Outdoor Learning

Exploring Nature's Classroom

Outdoor learning offers children a unique experience, where learning is encouraged through a host of natural materials and the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.

At The Old Station Nursery Group, some of our nurseries adopt the Forest School Approach as well as Nature Explorer and Outdoor Learning sessions inspired by this. We take pride in offering a holistic ethos where children are encouraged to develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually.

Nursery practitioner exploring the outdoors with two children looking into the grassy area 

Outdoor Learning

Children love to know more about our Wonderful World

Forest School's approach revolves around the natural world, with each session encouraging the children to explore the outdoors through enriching learning experiences like those mentioned below.

Since the launch of the Brighter Learning Approach in June 2023, we plan to enhance our nature-based learning experiences across all of our settings, with the use of new resources and sessions dedicated to becoming Nature Explorers and Planet Protectors.

Click the button to visit our page on how we teach children about our Wonderful World through fun and exciting activities,

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A little girl in the nursery blowing dandelion seeds, with a joyful expression on her face

Outdoor Learning

Inspiring Nature Explorers

Playing and learning outside improves children’s physical and emotional well being. The open-air learning experience has been shown to be hugely beneficial for children with a range of emotional and developmental needs. This doesn't necessarily have to take place in a forest. It can be any natural outdoor environment and for some early years settings this can be on the premises or somewhere nearby.

Rather than using classroom resources and equipment, children can use natural materials found in the woodland and enjoy activities such as collecting sticks and leaves, tying knots, making dens, handling tools, using twigs to write in the mud, jumping across stones, and much more!

To read more about the importance and benefits of this, click the button to read our blog.

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A group of children and a teacher posing for a photo in a nursery garden, with tall plants in the background

Outdoor learning

Forest Schools

Forest Schools offer many benefits and can help children to develop:

• An appreciation and understanding of the natural world, promoting outdoor activities and well-being
• Multi-sensory experiences in the outdoors stimulate sensory development
• Early education about ecological systems and sustainable practices
• Opportunities for active play and exploration, promoting overall physical fitness

To read more benefits of the Forest School approach and spending time learning outdoors, click the button to read our blog.

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A little girl in holding a dandelion and buttercup flower at the nursery's Forest School
Trees graphic

A long-term process

Nature-based learning can be a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits. The cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.

Tree stump graphic

Taking place in a natural wooded environment

Activities take place in a natural or woodland environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Eco book graphic

Aims to promote holistic development

Outdoor education aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

Tree swing graphic

Offering learners the opportunity to take supported risks

Learning within natural surroundings offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Forest school teacher graphic

Run by qualified practitioners

Our sessions are run by qualified practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Graphic of child reading a book

Uses a range of learner-centred processes

This approach uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.

Outdoor Learning at Nursery - Children Making Mud Pies with Sticks
Outdoor Learning at Nursery - Children playing with dinosaur toys outside
Outdoor Learning at Nursery - Pre-Schooler Making Art Using Natural Resources
Forest School at The Old Station Nursery Filkins
Collecting freshly laid eggs at Filkins Forest School
Outdoor woodland area
Den made by children
Female practitioner introducing a young girl to a chicken that resides in their outdoor Forest School area
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