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About Us

What is the Ethos of the school?

Does your child look at a stick and see a flag pole? A helicopter? A knife?  Does your child walk past a tree and wonder what type it is? Does your child look through your window and wish they were outside connecting with nature? If so come and join the Foresteers and explore the magical woodland. We will guide our little Foresteers to let their mind and senses free, try new experiences and let their imagination and creativity loose. We will nurture each individual’s holistic development through building a meaningful and positive relationship with nature.

This journey of discovery and exploration will take place in the woodland amid the relaxing sounds of the birds and the wind through the trees. We will learn to take pride in our achievements, reflect on our skills with new peers and prepare ourselves for our next challenge. We learn from our mistakes and gain confidence from taking risks. Experienced Level 3 Forest School practitioners will facilitate and extend your child’s learning through discovery and engagement with nature, offering a continuum of learning. Your child will be introduced to new skills and be given the freedom to use and develop them in a way that interests them.  We progress towards experiences involving tool use and fire at a rate suitable to the individual group. It’s their learning, let them lead it. All of the experiences we engage in during a Forest School session are designed to challenge children – but also to be achievable. This way children are able to stretch their skills whilst also building their confidence.

Who is the team behind Foresteers?

“Learning does not have to stay confined to the classroom”

Name: Rohan Wilson

Experience: I have 10 years experience working as a Senior Learning Mentor in a Sheffield Primary SchooI where I undertook my Forest School Training. I used it as an intervention but quickly came to see the importance of it for all. I was also the Child Protection lead Officer and was involved with reviewing and implementing policies and procedures to keep children safe and healthy.  

Qualifications: BSc Outdoor Education and Science, Forest School Level 3, Forest School First Aid, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety (Level 2), Advanced Safeguarding

Favourite animal: dog

Favourite colour: blue

Name: Hayley Smith

Experience: I am a qualified teacher and have 6 years experience been an Early Years Foundation Stage Leader.

I have worked with children from the ages of 2 to 6 from a range of backgrounds and firmly believe that children develop best when they feel happy and safe and the teaching is personalised to their interests. 

Qualifications: BA Geography, PGCE Early Years, Forest School Level 3, Forest School First Aid, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety (Level 2), Basic Safeguarding

Favourite animal: hedgehog

Favourite colour: red

Name: Rebecca Harmsworth

Experience: On successful completion of Graduate Teacher Programme (GTP) 2002-2003 – I have worked as a Primary School teacher for over 15 years and have experience of teaching cohorts including nursery, EYFS, KS1 and KS2. I am currently undergoing Forest School Leader Level 3 Training.

I also lived in Spain for 12 years and during that period was employed by FAPAS – a NGO – working for wildlife conservation for approximately 6 years as a co-ordinator of environmental education, which included organising and the day to day running and management of environmental summer camps in the Picos de Europa mountains for groups of children and teenagers ranging from 5 to 17 years old.

Favourite animal: horse

Favourite colour: yellow

What Are The Forest Schools Aims?

  • Increase self esteem and self confidence
  • Improve co-operation, communication skills and awareness of others
  • Increase motivation, concentration and positive attitude towards learning
  • Encourage ownership and pride in the local environment
  • Encourage a better understanding of the outdoors
  • Improve social skills
  • Improve physical motor skills
  • Encourage individuals to become more active and healthy

What To Expect

Foresteers Outdoor Preschool Daily Routines

7.30-8.00 Arrival – children arrive at the setting and gather at the hut for registration and to put on the appropriate clothes.
8.00-9.30 Free-flow Activities – the children may choose to direct their own learning, following their own interests or they may opt to take part in an adult led activity.

9.30-9.45 Mid-morning snack – we gather at the log circle, wash our hands and enjoy a healthy snack while we reflect on the morning so far. Snack will be provided and fresh drinking water is available throughout the day.

9.45-12.00 Free-flow Activities – these continue as before.

12.00-12.30 Lunch – we eat together at the log circle.

12.30-2.30 Free-flow Activities – some children prefer a bit of quiet time after lunch, perhaps listening to a story or two in the tent or having a nap on an airbed or in a hammock.

2.30-2.45 Mid-afternoon snack – we gather at the log circle, wash our hands and enjoy a healthy snack while we reflect on the afternoon so far. Snack will be provided and fresh drinking water is available throughout the day.

5.00 Reflection Time – children are encouraged to help clear away the site at the end of the day, we leave the woodland as we found it and remove all trace we were ever there. We gather at the log circle to reflect on the day – what we have enjoyed, what we have learnt and what we would like to do next time. This is the perfect time for children to talk about their day and show off any treasures they’ve found.

Forest School Activities & Lessons

At Foresteers we believe that any forest school activity can relate to most, if not all, areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

Let us  give you an example: One of our favourite things to do with little ones is to read. Reading helps spark imagination, improve language, speech, communication, understanding and so much more.  We will read the Gruffalo for example.

Then, we extend the story and we  will ask the children if they would like to help build the homes for all the characters in the book (snake, fox and owl) using natural resources. Once the children are engaged in the activity (and it is OK if some don’t want to participate, spontaneous play is hugely beneficial) then it is a great opportunity to ‘act out’ the whole story from start to finish as a group, moving around, using different voices and having fun!

A simple yet effective activity like the Gruffalo supports all of the EYFS areas, including the specific, here’s how:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: The children can explore the feelings of the animals and learn to be as a group as we go through the book.

Communication and Language: understanding the words in the story and sharing their thoughts and experiences as we go through it

Physical Development: Moving through the woodland in different ways and developing fine motor skills as we build different homes for the animals

Mathematics: The children are building, making shapes, counting how many logs snake needs for his home.

Understanding of the world: The children are in the natural world to begin with, so they are taking in their surroundings, finding insects as they move logs, noticing the changes of the seasons and the plants growing or decaying.

Literacy: Reading the story from start to finish and immersing themselves in it by acting it out, living the story through movement and voice.

Expressive Arts & Design: Being imaginative, this activity ignites that for the children for they are imagining the story and will incidentally evolve the story and continue in play after the main activity has ended.

Obviously, this is just one activity example. Scavenger hunts, pond dipping, natural art pictures, bushcraft, mud sculptures, fairies and dinosaur adventures are just a few more.

Children have the opportunity to learn their own way and our practitioners will plan for this.

Facilities

Foresteers Outdoor Preschool provides two portable toilets, each set up within a toilet tent. Each toilet will have easy access to toilet paper. Hand wash, hand sanitizer gel, paper towels and waste disposal bags will be situated  by the hand wash station. Staff will instruct children about hand hygiene after toileting and before eating, and be vigilant about its practice by children.

We are happy to work with parents with toilet training and have potties to accommodate this. There is changing mat facilities for any children in nappies.

For more information please view our toileting and nappy changing policy and procedure.

☎ 07835 284996

Registered Numbers:

Foresteers: 558984

Foresteers Outdoor Preschool: 2507786

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