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Social impact stories

The best way to find out about our social impact is through the stories of those who use our services and the stories of the people who work for us

 

Rosemary Nursery School and Children’s Centre

Learning and having fun outdoors - our affordable minibus hire helps Rosemary Nursery School in Bristol run its Forest School.

At Forest School, children are empowered to choose what they do, giving them the freedom to explore and investigate
At Forest School, children are empowered to choose what they do, giving them the freedom to explore and investigate

The Rosemary Nursery School and Children’s Centre is a nursery and early years provider in Easton, one of Bristol’s most diverse and deprived areas.

The school is focussed on the wellbeing and involvement of children aged 0–5 years and their families, providing services beyond simple nursery provision, including parenting classes, events, family support – even pre-natal services – everything possible to ensure that children develop into well-rounded individuals.

The school also follows the Forest School model, first developed in Denmark but now used increasingly across the UK. This involves creating a ‘classroom without walls’ by taking a class offsite to Leigh Wood in Bristol for outside play two days each week.

‘Most of the children at our school live in social housing with little or no access to outside space,’ explains Ian Powell, Forest School Leader. ‘For many, going out into a natural open space is a new experience, creating wonder.

‘At Forest School, children are empowered to choose what they do, giving them the freedom to explore and investigate – which is then supported by staff. This could involve anything from jumping in puddles, climbing fallen trees, looking for mini-beasts, exploring under hedgerows, playing with sticks – or just tearing about, getting good and muddy.

‘If this sounds like great fun, it’s because it is. It also encourages the development of invention and imagination, problem solving, confidence, self-esteem and resilience – alongside aspects of physical development such as agility, hand–eye coordination and managing uneven surfaces. All in all, Forest School has a hugely positive effect on the wellbeing and development of the children.

‘We use the new JoinBookDrive vehicles from Bristol Community Transport to take the children to Forest School at Leigh Wood. There is one parked just five minutes from the school. The service means it’s really straightforward to take children from the city into real countryside. When the children see the minibus parked up out front, they are always asking “Is it our turn to go to Forest School today?“‘