A beautiful full-colour book by Forest School expert and teacher Sara Knight that inspires and encourages individuals of all ages to take an innovative approach to outdoor play and learning. The images throughout the book bring alive Forest School activities and each chapter is accompanied by creative ideas for practice and in depth case studies from across the United Kingdom and Ireland exploring the amazing variety of nature provision. Coverage includes: • Rural and urban day nurseries for very young children • State and independent provision for Early Years and Primary Schools • Secondary School intervention strategies for students with special education needs and disabilities • How to support parents and families with Forest School • Supporting people with mental health issues. Suggestions for further reading at the end of chapters will be a helpful guide for students to read around the topic. Whether you’re training to become a teacher, or already working in the outdoor classroom, this book demonstrates how Forest School approaches are enriching learning opportunities for children, young people and adults, and deepening their connections with the natural world, with spectacular results.
Chapter 7: England
Forest School was developed in England in 1994 initially for nursery-aged children, and yet 20 years later the 2014 Early Years Foundation Stage barely mentions outdoor provision, other than to say that ‘activities should take place outdoors on a daily basis’ (Dept for Education, 2014a: 28). In spite of this, there are many thousands of nurseries, reception classes and preschools that offer Forest School to their 3–5-year-olds. This tension between the politics of the statutory and funded provision and what practitioners believe to be in the best interests of the developing child is highlighted by the increasingly enthusiastic reactions to Forest School of Ofsted inspectors. This chapter will explore the ways in which national and local early years policies have seesawed between support ...