Forest School at Claremont Fan Court provides so many wonderful learning opportunities.
Children learn through first-hand experience and develop a broad range of skills such as perseverance, independence and responsibility. The children's initial interests and fascinations are explored through free play and games before introducing a variety of engaging activities. Children also enjoy our woodland adventures to the gathering circle under the Redwood Tree and through the woods to Sleeping Beauty’s castle or Rapunzel’s Tower (The Belvedere).
Part of Forest School is teaching children about risks and how to evaluate them. So the children are taught about how to add fuel to a fire, cook and make drinks using a fire, climb trees and use tools. These activities are introduced gradually and are carefully supervised by an adult. By allowing children to take these measured risks, we help to prepare them for making choices when they are older and teach them to be actively responsible for themselves, their choices and their actions.
During the course of the year, we build up an activity structure around the needs of the children. Some examples include:
- Collaborative play and games e.g. '123 where are you' and 'What’s the time Mr Wolf…'
- Imaginative play
- Shelter building
- Wildlife watching
- Ropes and knots
- Making trails
- Maths collections and activities
- Arts and Crafts
- Making potions and cooking in our mud kitchen
- Using simple tools to peel vegetables and sticks
- ‘Risky’ play such as balancing over our ‘mud pit’ and climbing trees
- Adding fuel to fires and making hot drinks using ‘Kelly kettles’
- Environmental activities such as building nests, feeding birds, building shelters for woodland animals, mini-beast hunts
- Gardening (including growing vegetables, flowers and willow).
Forest School sessions
Forest School sessions last two hours and take place weekly within the normal school day for Pre-Nursery, Nursery and Reception classes. Year 1 and Year 2 also have sessions where there is an appropriate link to their classroom learning, for example, Year 2’s science topic of habitats.