A NEW pre-school with a focus on outdoor learning has opened its doors at a Romsey town centre primary school.

Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School said it was 'delighted' to welcome Forest Footsteps Pre-School onto the school site.

Mark Harris, headteacher of Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School said: "It is a real delight to have pre-school children on site again and it is a pleasure to share our wonderful grounds with Forest Footsteps Childcare."

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Erin Cuffley, senior manager of Forest Footsteps said: “I am so pleased that Forest Footsteps Childcare have been given the opportunity to work in partnership with Romsey Abbey C of E Primary School to expand our business providing high quality early years education including a large emphasise on outdoor learning and Forest School sessions."

Romsey Advertiser: Erin Cuffley and Mark HarrisErin Cuffley and Mark Harris

Forest Footsteps was started in Chandlers Ford in 2018 by Ms Cuffley.

She said: “I was keen to offer ample outdoor opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles and to support children’s emotional well-being. I gained my Forest School Leadership qualification in addition to my Early Years qualifications and the Chandler’s Ford pre-school has now been successfully running for four years.

“I am excited to be offered this opportunity to ensure local families have access to high quality early years funding in the centre of Romsey.

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"Given the last few years of lockdowns, I am particularly pleased to be able to provide support in Romsey to build children’s confidence via child-led learning experiences that suits individual learning styles and includes lots of outdoor learning and Forest School sessions using the school’s outdoor environment and local parks.

"The emphasis on outdoor learning and Forest School gives children time to learn and respect their local environments, build connection and a love of nature whilst promoting positive mental health and both physical and mental well-being.”

Mr Harris said: "As a school we thank Hampshire's Services for Young Children for their support in making this process happen so quickly so that children and families are able to benefit from this excellent provision as soon as possible.

"The new pre-school provides a valuable transition time for those starting Year R at the school in September. Our school staff and the pre-school providers are totally committed to the great benefits of outdoor learning and we look forward to sharing skills, ideas and experience as well as our exciting and extensive school grounds."

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