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Where nature ignites learning and adventure!

Are you ready for a pre-school experience like no other? Step into a world of enchantment and exploration at YMCA Fairthorne Manor Forest School, nestled within the breathtaking woodlands of Fairthorne Manor. We invite you and your child to embark on an extraordinary journey where nature becomes the ultimate classroom and every day is filled with thrilling outdoor adventures.

Explore and flourish in the great outdoors!

Ignite their curiosity

At Fairthorne Manor Forest School, we believe that the great outdoors is the perfect setting for little minds to thrive. Our innovative pre-school offers a unique blend of nature-inspired learning, skill enhancement, and boundless adventure for children aged 3-5 years old. With a limited capacity of up to 24 children, we ensure a personalized and nurturing environment where your child's potential can flourish.

Picture your child's face lighting up as they roam through ancient woodlands, discover hidden treasures, and engage in hands-on activities that ignite their curiosity. Our passionate team of educators brings the wonders of nature to life, guiding your child through sensory experiences, creative exploration, and immersive outdoor play. They will develop essential skills, embrace teamwork, and foster a deep appreciation for the natural world.

Fairthorne Manor Forest School operates during term-time from mid-September 2023, and provides an outdoors learning environment for your child from 9 am to 4 pm ensuring their safety, happiness, and growth every step of the way.

Everything you need to know about the new Forest School at Fairthorne Manor

Find out more about the new Forest School and FAQ

What activities will be child be doing at Fairthorne Manor Forest School?

Fire lighting, campfire cooking, tool use, mud play, loose parts play, creative and imaginative play, hammocks, bug hunting, bird watching, rope swing, den building, stories, singing, tree climbing, puddle splashing, kite flying, supported risk taking, woodland exploring, nature caretaking, vegetable growing, and always Child-led/child centred learning.

Following the six core principles of Forest School:
• Qualified Leader – to facilitate children’s learning and inspire curiosity.
• Learner Centred
• Holistic Development
• Long Term – Sessions long enough to allow ‘Flow state’ learning, over at least a six-week period and to cover more than one season.
• Risk Taking – offer opportunities to take supported and appropriate risks.
• Natural Location – creating connection with nature and developing our future caretakers.

What are the opening hours?

Forest School will be open term-time only, 9am to 4pm. You can choose between a morning session (9am to 12pm), afternoon session (1pm to 4pm) or all day (9am to 4pm). Bring a packed lunch for your child.

What are the prices?

Morning or afternoon only (3 hours) session: £27
Morning including Lunch session: £35
Full day (7 hours): £60

For children aged 3-5 years.

What should my child bring with them?

Please name all your child's items:

• Long Sleeve Top
• Full leg trouser (no shorts due to ticks)
• Socks
• Closed shoes/Boots
• Wellies
• Waterproofs
• Layers for warmth
• Spare clothes, underwear, socks, pants
• Sun Hat
• Suncream
• Water Bottle
• Woolly hat
• Scarf/Snood
• Gloves
• Backpack
• Lunchbox (with cool pack)

What if it's bad weather - will you be open?

Fairthorne Forest School will operate in all weather conditions and children should dress appropriately - parents will be informed in advance of any reason for the Forest School to not operate.

Children should wear full length tops and bottoms whilst at Forest School. This is to reduce the risk of ticks, insect bites, stings, or scratches from plants. On dry days please send your child in wearing closed toe shoes such as trainers, shoes, boots suitable for woodland floors and tree climbing.

Is lunch included?

Please send your child with a packed lunch for a full day session at Forest School - you can add a lunch session (1 hour) to a morning or afternoon booking.

Can I book by the day or in advance?

You can book by the half-term to attend Forest School - please contact the Nursery on 01489 772222 to arrange this.

What type of clothing should my child wear?

All children are free to explore with water and mud and will get dirty during their session. So please dress for mess and send in a spare outfit to change into after. Don’t forget fresh socks and underwear!

• During hot weather please bring an additional water bottle, sun hat, and apply sun cream before their session. We will top up throughout, when required.
• In the colder months we ask that your child is dressed in lots of layers and have warm boots, hats, scarves/snoods, and gloves.
• Waterproofs and boots are an essential piece of kit for Forest School, these can be left on site for those unexpected showers.
• We have some spare clothes, boots, and extras available for use but cannot guarantee that we will have the correct size for your child.
Please remember to label all bags, clothing items and bottles with your child’s name or initials to reduce the chance of items getting lost or sent home with the wrong person. Thank You.

Why are you outdoors all the time?

Being outdoors helps focus on the following key areas for children's development:

Communication skills, Self-esteem, Community building, Social skills, Resilience, Confidence, Wellbeing, Independence

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