Day to Day
What is your settling in procedure?
We anticipate a minimum of three 2 hour sessions over a two week period to settle in your child, however, this is not set in stone and we will work closely with you and your child to achieve the best outcome. We would ask that a parent spend their child’s first 2 hour session with us to allow you both to get a feel for our outdoor nursery, our ethos and what your child can expect to be doing during a typical day outdoors. We would then encourage a further 2 hour session where the parent is still in attendance but takes a step back and watches and encourages their child and then a third 2 hour session without the parent in attendance. This may not suit all children, indeed some children may settle immediately whilst others may take longer, each child is unique and we will work hard to ensure their transition into outdoor nursery is smooth.
What might a typical day in forest school nursery look like?
Your child will be dropped off between 8-9am each day where you will sign the register, this will also be the case at pick up times from 3pm-6pm. A typical day will involve us and the children all meeting together to prepare for the day ahead, this will include involving the children in conducting a (secondary) risk assessment of our grounds, checking and reminding ourselves of our boundaries. Next, we will discuss our agreements and rituals such as respecting each other, our forest and agreeing how we will ensure we make the most out of our day and keep each other safe and happy. The children will then be involved in choosing what kind of adventure they would like to embark upon. This adventure might involve making shelters where we can eat our lunch, navigating through the forest in search of streams or finding and researching plants and mini-beasts, but be assured that, without realising it, these adventures will be developing every one of their skills as we negotiate, plan, implement, reflect, research, work together and get physically active.
What about food?
Footprints on the Moon will provide all meals, drinks and snacks apart from breakfast; we would ask that your child receives a hearty breakfast to start their big adventure at Footprints, we will provide a nutritious seasonal menu to keep little people moving throughout the day.
What about toileting and nappy changing?
Footprints will, obviously, be out and about for the best part of our day and we will be using toileting tents with eco-friendly portable toilets and pop up nappy changing tents with the appropriate mat, aprons, gloves etc along with handwashing facilities which will consist of warm water, eco soap and hand towels.
What if my child still needs to nap?
All our children will carry a hammock in their backpacks which can be secured to trees when they feel they need a nap or a rest, this type of sleeping arrangement is recommended because the children are up off the floor avoiding any obstacles and cold/damp floors. However, should you feel this is not appropriate then we will carry a pop up sleeping tent with appropriate flooring.
What about keeping my child safe?
The teams will always work together and never take children out alone, the teams will use walkie talkies to communicate to each other and whistles will be used in times of concern or emergency. The children themselves will have an understanding through agreements and rituals about keeping safe and we will all adopt the same form of location checks throughout the sessions, for example the “1,2,3 where are you?” song which will always ensure we stay close to each other.
Plessey Woods Country Park is open to the public and there may be instances of dog walkers entering the area where the children are playing, the children will be taught to stand clear of any dogs with their arms crossed until the dog has been placed back onto its leash or has left the area.
Children may sustain an injury through trips, falls and bumps whilst in the woods and each team member will be appropriately first aid trained, will carry a first aid kit and complete the appropriate recording paperwork for you to sign as standard.
Staffing and ratios
Like all nursery settings, our staff will be qualified Nursery Nurses and we will also have fully qualified Level 3 Forest School Practitioners on board too.
Our ratios will be one adult to every three 2 year olds (1:3) and one staff member to every five 3 year olds (1:5). By providing higher ratios than standard we ensure that your child receives the very best from our nursery and the team can build strong, nurturing relationships. This level of care and commitment supports in the holistic development of your child as they go through their journey with us learning through their play in the great outdoors.
Will you be out in the forest in all weathers?
“There is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing” - Alfred Wainwright.
We are so fortunate to have a full spectrum of weather in Britain and your child’s inquisitive growing mind will experience this at Plessey Woods in the sun, rain, frost, fog and snow, thus allowing them to learn and appreciate what nature does at her best.
In very hot or rainy weather we may build shelters; in the sun they offer us shade from which to view the wildlife, such as squirrels and birds seeking shelter and food in the trees and in the rain they offer a place to sit and listen to the environmental sounds of raindrops of leaves, on bark, and on the ground where we may begin to make marks in the mud or make mud pies. Only in severe weather such as high winds or lightning storms may we choose to leave the forest, but in all other instances we will be outdoors for 99% of our day!