Clapton Park Children’s Centre is now also a Forest School. All children from age two have access to a weekly Forest School session in the Hackney Marshes. Our Centre promotes the ethos of outdoor learning, and we have a large garden which enables the children to explore the natural environment and take risks in a safe and secure environment.
Forest School is an approach derived from Scandinavia, where children have opportunities to explore the natural environment in all weathers. There is much research showing the positive effects on children’s wellbeing, health, confidence, language skills, collaborative skills, awareness of nature and living things, whilst taking risks.
Children are well supervised and offered real life active learning experiences, where the adults make sure that the site is safe and free from hazard. All of the staff accompanying children to Forest School sessions will be fully trained by the Forest School Learning Initiative, which includes carrying out risk assessments and ensuring that children are safe whilst engaging in a range of exciting, stimulating outdoor experiences.
What are the benefits of Forest School?
The benefits, based on long term studies from other Forest Schools, and
in particular in Scandinavia include:
- Increased self esteem and self-confidence
- Improved social skills
- Greater language expression
- Increased physical dexterity
- Children concentrate for longer periods of time than when indoors
- Children develop an understanding and respect for their natural environment
What will the children need?
Children will access the Forest School throughout the year, and as such will be offered a set of waterproofs. Children will need suitable footwear e.g. wellies. It is advisable that children bring warm hats, gloves and scarves in the winter, and sun cream and protective hat and long sleeves in the summer. There are many health benefits to children being outdoors all year round, as germs are spread in a confined indoor space. Children well wrapped up, exposed to fresh air and gaining much physical exercise, are found to be healthier than children cooped up in centrally heated indoor environments. Please talk to your child’s key worker for more information.