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We look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful pre-school. Please click on our virtual tour or alternatively please contact the Manager to arrange a visit.

Forest School

Forest School at Ide Hill Pre-school

At Ide Hill Pre-school we plan for children to have regular opportunities to undertake learning and play in local woodland. It is complementary, not separate to learning in a traditional pre-school environment. Sessions in Forest School are not timetabled or workbook-led, but driven by the children themselves, drawing on their interests and imagination.

Through Forest School children are able to develop a lifelong love and understanding of the natural environment, whilst developing the core purposes of the Forest School ethos, namely, development of self-esteem, confidence and social skills.


The philosophy which underpins the Forest School movement is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age from 2½ years upwards, through mastery of small, achievable tasks in a woodland environment, to grow in confidence and independence so that they are able to develop a sense of self-worth. Children will acquire new skills as they are ready for them so that activities can maintain a degree of challenge and excitement, whilst remaining safe and controlled.

Children see natural outdoor settings as free from adult agendas and influences. This encourages unrestricted play and the right balance between challenge and discovery will help develop many different skills for life. Playing outdoors, in natural places, supports and develops a child’s sense of awareness. They recognise their independence and connection with nature and the outside world.


Experience in other settings has shown Forest School to be inspirational, opinion changing and challenging. It raises expectations and develops insights into individual learning styles and schemas. It is personally and socially uplifting so laying the foundations for other learning. Unlike other forms of outdoor education which generally concentrate on team-building, challenging activities or competitiveness, the Forest School embraces an entirely different approach through the nurturing, support and development of the self-esteem of children.


Every activity carried out in the outdoors will have an impact on the immediate environment. We plan to keep this impact to a minimum. The site that we will be using is the “picnic area” opposite the pre-school, a spacious plot with large mature trees and open grass area. This is ideal for all sorts of activities. We hold Forest School sessions every week from 9.30 – 11.00 throughout the year. Activities include: den building, willow weaving, insect safaris, mud sculpting, natural art, whittling.

We look forward to sharing this experience with you and your children.

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