Nature Nursery, Sholing

What is Nature Nursery?

It is based on Forest School principals, an ethos which encourages the development of children’s emotional and physical development through outdoor play, activities and exploration in a woodland environment. It is intended to encourage and inspire individuals through positive experiences and participation in engaging and motivating achievable tasks and activities fostering:

  • Independence
  • Confidence
  • Communication Skills
  • Self-esteem

Originally a concept developed in Denmark, children attending these sessions were found to have developed strong social skills, the ability to work in groups effectively and generally had high esteem and confidence in their own capabilities. These attributes proved to be an effective foundation that raised academic achievements and is therefore excellent scaffolding in children’s formative years.

Nature Nursery at Woodberry Sholing

Nature Nursery takes place in all sorts of weather conditions. The risk assessed woodland area that we use also features a shallow stream that children can explore. Therefore, waterproof trousers with braces and wellies are provided for children. Parents/carers do, however, need to provide a hat (legionnaires style for when it is hot and sunny or thermal hat for the cold), and a waterproof coat and gloves (as you already would for a nursery session) according to the weather.

We undertake activities such as bug hunting, den making, dam building, weaving, artistic placement and other creative tasks. Many activities will be spontaneous, based upon the children’s interest. Forest School activities involve the lighting of fires and the use of tools such as knives, bow saws and billhooks. However, at this early stage, our children are not using tools or lighting fires.

All of our activities are checked for safety and risk assessments are carried out.

It is important to note that Nature Nursery is offered as a voluntary activity by Woodberry Day Nursery and in the following instances children will not attend Nature Nursery sessions.

  • Very poor or extreme weather conditions
  • Days when we do not have the extra staff required to conduct a Nature Nursery session
  • If the child does not wish to attend the session
  • If Woodberry Day Nursery do not feel confident that your child’s behaviour can be managed safely on a 1:4 ratio outside of the setting
  • If your child has additional needs that cannot be met at Nature Nursery
  • For any other context that Woodberry Day Nursery feels conducting a Nature Nursery session would constitute a health and safety risk or is otherwise ill-advised.

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