Set up by a group of like-minded, motivated teachers and parents who desire a more personal and holistic approach to children’s education, the Alma Forest School, near Sotogrande in southern Spain, opened in September 2019. This not-for-profit association offers early years provision with ample time outdoors for children aged 3 to 6 years old.
Nestled between the surrounding hills and the city of San Roque, the Alma Forest School is situated within the natural beauty of Pinar Del Rey nature park in Andalucía. The school itself is established on grounds of a farm next to woodland near Sotogrande.
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Read an extract from the Alma Forest School website on what is a forest school, or visit their website for more info.
Forest Schools are long-term programmes within a natural space, lead by a qualified practitioner. They focus on developing personal, social and emotional life skills through child-led, nature-based learning.
The practice of immersing children in nature from an early age has long been popular in Scandinavian countries, where pre-school children spend most of their day outside, every day, regardless of the weather. Unlike most other pre-schools, the focus of this type of early education is not to teach academic facts, but to give kids the opportunity to play and learn freely in nature.
Forest Schools offer an opportunity to build important physical, social, cognitive and life skills, whilst integrating academic knowledge and experiential application.
In Finland, where official guidance emphasises the importance in pre-school of the ‘joy of learning’, language enrichment, communication and physical activity, the comprehensive school system has remained at the top of Europe’s rankings for the past 16 years. Carefully organised play helps develop qualities such as attention span, perseverance, self-motivation and problem solving. Strong predictors of academic success where children become powerful learners.”