Woodland Learning continues 2017/18

“the best kept classroom and the richest cupboard are roofed only by the sky”

Margaret McMillan (c1925)


Spring is nearly here and we have restarted our woodland learning program with the preschool children. When we returned to the Glen the children discovered that the Resident Giants have been playing pooh sticks and thrown some big trees into the river! Some of them missed and have blocked the path. So the Glen keepers have chopped up the trees to make special seats for children (and the trolls who live in the Glen!). None of the fairies came out to play despite the children knocking on all the fairy house doors. A lot of the children identified the occupants of the fairy houses by the names above the doors! The children were reminded of the boundaries in the Glen and explored the environment identifying areas they need to avoid. We have continued with activities such as ‘going on a Bear Hunt’ (finding lots of thick oozy mud and streams to cross) and The Gruffalo discovering the snakes log pile house. They were particularly interested in the cannons pointed out to sea at the bottom of the Glen, making up stories of pirates who came to the island but apparently do not live here anymore.


Looking for spring was the theme this week and using our detecting skills the children went on a scavenger hunt. The children found all of the items on our list and more including a leaf that has been nibbled (by the hungry caterpillar apparently) Skeleton leaf, Garlic, buds, Flowers, Lichen Tree roots on a tree that has fallen and many more items. Using the Hunt built on their observation skills and supported their Knowledge and Understanding of the environment through questions and deductions. This week there was a lot of fascination looking up towards the sky and seeing a plane high up (we think may be going to America to get warm!). They also found a tree we think was trying hug a Giant! See if you can find it in the Glen if you visit with your children! The Glen is a fabulous environment and an opportunity for the children to use their imagination and tell us stories along the way. The program will continue and we all look forward to more adventures.


We have attached some links to articles on the benefits of learning in the outdoor environment if you are interested.  The reading is very informative and we base a lot of our ideas and planning around the academic theories for child development. 

Learning Outdoors in the Early Years – A Resource Book

Benefits for Early Years of Learning Outside the Classroom