What is Forest School?
Forest School is not a ‘one-off’ session but should be built up long-term over regular opportunities for children to be in an outdoors woodland environment. It should always allow all learners to achieve and develop skills of self-esteem and confidence within an outdoor, woodland environment. Within this, all children must be treated as equal, be allowed to explore and discover for themselves, take appropriate risks (through fire lighting, tree climbing and tool use), seek challenge, solve problems, co-operate with others and experience regular success. Through this, they will develop positive relationships both with others and the natural world and develop their personal potential.
Forest School is focussed more on learning processes rather than on the content so that it is not what children achieve but how they have achieved it and the steps that they have taken along with the skills learnt. It is based very much on a child-centred approach where children are given encouragement to direct their own learning using their senses to explore the outdoor woodland environment. Therefore, the role of the adult is more one of facilitator and observer rather than teacher and this is a role in which the adult must be flexible and adaptable with planning.
Most importantly, Forest School develops the whole child which enhances each child’s personal, social, emotional, intellectual, linguistic, spiritual and physical development to increase their ability to become independent, inquisitive, resilient and confident learners who can manage risk safely.
“Forest School is a long-term approach to education, for children, young people, families and adults, that maximises the benefits of learning in the outdoors.
Whilst its roots are planted firmly in our best understanding of the theory of how children learn, its practice puts the learner at the heart of their learning experience.
From this fundamental platform, Forest School offers children and young people the opportunity, over repeated visits, to engage with the rich natural diversity of the woodland environment to help build confidence, sensitivity, resilience and curiosity.” (Forest School Training Company)
What Do We Do?
There are lots of activities at Forest School which assist the children in developing their holistic learning in a hands on way.
ACTIVITIES WILL INCLUDE:
• Den building • Fire-lighting • Making fires • Muddy art • Natural art • Bug hunting
• Tree climbing • Whittling using knives • Sawing • Using loppers • Hide and seek games