Forest School is a unique approach to learning outdoors. The idea is based on a range of educational theorists who recognised the benefits of regular and child-centred opportunities for children to engage with the natural world. Forest School is based on the Scandinavian model of outdoor education, where children are encouraged to explore a wooded site, take risks and learn skills as diverse as tool use and fire craft.
Forest School is a process that offers learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. The main goals of forest school include encouraging curiosity and exploration with all of the senses, empowering children in the natural environment, learning to take care of themselves and each other, encouraging spatial awareness and motor development and building independence and self-esteem in our young children. The benefits of Forest School to children’s physical and mental health, self-confidence, emotional literacy, social skills and self-esteem can be substantial.
The practitioner’s role is to observe and support the natural curiosity children have for the world around them, enabling the children to decide what they are interested in and what they want to do. To facilitate this, open-ended resources, such as sticks, collecting vessels, magnifying glasses, water, mud, rope, tarpaulins and stones can be provided, with the children allowed to decide how they want to use them.
Our Forest School area is at the front right hand side of the grounds. Sessions are delivered to all classes from Year 1 up to Year 6. These sessions are the highlight of the week for many children.
All classes have the opportunity to engage with Forest School throughout the school year on a rotational basis with each class getting 5 or 6 weeks of Forest School sessions.