Forest Schools is a Scandinavian initiative designed to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment. As a school we are very fortunate to have 4 teachers trained to deliver the Forest Schools programme.
Forest Schools is offered to our Foundation Stage and KS1 children and also as an after-school club for KS2 children. Sessions are designed around the needs of the group to ensure that they are learner-led. These sessions are based around a theme, themes are sometimes subtle such as evolving or exploring the site or more obvious such as butterflies, spies, fairies or nature investigators. Many areas of the National Curriculum are intrinsically covered, in the Forest Schools experience without the programmes needing to be curriculum led. Teamwork skills are developed through games and activities. Individual skills and self-esteem are heightened throughout activities such as hide and seek, shelter building, tool skills, lighting fires or environmental art, the list is endless.
Each activity develops intra and inter-personal skills as well as practical and intellectual skills. We are an Eco school and value the benefits of outdoor learning. Children are stimulated by the outdoors where they can undertake a range of practical activities to support and enhance learning across the curriculum. Our Foundation Stage and Key Stage One pupils also benefit from tending their own growing beds to produce fruit and vegetables to use in cooking activities. Further up the school, opportunities are built into the curriculum for children to continue learning beyond the classroom including undertaking fieldwork and enquiry based work in the local area.