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Benefits Of Forest School In Preschool Children


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Hi,

I am currently doing a research project on the benefits of forest school in preschool children. Also looking at how it benefits children's physical and social development and looking at the risks of theses activities. I have found some info but if anyone knows of any good articles or websites I shall be extremely grateful.

 

Thanks

Kara Hart

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I am a Forest School Leader in a pre school setting - I'll have a think about the benefits I've seen and get back to you - will also try and dig out articles I used for my training.

 

ppp

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If some one can tell me the 'idiots guide to uploading documents' I could add my reading list, which includes books, journals and few websites.

This idiot can probably help, louby loo!

 

When you reply to a thread, you'll see a large horizontal box marked 'Attachments' on the left hand side. On the right are a grey box with 'Browse...' written inside. Click on this button to look on your computer for the documents you want to attach and then when you've selected the file name, click on the green box with 'UPLOAD' written inside.

 

Its as easy as that!

 

Maz

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that is a lot of information! I am looking into getting funding to become a forest school teacher/leader starting in november not sure if my 'forest' will poass the test it is in central london!! I look forward to reading all of this to get me started, thanks

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that is a lot of information! I am looking into getting funding to become a forest school teacher/leader starting in november not sure if my 'forest' will poass the test it is in central london!! I look forward to reading all of this to get me started, thanks

 

How are you going about getting funding, Wendles? What is the process? What kind of setting are you in? I'm very interested in the whole concept, but unsure of the process of getting started etc.

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without looking ~i think archimedes forset school training is running a course in london in november. I am yet to ask the LA however there is GLF money available. Not sure they will fund forset school & EYPS!! THe forest school people are used to dealing with LA funding so it seems that it is a possibility. Not sure I want to do both at the same time - only just finished mt BA :o

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I am a Forest School Leader in a pre school setting - I'll have a think about the benefits I've seen and get back to you - will also try and dig out articles I used for my training.

 

ppp

 

Hi Susan,

Thank you for that that will be great.

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without looking ~i think archimedes forset school training is running a course in london in november. I am yet to ask the LA however there is GLF money available. Not sure they will fund forset school & EYPS!! THe forest school people are used to dealing with LA funding so it seems that it is a possibility. Not sure I want to do both at the same time - only just finished mt BA :o

 

Hi, Thank you for your input.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Just to make you jealous I visited some forest schools in Sweden earlier this year - fantastic places where children just head off into the woods or forests. They are allowed to run off on their own - apparently they know to come back! The school I visited had a ritual that the children had to knock on a tree and ask permission to enter the forest. They take their lunch hot stew potatoes etc with them and all sit around eating it, they make necklaces out of reindeer pooh - no bacterial handwash here - they run down very very steep craggy ravines - no first aid box, no registers, no continual counting and regrouping. The children played with the fire cones playing families, they counted them, made wonderful structures with them etc. They jumped off very high and large rocks waving sticks, they listened to the birds = only dangers were the reindeers who can get a bit frisky during mating system and bears. Add that to your risk assessment then!!

They thought it hilarious that we had to carry out a risk assessment and were even more gobsmacked by the fact that the Uni had to carry out a risk assessment on us travelling out to Sweden, "but why - you are all adults" they said. As I said no idea and how sad that we have had to get to this stage in our lives.

The children were physically very able - they clearly were very fit - didn't see one weighty child, they all had a good rosy glow and were very calm - no rushing about aimlessly but with focus on imaginative games using everything that was around them.

The schools were clearly set up for the Swedish weather - with a sort of inside west area with huge heated drying cupbaords that would dry out the padded all in ones - boot storers and welly warmer type things. Inside hose sprays to hose down mud and dirt.

It was a great experience and great to see.

There was no locked gates or entry phones , no high fencing to keep the children in or people out you just walk in off the road/street - don't think that could ever work in central London - can you imagine Ofsted - they would have a fit!! The children were seen as part of the community and therefore the responsibilty of the community too - WOW - how good would that be.

So good luck in your assignment and getting funding - would love to know how you get on with it all - we have a large peice of land beside one of our CC's which we are thinking of developing

Nikki

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ooooh how amazing does that sound....i want to move there right now!

 

The children were seen as part of the community and therefore the responsibilty of the community too -

 

Where did we go wrong in Britain cos speaking to grandparents etc they remember a life similar to this - rent on the table, door left open etc etc

 

I can really sense the passion in your writing for what you saw..and you've given me loads of questions!! Haha. Like

what provoked your visit

did you manage to bring anything back that we'd be allowed to do? :( (now picturing the horror on Mrs O's face when told there's no RA in place!!)

Are the benefits as valuable when not able to 'do it' on such a large scale (City nursery)

Do you have any photos you could share

 

Sorry for the length it's just it fits so well with my recent topic of 'if you could go anywhere on a magic carpet, where would you go' and i loved Marions link to the Mindstretcher forest school xD

 

 

p.s was it very costly? Now weighing up the benefits of a trip to the Perthshire forest school versus a trip to Sweden :o

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As always I like to play devils advocate. Yes it was a fantastic experience but one that has to be put into context. The forest schools are built in the communities where they live which are right next to large forest areas. Therefore it is really important for the children to know about their surroundings, the dangers and joys as presumably that is where they will play when they are a little older and can be let out on their own. I think that trying to replicate this in an inner city London area, assuming you could find enough space, would be different and there would be a different emphasis on what the children learn. There is an acre of ground near us that everyone would like to develop into a natural outdoor play area and whilst it would be great for the children to learn all about seasons, changing landscape and the natural environment as soon as they walk back out they are then faced with heading off into a busy estate. high rise blocvks with broekn lifts, cars, vandalism, glass littered across the pavements , dog pooh etc etc.

