Forest School Seedlings

An innovative provision for pre-school children and their mums, dads or carers, held all year round in a natural and beautiful outdoor setting.

What to expect at Seedlings

• An on-going, weekly, opportunity for child-initiated play and learning in a natural woodland environment.

• Support for all aspects of your child’s learning and their ‘holistic’ development.

• A safe space which encourages respect for self, others and the environment.

• An atmosphere of co-operation with Forest School staff, parents and children working together as a team.

• A careful balance of structural activities alongside time and space for free play.

• A regular rhythm to each session, creating a space where the children can gain the confidence to make independent discoveries, explore and extend ideas, and develop problem solving skills and creativity.

Practicalities

Each session is 2 hours long and includes drinks for the grown-ups and healthy snacks for the children.
Please come prepared to get muddy and wear enough layers to stay warm.

We offer booking in blocks, a half-term at a time (usually 6 weeks but this can vary). Once you have a place it is yours until you decide not to come any longer.
All the relevant policies and procedures that cover the smooth and safe running of the project are available on request.

Reasons to come

For you …
A relaxing environment to meet other like-minded grown-ups and watch your children develop and grow, whilst gaining new experiences and skills.

And many benefits for the children…..
Playing in the mud kitchen helps Molly develop her balance, fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, for example pouring water from one pot into another. She is also taking part in scientific enquiry and learning about the world around her.

Using tools and climbing trees are excellent for Tom’s gross motor skills, which will help him develop later on the finer skills he’ll need for controlling a pen.
Joining in with stories and songs and engaging with the puppets helps Sam’s literacy, and creative activities like using brushes or sticks to make marks with mud or paint is a valuable precursor to writing.

Treasure trails and games encourage Issy’s capacity for co-operation and team work and stimulate lots of language use and communication practice.

The variety in the terrain and equipment like planks and nets has an impact on Ruby’s body awareness and brain development. Dens improve social skills when shared with others, or stimulate emotional development when used alone as a quiet space.

There is significant impact for Jenny in the flexible way the leaders are responsive to the needs of the children as well as to the changes in the seasons and the local wildlife. When she finds and picks wild garlic, and then makes her own pesto and cooks the pasta to go with it around the fire, she is experiencing a deep connection to her environment and learning on many levels.

Pip responds very well to the atmosphere of freedom and choice. While trying to fill a vessel with water he is allowed to figure out for himself why it doesn’t work the first few times, and feels a strong sense of achievement when he is finally successful. This trying and failing without interference is an important factor in developing emotional resilience.

Parent Feedback

“I think it would be easy to comment on how physically she is much more confident moving around muddy, slippy, uneven ground or emotionally how much happier she is playing by herself or with other children. She’s engaging with the equipment in more sophisticated ways and familiarising herself with the routines much more and choosing to join in.

However, these are the easily observable and therefore measurable things. What I really like, and what will undoubtably benefit Amy in the long run, is the opportunity to play at length in a calm, supportive, fascinating environment. I would love to, and I’m trying, to create the whole ethos and sense of calm in my classroom. At a time when life in school is so manic, with such a ‘busy is best’ approach, the children aren’t trusted to play at such length or to such a depth.”