stream dipping, tree identification, bird watching, circle games
Sensory Activities – games to do with colour, smell, sound, touch, blindfold games, cooking
Woodland crafts – natural jewellery, weaving, wind chime
Wildlife conservation – tree/bulb planting and bird feeders
Imaginative activities – story telling, drama, role play, songs, mud faces
Physical play – tree climbing, balancing, log dragging, digging, whittling
Construction – shelter building, rope swings, animal homes