Outdoor Play, Nature and Forest School
Red Hen upholds the saying 'there is no such thing as bad weather, we just need to dress appropriately'. We love to nurture in nature so children (and staff!) are outside the majority of their time at Red Hen - whatever the weather! We have fully trained Forest School practitioners so cooking on a campfire and using real-tools are integral to the children's experiences here. There is always lots of enthusaism about natural phemonena with lots of learning derived from the wide range of biodiversity here including wild flowers, wild animals and birds. On the farm there are fields planted with wild flower mixes, pollinator mixes and mixes to enrich the soil. These areas are proving to be very interesting as they develop.
Our youngest children and babies also enjoy the big outdoors, connecting to nature and picking up on the enthusiasm of the older children and staff.
Red Hen is proud to have won various awards including Nursery World's enabling environment award, Nursery of the Year, BBC food and farming, as well as the Lincolnshire Environmental Award in recognition for the work we do educating children about nature. Listen about us on BBC Radio Lincolnshire:- https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p055rv48#play
Our pedagogy is backed by extensive research and inspired by past and current early years experts:
“To move, to run, to feel one’s life in every limb, that is the life of early childhood” (Margaret MacMillan, pioneer of healthy childhoods, good food & fresh air in 1915)
“Children who play in flexible, natural landscapes appear to be healthier, have improved motor fitness, balance and co-ordination and demonstrate more creativity in their play”
“Rural environments foster sensory awareness - while the noisy, busy, hustle and bustle of the city teaches us to shut out a plethora of sensory stimuli, rural environments allow enough space and time for the senses to breathe"
Early Childhood Education for Sustainability states 'What young children experience and learn today can influence how future generations live. ECEfS hopes to promote the growing global movement that seeks to nurture knowledge, creativity, kindness, wisdom, critical thinking, empathy and any more of the skills and values that will allow sustainable development to flourish and a better world to emerge.'
At Red Hen we provide daily experiences that seeks to facilitate these aims and we continue to be informed by evolving research, eg. "Such a synergestic relationship of early childhood education and environmental education offers promise to enhance the quality of the human experience in the world with beneficial impacts for spaces and species, for generations to come (Ardoin, Wilson and Bowers:Early Childhood Environmental Education: A systematic review of the research literature Educational Research Review Vol 31 Nov 2020.