Outdoor Play

Forest School is a new initiative in Lancashire although it has been in operation in other parts of the country for some time. The idea originated in the Scandinavian countries in the 1950s and promotes holistic learning in the outdoor environment. Their philosophy of the Forest School was based upon a desire to provide young children with an education that encouraged appreciation of the wide, natural world and which would encourage responsibility for nature conservation in later life.

Judith Sutcliffe. the lead practitioner, has undertaken training in Forest School skills and completed the OCR Level 3 in this field. As a result of her training we actively promote experiential learning for children through the use of the outdoor environment and in doing this believe that children will additionally develop a respect and appreciation for the countryside and ultimately the wider world. During outdoor play children encounter natural resources which give much more meaning to their learning experiences. The skills that the children learn in the outdoor environment can then be transferred into the classroom environment.

All the children who attend the pre-school are encouraged to explore the outdoor environment beyond the enclosed outdoor area, with your permission, to experience the wider environment. Children venture out with practitioners according to the ratio applicable to their age (Ofsted, 2017) into the playing fields and the field beyond to take part in picnics, den building, find out about the seasons, number, space and space activities etc. The learning experiences are endless and we are very lucky at pre-School to be situated in such an exciting environment. Pre-School is equipped with a set of waterproof suits and many pairs of wellingtons to keep children dry during wet weather. If you wish to have more information on how outdoor play can enhance learning please speak to one of the pre-school practitioners.

Whilst using the outdoor environment children show increased confidence, independence and self-esteem. In addition they develop an ability to assess risks for themselves.