FOREST SCHOOL IS AN OUTDOOR LEARNING OPPORTUNITY.
It is run by a qualified Forest School Leader in our school and we use the grounds in our school to deliver this.
Why do we run Forest School?
Forest School is an excellent way to:
- Raise self esteem by offering opportunities that are achievable at every level.
- Offer outdoor learning opportunities for all children.
- Develop independent learning. We deliver child led activities with less adult input. The adults will be there as facilitators, the children will be responsible for their learning.
- Develop social skills and speech and language.
What do we do at Forest School?
Children have many opportunities to develop their learning. They dig in the mud and investigate minibeasts with magnifiers and bug viewers. They build dens and climb and balance on logs and branches. They make mud paint and use it to write and paint outside. They make pictures and patterns using natural objects. They thread leaves. They love using water outside and they whittle sticks to make stick pencils and other objects. They learn about seasonal changes in the environment.
These are just a few activities they have taken part in. We have seen an improvement in imaginative play skills at Forest School as well as speech and language and social skills. Forest School is a classroom without a roof where all children can achieve. These are our rules:-
Forest School Rules
Look after your Forest School.
- Do not pick anything that is growing.
- Do not put you fingers or anything else in your mouth.
- Stay within the boundary rope, we don’t go over it, we don’t go under it.
- We work with the children to develop other rules such as no running with sticks, scissors or spades.
How does it run?
Forest School has a set of routines and the children quickly become familiar with them.
They are outside for the whole session and during this time we have a snack altogether – hot chocolate and biscuits (much enjoyed by everyone!). We start and finish Forest School with a song and we say our Forest School prayer at the end. We count the children in and out of Forest School and there is a learning focus each week.
We have a health and safety booklet and a safety sweep takes place before every session to ensure the area is safe to use.
What do the children wear?
Children wear their own old clothes and wellington boots, scarves, hats and gloves in very cold weather.
We provide waterproofs so that all children can use the school clothing for protection. Forest School takes place in all weathers so children have to be suitably dressed for the session.
We have had some good feedback from parents about Forest School and the children really enjoy it. We often put two classes together where older and younger children play and socialise together. This has been very beneficial for everyone and helps to develop empathy and understanding for each other.