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WHY WE CHOSE FOREST SCHOOL OVER A "NORMAL" PRE-SCHOOL


When Lucas turned three we knew we had to find a pre-school for him to start at in the September. Lucas is extremely adventurous and has the energy of a hyperactive puppy. He cannot stop and never seems to be able to burn off the energy he has. I was always worried about dropping him off at a normal pre-school and it not being challenging enough and him not reaching his full potential. He has so much energy that I don't feel a normal pre-school would have fulfilled his needs enough.
That being said I had no idea where I could have sent him until one day I stumbled across his forest school on a day trip and immediately knew that was where Lucas had to go.


Now, i am being really careful with not naming his school or the location too much just for my peace of mind and for some privacy. The day he leaves I'll be sure to name it publicly but even though it may seem silly to some, Lucas' privacy and safety is my main priority.

I emailed the forest school the moment I got home after the walk and arranged a show around and I was not disappointed. On the show around we were shown the forest school area. It's basically a huge part of the forest fenced off with a cabin in it. The cabin has some little wooden tables and a little quiet room where children can go to nap or chill out; they have to remove their shoes to go in there. Attached to the cabin is an undercover decking with tables and a sink. The sink is a huge water bottle. I am not sure on the correct term but it's a big water bottle of drinking water and where they can wash their hands.

Next to the cabin is my favourite part, this is when you're going to be like "Nicole, you are a weirdo"
it's the compost loos - Lucas loves them too. Back in my festival days I much preferred the compost loos to the portaloos and they're so much better for the environment. I honestly love that they have these. Lucas goes "MUMMY, I DID A POO ON THE COMPOST," sorry kiddo for forever wrecking your dignity.

What I really love is that there is no restrictions to an extent. They are allowed to play and explore, pick up animals, newts, spiders, ect... It's made Lucas not afraid of spiders which is something I have always wanted for him as Brad and I are absolutely petrified. They go on walks, learn about nature, cook on an open fire at snack times. Lucas cooked a breakfast wrap on the fire once and then yesterday he toasted marshmallows. Like how cool is that? He came home smelling of bonfire and I just sat and sniffed his hair as it smelt utterly delightful.

There are some restrictions, sticks no longer than their arm is allowed to be lifted off the ground, they can climb trees but not too high, they can sit by the fire but obviously can't touch it, they can explore the plants but must be cautious as some may be harmful or hurt and they're taught about different plants, animals, ect... It's teaching him so much.



I love getting the updates on what they did with their day and hearing him tell me about it.
He's always the last one out the gate at pick up time and he even said last week "I don't want to go home Mummy, I want to stay at forest school." Thats all I ever wanted from him. For him to happy, settled and feel at home. He loves his teachers, he loves the school, he loves the day and can't wait for the next time he goes.

Forest school is wonderful, he's learning about nature, burning off most of his energy, making friends, bonding with the teachers, getting over fears and having a routine.
Lucas goes to forest school with his Thomas the tank back pack, his Thomas the tank lunchbox and he eats his sandwiches! Well, as far as I know he's not hiding them or feeding them to his friends.

His uniform is quite expensive but it's worth it. He requires a two piece, good quality waterproofs. He needs wellington boots, walking shoes, thermals, thick socks and old clothes - Lots of old clothes. We saved all of Lucas' Autumn/Winter clothes from last year as they still fit but they're pretty old now so he has some lovely clothes to wear.

I am so excited to see what else Lucas learns over the 10 months whilst he's there and we'll be putting Iris on the waiting list for when she turns 3 too. I am so blown away by how amazing the school and staff are and I cannot fault them.

I would recommend searching for a forest school near you if you can. They're so worth it.