This year the school has appointed a qualified Forest School leader/teacher, to plan and deliver Forest School sessions to all children attending the school. The children will be taken off site to a local forest or woodland, were they will have the opportunity to investigate and explore nature and the natural environment. Each session has a clear, structured, planned routine with most activities being child led with adult support if needed and takes place in all types of weather. The children attending Forest School will be given the opportunity to climb trees, build with natural materials, use real tools and cook on an open fire. Managing risk is central to the Forest School approach and although adults ensure that the location is as safe as reasonably possible, children are encouraged to take appropriate risks as part of the routine. Through these experiences children will acquire an impressive range of knowledge, skills and positive attitudes which will benefit all aspects of their lives.
All Saints Catholic Primary School believes that Forest School sessions are a natural and effective compliment to classroom based learning.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is a type of outdoor learning in which children regularly visit local forests and woodlands. During Forest School sessions there is more emphasis on the investigation of nature and the children have the opportunity to observe the natural environment through all the seasons and in all weathers. Through activities including, camp-fire cooking, den building, whittling, natural art, nature walks, bug hunts and sensory art, the children have the opportunity to explore and learn from nature, the natural environment, the seasons and environmental changes.
Why is Forest School beneficial for children?
• Forest School is beneficial for children who are ‘kinaesthetic’ learners, (who learn by ‘doing’)
• Children involved in Forest School can become more confident, can calculate risk better and may show improved self-confidence
• Attending Forest School will foster a child’s desire for learning that will be transferred back into the classroom.
• Fresh air and physical activity during Forest School sessions encourage children to become more health conscious and develop self-awareness.
• During time spend in the woodland, children will play co-operatively in a group situation and develop problem-solving and their communication skills.
History of Forest School
The Forest School approach to outdoor learning is heavily influenced by the key educational theorists and naturalists of the past one hundred and fifty hears. Dewey, Froebel, Gardner, Steiner, Vygotsky and Montessori all shared the same view that put the child at the centre of their own learning and the importance of allowing them to independently explore the wider world. Forest School was introduced to this country in 1995 after a group of Nursery Nurse students from Bridgewater College in Somerset visited a Danish Forest School. They observed the children freely exploring the outdoor environment and believed the benefits to be great. They observed the children growing in confidence and learning to appreciate the natural world. On their return, the Forest School principles were applied to the nursery at the college.
Forest School news...
02.02.2017 – Mr. Barnes joined class 2S in the woods today for a Forest School den-building session.
We believe that Forest School sessions are an effective tool in supporting children as they investigate, and get creative in a natural environment. Activities such as den-building, bush-craft and natural art enable children to explore, work cooperatively with others, develop resilience, and to be creative and imaginative.
DEN BUILING AND STORY TELLING
This week the children of 5R were given the challenge to build a den around a woodland story.
Forest School sessions are used to develop a range of skills including imagination and creativity. We believe that we can help children to develop these skills by giving them time and providing the right resources and environment.
We take them away from classrooms and computer screens to a woodland area where they are surrounded by nature and natural beauty.
Woodland areas and in particular, trees are full of natural history that constantly grow and change. This is the perfect setting for den building and storytelling. Forests and fairy tales go together like sunshine and butterflies. It would be hard to imagine a traditional story without it featuring a woodland or an ancient tree!