What is Forest School?
Forest School is a hands on, child led, holistic approach to learning. It encourages emotional growth, self-esteem, confidence and independence. Children are encouraged and supported to take appropriate risks while developing trust in themselves and others. They will apply their classroom learning in problem solving activities and use their imagination in a highly motivating environment with enthusiastic adult supervision. Children will learn how to safely use tools such as potato peelers for whittling, bow saws and fire steels. They will have opportunities to make hot chocolate with a Kelly kettle and whittle their own marshmallow sticks. Together, we will use the materials we find in the forest school area to create natural art work and build dens. During their forest school sessions, the children will have time to explore our outdoor area which will instil a deep respect and awareness for their natural environment. Safety rules will be taught at all stages. Sessions will take place in a variety of weathers and in all seasons.
When does Forest School take place?
As part of our curriculum offer
Currently Forest School is embedded into the Reception and the Year 1 curriculum. All children in Reception will have one half term where they will do Forest School every Thursday morning. All Year 1 children have one half term where they will take part in Forest School every Thursday afternoon. During these sessions the children learn the basics of forest school including how to keep safe, den building, fire making, whittling and forest crafts as well as important characteristics such as resilience and team work.
Every class from Year 2 to Year 6 have one Friday each term which is a Forest Friday and the children love it! Mrs Stainforth works with the class and teacher to extend their learning from the classroom to the outdoors.
Small group interventions
We use Forest School as a small group intervention across the school. The main aim of the intervention is to improve children's self-esteem, growth mindset and well-being.
Family Learning Sessions
As part of our Family Learning offer we run Saturday morning sessions where children and parents work together in a Forest School environment. Parents have to be prepared to get fully stuck in!
We often use Forest School as our provision for Holiday Club.