Forest Explorers

What is ‘Forest Explorers’?

The forest explorers ethos takes on a holistic approach encouraging learning through play and exploration; Children learn about the natural environment, in the natural environment, whatever the weather. They learn how to handle risks and to use their own initiative to solve problems and cooperate with others. While exploring the forest children have the opportunities to build dens and shelters, light a fire and use woodworking skills to create and build objects from the woodland around them. They use full size tools; learn the boundaries of behaviour, both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation. They also learn respect for themselves and others, as well as learning about and respecting the world around them and the environment. Based on the Forest School research, which demonstrats that such learning has a very positive effect on children’s self-esteem, general behaviour, awareness of own safety and the safety of others.

What Children learn at Forest Explorers:

Safety at Forest Explorers

Safety is paramount. Risk assessments are key to a successful Forest Explorers Session. Risk assessments:

Risk assessments are not there to prevent risk taking – there are risks while exploring the Forest– indeed part of the whole ethos of Forest Explorers is that the children learn to take sensible risks - but the risks need to be managed risks.

Research shows that in today’s health and safety culture, children take a different type of risk, online. Forest Explorers provides children with opportunities to identify their own limitations, make informed choices and take on reasonable, managed risks outdoors under the supervision of qualified Early Years Practitioners.

One last thing to note, it is great fun!

We are so lucky to have such a wonderful location. We fully embrace our local environment by visiting it, learning about it, learning how to respect and care for it, learning how to look after ourselves and each other and staying safe when out and about. Below are some examples of the things we love the most and what we learn about during our Forest Explorer Sessions:

Using technology to record the first signs of Spring.

Walking in the Autumn sunshine.

Learning about woodland animals in the forest.

Investigating bugs and mini-beasts.

Climbing and den building.

We love seeing the pigs during Pannage season in the forest.

Reading and understanding signs in the environment.

Learning how to care for living things in the environment.

Burley piglets during Pannage season.

Finding and using natural materials to create pictures.

Learning how to find information to learn new things.

Using writing skills to record what we find.

Enjoying hot chocolate and cookies in the Autumn sunshine.

Working as a team to build and test out dens.

Looking for signs of Fairies.