….because it’s GREAT!
Dundonald Nursery & Primary School is delighted to be one of the few schools in Northern Ireland which is recognised as an Official Forest School Site. Due to our high level of commitment and care, we aspire to provide rich learning opportunities for every child who attends Dundonald Nursery School. It is recognised that rich learning opportunities should not only be provided within the indoor environment but also the outdoor environment. Therefore, our school forest area is perfect!
Within Nursery, the professionally trained Forest School teacher and assistant work closely together to plan and implement experiences which are educational, exciting and encourage children to explore the world around them.
You wonder how providing play experiences in the forest can be so GREAT? Well, continue to read to find out why…
G – Greater opportunity for physical activity which is of benefit to children’s health and well-being. Physical activity is deemed to be of utmost importance to ensure that children continue to grow and develop. Physical activity is also important for children’s health, resulting in reduced risks of health problems, such as obesity and diabetes.
R – Risks can be taken in the outdoor environment which cannot be taken in the indoor environment. When children are exposed to risk, they develop greater self-confidence and determination to overcome challenges. This presents potential for a child to aim high, being prepared to face the challenges of life to successfully reach their goals. However, although we encourage the children within our care to take risks, we also deem the safety of each child of utmost importance and therefore carry risk assessments out.
E – Embraces all areas of the Pre-School Curriculum, presenting opportunity for each child to reach their full learning potential. Educational experiences provided within the forest area are carefully planned to capture children's interests and progress holistic development. We aspire to not only support the learning of each child but also challenge learning, encouraging children to be their best and give their best.
A – Appropriate for the different needs and abilities of each child, resulting in the inclusion of all. Children with different needs, abilities and from different cultures are included. The staff are committed to planning and making adaptions to ensure that all have opportunity to experience, explore and enjoy the school forest area.
T – Teaches children to explore and experiment with the ‘real world’ rather than the ‘confined world’. Children are able to get outside the nursery classroom to the freedom of the forest area. They are encouraged to explore and investigate the natural surroundings, acquiring knowledge and skills which progress holistic development.
"The best classroom and the richest cupboard are roofed only by the sky."