What are the Jabberwocky principles?
The Value of Forest Schools and Outdoor Learning
“If children can develop a sense of wonder about nature, can see the effect of their actions on things around them and can get to know their own small garden in deep ways, they are much more likely to want to help shape a sustainable future.”
So writes Helen Tovey, in her 2017 book Bringing the Froebel Approach to your Early Years Practice. Here, she references the German educator Friedrich Froebel, widely considered to be the father of the kindergarten, and who, in the nineteenth century, introduced the idea that children learn best through self-activity, talk and play. At Jabberwocky, we value both Froebel’s and Tovey’s viewpoints. In what way? Firstly, we aim to encourage our children to value the natural world and make good choices to keep it healthy. Secondly, we hope that by seeding a love for the outdoors, we can encourage a life-long preference for open-air pursuits, which will help keep their mind and body healthy. Thirdly, we use the outdoors as a valuable tool for learning.
Our Forest School approach is that there is no divide between indoors and outdoors. We believe children make enormous educational strides when they are learning in and from nature. Their emotional development is benefited too. In a safe woodland setting, our children are given the freedom to direct their own learning and set themselves naturally measured challenges, whilst they get to know their world around them, and this increased independence builds confidence. The ways we use the woodland space are endless: for example, drawing on the skills of our qualified early years Forest School leader, Fiona Sigrist, our children can BUILD a bug hotel, DISCOVER AND STUDY its occupants, WONDER at the way they live, INVENT stories about them and GAIN PLEASURE from experiencing it all WITH FRIENDS. They can also learn to swing a hammer and use a saw!
WE BELIEVE THE DANISH VALUE OF HYGGE HAS AN IMPORTANT PLACE IN EARLY YEARS DEVELOPMENT
Danish hygge is a way of living, based on the old meaning "to give courage, comfort, joy”. It relies on a belief system of wholesome pursuits such as sharing, small community gatherings and on calm, warm, welcoming, home environments. It contributes, we believe at Jabberwocky, to enhanced well-being.
We have given our indoors space the warm comforting atmosphere of hygge, which helps to alleviate any anxieties a child may possess and to instill instead courage and confidence. These qualities are the perfect basis for learning at any age. For more information, take a look at The Danish Way of Parenting: What the Happiest People in the World Know about Raising Confident, Capable Kids, by JJ Alexander and ID Sandahl.
My favourite thing about this nursery is how much all the staff appreciate our little boy for who he is. Jabberwocky Children's Nursery was recommended to us and we couldn’t have found a better place for our son. We feel very happy and comfortable leaving him in the staff's care.