What is Forest Schools?
Forest Schools has been developed from the Scandinavian education system and is a unique way of building independence, self-esteem and a positive attitude towards learning in children as they explore and experience the natural world for themselves. It is a mixture of freedom responsibility and calculated risk-taking where valuable life skills are learnt. The ethos of Forest Schools is to engage and inspire children, allowing them time and space to develop skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences, taking part in achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment.
Making Muddy Faces: The 'Magic Tree' entrance:
Our site is a woodland site, within 10 minutes walking distance from our school. No roads need to be crossed and no transport is required. It has some lovely natural features, a magical entrance and is a safe place to have fun. It is thoroughly risk assessed and managed by trained leaders.
Our children are encouraged and supported in recognising and managing risk for themselves, through real life situations.
Nursery children experience the forest in the school grounds as do the reception and year one during after school activity clubs.
Making fairy cakes together: Charcoal faces:
Why Forest Schools?
Forest school develops the ‘whole’ child:
- Health and Fitness – being active in a natural environment
- Increased emotional well-being
- Social development – communicating and negotiating with peers and adults
- Skills development
- Gaining knowledge and understanding – multi-sensory real-life learning
- Links to classroom activities
Our Forest School runs all year round and in all but severe weather conditions (eg very high winds). It follows the same weekly routine - preparing to go outside in suitable outdoor clothing, travelling to the site, singing special songs,
The earlier sessions focus on safety, boundaries and routines. Then later sessions develop skills and understanding. Activities include:
- making fires and cooking
- building shelters free choice
- bug hunts drinking hot chocolate
- mud sculptures nature crafts
- knot tying playing games
- tool use recognising trees