Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children from as young as 3 years old regular opportunities to achieve, and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment. For many children contact with the outdoors can be limited in modern society. The result being that the vital experience of using the outdoors and being comfortable in nature is lost. Our Forest School is led by one of our three Forest Leaders all of which have undergone training to become Forest Schools Level 3 Practitioners.
Whatever the weather, Forest School can contribute to four of the five outcomes that are part of the Government framework “Every child matters”, namely to: be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve and make a positive contribution. There are several key aspects to Forest School that differentiate it from many other outdoor education activities.
- The use of a woodland (and therefore ‘wild’) setting
- A high ratio of adults to pupils
- Learning can be linked to the National Curriculum and Foundation-Stage objectives
- The freedom to explore using multiple senses
- Regular contact for the children over a significant period of time (including all year round and in all weathers).
Our Forest School is led by one of our four Forest Leaders: Mrs Fifield, Mr Bromley, Mr Chotai and Miss Barnet who have undergone training to become a Forest Schools Level 3 Practitioners.
What are the aims of Forest School?
- Boost children’s self-esteem and self-confidence
- Develop children’s cooperative skills and awareness of the needs of others
- Make children motivated and encourage positive attitudes to learning
- Encourage children to take ownership and pride in the school and their local environment
- Encourage children to learn new skills and apply these and previously held knowledge in the context of Forest Schools and use these skills in other areas of their lives
How will these aims be achieved?
- providing children with the opportunity, time, freedom and space to learn, grow and demonstrate their independence
- encouraging children to share, play cooperatively and make them aware of consequences of actions
- encourage children to question and explore their environment directing their own learning, this autonomy promotes an extended attention span and a positive attitude to the learning experience
- providing children with the opportunity to ‘discover’ new and unfamiliar aspects of the woodland environment
- encouraging children to respect their environment developing an understanding what it gives us and how we must treat it
Things we do and learn at Forest School
- We get ourselves dressed in wet weather gear so we can work outside whatever the weather.
- We share and discuss our ideas.
- We listen and take turns to talk.
- We use different tools to help us explore.
- We learn how we can use and play with things we have found, safely.
- We ask questions to find out about the environment.
- We explore.
- We discover.
- We talk about things that interest us.
- We look at things another way.
- We collect things we find on the ground but we never pick living things to help protect and care for our Forest School.
- Forest School is based upon the early childhood principles of freedom in play, creativity, socialisation skills and emotional stability.