Forest school celebrates tenth anniversary
An early years centre (EYC) celebrated their forest school’s 10th anniversary this week with a variety of woodland activities.
Staff and youngsters at Great Wood Farm EYC, Boothby Pagnell, took part in the activities on Tuesday morning which included natural weaving, den building, bug hunting, building fairy houses, whittling sticks, toasting marshmallows and finishing off by eating lunch around a camp fire.
The family-run business was set up in 2002 with directors Kathryn Spence and two of her daughters Charlotte Spence and Kate Robinson. Kathryn’s husband, Brian Spence, is the farmer and works closely with the EYC.
Kate Robinson came up with the idea of creating the forest school 10 years ago. It quickly took off and is now an integral part of the nursery.
She said: “It was a wonderful morning and everyone had lots of fun.
“I am so proud of the journey we have gone on. I never envisaged the potential and how wonderful the forest school would be.
“It’s been so amazing to have been played a part in so many special moments with children and to have seen the impact that it has had on so many. None of this would have been achieved without the entire nursery embracing it and believing in the concept especially considering that no one had really heard of a forest school 10 years ago not to mention that taking risks with children was regarded very differently back then.”
The forest school has become so popular that they the EYC now seven forest school leaders and a further three in training. They were also the first setting in Lincolnshire to become a recognised forest school provider by the Forest School Association.
Kate added: “The award was introduced a couple of years ago to value those settings that meet the ‘true’ forest school principles and objectives’ including that the forest school takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment and aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.”
Kate hopes to continue to work with the wider community to share the work that they do.