Naphill and Walters Ash School

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Forest School

We are a Forest School

Nestled at the heart of our school community is Forest School. Situated a short walk from school within the beautiful Bradenham Woods, our children are able to enjoy a large woodland area that is monitored by ourselves in conjunction with the National Trust. Children from Years R,1 and 2 have regular sessions every other week throughout the academic year, led by our qualified Forest School Practitioners and supported by both other school staff and parents.

The Forest School six principles are:

Principle 1
Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.

Principle 2
Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Principle 3
Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners

Principle 4
Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.

Principle 5
Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

Principle 6
Forest School uses a range of learner-centered processes to create a community for development and learning.

Guided by these principles children are taught how to use tools and make fires, learning vital skills such as accountability and responsibility. They are free to roam and to explore, to investigate and to assimilate all within our natural environment.  Opportunities to work and play as a team and also space for reflection and individualism are present in every session. Cross curricular experiences occur simultaneously and budding geographers and scientists thrive as the environment stimulates natural curiosity.

This specialised learning approach compliments and sits within the wider context of outdoor education, naturally engaging children in the fundamental benefits of spending time outdoors interacting with the elements, immersed in stimuli that cannot be recreated indoors. Such hands on learning experiences help children to manage their choices, creating innumerable opportunities to develop their intrinsic capacity in balancing healthy risk benefits.

Every session is met with enthusiasm and gusto by both children and adults alike. Visitors are actively encouraged to come along and join in with our many activities such as den building, mini beast hunts, tree identification, mapping and orienteering to name but a few!