What happens at Bosque Escola Avelãs if it rains or the weather is very cold?

The Forest School takes place rain or shine because we believe that “there is no bad weather with a good coat”. In outdoor children’s education, clothing is an essential factor. The children must be dressed appropriately for the seasons of the year. During the rainy days they must be equipped with a raincoat and waterproof boots. For cold days, the best is the onion method, dressed in several layers and include a hat and gloves. For the heat, they should be equipped with a hat that protects them from the sun. We have a shelter where the children keep their belongings and can take refuge if they wish and with large areas of shade and water to cool off.

Will my child be safe at Bosque Escola Avelãs?

The children’s safety is taken very seriously at our institution. Safety guidelines are followed at all times, both by the teachers and the children. The teachers are qualified in first aid for children. The children are also insured against accidents.

After attending Bosque Escola, will the children be ready to start primary school?

Our type of education teaches children to trust in themselves, to be autonomous, and it respects their motivation to learn. This leaves the children ready for any type of primary school.

How is a normal day in the Forest School?

9:00-9:30a.m. Arrival

9:30 am. Joint walk to the forest

1st stop. Initial circle where we dance and play instruments and talk about what we have inside.

Share a learning or idea and semi-directed game

2nd stop. Shared snack

Free play

Walk to the place that calls us in each day

Invented story

12:15 am. We walk to the lunch spot

12:30 am. Lunch

1: 30pm. Final circle where we remember what happened that day and / or an invented story.

14h Farewell and departure

What are the benefits of BEING in contact with nature?

– The sun is a source of vitamin D, responsible for various functions in the body such as fixing calcium in the bones; ensuring the proper functioning of the liver and intestines; regulating the impulses of hunger, thirst and sleep; strengthening the immune system, physical resistance, attention span and learning.

– Nature teaches us that time is not linear, but is based on cycles (day and night, seasons, rains) with long, constant and patient intervals. This allows us to relax and trust in life, learning to accept it and accept ourselves.

– Outdoors improves the feeling of well-being and self-esteem, so it has been “prescribed” to treat emotional and behavioral disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

– After a day in the open air and exercise, the night’s sleep becomes deeper and refreshing, which provides more energy and lucidity the next day.

– In the open air, the senses develop together. Smells, noises or different textures are perceived at the same time. In addition, the horizon is wider so that the peripheral vision is developed which allows us to situate ourselves in space.

– It has been shown that in open-air schools, children get 80% less colds, sore throats, ear infections and other contagious diseases than in closed schools.

What are the benefits of LEARNING outdoors?

– Outdoor learning is based on direct experiences that stimulate all the senses and students develop their own ideas of the world around them. The classroom is nature and unlimited materials are available to interact with.

– Fantasy and creativity are awakened when the children themselves create their games and toys (there are no prefabricated toys in the Forest School).

– The activities that children develop when jumping, climbing or running mean that they exercise the body as a whole. The development of movement is fundamental in developing other skills later on, such as language.

– Between 3 and 6 years of age, contact with nature is crucial for the child’s development, as they need to move, explore and interact with everything that lives around them.

– This helps with their development in (at least) three aspects simultaneously. In the cognitive aspect, by promoting creativity, concentration and language. In their social skills, by promoting a sense of responsibility and respect. In their physical development as we said earlier.

What is free game based on?

– A game accompanied by one or more adults. Normally a ratio of 1 adult is established for every 5 boys and girls.

– A routine that alternates poorly structured phases in which the children have more autonomy and freedom, with structured phases when the adult requires it, for example, when eating or telling a story.

– In these unstructured phases, children choose who, where and what they want to dedicate themselves to. They invent their own games with their own rules. Its their own interest that moves them. Through the game they learn using the materials that nature itself offers such as sticks, stones, leaves, flowers, etc. In this phase, the adult has the role of ensuring the physical and emotional well-being of the children, paying maximum attention but not interrupting when they are immersed in their activities, intervening only in case of conflict or security.

Note: part of this information has been collected from the book “Educar en Verde” by Heike Freire and the book “Bosquecuela” by Philip Brich, whose reading we recommend for a deeper knowledge of green pedagogy and the Bosque Escuela method. It is also based on the work of Tamara Chubarovsky that relates language and movement.