Our Forest School is run by teachers from both Rushmore House Montessori and Orpington Montessori Preschools for our enrolled children. Children walk from Rushmore House Montessori Preschool to the nearby Birthday Wood.

​Our Forest School experience develops confidence, self-esteem and resilience through positive outdoor experiences. Using the Montessori principle of “follow the child”, we observe your child as they interact with the environment and other children. We then tailor activities and use different areas of the wood to satisfy their developmental needs. We promote your child’s independence by encouraging them and enabling them to do as much as possible by themselves. This is done through both child led and teacher inspired activities.

photo of children looking at something on the ground outdoors during forest school

​How your child benefits

Boost self confidence. A self confident child is always willing to try new things, talk to and engage with new people and explore their environment.

Improve self-esteem. This is how children view themselves. Children with high self esteem feel good about themselves and have an easier time handling conflicts and resisting negative pressures.  They tend to smile more readily and enjoy life. These children are realistic and generally optimistic.

Develop resilience. Resilience is how children cope with setbacks. These can be problems with tasks and with other children. Resilient children bounce back from the difficulties they face. They are not so effected by problems and are optimistic that it will be better next time.

Develop emotional and social skills. Social-emotional development includes the child’s experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others. This includes the ability to identify and understand one’s own feelings, to accurately read and comprehend emotional states in others, to manage strong emotions and their expression in a constructive manner, to regulate one’s own behavior, to develop empathy for others, and to establish and maintain relationships. It is thought that strong social-emotional development underlies later social, emotional, and academic success. The children we take to the wood are about three years old. At this stage children…

  • can wait for their needs to be met
  • can feel secure when in a strange place away from their main carers
  • are less rebellious and use language rather then physical outbursts to express themselves
  • enjoy make-believe play both alone and with other children
  • have an ability to share things and to take turns

What we do

These are just some of the things we do:

  • Feed the goats
  • Say ‘hello’ to the horses
  • Mini Beast hunts
  • Low level tree climbing
  • Building dens
  • Story telling
  • Art and Craft activities using natural materials
  • Making simple pulleys
  • Make and use a log swing