What is forest school?
‘An inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment.‘ (FSA website)
Why is forest school a great opportunity for your children
It is proven from research that learning that takes place in the outdoors is much more powerful and memorable as all the senses are involved. It assists:
- Social development – communicating, sharing, negotiating and problem-solving
- Emotional wellbeing – a sense of achievement
- Gaining Knowledge and understanding – multi-sensory and real-life learning
- Building confidence and resilience
- Skills development
- Children are taught how to risk assess for themselves
- Individualised learning with adult observation
Forest school sessions at all saints
Here at All Saints, we are blessed with a wonderful site for Forest School. Our wildlife and pond area, gardening space, willow hut, many different tree species and the expanse of open space provides the perfect setting for our activities.
Sessions take place every Friday morning throughout the whole year with children in Years 3 and 4. During this time they will have the opportunity to explore our Forest School setting and the environment through a range of activities and challenges, including:
- creative wild art and design
- exploring habitats and homes for flora and fauna
- designing and making home for insects
- maintaining and making bird feeders for our feathery friends
- developing ID skills using keys
- knot tying
- learning how to safely use tools (such as bowsaws and loppers to coppice our hazel trees, whittling tent pegs and cooking sticks, drilling holes in wood)
- fire lighting and campfire cooking
- shelter and hide building
- creative construction including designing flying machines and a squirrel assault course!
Seasonal changes will influence the activities we do.
At the end of each session we have time to reflect on the activities we have done and achievements made over a drink and snack.
How children are kept safe
The Forest School leader is trained in both pediatric and forest school first aid. In the event of a more serious incident, the school accident and emergency procedures will be followed and parents contacted. The children are shown the boundaries of the outdoor learning space and given detailed training on all activities with a high ratio for tool work. All activities are fully risk assessed and reviewed regularly.