“We have no manufactured toys. Ours come from the countryside and the mountains and the children make them themselves.”
Philip Bruchner is a German teacher who is also qualified in Forestry Sciences and he runs the Centro Bosquescuela in Cerceda, Madrid, which was authorised two years ago to teach children aged three to six, with one central focus: to teach them in contact with nature, where they spend most of their time. Their slogan is 'Nature is the classroom'.
“We are the only school of this type in Spain which is authorised to teach the official curriculum,” says Philip. His philosophy comes from Germany, where it began 20 years ago and where there are more than 2,000 outdoor infant schools. “They are also quite common in Scandinavia,” he says.
In Spain, there are about 20. The Centro Bosquescuela Cerceda currently has 22 pupils, but can take up to 25. Classes are bilingual, in Spanish and English. Is it expensive? “Well.... we are a private school and we don't receive any grants,” says Philip. It costs about 445 euros a month, and the timetable is from 8.30am to 4.30pm.