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A Walsall nursery has received £1,200 of funding in order to meet the objectives of a Forest School Initiative (FSI).
Thanks to Area Partnership funding, Rowley View Nursery children will soon enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities aimed towards improving their understanding of the environment, such as den building, cooking over an open fire, and the use of outdoor tools.
Walsall councillors have welcomed the move and its potential contribution to early years learning. Executive director for children’s services Pauline Pilkington said: “The work done with children and their families at Rowley View Nursery is a real inspiration.
“This funding, which will establish and develop the Forest Schools Initiative at Rowley View, will have a huge impact in supporting those children in need of additional learning support. It will stimulate their education, helping them to progress and develop.”
The Forest School Initiative has its roots in Scandinavia, where the benefits of outdoor learning are more commonly practised, though several UK nurseries, such as Hope Nursery in Coventry and Woodland Outdoor Kindergartens in Glasgow, have recently sought to embrace similar schemes.
Launching its Love Outdoor Play Campaign earlier this year, children’s charity Play England called for community action to embrace more flexible outdoor learning programmes, with director Catherine Prisk saying:
“Playing outside, chalking on the pavement, climbing trees and riding your bike are simple pleasures that many of today’s children are missing out on. Play is essential for children’s health and happiness now, and is also essential for making friends, building key skills for the future and for feeling you are part of a community.”