FOREST SCHOOL... Daily adventures in the woods!
After years of running woodlands outings, taking children to the woods or forests and out to nature reserves, we have finally started daily trips to the woods. Our new Forest School Leader, Zoe, is joining us to start our provision which will run 9am to 3pm each day with transport offered from both Church Gresley and Donisthorpe Settings (Transport fee £2.50).
Our children have always loved our forest trips and have learned to light fires, build dens, identify insects and climb trees! Forest school has been shown to develop children’s love of nature and also their independence, confidence and curiosity. We have certainly seen that in our 7 years running these sessions.
So now we are offering daily experiences throughout the week taking small groups to the woodlands. We know that during the first few weeks our children evidence a lack of resilience and confidence is low. They sometimes feel nervous, are unsure of the cold or do not understand how to play without toys. This quickly changes as they start to explore, manage risk and challenge and feel independence and confident in the outdoors! It is a wonderful transformation to watch and within weeks it is the children's favourite time of the week! We know it is good for long term mental health, physical health, learning skills and social skills and we can see the impact within 6 weeks!
So the sessions will be booked as any other session at Our Monkey Club. If you book on to Forest then your child will be accommodated at Forest for the session and we require a months’ notice to change these arrangements. Forest sessions will still run in the cold, rain, snow, ice and sunshine. We will not take the children on transport in unsafe conditions but if we can keep the children safe and warm then we will be attending. This helps children build their resilience and most children won't care what the weather is doing as long as they are dressed correctly.
All children will be required to have a full body rain suit, wellington boots and a sturdy backpack. Gloves, scarf and woolly hat are essential for cold months and a sun hat for sunnier days. Under the rain suit children should wear warm clothes in the winter to add a layer of protection and in warm weather they will need loose and light clothing. Your children will come home muddy and exhausted and we have had parents report their children sleep well after a day in the woods!
All children will be required to bring a cold packed lunch (one can be requested from the setting at the usual cost) and a large water bottle. Snacks will be fun and have ranged from crumpets, hot chocolate, soup and hotdogs cooked on the fire!
We expect our Forest School will be incredibly popular and in 2018 to 2019 we had 28 children booked on our Monday sessions. We only have space for 12 children a day at the moment.