Class A at VIS covers ages 3-5, this is FS1 and FS2 in the English education system. A keystone of all the learning that we provide for these children is Forest School. Here we enable children to progress their learning and development through leading their own explorations in woodlands or wild spaces. Our children engage with the natural world using all of their senses, exploring the environment and developing a deep respect for nature.
Forest School is a holistic learning practice through play and exploration. Children learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and to use their own initiative to solve problems and cooperate with others. During Forest School children will learn how to build a shelter, light a fire and use their skills to create and build objects from the woodland around them. VIS children learn to use full-size tools, how to set boundaries for themselves, to work well as a team, to play creatively and to create art using natural resources. We find that through all these opportunities children’s confidence, self-esteem and motivation grows dramatically. Children will also have a meaningful connection with nature, and through this experience they will learn to care for their natural environment.
VIS children love the freedom and chances to explore that forest school brings. Forest School is not the same as bushcraft, horticulture or outdoor education, and it is not bringing Maths and English activities outside of the classroom. It offers children at VIS a chance to connect with nature, develop confidence and social skills, and decide their own learning journeys! After just a few sessions of Forest School, the children’s engagement, communication, confidence and social skills in class really improves.
The aims at this age are to develop a lifelong love of learning and discovery, with a strong connection to the natural world. We promote and further children’s holistic development, fostering resilient, confident, creative and independent learners.
The VIS learning foundations are laid in Pre-School and in Forest School, which we continue through the school at least once a week for learners up to 8 years old or the UK Year 4.