At the Early Learning Camp, one of the main aims is for children to be outside enjoying the fresh air, doing something different and getting involved in all that is free to enjoy from nature.
Our camp has an American theme so trails and the ‘Great Outdoors’ are part of our brand and mission. Research has proven that children are stimulated by the outdoors and over time this sees an increase in their self-belief, confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication, problem solving skills and emotional well-being.
This forms a big part of our ethos as we strive to help children to learn more about the environment and the part we all play in it. Our Forest School helps the children experience the natural world for themselves and to learn vital life skills that will help them prepare for their future lives. Forest Schools are a fantastic addition to nursery provision and are an invaluable source of holistic education.
In our Forest School sessions, children learn about nature. Children are more physically active, and this will help to develop healthier lifestyles. The confidence gained and the improvement in self-esteem has a very positive effect on the emotional and mental well-being of children. Our Forest School provides a safe environment for children to test their own abilities in a real-life context. It will help the children to enjoy and achieve, to become more independent and develop team working skills. The introduction of a forest school at an early age will help the children to form a life-long relationship with natural spaces and the environment. It will celebrate the individual talents of each child and promote a positive attitude to learning. Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular hands-on learning experiences in a natural environment. Studies have concluded that children who experienced learning in an outdoor setting were more balanced, more socially developed, had deeper concentration levels and better coordination. Forest schools help children to understand the importance of nature and the environment.
We are really lucky at The Early Learning Camp to have a Level 3 qualified Forest School Leader, Zoe. The children will learn so much from Zoe. She will teach them about tree and plant identification, how they grow and how to protect them; fire safety and campfires, basic cooking in accordance with food hygiene, shelter building and safe use of tools and woodland crafts.
Our main Mission goal is a simple one ‘preparation’ as we look to help prepare the children for what is in front of them. Zoe, along with key workers, will identify the needs of a group and plan a program that works for all on all levels, incorporating Eli Brown bear where possible. This program will tackle all aspects of emotional and social wellbeing including self-awareness, social skills, motivation, empathy and how to manage feelings. Forest school encapsulates all aspects of free play in early years and active play in primary years. It links to the curriculum and sessions can be developed for various key stages from early years upwards. We recognise that every child should have the opportunity to learn beyond the classroom and that deep level learning comes from when children feel safe, secure and engaged with the outdoors.