About Redwoods Preschool!
"Personal development, behavior, and welfare are outstanding Staff are very sensitive to children's individual personalities. They skillfully help children learn to manage their own feelings and encourage them to settle simple disputes for themselves. Staff are very effective in helping children learn to keep themselves safe and healthy while giving them the freedom to explore the natural world. They provide a well resourced and highly stimulating environment that helps encourage children to be independent and resourceful."
OFSTED March 2019
Redwood’s Forest Preschool first opened its gates in Spring 2017. We are Suffolk's first fully outdoor preschool! We are an OFSTED registered setting catering for children from 2.5 to 6 years of age.
What makes us unique?
We are very small and very wild!
What we do is based on the joy of being outdoors and having the freedom to learn from nature.
We use the Forest School ethos and other childcare theories, and also the EYFS Framework set out by the government, to support our children. We are play-based and child-led!
Forest School evolved from Scandinavian roots in the 80s, we aim to give children the freedom to explore their surroundings with our support, giving them the opportunity to learn through their own exploring and play. We are based outdoors all year and believe the real world is the very best teacher. Nature really is the best classroom with never-ending resources to use and learn from. We understand our responsibility in taking care of the environment and teach our children to take care of the world around them.
The Learning Environment
We are in the fantastic setting in a park in the Bury St Edmunds area, and what wonderful learning opportunities it has to offer; woods, meadows, Sheep, a maze, ruins, lakes Stunning wildlife, and much more. Our Base Camp is a secure well-resourced area, which is our main area during sessions. We have a fantastic shelter with a stove for the winter. we have areas for tools, crafts, loose parts, dens, trees to climb, puddles to explore, plus lots of mud and chances for them to enjoy what nature has to offer.
A typical session.
Our setting is a child-focused and child-led setting. We will plan our day's activities around their individual needs and interests but these are flexible and can change depending on what the day brings us. The children experience The seasons and the weather firsthand and we use this in our in-the-moment planning. We spend the majority of our time at our base camp. But due to the park having so many learning opportunities to offer, we try to get out and explore most days.
During our regular walks around the park, we will follow some safety measures. We ensure there is enough staff to accompany the children. The following ratios apply to our sessions. (these are lower than the government ratios, as we believe in deeper connection and support can help children thrive.)
Two to three one staff member to every three children. (Legal ration 0ne to 5)
Three to four one staff member to every five children. (Legal ratio one to eight)
Four and up (one to every 6)
Please ring if you are going to be late dropping your child, in case we are planning a session away from base camp.
Emergency contacts will be held on the Preschool mobile phone. Please read our full policies covering this in more detail.
Your child’s safety is our first concern. Staff will care for set children and we play fun safety games to embed safe play practice. The children will also be encouraged to walk in pairs if older or with their adult during our walks around the park. If we need to be together while walking, for instance, while walking near water or a high-risk area of any kind. Any areas we visit will be risk assessed and checked for any new dangers. Boundaries will be used to keep children in a confined area. This will be practiced regularly during sessions for the children to learn.
If you have any concerns about your child at Forest school please let us know and we can offer additional support.
Dressing for Redwoods.
The UK can offer some unpredictable weather conditions. We ask that you dress your child for the weather. Here is a kit list to follow when your child starts. Waterproof and suitable boots are essential. We will get muddy and soggy.
Please follow the butterfly link below for a full kit list.
‘A person's freedom of learning is part of his freedom of thought, even more, basic than his freedom of speech. If we take from someone his right to decide what he will be curious about, we destroy his freedom of thought. We say in effect, you must think about what interests and concerns you, but about what interests and concerns us.’