Kate Greenaway is a very child-centred nursery, which means that children spend much of their day engaged in self-directed learning. The majority of the day is free-flow, meaning children choose to engage in a range of different activities, indoors and outdoors. Children engage in activities independently and with their friends, as well as taking part in adult facilitated activities that are planned from children’s interests and developmental needs.
We believe that at this young age children learn best through a play-based curriculum, with support from our experienced staff team who engage with children in their play to support social interaction, language development and further learning opportunities.
Some key attributes we seek to develop in children include self-confidence, problem solving and independence.
Click HERE for the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.
Click HERE for the National ‘Development Matters’ Policy.
Forest Schools at Kate Greenaway
‘Forest Schools’, as a part of the provision in Islington Early Years settings, has been around now for over 10 years and has been adopted within the wider context of looking for ways of supporting children’s learning and managing risk safely in their play.
At Kate Greenaway we have been visiting Camley Street Natural Park for a series of visits, where our Forest School trained gardening teacher Venti leads us in a range of activities including mud painting, mini beast hunts and making ‘natural’ necklaces. Please click here for more details.
Forest Schools has fitted into a wider national context where, since beginning in the mid 1990’s, hundreds of settings across the country have been doing similar things in woods, forests, parks and other outdoor environments. This work is supported by the Forest School Association and a number of other groups across the country all offering advice, support and courses for Forest School practitioners.
What is Forest Schools?
Forest School has been referred to as an “inspirational philosophy which aims to support all learners to achieve and develop confidence and self esteem.” It started in Denmark and is used across Scandinavia as part of a broad curriculum on offer to children.
The main principles of Forest School (FS) can be summarised as:
- Long-term, frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world
- The aim is for a holistic development which fosters resilient, confident, independent and creative learners. The process of how things are done and not the activity is seen as key.
- Learners have a chance to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- A learner-centered approach aims to create a community for development and learning that is rooted in respect and equality, whereby mutual decision making and reflection time is a key aspect.
- Participants are viewed as equal, unique and valuable and competent to explore & discover.
A central idea of holistic development calls for the developing of all aspects of a child’s learning – cognitive, moral, emotional, physical, psychological and even spiritual. Each aspect is seen as important in supporting overall learning and eventual success in areas such as language and communication, personal and social, problem solving and numeracy and knowledge and understanding of the world.
- Research has shown that the following types of positive outcomes can be seen in children:
- showing more independence
- increased awareness of consequences
- language development being prompted by the sensory experience of being in the forest
- concentration increasing
- stamina as well as gross and fine motor skills improving
- interest and respect for the natural world improving
More detailed information is available in our Forest School Handbook, but, we hope this provides a good introduction to this exciting aspect of our work here at KG.
Regular updates on how your child’s progress
Each term parents meet with their child’s Key person and contribute to identifying ‘next steps’ for their child’s learning and development. We encourage families to contribute to children’s Scrapbooks with photos, drawings and comments from outside of nursery.