Forest Farm Montessori Nursery / Children Aged 2 to 5+

FOREST FARM Montessori Nursery was established in January 2000.  It is also the setting for Create After School Club & Create Holiday Club. Forest Farm is exceptional.  Set in acres of beautiful countryside.  Every child is unique and this must be nurtured and enhanced. This is a place where each child is valued and where their self esteem can grow. The opportunities for the children are unparalleled in Oxfordshire.  It is the only OMS setting that also has Primary and Senior School Montessori classes.
 Forest Farm Nursery, Primary & Senior School

Forest Farm Nursery, Primary & Senior School


In the Nursery, children make good, and often outstanding, progress towards the early learning goals, particularly in their personal, social and emotional development and in their knowledge and understanding of the world. Excellent guidance from the staff, combined with a very inviting learning environment, helps them to become confident and competent self-learners.
— Ofsted
OMS is a Forest School Centre / We know how important it is for children’s overall well being to spend time in the natural world
 There are acres of space for children to play

There are acres of space for children to play

The nursery, primary & senior school children spend a minimum of 20% of their time outside. We believe this is crucial to children’s well-being.
— DA & JW
 The nursery adventure playground

The nursery adventure playground

 Nursery children have access to playgrounds near our woods.

Nursery children have access to playgrounds near our woods.


Children may attend aged  2 to 5/6 years in the nursery.  

And if parents wish, they can continue on to the primary school (5/6 years to 11 years) and even take GCSE’s with us at senior age 11 to 16.  Forest Farm is an Examinations Centre for public examinations.


Montessori in 5 minutes!  We teach using a method developed by Dr. Maria Montessori Montessori was a pioneer of interest led education and an early authority on children's development.  There is an interesting and brief introduction to the philosophy HERE ...

Essentials  

Structure: the nursery flows between two main areas at Forest Farm.

Class size: The nursery caters for 40 children overall between two classes.  We choose to take a very small number of children aged 2.   

 Dr Maria Montessori. Her pioneering work remains relevant and influential today

Dr Maria Montessori. Her pioneering work remains relevant and influential today

Teachers

The staff team is well established.  We work to staff to pupil ratios of 1 teacher to 8 children aged 3 and above and 1 teacher to 4 children under 3. Each teacher has a group of key children to care for and observe their developmental progress. Our staff are a well qualified combination of Montessori and Early Years trained practitioners with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Our staff are extremely dedicated and caring and continually observe children’s emotional well -being, and social and learning developmental stages and adapt and prepare the environment to meet children’s continual changing needs. Our teachers are their as observers and facilitators, to guide the children, following their interests and responding to their developing curiosity and needs. The teachers carefully plan each day to create an exciting programme of activities.

What makes the environment special? 

The children's classrooms are beautiful spaces converted from old farm buildings.  They have an abundance of resources that are mainly made of natural materials, such as wood. Montessori learning materials are designed so that each one has a varied and progressive teaching and learning objective; in other words they are didactic. The children make choices of how they spend their time. We have 6 areas of learning in the Montessori classroom . Each of the Montessori areas of learning work alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage areas of learning. The prime areas are important because they lay the foundations for children's success in all other areas of learning and of life: Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Physical Development. Communication and Language. We use a combination of Montessori and other materials and teaching to meet all areas of children’s development.

Special Educational needs and disabilities.

At Forest Farm, we strive to ensure that all our children feel happy and safe. Everyone is valued, respected as an individual and encouraged to persevere, striving to achieve their full potential. All children receive an education that allows equality of opportunity and fosters a love of learning. We focus on removing any barriers which impede learning.

Children at Forest Farm are actively encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and ensure that they use all resources and support available to them effectively to aid success.  Children are also encouraged to contribute their views and make informed decisions about their education.

Parents have a critical role to play in their child's education. The school will work actively in partnership with parents to provide appropriate strategies to meet the student’s educational needs and encourage parents to play an active role in the student’s education.

Outside

Children have access to their own private garden, the sports barn for play in all weather and the coppice wood (our 2000 tree natural arena for play and nature study) and an adventure playground. There is no other nursery environment like it in Oxfordshire.  We believe Forest Farm is a unique 10 acre opportunity dedicated to young people.


Outdoor Learning

At Forest Farm we aim to spend at least 20% of the week outside. We believe the natural environment promotes good health, good feeling, peace, risk taking are just some of the benefits to being outside.  We have varied spaces, such as fruit growing areas, a greenhouse for planting and chairs and tables for outdoor classroom, adventure playground and the coppice wood, large open spaces too, with willow domes as shade. There are footpaths around the school into the woods and open farmland.

