Forest schooling is a growing trend in education for infants from 0-6 years old. It involves their exposure to the outdoors, where they are free to create their own learning experiences through play.
Forest schools began in Denmark and they have since spread throughout Nordic countries. They can include copse dwellings, growing food on allotments and nature-spotting.
The teachers at the University’s Forest School themselves develop practical skills, an understanding of health-and-safety and reflect on their own development. They pass on a basic understanding of outdoor cooking and introduce children to safety issues, so they can climb trees and light fires with a natural sense of risk assessment.
Zenna Kingdon, Senior Lecturer in Children, Young People and Communities said, ‘This approach strengthens the children. They are less likely to get colds and they develop an awareness of nature and other people’s needs.’
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