 

Whilst I would not want to deprive these children of having access to a natural haven other things have to be taken into consideration e.g. safety within their own environment. In Sweden the forest is part of their environment not an add on. Clearly there are some areas in the UK that I feel the children would benefit more from. Fine to try and teach the children about the little oasis but they may never come across it again until much later in their lives, and some may never. I have parents who have never seen the sea and who when the did were quite freaked out by the sea coming in and didn't understand what that was all about - tides took a bit of explaining. I am all for children being outside as much as possible but I really think that if not set up properly we might be being tokenistic. On the other hand I do beleive that children get a lot more from being outside in (relatively( fresh air exploring and investigating something that is not a primary colour and plastic and get much more from it. So something is better than nothing and I wouldn;t want to put anyone off as I do agree with the principles of children being outside as much as possible.

 

I went with my Uni as part of the EYP network group - it was subsidised but we all paid towards it - if I remember we paid somewhere in the region of £170. We also looked at their 24 hour full day care centres and inner city centres too - all very different.

 

I think the best thing was how relaxed it all was, how calm all the children were, how much laughter there was, no staff standing guard at the bottom of climbing frames waiting to catch children who might fall off. Children sat around fires and bbq's having bbq'd frankfurthers - saw very few toys about and it was all quite minimalistic. The rooms were all set up like your front room, table cloths on tables, vases of flowers, I will try and upload some pictures for youpost-260-1254581412_thumb.jpg but not sure how it works - let me know if you can open this one and I wil upload some others for you.

 

Would I want my children to have that start in life - yes I would - but for me I wouldn't want to live there - too much of a townie now despite being brought up on a farm in the middle of nowhere for 18 years!!

 

However, I wouild also like my children to have staff who looked after them who weren't worried about what they were doing every minute of the day, what they were going to plan for them for their next steps, who were relaxed and happy just to sit and play with them and were confident in their abilities as professionals to be able to do just this, who weren't constantly thinking about the next thing, or having to write up what they did and why - staff who were around who knew them well enough to know when they were not feeling 100%, who could give them a cuddle and read me a book and let them be who they want to be and to grow at their own pace which is what the Swedish system seems to achieve. And there's my passion

Nikki

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post-260-1254583472_thumb.jpgpost-260-1254583292_thumb.jpgpost-260-1254583130_thumb.jpgThe attachment seems to work so I will add in a couple of others for you. The hill was actually very very steep although it does not look like it - the children we went out with were a little older - mainly 4 year olds

post-260-1254583000_thumb.jpg

Children sit around camp fires when its cold - no safety fencing here

The fence around the outdoor play area - open area to the right and road to the left - can you imagine this in the UK?

Inner city nursery - the coloured bars must have been 8ft high (in old money) children whizzed up and down even the tiny ones who self regulated how high they would climb. No safety surfacing just sojme sand. No rules about what you can/cannot have and how high it can be.

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Yes it was a fantastic experience but one that has to be put into context.

 

Thanks for that, Nicola, and it's nice to hear that although you fully appreciated the experience you also acknowledge the pro's and con's in respect of keeping it real for your children... i.e it still needs to encompass the essential life skills they will need for day to day living...and that you have the conviction to say it.

I think sometimes advisors give us these aspirations, and that's great cos we always bring an element of it back, but that's not to say that our environment isn't just as valuable for little 'Billy' and his starting points.

 

Many of our children don't even have a garden and let's face it in today's society we are no longer comfortable allowing them to explore the natural beauty around them like we did as children in the good ole days. At tmes we (our setting) still struggle with the concept of true free flow...we question things like: by letting them come and go into the garden do we give them the message that it's ok just to go out as and when they feel like it, even though some children may live near roads, not have a secure outdoor area?? By being too caught up in H & S do we risk providing too safe an environment and they grow up assuming the world is as safe as their nursery environments? (Apologies, i often go off on a tangent)

 

You've really made me think about the priorities for our children...I was keen to visit a forest school, but our setting doesn't have that big of an outdoor area and i was concerned about the true value of what i would bring back...it would obviously enhance the current space but it's true meaning would be lost.

 

I would still move there, but like you, i'm also in love with the idea of relaxed atmosphere, not evidencing every step, having a hug and a laugh and embedding happy childhood memories - which is all any of our parents want for their children...Maybe we should create a new political party, overturn the government and bring some reality back into the sector??

 

 

p.s the photo was great and i would still be interested to see more, if you don't mind....though i think i will be spending my money looking at ways to enhance our space more in context with the children's immediate needs.

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:o

Hi,

I am currently doing a research project on the benefits of forest school in preschool children. Also looking at how it benefits children's physical and social development and looking at the risks of theses activities. I have found some info but if anyone knows of any good articles or websites I shall be extremely grateful.

 

Thanks

Kara Hart

 

 

Hi I was really interested in your thread and when i googled 'forest schools' i read quite a bit on the benefits - less sick days etc etc. After reading a few articles though the info was quite samey

 

Sorry, just new myself so have no idea how to insert links

 

Good luck x

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