Hazlegrove Prep School opens its Forest School to parents and toddlers

Posted on 8th Oct 2020 in School News, Early Years, Outdoor Learning

Hazlegrove Prep School is starting a new group for parents with toddlers in the local area who may have had restricted access to similar groups during lockdown.

Many adults have experienced varying levels of anxiety linked to Coivd-19 and lockdown. The same can also be said for children who have had to navigate these unprecedented times, although often without the language and levels of understanding to fully process why their world has suddenly changed so dramatically.

It is well documented that children try to make sense of the world around them through their play and when this is limited, they may display a range of emotions from being very passive and withdrawn to being angry or upset. The role of an Early Years practitioner involves supporting children in understanding their emotions and those of others, developing their social skills and increasing their breadth of language, in order to communicate effectively.

Head of Pre-Prep, Miss Hannah Strugnell said, "We are very aware that for many parents with young children, the opportunity to meet with other parents during the week is an essential lifeline and one which for many, during lockdown, was simply not available. Also, with Nurseries and Pre-Schools closing during lockdown at a time when children needed emotional and social support the most, many children were not able to interact with others and engage in rich learning opportunities.

On June 1st 2020, we reopened our doors to our youngest children; Nursery, Reception and Year 1, recognising that now, more than ever, children needed to reconnect with each other and experience the normality of school life. We greatly appreciate how fortunate we are in having such spacious and exciting grounds to have safely welcomed these year groups back; reinforcing their sense of belonging and enabling them to be immersed in nature and explore the great outdoors. It is well documented that spending time outdoors is not only physically beneficial but also mentally too. We are thrilled to be able to welcome families to Hazlegrove to continue supporting all children in their holistic development and well-being."

The session will be run by the Head of Nursery, Katie Ellis, who has lots of outdoor activities planned which will enable children to explore the woods, develop their senses and socialise with others. Afternoons will involve welly walks, scavenger hunts, Forest School and other activities which enable the children to connect with nature and get a little muddy too.