The Saplings Forest School opens today on Salisbury Plain. This is an outdoor pre-school, on the road to Pewsey in the heart of Wiltshire. The pre-school, for children aged two to five, has canvas tents, wooden Wendy Houses, a willow dome, an outdoor kitchen, pulley systems and running drinking water and has been set up by two local teachers who commented after an open-day in March:
“We are so excited to get this off the ground and because the feedback we have had has been so great, the sense of anticipation just keeps on building. We are aiming to reconnect children to nature and establish a love of learning about the natural world from a very early age. We value and nurture the enjoyment of play, because we know during the all-important early years, it is one of the best ways for children to learn. If you get children at a young age appreciating the outdoors it can do wonders for them. We can offer them access to a variety of learning experiences, from using saws and knives to lighting fires. This has been just over a year in preparation and we could not have done it without the landowner, Nigel Wookie, who has been incredibly supportive. To think we are just weeks away now is so exciting.”
This venture was inspired by Skogsmulle – a Swedish early years philosophy based on the benefits of learning outside.