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What is Forest School?
Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting. 

An Understanding of the concept of Forest School.

The most fabulous thing about Forest School, is every child, with any ability benefits from all that Forest School has to offer, it's a child led, unique experience for each child. Every child is free to make their own choices, therefore each child is fulfilled and happy, as they are doing what they want to do. And not to forget all classes are set amongst nature, in our private woodlands. It is not a race, it is a chilled, organic experience suitable for children aged 1-14 years.

All of the staff at Willow's are highly trained and experienced in delivering Forest School and it is a pleasure to watch the magic unfold. 

We run accompanied, term time classes for children aged 1-4 years and we also have weekly visits from school groups and children / teenagers with additional needs. We run a variety of holiday camps for children aged 4-11 years and we have juts started running bush craft camps for 9-14 years. 

Many of our customer's tell us that our sites are thoughtfully set out, to meet all needs. We deliver  structure for those that need it and a more relaxed approach for those that want to explore. Overtime the children will learn from each other and inevitably the child that was attracted to structure, will find themselves exploring more and vice versa. 

You can join us anytime you like but time and time again, we are asked what age is Forest School suitable for? The answer is any age, the key in supporting the Forest School ethos is for your child to attend weekly, term time sessions before the age of 5 years old, so they get the full benefit of Forest School, as it's a long term program, that your child will benefit from at their own pace. 

We must stress that many of our children have been coming to our classes since 1 years old, so it is the norm to see children whittling and sawing at such a young age, under close supervision from our staff. We do not expect children that have just started with us or are on a trial to be at this stage, these children have been attending weekly classes for a long period of time and there is huge variety of other things to get involved in. Our woodlands are set up, so all children have a choice of things to do. We add skill based and craft activities at every session but many children do neither but instead they look for bugs, visit the wiggly worms in the compost bin, go on a swing, balance on a beam, play in the mud kitchen or have tea with the fairies and elves. It is totally down to what each child wants to do. 

We have children aged 2 years old, whittling confidently who have been with us for a year, week after week compared to a 4 year old who has never been to a Forest School and opts to explore and have fun in the mud kitchen - naturally we all think the 2 year old should be doing what the 4 year old is doing and this is the beauty of Forest School, we are not ruled by fitting into boxes, it is not a race, there are no rules and the children make their own choices but the key is, the earlier they start with us, their confidence grows and they will develop at their own pace and more opportunities will come their way. 

We have been running for 10 years now and we feel confident that our offerings enables every child to get something from our classes and it's great to see our children but also our parents bond together.  Making memories and long term friendships is so special to us.

Many of our children go onto our Holiday Camps which are for children aged 4-1 1

 

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