Forest School is an outdoor, free and stimulating learning experience. It allows all children to test themselves; build self-esteem and pride; develop new skills and learn the art of reflection.
What is it?
Forest Schools was originally developed from the Scandinavian education system and is about children building self-esteem and independence through exploring and experiencing the natural world. Forest Schools is a long term programme delivered by trained practitioners within a natural environment (not necessarily a Forest). Each Forest School programme is tailored to meet the needs of individuals within that group and is continuously developed as the children grow in confidence, skills and understanding. The ethos of Forest Schools allows learners the time and space to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences.
Where will it take place?
Forest School will take place on school grounds. We are extremely lucky to have a forest School Garden within our school grounds. We are working hard on consistently improving this environment to enhance the experience for all children. The children will be closely supervised to ensure their safety, to observe and encourage their personal development and to support their learning.
What will the children do?
Activities range from team building activities and those that build self-esteem, to looking at the science of the wood, its history and future. The children access many activities through books, such as ‘Stick Man’ and ‘Room on a Broom’. We have a created a range of planters, which children will be responsible for maintaining. The produce will then be cleaned and given to the kitchen for children to experience at lunch time. We are also extremely lucky to have our very own Fire Pit, where the children enjoy toasting marshmallows, making food and drinking hot chocolate.
What does your child need?
Come rain or shine we will endeavour to complete our Forest School sessions. Therefore, it is essential that on the days that your child will be having Forest School sessions they bring with them a change of old clothes (be warned that they may get muddy!) wellington boots and a waterproof coat. In addition to this it will be helpful for your child to have pair of waterproof trousers or an all in one suit to ensure that their focus is on enjoying themselves!
What does my child gain from the experience?
Forest Schools supports the holistic development of the child:
- Health and fitness – Being active in an outdoor, natural environment.
- Increased emotional wellbeing
- Social development – Communicating, and negotiating with peers and adults to solve problems and share experiences.
- Skills development – Developing fine and gross motor skills and coordination for real purposes.
- Gaining knowledge and understanding – Multi–sensory, real-life learning.
- Individualised learning – Careful observation allows adults to tailor support to children’s own interests and stage of development.
- Curriculum Links – Forest Schools supports many areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage framework, National Curriculum and the Every Child Matters agenda.