Lecturer: Laura Griffiths
The aim of today’s lesson is to explore our findings on the Foundation Phase and discuss the benefits of enabling environments
By the end of today’s session you should be able to….
Identify what enabling environments are and their benefit to children’s learning.
“The environment plays a key role in supporting and extending children’s development and learning”.
“Enabling environments encourage babies and young children to play because they feel relaxed, comfortable and ‘at home’ in them”.
(Early Years Matters, 2014 p.1)
“Rich indoor environments have an immediate effect on the quality of children’s learning and development”.
“It’s comfortable, interesting, attractive and appropriate for the child or children who use it.
For some children it becomes like a second home where they eat and sometimes sleep”.
(Early Years Matters, 2014 p.1)
Indoor space needs careful planning as it needs to be flexible to accommodate children’s changing interests and needs.
In 1993 a group of childcare students visiting Denmark witnessed the benefits of Forest School.
Their lecturers considered how they could apply what they had seen to the childcare provision in their own
Early Years Centre.
Since then the idea has grown and Forest Schools are spreading throughout Britain.
(Forest School Initiative, 2010)
Watch the following video and take notes on how children’s learning benefits from taking part in a Forest School.
“Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults, regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a local woodland environment”.
(Forestry Commission, 1996 p.3)
Much research has been carried out to identify what are the benefits of attending Forest School are.
The research suggested that learners who struggle in the formal classroom learning environment, flourished in the outdoors.
During 2006, a 14-week Forest School programme was run by a Forestry Commission Wales Education to observe the actual benefits.
This is what they discovered……..
Increased self-esteem and self-confidence
Improved social skills
The development of language and communication skills
Improved physical motor skills
Improved motivation and concentration
Increased knowledge and understanding of the environment
New perspectives for the teachers, leaders, learners and parents involved in Forest School
(Forestry Commission, 1996 p.6)
(Forestry Commission, 1996 p.5)
Look for other initiatives that support children’s learning.
What the initiative is.
How it benefits children’s learning.
Early Years Matters. (2014) Enabling environments: Effective
Practice. [Online] Accessed: 20 environments/ th
September 2014. Available at: http://earlyyearsmatters.co.uk/index.php/eyfs/enabling-
Forestry Commission (1996) A Guide to Forest School in Wales.
[Online] Available at: http://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/ForestSchoolEnglish2010final.pdf/$FILE/ForestSchoolEnglish2010-final.pdf
. (Accessed: 2 nd
Forest Education (2010) Forest Education Initiative. [Online]
Available at: http://www.foresteducation.org/woodland_learning/forest_schools
/background_to_fei_schools/ (Accessed: 2 nd