Our Forest School Programme
At Purple Rocket, we offer all our children the exciting opportunity to follow our Forest School Programme. We are hugely excited by this and hope you will be too. We have a mini Forest on site for our little Foresters to explore as well as a more extensive area for our older Foresters to discover. Sessions typically last an hour, are conducted in small groups and are tailored to meet the needs and ages of the children participating. Children have an opportunity to attend a Forest School session at least once a week.
Forest School is an Outdoor based educational programme typically conducted over an extended period of time that aims to build upon children's confidence, self-esteem, independence and creativity. There is no physical school to speak of, rather it is a philosophy that is followed. Indeed, despite the name, a Forest School approach can be followed in any inspriring outdoor environment, not simply a Forest; a meadow, a field, a beach, a heath, a river bank, a nature reserve, a park, an orchard, a copse, a back garden! The Forest in a typical Forest School simply acts as a vehicle for the movement's ideals; giving children the physical and creative space to make choices without fear of 'being wrong' or breaking anything, the freedom to discover and explore their emerging personalities; what they enjoy, how they learn, how they tackle challenges and how they form friendships, and also the freedom to take risks in a controlled and supportive environment. Indeed, the setting of our own 'Forest School' and Mini Forest is the nursery's mature suburban garden.
Since commencing our Forest School Programme, we have observed our Preschool Foresters developing and honing a number of key skills including:
- Understanding and appreciation of nature; the 'Forest' environment, the flora and fauna, the seasons
- Ability to make observations and comment on changes they see over time including the changing seasons, growth and decay of plants and animals
- Confidence to access resources independently and make choices about their play
- Interpersonal skills; engaging with children and adults to invite them into play situations, share ideas and creations
- Language and Communication skills; talking about and discussing experiences, reflecting back and evaluating
- Motivation, concentration and engagement
- Physical skills both fine and gross motor; jumping, balancing, climbing, clambering, tying, threading, looping, cutting, snipping, peeling, digging, scooping, pouring,