A day of sunshine and activity building dens learning knots and contemplating risk. Arriving at the Little Acorns Forest School today I was met by a group of pre school children playing in the woods. You could hear them before we came into the clearing, where they had been re-enacting the story of the three little pigs with soft toys, straw sticks and lego bricks. Obviously all having the best time ever. What was really lovely to see was a group of children who were clearly used to playing in the woods with adults that were not phased by all the potential hazards that we might imagine lurk in every bush. It answered a lot of the questions that many people might have about Forest schools.
Around the camp we can see evidence of activity from a wide variety of age groups fro large dens like the one above, to trees ready to be roped up for balancing games for pre schoolers like the one below.
Dave our instructor is ex army and has had a history of setting up forest schools in Germany after he came out of the forces, he is an excellent instructor who really knows his stuff. Not just how to build a shelter, but also importantly a real understanding of the learning process and how to set up children and big children like me how to succeed through taking small manageable tasks one step at a time. It is an educational process that is closer to the one taken by the nursery than by schools, which values people’s innate differences and preferences in a setting that allows time for reflection as well as periods of concentration team work and most importantly fun.