In our Forest School, 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).
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 outdoor education sessions where there is an appropriate link to their classroom learning, for example, Year 2’s science topic of habitats.
Part of Forest School is teaching children about risks and how to evaluate them. The children are introduced gradually to learning about adding fuel to a fire, how to cook and make drinks using it, climbing trees and using tools. Under careful supervision, and 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:
- The arts/creativity: singing, storytelling, imaginative play, arts and crafts, potion-making in the mud kitchen,
- Maths collections and activities
- Collaborative play and games: ‘123 where are you’ and ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf…’
- Practical skills: ropes and knots, making trails, using simple tools to peel vegetables and sticks, growing vegetables, flowers and willow
- ‘Risky’ play: balancing over our ‘mud pit’ and climbing trees, adding fuel to fires, making hot drinks using ‘Kelly kettles’
- Environmental activities: building nests, feeding birds, building shelters for woodland animals, mini-beast hunts, wildlife watching