The Great Outdoors
Our children spend as much time outside as they do inside, whether it be on Forest School sessions at Southwater or caring for our animals in the farm school at Horsham.
The beauty of children playing outside is that they learn so much more and so differently from playing inside. Taking children into the woods and allowing them to negotiate uneven ground, circumnavigate logs, wildlife and precious flowers helps even the youngest walkers to manage themselves and better judge risks. It's a shame that in the modern world many children grow up with chain link fencing and brightly coloured soft tarmac as their 'outdoors' experience. We commit to offering a more heuristic and real experience of the great outdoors that we hope will inspire them and encourage a love and respect for nature for years to come.
It is too easy under the guise of health and safety to try and remove the risks and therefore take away any challenge in the activity or environment for the children. We understand that a child's need for challenge, if not met, will often express itself in other ways including challenging behaviour. The importance to us of a forest school or farm school encounter is in providing children the opportunity to take risks, encourage the right choices and build their self-confidence.
Our Southwater Nursery is a Day Nursery and Forest School which means different groups of children over 2 years old spend every morning in our private 11 acre woodland in Barns Green as part of their nursery experience. We have our own mini-bus with fitted car seats to transport the children and educators, and together they climb trees, build dens, prepare and cook their lunch on the campfire, and marvel and wonder at the flora and fauna of the forrest.
Our children at our Horsham Nursery aged 3+ have the chance to visit the woodland during our Forest School programmes three times a year for 12 week programmes that you can enrol your child onto. Children explore nature, climbing trees, building camps and enjoy anything and everything from pond dipping to searching for bears!
To read one of the children's Forest School diaries click here.
Our farm school at our Horsham Nursery is a space for animals in our garden which provides a home to a small pig, hens, rabbits, quails and guinea pigs. Children have access to the enclosure to cuddle the animals, collect the eggs and help with all aspects of their care all throughout the day. They also help to feed and clean out the animals as part of our routines. We also have many wild ducks who come to live with us each spring and hatch their ducklings in the garden.