Forest School

We offer two Forest School sessions per week at Pippins, on a Tuesday afternoon and a Thursday morning. These, along with Music and Sports, make up the weekly rota of Special Activity Sessions which are available to your child. We ask for a £2.50 supplement these sessions, due to the extra costs involved in providing this experience at Pippins.

‘Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees.’ –Forest School Association

 
At Pippins, we are lucky enough to have access to a wonderful woodland area on the site of Icknield Primary School. We run regular Forest School sessions, led by a qualified Forest School leader.

Forest School is a really important part of our preschool. Since we’ve started running sessions, we’ve seen children grow in confidence because of the time and space they have to explore their surroundings. They work together in groups, learning social skills and the importance of collaborating.

Staff encourage children to use all their senses and develop language skills – we talk about what things look like, feel like, smell like, and sound like.

Forest School is great for improving fine and gross motor skills: we pick up logs and branches, but we also look at (and often touch!) the tiniest insects. We know from countless pieces of research that time spent outside is vital for health and wellbeing of children and adults. They learn about their environment in such a different way from indoors – we can look at books about birds, but it’s not the same as actually seeing and hearing birds in nature with our highly-qualified Forest School leader.

More information on the benefits of Forest School can be found here.

Most importantly, the children really enjoy Forest School! They are all so excited about going out, shouting, ‘It’s Forest School today!’ while they put their coats on.

‘Forest School is the best. I climb trees and it’s really high! I like having the campfire on. We make bread and it’s tasty.’ – C, 3 years old

 
Our Forest School sessions run throughout the year, in all weather. Exploring the world at different times of year is important, for the sensory exploration that comes with differing weather. However, our Forest School leader always assesses the weather on the day of a session, and would cancel if it were unsafe or just too cold or wet to be any fun. Additionally, we maintain robust risk assessments and high child:staff ratios for Forest School sessions, to ensure that children are given the opportunity to test their own abilities in a controlled, safe way.