Children at Castle Lane Forest School den building

Following the 2019-20 Covid pandemic, we have seen a real shift in how we live our daily lives.

It is no longer a surprise to see everyone around you wearing a mask as you shop.

And old TV programmes showing people in close proximity to one another often cause us to feel slightly anxious, as we have become programmed to keep at least one metre’s distance from each other.

Will we ever return to what we knew as ‘normal’?  And where are the safest spaces to let your child run free?

Forest School, run by Castle Lane Day Nursery in Market Harborough, is the perfect post Covid environment for your child, allowing them time and space to take their mind off all these new changes.

Here’s why:

It’s a learner led setting

Castle Lane’s Forest School formally opened in September 2018 and can be found on a private estate near Marston Trussell. Visits to the site can be arranged for parents by the office.

Our Forest School is a learner-led learning environment in an outdoor, natural woodland setting, led by a qualified practitioner.

So the children lead the focus each day, whether that be building a den, looking for woodlice, working out to cross a puddle or making mud pies in the mud kitchen.

Using nature based exploration, Forest School aims to develop personal, social and emotional skills.

Cooking fire Children at Castle Lane Forest School

Forest School builds resilience

Attending a forest school can therefore greatly help your child to develop their emotional intelligence; build resilience and learn how to take risks in a supportive environment, through activities such as bug hunting, making mud pies, playing with sticks and even lighting fires!

All activities are age appropriate, risk assessed and led by trained and experienced staff.

We closely look at all risks, weighing up benefit alongside them.

For example, if it’s slippery because it’s been raining, we won’t necessarily stop the children from climbing – but we might get them to hold hands when they do and focus on improving their team work.

Child on rope at Castle Lane Forest School

Forest School connects with the environment

Forest School also teaches children the value of protecting the environment around them.

The children become increasingly aware of their surroundings – and the impact they can have on them – whether it’s being kind to ladybirds, building a bug house or learning about the importance of protecting the trees.

And with this focus, the child can connect with a reality that is much bigger than them and takes them away from the daily routine.

Boy with hammer at Castle Lane Forest School

Forest School is Covid safe

At Castle Lane, we take protection against Covid very seriously.

We have implemented a number of measures since the Coronavirus pandemic which are aimed at keeping both staff and children as safe as possible.

Many of these measures are applied to the Forest School environment too, such as more frequent hand washing.

All children attending Forest School are considered to be in one ‘bubble’.

That means they can all play together as they do not have to socially distance from each other.

Mud at Castle Lane Forest School

Forest School is not weather dependent

Forest School runs in all weathers. Come rain or shine, we will give your child heaps of fresh outdoor air and fun!

After all, they say there’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!

If the rain is torrential, we can take shelter in our large wooden shed, which is big enough for everyone to gather inside.

The only exception to this is high winds, when, for the safety of everyone, to avoid the possibility of falling branches and trees, we stay home in the Nursery.

toddler picking up a log

Who can attend Forest School?

Any child over the age of 3 is eligible to attend Forest School.

They do not have to attend our Pre-school Room to attend the forest school.

Can I get funded sessions for Forest School?

Yes! We offer funded sessions at our Forest School. Contact the office for further information.

How can I get my child booked into Forest School?

Simply get in touch with us at the Castle Lane office and we will take it from there.