Forest school is a wonderful opportunity for your child to experience nature and learn outdoors. At forest school, children learn from first hand experiences and develop skills like independence, responsibility and perseverance. These skills will empower them to achieve back in the classroom. Children from years 1 to 6 will take part in forest school in rotation. Check the school calendar for dates for your child’s class.
The main principles of forest school:
Freedom from interference
Belief in yourself and your abilities
A feeling of pride in yourself
Understanding your place in nature
Where do they go?
The majority of forest school sessions will take place on the school premises. We are very fortunate to have extensive outdoor spaces and a well established nature garden which is perfect for our needs. For key stage 2 children there is also the opportunity to explore our local woodlands (Norton wood, Highwood and Woodchester Park).
What do they do?
There are lots of activities and games which support learning in forest school. Activities are likely to include making dens, using tools, cooking over an open fire, going on scavenger hunts, making natural art, caring for wildlife, exploring eco-systems and lots, lots more!
What should children wear?
Children will need to bring appropriate clothing for every session.
In cold weather, children will need:
- A waterproof coat
- Wellies or walking boots
- Waterproof trousers (strongly recommended but not essential)
- A warm hat and gloves
- A pair of warm comfortable trousers or joggers (no denim please, it irritates skin when wet!)
- A LONG sleeved t-shirt
- A jumper
- Spare socks & underwear in case they get wet.
In warm weather, children will need:
- A LONG sleeved t-shirt
- Comfortable trousers or joggers
- Sturdy Trainers or boots (it might still be muddy)
- Sun hat and sun-cream
What if it rains?
WE WILL STILL GO OUT! The only times a session will be cancelled due to weather is in high winds (>34mph) or if it thunders. This is why waterproofs are so important. The forest school ethos is to promote independence and encourage children to take responsibility for having the correct cloth- ing suitable for the weather that day.
Is it safe?
All forest school sessions will be led by a Level 3 qualified Forest School Leader who is first aid trained and with at least one other adult present.
The site has been carefully risk assessed with a safety sweep taking place before every session.
The children will be given detailed training for all activities. Activities using tools and /or fire will have a ratio of 1 adult to 5 children.
Part of the forest school ethos is to teach children about risk and how to evaluate them. By allowing children to take measured risks, we help them to make choices, act responsibily and understand the consequenes of their actions.
Where did Forest School begin?
The concept of Forest School comes from Scandinavia where children are encouraged to explore the great outdoors from an early age. They learn to manage risk, gain independence and learn how to cope with failure through a curriculum of small achievable tasks designed to follow their curiosity. This ethos has now been introduced to the UK. If you would like to find out more go to www.ForestSchoolAssociation.org