Forest school embraces the outdoors as an inspirational learning environment focused on the childs learning needs rather than specific outcomes. The children explore and experience the natural world, on a regular and sustained basis, in small groups. The Forest School is a unique way of building confidence and self esteem, learn new life skills and promote independence, through hands on learning experiences.Programmes are child led where the areas of interest are generated by the children or young people participating. This is achieved through observations and reviewing which helps practitioners to prepare for their following sessions.
An example of this could be: if the group has shown a particular interest in where animals live the next session may involve building little shelters for animals to live in.
Where Forest Schools excel, is in supporting individual children. It's ethos acknowledges individual learning processes and supports participants at their own pace and responds to their requirements and areas of interest. It encourages individuals to build up to a point where they feel they can push their own limits both physically and emotionally. Forest schools provide a safe yet challenging and stimulating environment full of sensory diversity.
At Forest School the participants are actively involved with how the programmes develop this makes experiences relevant to them and this has a direct effect on motivation and causes the learning experience to be more emotional involved and the learning is then routed more deeply .
Examples of activities;
Splashing in puddles, roll in leaves, catch rain on a tarpaulin, build a snow slide, dry mud out in the sun until it cracks. Slide down a mud slide, make mud pies, looking for worms, painting on a leaf as you can imajin this list is endless please check out our activity swap shop for ideas.
Because of the high adult: child ratios and comprehensive training required of practitioners other more involved activities can take place that would be built up to over a long period of time such as tree climbing, lighting fires, outdoor cooking, low ropes challenges, using tools to make different things or to help with construction.
Benefits of Forest School;
Benefits of attending a Forest School are so far reaching yet also difficult to measure.
Healthier bodies: increased frequency of physical exercise, a challenging environment that helps to develop motor skills, fresh open air allows dispersal of viruses, learning to prepare and cook healthy food.
Healthier minds: Forest Schools offer an opportunity to be sociable and also to have time alone. Space and resources are naturally available allowing individuals or groups to investigate and problem solve. Forest Schools provide time to just be, where individuals can relax and explore interests. Personal motivation, a willingness to try new tasks and the ability to persist at tasks increases.
Healthier environment: an understanding and appreciation of the natural environment through experience. Knowledge of how systems interlink, and how we affect our surroundings. By spending time in the environment using it to play and learn effects us at a deep level. It is this connection with nature that opens us up to care more for the environment as adults.
Healthier future: Many of the skills that develop as a result of spending time at a Forest School are essential life skills that in time will benefit the economy. Children develop determination to complete tasks; they learn to work together as a team communicating effectively.
Currently our Forest School operates for one session a week in our new secure area and is available to all children from the term after their 2nd birthday. Why not arrange a visit and come along and see for yourself how your child would benefit from this opportunity.
Forest school sessions are subject to a £20 per term fee.