Forest School

The role of Forest School

Forest School gives the children an opportunity to spend a day outdoors learning in a completely different way to the conventional classroom model. Forest School celebrates the right of all children to play, as decreed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Whilst outside the children are involved in a diverse range of activities including:

  • Team and Trust building games;

  • Safe construction, lighting and use of fire, Preparing and cooking food on an open fire;

  • Use of cutting tools such as secateurs, loppers, bow-saw, knife and axe;

  • Ground maintenance projects such as planting and staking trees, clearing nettles and brambles from pond  and garden areas, keeping paths in good order, hedge laying;

  • Use of knots;

  • Gardening projects including preparing soil, planting, growing, harvesting and eating;

  • Construction projects such as making stars, stick and leaf mobiles, fence building, labyrinth construction, birdhouses, etc;

  • Creative art activities such as sketching, sculpture with natural materials found on site;

  • Creating shelters with a range of materials from putting up tents to using tarpaulins and ropes;

  • Solving problems in using a kinaesthetic approach in an outdoor context.

    Through these activities children benefit in many ways:

  1. Respect for the environment – All our activities are based outside and we work with the natural resources around us. By noticing and using the environment children learn to appreciate and respect it.

  2. Physical health – Fresh air and physical activity make for a healthy body which helps everyone learn.

  3. Self-esteem – The structured approach to tasks and the emphasis on setting children up to succeed raises self-esteem – children who struggle in the confines of the classroom will often thrive outside and therefore they will have higher self-esteem.

  4. Social skills – Children learn to be more cooperative and to respect each other. They learn that different people have different sets of skills and approach things in different ways – there is often no right or wrong way.

  5. Problem solving – Many of the activities require the children to think about how they can get a task done.

  6. Independence – Although always offered assistance, children will be left to try and achieve and complete tasks in small groups developing their independence.

 

 

Latest Forest School Update:

We had a fantastic day using the school grounds for Forest School. We used natural resources to help us create art. We made a needle and thread from string and a stick and threaded leaves with it. We made clay monsters using sticks and leaves. We looked closely at the spring colours around us and tried to find different shades of green and brown to match paint colour charts. This was very difficult because there was lots of shades but hard to find colours that matches exactly. We made paintbrushes from sticks and leaves and then even made our own paint with mud and water. In the afternoon KS2 made dens while Reception and KS1 made balancing butterflies. It was a messy day but lots of fun!

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