I am a Forest School Practitioner and Teaching Assistant working across all primary year groups. I was introduced by a work colleague to the Wanderlust Nature Study. This has led me on a journey and helped me to bridge the gap between the classroom indoors and the classroom outdoors so that they become one. I feel this is important, not only for the children, but the adults alike with small steps taken inside the classroom to bring nature inside thus helping to make those steps outside. This is something I am passionate about as a Forest School Practitioner. Through my Forest School Practitioner training I understand the importance of nature/the outdoors and child led learning. This accreditation course has fitted perfectly within this.
I have worked closely with Year 1 and EYFS and the Hygge feeling has started to spread throughout the school. There are still lots of areas to improve, this isn’t something I feel will just happen overnight but carry on evolving. I always find the adults need the most Hygge experiences, the children are naturals.
Corridor areas and some classrooms/learning rooms have been painted in neutral colours with soft lighting and hard plastics replaced with natural materials. Children are encouraged to use nooks created around the school to talk, meditate or use the learning resources on offer. I have introduced meditation sessions using body scanning, candle gazing and breathing techniques indoors. I have set up an area of our learning hub/library to reflect Forest School and sustainable/hygge living ideas and at various points along the corridors. I am looking at introducing class pets and share with the children, animals I have rescued.
Outdoor areas continue to be developed not only with resources being added but more importantly changing mindsets that it is ok to go out in all weathers and get muddy, dirty, wet or cold etc. It is all part of the learning process and enables children to take risks and develops resilience. The adults are the challenge not the children. You see a child in a different light outside where they are free and not confined by four walls and a ceiling.
Children in Year 1 and EYFS enjoy continuous provision and lots of time outdoors using as many natural resources as possible. We have dedicated growing areas and lots of outdoor space with mature trees which provide hideouts for imaginative play. All children attend regular Forest School sessions and the Hygge approach is continued within and outside of the classroom. Dedicated nature displays and tables are also set up for the children to share what they have found both within school and at home. I share with the parents the experiences of the children via an online app along with links for ideas to engage in at home. Records of their experiences are displayed around school and within our dedicated floor books. Please look at the following pictures, there are many that I could share...