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Forest School Approach
We have a licence in place with the National Trust team enabling us to deliver Forest School sessions within and around the Polesden Lacey Estate.
At Bus Stop Pre-School, Forest School is spontaneous, we go out two to three times a week, with no pre-planned day. We head off into the Polesden Lacey Estate, where the children are able to investigate, explore, take risks, test out their ideas and run free.
We go out no matter what the weather and provide clothing suitable for all weathers, so every child is included.
At Bus Stop, Forest School is for all ages, no one is left behind. We take out up to 20 children to the woods ensuring each age group is supported and their personal needs cared for. There is always freedom for the children to take risks and or to test out their ideas, whilst being observed by the team to follow safety rules and boundaries.
Planning for the curriculum is in the moment. The children lead their play, however the team always has activities, resources and tools available to enhance their play and to help make links to current themes.
What is a Forest School day at Bus Stop?
Before we get to the Forest School site –
The children and the team work together to pack the trollies and equipment needed for the day and identify why each thing is important to take. Once we are ready to go, we walk in a Walking Bus to an appropriate space, we stop and carry out a Safety Circle talk, before releasing the children into the wild.
We make our way to the Fire Square for the whole day or go on a Wander Walk.
Whole Day Out -
For a whole day out in the woods, the group wanders and runs (mostly runs) to the woodland site to set up base camp, climbing, balancing and collecting natural objects along the way.
Once at the site the children recall the Fire Square rules and are then off to freely explore and investigate. Children can return to their special places and revisit previous play. The children are only called back to join the group for a hot lunch cooked over the camp fire.
During the day there is a good balance of child led and adult led activities available. At the end of the day the children enjoy a quiet Magic spot and listen to stories plucked from the team’s imaginations, before wandering back to Pre-School for home time.
Wander Walk –
A Wander Walk might take place in the morning or in the afternoon.
During a Wander Walk the children take the lead and decide how their learning will unfold. The only planning carried out by the team is having a loose idea of where we will walk, where to stop for snack, have a few resources available; pocket sized information books, magnifying glasses and always string in their pockets. After a Wander walk, we wander back to Pre-School for lunch time or home time.
Please visit our Staff Team page to meet our Forest School Trainers and Leaders.