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Forest Schools & Outdoor Learning in the Early Years [Paperback]

Sara Knight
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 April 2009 1847872778 978-1847872777
Learning outside the classroom is an essential part of early years education, and this book looks at the opportunities the Forest School experience can offer young children for learning outdoors, and how this fits into the early years curriculum. By offering clear guidance on what the Forest School approach can achieve, the book shows you how to incorporate good practice into all outdoor play activities. Issues examined include:

- what is, and what isn't, a Forest School experience

- how exercise, fresh air and learning outside help counter obesity

- how Forest School can improve behaviour and social skills

- accommodating different learning styles

- examples of Forest School in practice

This is an inspirational read for anyone working in early years education, and for all those who care about the future of our young children and the world in which they are growing up.

Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd (9 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847872778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847872777
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Sara Knight is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education at Anglia Ruskin University, a Forest School level 3 practitioner, and a founder committee member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning Forest School Special Interest Group. Trained as a drama teacher but with gardening grandparents, Sara has found working with children in the early years an excellent way to combine creativity with a love of the outdoors. Sara ran her own nursery class, then worked in a Special School before moving into the FE and HE sectors. Alongside this, she worked with the Green Light Trust in Suffolk, latterly launching Forest School across the eastern region, running her own Forest School sessions and being involved with training. In 2009 she published "Forest Schools and Outdoor Play in the Early Years", and recently publish "Risk and Adventure in Early Years Outdoor Play: learning from Forest School".

Product Description


'Sara Knight’s book is useful for educators, researchers, and those with interest in establishing a forest kindergarten. The book is focused primarily on forest schools in the U.K., giving a historical overview of their migration to the country, their current structure in U.K. settings, and the research claims for this approach in improving physical and emotional well-being, addressing childhood obesity, and cultivating positive social behaviors. Knight gives context to these schools in the broader educational philosophies of Pestalozzi, Froebel and Steiner, as well as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Outdoor Adventure Education, and Te Whariki...While such research is valuable, the attempts made by Knight and her predecessors to combine qualitative and quantitative methods will deepen our understanding of forest kindergartens, especially if they are replicated in other similar settings' - Children, Youth and Environments Journal

'This book provides a valuable resource for anyone wanting to set up a Forest School or gain a deeper understanding on the practise it entails' - Katherine Milchem, Forest School Co-ordinator in South West London, Chair of the FEI London South West Cluster Group

'This is essential reading for students and practitioners in Early Childhood....If you want to know how to incorporate good practice into all of your outdoor play activities, the clear guidance in this book will not only help you in this but will provide you with an inspirational read' - Early Years Educator

'This book is highly recommended. Anyone intrigued by the idea of forest schools, or currently working in this way and interested in finding out more about what colleagues in other parts of the country are doing, will find this book invaluable' - Early Years Update

'This book is a very welcome addition to literature on outdoor learning in the early years. Sara Knight captures the essence and ethos of Forest School through a detailed consideration of case studies and research projects, and gives a succinct overview of the theoretical underpinnings and history of the movement in the UK. The book also provides useful practical guidance on participating in Forest School, and will be an inspiration to all those concerned with giving young children the opportunity to engage in natural outdoor spaces on a regular basis. Essential reading for both students and practitioners in early childhood!' - Tim Waller, Reader in Early Years Education, University of Wolverhampton

About the Author

Sara Knight is the course group leader for work-centred learning in the Department of Education at Anglia Ruskin University.  As such, she oversees the undergraduate degrees awarded to all sectors of the Children’s Workforce.  A former nursery teacher in main stream and special education, she contributed to the development Forest School as an early years intervention across the UK.  She  has published several papers and three text books on this subject, and has been a keynote speaker at conferences in the UK, Europe and Canada.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Knight examines the ethos of Forest School and through several case studies, she shares her experiences of a number of Forest Schools operating in the UK. She challenges the reader to explore their own impressions on the Scandinavian derived concept. This method of education has blossomed in many rural areas in the UK and is reaching out to more urban centres.
The book suggests that we still have a lot to learn from our Scandinavian counterparts with respect to societal norms, public attitudes and outdoor play, which invariably play a major part in them leading happier and healthier lives. However, she notes all is not lost in the UK, further improvements are being made in Education as a more diversified range of professionals provide input in government educational policies. In addition, the efforts and achievements by UK settings, particularly in deprived areas and urban spaces across the UK should not be overlooked.
Particular emphasis is placed on the unrivalled learning opportunities and universal benefits of Forest School in the foundation stage and beyond through the play-based and child- initiated and led learning which is supported by facilitative adult role models. Ample information is provided on Forest School training, site selection, risk assessing, kit and good practice. This book provides a valuable resource for anyone wanting to set up a Forest School or gain a deeper understanding on the practise it entails.

Review by Katherine Milchem (Forest School Co-ordinator in South West London and the Chair of the FEI London South West Cluster Group)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting to a point 16 July 2009
By Rosy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I felt this book could have delivered more. The examples were interesting and relevant but perhaps due to the fact there were elements for discussion at the end of each chapter it often tended not to get to the point. Perhaps read within a group setting more interesting debates would take place? So unfortunately, for me, a little disappointing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outdoor Nurseries information 15 Mar 2010
By Loobs
I am doing an HBC Early Years and Education course just now and as part of this I had to do a project on outdoor nurseries. This book was a great help to me as before I read it, I never knew outdoor nurseries existed. The book gave me an insight into what outdoor nurseries were and what activities the children were able to do there
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super ideas 6 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book came very promptly and I am very pleased with it.
Goes into the history and theory of forest Schools and lots of good practical ideas to get you started.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forest School 24 April 2009
By Diesel
Looks like all your Forest School essays shoud be made a lot easier with this purchase !!!!! As someone who has completed the course ,i think this would have been of some assistance .
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