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on 5 December 2013

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By Catherine Ghent, Ellie Robinson, Hannah Morris and Milly Brook

Theoretical Influences:
Lifelong Learning
Links to Guy Claxton- positive learning dispositions and building learning power- see playful ped papers!
Links to EYFS: prime areas and characteristics of learning, engagement, links to lighting the fire. (community play things)
Montessori- similar misconceptions, aimed at SEN children and those with behavior issues. Leads to independent learning.
International Comparisons
How is the child viewed by the approach?
Mutual respect- play partners (eppe study, tiff)
Acknowledge child's feelings and build an emotional vocab to talk about their emotions and feelings.

Scandinavian History
Froebel created the Kindergarten concept, which is where the Swedish education system began. This links to Forest Schools because he was able to see the benefits outdoor learning had on children's development. Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia in 1950s.

- Kindergarten (also steiner and pestalozzi)

Sweden - rooted from froebel with ideas from free play, creativity, socialisations and emotional stability.

Why not Forest Schools?
Links to NC
Maslow's Hierarchy of Need- Forest schools teach children to be independent and to provide for themselves, e.g. food, shelter and warmth.
Susan Isaacs thought it to be important that the outdoors was used to educate children. Her philosophy was based on Froebel's notion of learning and doing.
" To be boxed up in the small nursery is a very trying experience for vigorous, healthy children. " Isaacs (1954, pp 29)
ALL theorists that are linked with forest schools believed in child centered approach to learning
Steiner Waldorf's approach has a 'core' of nature rhythm earth and life cycles. His approach also is based upon the philosophies of Pestalozzi and Froebel.
"Froebel maintained that the capacity to struggle persistently lies at the foundation of character; children love to encounter challenge in play and work. Outdoor involvement provides such a challenge." Lighting the fire p.17
"Great teachers carry with them a larger vision of the child's future than any individual lesson" Maria Montessori
The practitioner can gain a wider picture of the child in an alternate environment. Links to RE: Reggio Emilia says:
"A teacher needs to reflect on her own image of the child who is standing before her. the teacher should seek to understand the child as a child within a unique situation and with unique physical , temperamental and social characteristics."
Stone (2012, pp 280)
It is an "inspirational process that offers chidren, young people and adults, regular and repeated opportunities to achieve, and to develop confidence, resilience and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment" Forest Education Initiative (2010)
Knight sets out 8 criteria that you would have to do in order to have a proper forest school. One of which includes the idea that in a forest school, "learning is play based and, as far as possible, child initiated and child-led." Knight pg 17
White, R. (2004)
Living an Extraordinary Life.
[Online] Available from: <http://books.google.co.uk/> [Accessed 24 November 2013].
Stone, J. (2012) A Vygotskian Commentary on the Reggio Emilia Approach. In,
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Volume 13 (4) pp. 276-289.
Isaacs, S. (1954)
The Educational Value of the NURSERY SCHOOL
, 45. London: The British Association for Early Childhood Education
add negative view about FS being a waste of lesson time.

Video Link for Forest school reflections nursery doc.

Coombes primary school

"Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results" (Einstein, n.d, quoted in: White, 2004, p36)


"The best classroom and the richest
cupboard is roofed only by the sky."

Margaret McMillan
"Learning outside the classroom should be built into planning for all learners, every week and all year round. It is a powerful tool that is proven to raise attainment, bolster social, emotional and personal development and contributes to the health and well being of children and young people." (LOTC, 2011)
A different approach, what Forest Schools CAN achieve..

Becoming physically literate:
Building better brains - steve hughes

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