The ethos of Forest School is based on the understanding that children have a built in desire to investigate the world around them through play. Children have a natural curiosity and Forest School allows them to explore this in a safe, well managed but different environment to the classroom. Forest School philosophy focusses on play and working out how to do things in a practical manner.
Each class has Forest School weekly for alternate terms, this allows each class to experience each season outdoors . The children work with our Forest School Teacher, Mrs Forrest to develop their collaborative and outdoor skills using our school environment. Much of the learning is linked to current class themes, and the children have wonderful times outside, enjoying such memorable learning experiences.
Forest School is based on the process of learning rather than the specific content. A session is planned by the practitioner but the children determine the outcome of the session and the adults follow their lead. Children are encouraged to direct their own learning with the practitioner ensuring all children get a say and are encouraged to participate. Forest School practitioners believe that children are at their best in this dynamic outdoor environment with a never ending source of smells, textures, tastes. As the seasons change, so does the forest and the experience to be had. Themes are planned in advance to incorporate the curriculum and merge in with current topics and learning outcomes. i.e. butterflies, fairies, nature investigations, land usage and design and technology skills such as joining materials. We work on specific skills as children progress through school, such as lighting fires, shelter building, tool skills, environment art and how to take care of the forest environment and the plants and animals within it.
Children are active, take ownership of their learning and develop their self-esteem through a variety of independent tasks they take ownership of. Children develop knowledge of sustainability and respect for their learning environment and the outdoors as a whole. Children develop their teamwork skills and increase their capability to work together to solve problems in a variety of ways, taking into account one another’s ideas. Positive relationships are built through these sessions and children are both enabled and empowered to achieve their holistic potential.