Forest School & Holiday Club

 ‘Every child deserves to shine and not all children thrive in an indoor environment’

Who remembers, as a child running through secret tunnels, hiding in dens where no one could find you and making dens out of sticks, climbing that tree so high you could reach the clouds, riding the waves on your made up pirate ship, mixing that magic potion like the witch from ‘Room on the Broom’,  or just lying down under the fairy tree, listening to the sounds of nature.  You do!!!  Then we’re the nursery for you.  Let your child experience the world like only a child can, but in a safe and educational way.  Our staff have a genuine love for the outdoors and the educational background to help your child thrive and grow their thirst for learning.  We will help them to develop in ways that will help them survive in this world they are growing up in, and build their confidence and curiosity about how and why things happen. 

Our forest nursery is an outdoor learning experience that we access in all weathers.  ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’.  Children love the rain – it makes better mud!  They can make cakes in the mud kitchen with it or make ‘mud slides’.  Yes, they will get dirty!  They will get get muddy faces, muddy hands, muddy clothes and muddy wellies.  It is all part of the fun and mud has been shown to boost our immune system. 

Forest school is a holistic approach to learning where the child is central to the process.  It draws on theories of learning such as different learning styles, schemas and emotional intelligence, which enable children to become competent independent learners.  Our children learn how to assess risks themselves and this stays with them throughout life. 

‘The more risks you allow children to take, the better they learn to take care of themselves’ (Roald Dahl)

Forest school originated in Scandinavia in the 1950’s.  First Steps Nursery have always recognised the need for children to access different environments to meet individual learning styles.  Forest schools are led by the child’s interests, allowing them to investigate, develop curiosity and exploration using all of their senses, empowering children in the natural environment, and encouraging spatial awareness and motor development.  Nature constantly changes and is unpredictable and full of living surprises.  It provides a sense of freedom and children’s play in the natural environment is more creative and imaginative.  Children learn and benefit in areas of social skills such as team-building and cooperation, planning and recognition of their own achievements. It provides a unique way of building confidence and self-esteem, learning new life skills and promoting independence through hands-on learning.  

We work on a high adult to child ratio so that the children can have all these experiences safely.

All the above forms a firm foundation for your child’s future academic learning.

The 3 to 5 year old children from our New Mills setting access our Forest Nursery on a weekly basis and the younger children also come on walks to experience our outdoor area.

Our Furness Vale Nursery is a Forest Nursery on site and this is used by our 2 to 5 year olds between 9.00am and 4.00pm daily.


Exploring in Forest School

I wonder what they’ve found

Forest imps

First Steps Nursery

Out and about in the forest

Intrepid explorers