Outdoor Learning

At Wisbech Day Nursery our outdoor learning encompasses the Forest School ethos, along with free flow play.

Forest School is based on Scandinavian origins, where an active outdoor lifestyle is encouraged for adults and children alike. There is a strong belief that nature and movement are essential to a child’s overall development and wellbeing. The current manifestation of Forest School originated in Sweden in the 1950’s, and has developed throughout the decades. Forest Schools’ philosophy is built upon the desire to provide children with an education that encourages an appreciation of the natural world, which will foster throughout their life. Every child attending the Nursery is offered a Forest School session during the week, from our babies to our after school children.  During these sessions children gain the experiences of climbing, building, using tools and even cooking on the open fire.

Along with our Forest School area, we use the garden as a room of the nursery.  Our ethos promotes outdoor learning as part of children becoming independent and confident learners.  Over the years there has been a cultural shift in society, reducing access to outdoor play for many children.   However, the Early Years Foundation stage (EYFS) places a strong emphasis on the importance and value of daily outdoor experiences on children’s learning and development.

Alfred Wainwright said,
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”
The importance of outdoor learning was highlighted by Margaret McMillan in the early 1900’s with ground breaking research into outdoor education. We support this outdoor learning, and although this may not be for every individual child, children are encouraged to free flow should they want to from our wonderful garden to nursery playrooms.   The outdoor learning helps to support the development of physical activity, healthy and active lifestyles, whilst promoting a sense of well-being for both the children and the staff.

The garden gives the children a natural world, outside of tablets and mobile telephones. Outside learning offers a unique way of learning, more especially in the town centre nursery. Children who attend Wisbech Day Nursery can spend up to 90% of the warmer months outside, it drops during the winter months to 50%.