Our Educational
Philosophy

Empowered by your
child’s imagination and curiousity


Our approach

At Outdoor Owls we use an organic, play-based approach set outdoors following the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) learning framework set by Ofsted (see here).

Our educational philosophy is child-led and guided by a couple of core principles. Firstly, we focus on what your child can do, not what they can't. Secondly, we refrain from telling your child 'what' to think but rather facilitate them in 'how' to think.

By following these principles and not wrapping children in cotton wool, we believe your child will leave us strong and prepared for future learning and the rest of their lives.

Our methods

We have taken a sprinkle of inspiration from a mix of different play-based pedagogies to inspire our practice including: Reggio Emilia, Maria Montessori, Steiner and Forest Schools. We don't constrict ourselves to one approach but rather prefer to tailor aspects to suit each unique child’s imagination and curiousity.

We use the outdoors as a powerful open-ended setting filled with natural resources. Hence we draw a lot from ‘Forest School’ methods which are set up to allow children to lead with their innate curiousity.

Our teacher to child ratio is 1:5 and different child ages are mixed together. This means children get a necessary amount for educator support and are able to watch and learn through others at different learning stages. As your child gets older with us they are able to take lead in supporting younger children around them. This helps to build your child’s confidence and cognitive flexibility.

 
 
 
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what is a play-based approach?

Play is natural. Just think about your own first learning memories, they are most likely wrapped in play and fun. We also encourage risky-play too, as this is how real life-long learning happens - where children learn how to learn.

Play allows your child to take control, test their ideas and be fully engaged. By ensuring the limelight is on your child they are fully motivated in what activities they do and consequently the learning they wish to develop.

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What is ‘forest school’?

Inspired by our Danish roots, we are proud to bring this approach with a holistic twist to London. Forest education takes learning into woodlands or natural environments with trees, where 'having a go' is encouraged.

In green space children are inspired to develop a relationship with nature to progress their learning and development, using their own ready-made interest and imagination. This environment is excellent for exposing your child to appropriate risk and challenge.

 
 

We don’t teach or impose learning all of the time, we allow children some hours of the day to just be.

 
 

Educators at outdoor owls

Our educators are equally as passionate to explore nature’s playground just as much as children.

Having a child-led, play-based approach does not mean that our educators sit back instead they have to be even more engaged to be able to identify learning opportunities in anything a child is doing.

Educators use deep knowledge of each child to adapt in each moment and progress children’s thinking. They are also responsible for being a positive role model and ensure that children learn good habits and manners for life. As well as learning they also seek to support children's wellbeing.

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