Maisie Poppins

Maisie Poppins Forest School Mission Statement

Learning through experience

To create an enriching and inspirational process within the therapeutic sanctuary of nature, where children and families can utilise and reaffirm their innate connection with the freedom of the sensory playground all around us.

Through dynamic experiential learning, mindfulness is in abundance and natural curiosity can be embraced and extended; relationships are forged, teamwork skills are developed and self-esteem is raised through the realisation of one’s ability to complete practical tasks and solve problems. Fundamentally, on-going wellbeing and the ability to self-regulate can be significantly raised.

Forest School Outcomes

Maisie Poppins Forest School

Strong evidence from independent research has found what Forest School practitioners already knew. In 2006, the Forestry Commission set out these key benefits in relation to children attending Forest School sessions:

  • Confidence: Children had the freedom, time and space to learn and demonstrate independence.
  • Social skills: Children gained increased awareness of the consequences of their actions towards peers through team activities such as sharing tools and participating in play.
  • Communication: Language development was prompted by the children’s sensory experiences.
  • Motivation: The woodland tended to fascinate the children and they developed a keenness to participate and the ability to concentrate over longer periods of time.
  • Physical skills: These improvements were characterised by the development of physical stamina and gross and fine motor skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding: The children developed an interest in the natural surroundings and a respect for the environment.

To read the full document, visit:$FILE/fr0112forestschoolsreport.pdf

Forest School Roots

Forest School is an early years learning approach that owes its initial inspiration to the Scandinavian play-based, nature-centred way of learning known as ‘friluftsliv’ (‘free open-air life’).

Forest School pedagogy also draws from much revered learning theorists and leading play-based thinkers such as Maria Montessori, Rudolf Steiner and Kurt Hahn, and Forest School methodology is part of a wider philosophy and alternative approaches, enabling our children to be lifelong learners.

Forest School Philosophy and Methodology

London FieldsForest School is a child-centred and empowering approach. The Forest School approach recognises and respects the child’s innate desire to learn experientially (by doing), rather than passively, and their right to experience the freedom and sensory enrichment of nature while doing so. It enables children to recognise and judge measured risk and to develop and use their imagination through enjoying the independence and free space they need, developing skills at their own pace. In this way, a child remains highly motivated to learn as they have a sense of ownership and there is less pressure on developing new sets of skills. They are exposed to opportunities where they can develop confidence.

Adults are there to guide and listen at all times and teach in a 2-way process. The approach is non-directional and safety and self-care are paramount. Sessions are designed to enable participants to slow down, rediscover, connect with nature and each other, and learn new skills, thereby fostering a lifelong learning aptitude.

Maisie Poppins Forest SchoolAs a qualified Forest School leader Maisie Collin works to ensure the following in her practice:

  • Make children the centre of learning because, as Maria Montessori said, “The teacher’s task is not to talk, but to prepare and arrange a series of motives for cultural activity in a special environment made for the child.”
  • Encourage children to learn by providing freedom in the prepared environment.
  • Observe children to prepare the best possible environment, recognising sensitive periods and diverting any behaviours that challenge into meaningful tasks.
  • Prepare the learning environment by ensuring learning materials are provided in an orderly format and ensure appropriate experiences for all who attend the session.
  • Respect each child and model that consistent respect for the way children learn and play, and their ideas, thoughts and needs for others during the session.
  • Introduce learning materials, demonstrate them and support children’s learning.

Sessions Currently Delivered in Hackney

Maisie Poppins Forest School runs bi-weekly sessions for 1-4 year olds as part of our childcare delivery in London Fields and in the Forest School area in our garden.

Maisie Poppins Forest School Sessions Soon to be Delivered in Hackney

  • Early years Forest School sessions
  • Bespoke Forest School sessions linked to home consultancy sessions for the whole family: dynamic and therapeutic
  • Autism/neuro-diverse Forest School sessions

The likely delivery date for these sessions is May 2017 onwards.

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