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Nature Nurture in Forest Playground
Detail: A pioneering outdoor project is providing a curative learning environment in the sprawling grounds of Camphill School in the suburbs of Aberdeen. In this Rudolf Steiner school, Waldorf education and outdoor learning is bringing a sense of calm and healing to different groups of young children.

Since its launch in 1940, Camphill has used its extensive grounds as a setting for curative education for children with special needs. Now, this expertise and over 100 acres of space is being offered as a venue for Forest School education to local schools, along with continuing professional development courses to train more teachers to use the outdoors for learning and therapy.

For some of these children, who are on the child protection register of the city and come from troubled families, this project provides a therapeutic experience. For other children who do not have these problems at home or delayed development, the project provides a wonderful opportunity to explore and play in nature.

Aberdeen City Council is funding a series of these Nature Nurture group visits to Camphill School grounds. Nurture projects were highlighted as a key to early intervention and this is one strand of the council's response to Getting It Right for Every Child.
Source: Based on a story by Jean McLeish, “Forest playground is a natural start”, The Times Educational Supplement, April 24, 2009
Date: April 27 2009