17.4.23 Martin Smith, Vice Chair of Governors

Nursery Woodland Animal Hunt

Just before the Easter break I was lucky enough to spend another day in the Forest School, seeing all the children throughout the day. Working with Uzma, our Forest School lead, we introduced some basic map work using a picture map of the Forest School. This is a hard concept for many adults to come to terms with! However, with my background on outdoor learning I was interested to find out just what our children were capable of, and I wasn’t disappointed! For each group we spent time looking at the picture map and trying to recognise the main features on it and how this related to what they saw around them, which many did. We then went on a walk around the Forest finding many of these features. Once this was completed, we placed a number of soft toy animals around the Forest that matched locations on the map. The children were then asked to go to specific locations, marked on their maps and discover what was there! We had plenty of adult support and the children were left to go on their own journeys. For me this really underpins the whole ethos of the nursery in that it encourages a real sense of independence and responsibility in the children, in all that it does.

Following this introduction to using a map, dare I say orienteering! Uzma will now look to develop these skills going forward.

Of course, no visit to the Forest School is complete without time to explore and discover on your own and each session was followed by time spent crossing the ditch using the various sized planks. As usual there were queues for the narrowest plank! Many tried it over and over again as they developed their confidence, resilience and balance, again great developmental skills.

Looking forward to seeing how the Forest School develops over the summer term and how this work translates back into the indoor setting.

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