An outdoor play school based in the heart of the Constantia Greenbelt
Who we are
Forest House is an outdoor play school based in the heart of the Constantia Greenbelt with direct access to the forest in a safe and secure environment. We immerse children, from 3 to 5 years old, in nature and support them to become creative thinkers, develop soft skills and become lifelong learners.
We aim to inspire the children who join us to be enveloped with a love for life, while we guide them to develop a sense of self-awareness and confidence as they grow into conscious and heart-centered citizens of the world. The phase of early childhood development is fundamental as it forms the foundation for who we grow up to be.
Our approach to learning
The forest school follows a forest school and Reggio Emilia approach to learning. These pedagogies combined form a magical way of learning. We are a child-led and play-based natural school where children have the opportunity to grow into their unique being, while simultaneously fostering a sense of community as children are equipped to learn and play collaboratively. We learn through play and exploration and by following children’s interests. Our role as educators is to observe and support each child in their development. With encouragement, role-modelling and inquisivity, play transforms into deep and meaningful learning opportunities. We as educators share a reflective attitude and continually adapt and change with the group and learn from experience. We embrace play in our own lives and we continue to develop our inner child.
We focus on the emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, physical, communication and language development of children: the whole child.
Experience a day at The Forest House
The day begins with circle time which involves coming together with movement, music, and mindfulness. This is also an opportunity to bring into conversation our theme, as well as give children an idea of what lies ahead for the day.
This is followed by our daily forest time adventure which involves activities and free play in a chosen area of the greenbelt. These will be based on the current themes, interests, developmental focuses, and seasons.
Following this we will come back to our space for a creative and collaborative activity, creating an environment for children to be expressive, and integrate the learnings, sightings and observations of the day. We will finish the day by reading a story and making herbal refreshments together before home time.
This daily structure is intended to cover a wide range of experiences for the child in this important period of their development. Each child’s development is promoted by observing their learning needs and personal interests closely and allowing this to inspire the daily material accordingly. We believe that spending time outdoors, exploring how the real world works, working with natural materials and engaging in creative activities is the best way to support a child’s development.
Tracking your child’s learning
We as educators know how important it is for parents to know what happens at forest school. We will take pictures and every two weeks send an informative email with a link to pictures and the highlights of our times together. At the end of the second and fourth term parents will receive an individual learning journal.
Mondays to Thursdays from 8:30-12:30m
The Forest School 2023
17th January – 17th March
11th April – 23rd June
18th July – 22nd September
10th October – 8th December
There will be an optional holiday school programme in every school holiday.
Find more about what inspires us
PURPOSE AND VALUES
Our purpose is to foster rich outdoor learning experiences for children using a whole-child approach that will not only develop a deep connection with nature but also prepare children with a set of soft skills (creative thinking, problem solving, inquisitiveness and resilience) that will help them to thrive in our changing world.
We believe in the well-being that immersing in nature gives us, we believe that awakening our senses and being in a rich and positive environment creates an openness for exploration and learning. We believe in the power of play, making sense of our world, socializing, finding what our interests are, and learning. We believe in cultivating a spirit of teamwork and collaboration within our group and beyond.
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT: HOW WE LEARN
Research and experience have taught us about the immense potential of learning in a play-based and child-led natural and outdoor environment. Our role as educators is to look deeply into the child, understand their learning styles, and spark their curiosity to learn in an interesting and meaningful way for them.
We make sure to work in all the areas of the early childhood development curriculum, plus others that we consider important. Our activities and experiences will be planned taking into consideration the following areas of development:
- Social and emotional development
- Cognitive development: numeracy
- Language development: literacy
- Gross motor skills development
- Fine motor skills development
- The natural world
- Arts and Creativity
- Physical development