Waverley Nursery's Woodland School provides an alternative way to teach children a wide range of appropriate activities to challenge their independence. Maintaining a relationship with nature can be helpful in supporting children’s emotional and mental well-being.
Our Foundation class take part in Woodland School to enable the children to learn about safety whilst taking risks. The children participate in activities in our beautiful rural location, surrounded by woodland, streams, country lanes and fields. Woodland School prepares the children for ‘Forest School’ which our School pupils participate in. Our Woodland School enables children to become confident learners and create an understanding of risk taking in the outdoor environment and know how to handle them.
Our Waverley Nursery's under 3’s participate in daily woodland walks, collecting resources to enhance their indoor learning and becoming confident with the outdoor environment.
What We Do At Woodland School
Our children will become adept at problem solving and risk taking as they face challenging situations. Together they will discover how to climb trees independently, walk along branches and climb to heights where they feel safe. They will also find ways of crossing the river using stepping stones in the water or jumping across safely to the opposite side. The children will be able to climb hills safely, but most importantly find ways to help one another to complete these tasks.
What Our Woodland School Teacher Says...
Our Woodland School Teacher, Ms Beardmore, is also our Early Years (EYFS) Primary Teacher. She explains:
'In our Foundation class, the children have a chance to experience 'Woodland School' weekly throughout the year. The children go out into our local woodland in all weathers, with the exception of high winds, where they get a chance to experience being in nature and the changing seasons first hand. They have a chance to play and engage with the environment and take managed risks. The sessions are mostly child led, with literacy, maths and fine motor adult led activities introduced throughout. Over the year, we teach the children how to be safe round the fire, how to bang in pegs with a mallet and nails into wood with a hammer, how to care for and respect their environment, early knife skills (using a vegetable peelers) and how to use our fire sparkers to light a fire. All these skills are expanded further in Reception and beyond in the main school in our Forest School sessions.'
Benefits of Woodland School
Woodland School is an invaluable way of children developing a multitude of skills.
- How to work as a team
- Communication skills - improving their vocabulary and how to communicate with teachers and friends to describe what they see, what they are doing and how they feel
- Appreciating the outdoors
- Understanding our eco-systems and the importance of looking after our natural environment
- Problem solving
- Risk taking - understanding what is safe
- Understanding rules and boundaries
- Building physical and mental strength
- Aiding mental well-being
- Building confidence
- Enjoying being outdoors whatever the weather!
- Fire safety (see also below)
As we prepare the children for Forest School, we introduce fire in Woodland School. The children will learn about Fire Safety, and understand how a fire is needed to boil water. This helps the children to understand rules and boundaries as they keep a safe distance from the fire. The children will also have plenty of opportunities to make their own hot chocolate in the woods, whilst toasting marshmallows to make s’mores.
The fire is orange and it's yellow and really, really hot. We must be careful.
Uniform/Equipment For Woodland School
In order to participate in Woodland School, children are required to bring the following items:
- Waterproof all-in-one
- Layers for winter
- Hat and gloves in winter
Who Teaches Woodland School
Woodland School is taught by our trained Forest School Leader, Mr Mayes, and our Foundation EYFS Teachers. Our Woodland School is based from our purpose-built woodland chalet, 'Acorn Lodge'.
What our Children Say They Did At Woodland School...
We made a tent yesterday and then we got inside.