We have integrated outside learning as part of the curriculum. Nursery children spend time in the different areas of the grounds and often go out on walks in the nearby forest. In the primary classes we have set up Forest Schools on a weekly basis, where the children ‘go out’ and explore, learn and observe nature and the seasons, care for the environment, learn about the importance of looking after our flora and fauna, learn survival techniques and just be.

There is no limit to the experiences and curiosities that outdoor environments and activities can arouse. Participants frequently discover potential, abilities and interests that surprise themselves and others. Safety codes provide clear boundaries and learning goals give clear direction, but Outdoor Learning draws in energy and inspiration from all around. 'Broadening horizons' is a common outcome.

Outdoor Learning is real learning-" Source: DfES & QCA, The National Curriculum, 'Aims for the School Curriculum' 1999.

  • ‘Not only does Outdoor Learning happen in the natural environments where participants can see, hear, touch and smell the real thing, it also happens in an arena where actions have real results and consequences. Outdoor Learning can help to bring many school subjects alive while also providing experiential opportunities for fulfilling the National Curriculum aim "to enable pupils to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change and adversity.’

Admission policy: all welcome as part of the school anti discrimination policy.  

Booking a place:  ideally you should apply at least two terms in advance, three is even better, especially if you wish to have a full choice over which days your child attends.  

 

 The performance space - one of our communal areas where nursery, primary and seniors come together for special occasions

The performance space - one of our communal areas where nursery, primary and seniors come together for special occasions

We offer flexible solutions for families and their children.  When you combine term time places with holiday club options we offer discounts that offer good value and represent a really unique day care alternative…

  • Early Bird Sessions 8am to 8.30am-limited spaces only

  • Term Time Montessori School Day 8.30am to 3pm

  • Term Time Create After School Club 3pm to 5.30pm (only at Forest Farm)

  • Create Holiday Club Sessions 9am to 4.30pm-out of term time

  • The school closes for 3 weeks over Easter and 2 preparation days either end of the summer holidays.

It is possible to combine the above to create a unique Day Care / All Year place.  

 The teachers we employ have knowledge, skills and a natural affinity with children

The teachers we employ have knowledge, skills and a natural affinity with children

 Snow scene at Forest Farm

Snow scene at Forest Farm

In a perfect world, there would be an abundance of intelligent, well-balanced, devoted individuals willing to attend lavishly and patiently to the demands of strangers’ children — enough so that every family who wanted could have their own full-time loving surrogate. These dream workers would remain with the same family year after year, meshing perfectly with child, parents, and surroundings.
— Meryl Frank - Yale University Child Care Expert
We can’t promise Meryl’s ideal but it is a guiding aim. Our staff teams offer real emotional and educative care and they remain in place for long periods of time. We offer quite a few attendance options. Our range of options does give the children a really varied experience, especially for those families who need virtually year round care and education for their children. The combination of Montessori Nursery, Early Bird Sessions, After School Sessions and Create Holiday Club Activities involve children in a wide and vibrant community of children, teachers and facilities.
— Judith Walker

Next Steps, Discover a Montessori Primary Education?

Children rise to the primary school usually between the age of 5 and 6.  However, we take a child by child approach to this transition process. The decision is taken with input from the child, teachers and of course parents.

 Primary aged children bike riding during sports day

Primary aged children bike riding during sports day

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Forest Farm Primary School has three primary classes. 

There are two age groups in each class; 5-7, 7-9, 9-11. This means that because of different ages and abilities that child feel as ease working with children of similar ability, regardless of age, but with the added advantage of working with children older, as their role model (younger children learn so much from this) and younger (to feel responsible and help and support a younger child and at the same time reinforce their own learning) This promotes a non competitive approach and children are in charge of their own leaning and feel at ease without judgement.

The aim of our primary school is to expose children to the wonderful exciting world of learning and being part of a community, where children are given the space and time to develop in a non pressured environment. Every child is unique and every child needs nurturing and guiding through their learning experience with care and respect. This means that teaching needs to be differentiated to capture every style and ability of our learners.

Aspects of the curriculum is delivered through cross-curricular project work.  This allows the children to really immerse themselves in the learning experience. Topic ideas come from the children and reflect their interests which acts as a starting point for planning. Although the project work provides creative and meaningful cross-curricular links; maths, language and literacy and science are taught either in small groups or individually, depending on the needs of the child.

Learning is as hands on as possible and children take on ownership of their classrooms and know where everything they need is to be found.

Visit our Forest Farm Primary page to see more details the primary school has to offer.

Booking a place:  It is best to give us as much notice as possible.  Depending on the term, spaces are limited.  Try and let us know your requirements at least a term in advance.

 PE happens outside as weather allows and when it rains takes place in the sports barn

PE happens outside as weather allows and when it rains takes place in the sports barn

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