learning

Look deep into nature.  You will understand everything better.

Albert Einsten

how learning takes place at little foxes

In line with the traditional Danish Forest School Approach, we firmly believe that the best learning takes place for children when their self esteem and independence are fostered.  Having child-led, play based experiences is fundamental and there is no better place than the outdoors for children to explore, discover, challenge themselves and grow as individuals.

As primary educators ourselves, we have a sound knowledge of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum (EYFS).  Substantial research, as well as our own personal experiences have shown that outdoor learning provides some of the best opportunities for children to thrive in the EYFS's three prime areas: physical development, social and emotional development and communication and language. The four specific areas (Understanding the World, Arts and Creativity, Literacy and Maths) are also of great importance to us.  We ensure that every child has the opportunity to practise learning, discovering and creating in these areas and harnessing the natural surroundings we have at our disposal.  

We know that children learn and remember most when they are happy, and they are most happy when engaged in an activity they are completely absorbed in (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002).  A recent UK study, funded by Natural England involved over 40,000 pupils and more than 2000 teachers.  It found that an overwhelming 95% of children said learning outdoors made lessons more enjoyable.  As educators, our role is to support and guide your children to gain deep learning experiences from their environment and personal discoveries.  We will get to know all about your child: their interests, what excites them and what they need extra guidance with. We will use our expertise to support them in their learning journey through role modelling, suggestions, props and so much more.

Part of our role as a Pre-school is to prepare our children to start at school.  We believe the best foundations that can be laid are for children to be independent, self-motivated, resilient, curious and enthusiastic learners.  We think that if you have had the opportunity to socialise and interact with kindness and empathy you will go far.  We also know that one of the most important skills you'll need at school is the ability to be resilient, to keep trying at something even when it may not have gone right the first time.  Our outdoor learning will equip children in the best possible way to start their school experience.

recording learning

As parents ourselves we know how important it is for you to know what your children are up to.  We are signed up to an online learning journal. This enables us to share with you notes, photos and videos of your child's learning journey so you are fully in the loop.  Photos come through in real time so you can see exactly what they're up to as they're playing.  We can also link our notes to the Development Matters document, to allow us to check your child is progressing in line with others at their age.  We are also interested in your child's general well-being and so will be referring to the Leuven scale for wellbeing to ensure they are feeling at ease, being spontaneous and free of emotional tensions.  We encourage you to also upload any photo from home for us to see, and to look at the photos we send with your children to encourage discussion and reflection.

See below some of the ways in which outdoor learning can benefit your child.

social skills

Being outdoors has a positive effect on children's relationships.  They use their social experiences with one another; sharing, discussing, fantasising and constructing meanings and kinship.

attention

In the outdoors children are more attentive, have better powers of memory and concentrate on activities for longer periods. Nature's diversity stimulates children's desire to  investigate and experiment.

health

Being active outdoors develops vital muscle tone and reduces the risk of developing allergies.  It affects children's strength, flexibility and reduces the number of sick days.

personal

Being outdoors helps children learn how to work together, follow rules and negotiate.  They use more complex language and construct longer sentences outdoors.  Using real-life first hand experiences and real tools equips children for later life.

FIND OUT MORE

We are educators with over 25 years experience working with children.  We have seen first hand the power of nature for helping children to flourish and grow.  But don't just take our word for it, see our evidence page to find out how learning in the outdoors can have a profound effect on children's development.

our location

STOKE PARK ESTATE, BRISTOL

 

Drop off for Little and Mini Foxes is at the entrance to Stoke Park Estate near the Lockleaze Youth and Playspace BS7 9TB. We meet at the entrance to the meadow in Stoke Park Estate.  If driving, it's best to park outside the Lockleaze Youth and Playspace, BS7 9TB and then walk along the footpath that has two boulders at it's entrance.  About 50m along the footpath the entrance to the meadow is on your right.

 

Shortly after drop off we'll set off on the short walk through the stunning Stoke Park Estate, to set up our camp for the day.  This magical forest area is surrounded by bluebells, wild garlic, wildlife, meadows and trees aplenty.   Interested to visit the site?  

Pick up and breakfast club drop off is at Stoke Park Primary School (Romney Avenue entrance) in BS7 9TG, just 4 minutes drive from Bishopston and 10 minutes from Bristol City Centre.  There is parking on Romney Avenue near our entrance gate.

 

Find out more about our Open Days or Contact Us.

Please note our playgroup and holiday camp take place at a different site.  Check emails for details.

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@2017 Little Foxes Forest School.