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Kylemore Nursery School, Coleraine

Woodland School Experiences


Kylemore Nursery School's Woodland School visits will not take place this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.  But please read on to see how it works.
It is a classroom in the forest which aims to:

  • Give ownership of the woods to the children their parents and the wider community
  • Provide the children with an area free from plastic resources in which they can explore, play and learn in a positive, fun way.
  • Give children opportunities to make choices, take risks and develop life-long skills including independence, curiosity and self-worth.
  • Provide a place for developing an understanding and appreciation of their environment and fostering in them the desire to care for it

At Kylemore Nursery School we believe that all parents and staff have an essential role in the continuing development of our project. This role will include:

  • accompanying the children on visits
  • promoting their independence
  • listening to the children’s ideas
  • ensuring a safe yet challenging environment
  • communicating with the children about what we all see and do

Only the children who have been attending nursery for 6 weeks and are settled enough to be in school for the full 2.5 session will attend.  Staff and Parent helpers will accompany the children.

We will need parents to accompany us on our visits…a maximum of 7 parents for each class.


When will we go and how do we get there?

Don’t worry about the weather –just make sure your child wears – hat, gloves, waterproof trousers and at least two pairs of warm socks inside their wellies.

On especially cold days extra layers of clothing are recommended.

The first visit for the Morning class is Friday 08.11.19      08.45 – 13.00

The first visit for the Afternoon class is  Friday 15.11.19.        08.45 – 13.00

Please check the Calendar for future visits.   

On a Woodland School visit day

Please arrive from 08.45 - 09.00 with warm clothes, waterproofs if you have them, wellies and a Healthy Lunch!  NUT FREE FOOD ONLY! NO FIZZY DRINKS!

Parent volunteers will gather in the Staffroom where the Do and Don’t rules for the visit will be outlined.

Children will gather in their story room where the staff will outline the Do and Don’t rules for the visit.

On a Visit day the children attend for 4 hours rather than 2.5 hours. 

On a Visit week the children will attend nursery school on 4 days rather than 5. 

We eat our lunch in nursery around noon when we return to nursery school.  This is followed by activities in school until pick-up time at 1.00pm. 

Do we ever need to cancel a visit?

We have an obligation to Risk assess each visit. There are some occasions when we have no option but to cancel a visit:

  1. Frosty weather when the roads into the park have not been gritted and the steps will be slippery
  2. A shortage of parents/carers to accompany the children and ensure health and safety ratios are met.
  3. On such occasions parents will be notified by Parentmail as soon as possible. We do not like disappointing the children but Health and Safety must be our first concern.

What do we do at the Woodland School?

Curriculum Areas

Potential Learning Opportunities

Possible experiences offered


  • Enjoying being in the forest
  • Building self confidence
  • Interacting with others
  • Being independent
  • Taking on a challenge
  • Experiencing success
  • Experiencing freedom


  • Being there
  • Engaging with the environment
  • Developing thinking skills
  • Becoming more capable
  • Having fun
  • Taking care on the roads


  • Talking
  • Listening
  • Describing
  • Shouting
  • Laughing
  • Expressing emotion
  • Explaining
  • Sharing ideas
  • Making our own noise in the forest
  • Being quiet and listening to the sounds of the forest – river, birds, insects, adults, other children
  • Communicating ideas
  • Negotiating with others


  • Spatial awareness
  • Height
  • Size
  • Scale
  • Language of position
  • Number
  • Finding shapes, colours, patterns
  • Being aware of the height of the trees
  • Lying down and looking up
  • Distance
  • Location – vary the walk
  • Boundaries



  • Climbing
  • Digging
  • Balancing
  • Jumping
  • Swinging
  • Weaving
  • Cutting/sawing
  • Tying
  • Handling and using tools equipment and materials safely
  • Willow weaving
  • Using thread/string/rope
  • Using language and movement for self-expression
  • Re-telling stories/ making up stories
  • Developing ideas
  • Creative art
  • Photography
  • Playing and inventing games
  • Outdoor art – using natural materials to create sculptures
  • Observational drawing: mark making: painting
  • Collage work
  • Imaginative role play and drama
  • Introducing animal masks etc into dressing up
  • Listening to music, bird song tapes, cds
  • Creation of music using natural materials


  • Awareness of seasons
  • Experiencing different weather
  • Exploring the senses…look… listen… touch… feel… taste
  • Taking care of the forest – a sense of responsibility
  • Developing a sense of ownership of the forest
  • Develop an awareness of and respect for living things and their needs
  • Knowledge and use of appropriate tools
  • Keeping safe
  • Developing skills with tools
  • Simply Being There!
  • Natural materials to explore – bark, feathers, willow and hazel wands
  • Taking bark rubbings
  • Observing forest creatures and insects
  • Learning to accept that we cannot bring the minibeasts home with us
  • Taking care on the road
  • Personal safety on the bus journey

It’s a great experience for everyone – so sign up to come with us and Enjoy!