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 5 years of age.
What makes us unique?
Following the Forest schools ethos to support our children, which evolved from Scandinavian roots in the 80s, we aim to give children the freedom to explore their surrounding with our support. 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, a maze, ruins, lakes Stunning wildlife and much more. Our Base Camp is a secure area, which we use for the beginning and end of each session. We have indoor emergency facilities if needed.
A typical session.
Forest School sessions are child led. We will plan our day's activities around their individual needs and interests.
Each session will begin at base camp. We will stay there until all children have arrived and are sure everyone has settled. For safety reasons and for first sessions we may stay at base camp on occasion. Only when we are sure that the group is ready will we go out to the park.
We will walk as a group to a pre-decided area, which will have a boundary and any materials set up.
We aim to support our children in their explorations of the woods and help them grow in ability and self-belief. bushcraft activities will be on offer including tool use. Forest School is holistic in its approach. Children will be encouraged and fully supported their own ideas and discoveries. During every session, there will also be a circle time with singing, story and a chat.
We will have a snack and warm tea or water on offer to keep them warm and finally, Our day ends by walking back to base camp. We will have lunch hour at the base and the children will tidy up and relax or play until parents arrive and we say our goodbyes.
Safety at Forest Schools.
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.
Two to threes (one staff member to every three children)
Three to fours (one staff member to every five children).
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 details.
If for any reason we believe it will be unsafe to leave base camp that day, we will make the decision to stay. 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.’