North Bristol is getting its First Forest-based Pre-School!September 28th, 2017
It was a pleasure to take time out this month to meet Lizzie Staite and Janie Ankers – local mums and two of the co-founders of North Bristol’s first forest-based Pre-School opening in January 2018.
Little Foxes’ ethos is simple: they believe that there is no better place for children to learn, grow and thrive than in nature. With more and more opportunities for children to be in front of screens and indoors these days, they took it upon themselves to try to offer the young children of Bristol a chance to connect with the great outdoors.
Little Foxes Forest Pre-School will be open for 3 and 4 year olds on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9:30am–2:30pm term time only.
Parents can sign up for one, two or three days. Every day the children’s learning will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Stoke Park Estate in
BS7. From spotting shapes during nature walks, to sparking imagination on gruffalo hunts, the Pre-school will harness the diversity of the forest surrounding to develop curious and creative little minds.
Lizzie, Janie and Julie (the three co-founders of Little Foxes) have over 25 years of combined experience as qualified teachers in the primary school sector and as registered child-minders. They have been successfully running an oversubscribed playgroup for years and felt it was time to expand as the demand for outdoor learning is growing all the time. Janie went on to explain:
“From our time teaching and at the playgroup, we are constantly amazed at just what an impact being in nature has on children. Children really do become more resilient, happy learners. They challenge themselves further; it’s incredibly rewarding to watch the natural connection children have with the forest, especially when we live in such a big city.”
Little Foxes pride themselves on having a high adult to child ratio of 1:5 (government guidelines are 1:13 at this age) to get to know children really well and to keep them safe. The Pre-School also has a strong emphasis on fresh, healthy and wholesome food. Lizzie says: “Children will be encouraged to be a part of the mealtime process, often helping to cook their lunches over the fire.”
They also have exclusive access to a children’s play café to retreat back to in the case of extreme adverse weather. Most of the time though, it’ll be “Hood up and keep on playing!” says Janie, who reiterated that most of the children actually seem to prefer playing in the rain.
Naturally, the Pre-School that only launched in September is gathering plenty of interest. There are just 16 places available on each day in January and these are filling up fast. An Open afternoon is taking place on Wednesday 18 October 2–4pm. To reserve a place on this afternoon, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name your child’s name and a contact phone number.
To find out more about their open days or to register interest for the Pre-School visit their website –www.littlefoxesforestschool.com
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