Celebrations are in order as ‘Forest Schools’ celebrate 25 years in the UK this year.
The approach originated from visitors to Scandinavian kindergartens.
There, babies and children experienced childcare with the idea of encouraging and inspiring them through positive outdoor experiences in a natural environment.
The Little Bird Forest Nursery, Pulborough is West Sussex’s first ever forest nursery. Based in the heart of the South Downs, it has an on-site woodland, wildlife pond, fields and meadows.
Children learn and play outside for 10 hours a day, every day, all year round.
The nursery believes children are incredible, powerful and competent individuals and their natural curiosity is crucial to their self-led learning.
Children who attend the nursery have the opportunity to learn in a holistic way, surrounded by the natural environment and using tools to create their own toys, light fires and climb trees on an everyday basis.
Following the success of forest schools to date, the chance to learn in this environmental way is now set to be extended to younger children, as the school plans to open a baby provision early next year.
Nursery director Samantha Lovegrove said: “In our opinion, our approach offers the very best of early childhood experiences and also offers nature itself, exposure and connection to the very people that will one day be charged with nurturing nature right back.
“We believe this should be accessible to all children, regardless of family income, and our fees are incredibly low.”
For more, see www.littlebirdsnursery.co.uk.