Forest School

We use the beautiful environment that surrounds the school as much as possible to extend our learning outside the classroom. We started Forest School back in 2010 and have two trained Forest School Leaders within our staff.

Education such as this, has huge implications for the attitudes, health and wellbeing of our young people. We encourage empathy and understanding of the natural world. Forest School does this as well as delivering a vast amount of rich learning, deep, crucial thinking and above all enjoyment.

Forest School is on Monday afternoons during Term 5 (Reception, Yr & Yr 2)

What is Forest School?

The Forest School concept originated in Scandinavia and arrived in Britain back in 1995. Children learn through exploration and experimentation, with the quality of learning being enhanced by our trained forest school leaders (Mrs Cooksley and Mrs Thorogood) who support and extend the children’s interests. A holistic approach to the delivery of the curriculum, with the emphasis on personalised learning in an environment that is not resource driven, is facilitated. The children learn to use tools, build structures, manage risk, and investigating wildlife as well as using the rich source of experience in their classroom.

Forest school is an inspirational process that helps and offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in a natural environment with trees.

At Forest School all participants are viewed as:

  • Equal, unique and valuable
  • Competent to explore and discover
  • Entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenges
  • Entitled to choose and to initiate as well as drive their own learning and development
  • Entitled to experience regular success
  • Entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and others
  • Entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world

During our Forest School sessions the children will have the opportunity to explore the outdoors area whilst challenging themselves with different activities which include: team building, mud painting, tree climbing, tool use and den building, in addition to learning about the outdoor area as well as, how to protect and look after our environment.

This allows the children to take appropriate risks in a safe and natural environment.

Why is Forest School such a great opportunity for your children?

Research has shown that learning that takes place in the outdoors is much more powerful and memorable as all the senses are involved.

  • Forest Schools develop children through a child led approach.
  • Children are taught how to assess risks for themselves.
  • Children are able to develop their speech, language, social skills and empathy.
  • They learn to respect and appreciate the natural environment.

How children are kept safe?

At each session there is always a Forest School leader (Mrs Cooksley or Mrs Thorogood) who are trained  paediatric first aid. There are also additional members of staff that will accompany the children. A mobile phone and two-way radios enables contact to be made quickly with the main school. The school’s accident and emergency procedures will be followed at all times.

Children are shown the boundaries of the outdoor learning space and are given the chance to look at self-risk benefits alongside risk assessments carried out by the Leader and Staff attending Forest school.

How can you help?

Children should have clothing appropriate to the weather, long trousers and sleeves are suggested to keep skin covered.  (Old clothing is better) Children can come to school in their Forest School clothes. Wellies can be kept in school, rather than bringing them in each week. In the winter we ask for welly boots or sturdy shoes – not school shoes please, and waterproof outer clothing – trousers and coat.

Cancellation

Forest School will only be cancelled in extreme weather if the site is deemed unsafe or if there are not enough adults to accompany the children.