National seminar on Forest Schools, October 8, telephone Jenny Doyle: 01299 250513
Forest Schools started in Scandinavia 20 years ago. Children splash about in puddles, roll in the leaves and, because of the high adult:child ratios, they can safely experience types of activities that are so often forbidden, such as climbing trees or lighting fires. "You don't need a 40-acre woodland," says Bishop Wood centre's manager John Rhymer. "We're getting teachers looking at this to see how they could reproduce it in their own grounds or in nearby woodland." Ideally, groups visit Bishops Wood for half a day at a time, every week of the year. John believes the Forest Schools provide a stepping stone to all six of the foundation stage early learning goals. "They're developing their exploration - their self-confidence," he says. "We're finding that teachers can deliver the entire foundation stage of the curriculum through Forest School activities."
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