What are Forest Schools?
The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals through positive and hands on experiences in nature. Essential personal, social and emotional skills are developed through consistent participation in motivating and achievable outdoor activities. Through regular attendance in our local ancient woodlands our children develop an appreciation for nature, ecosystems and wildlife. Through practical experience the children learn many valuable skills such as problem solving and how to handle risks as well as building the confidence and self-esteem.
- FS is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
- FS takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- FS uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
- FS aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- FS offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- FS is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
Where will we go?
Our Forest School site is situated within our local Bradenham Woods just a 10 minute walk from school. The suitability of the site is agreed and maintained by our Forest School Leaders in conjunction with The National Trust.
Safety in the forest?
A thorough risk assessment of the area and activities are carried out regularly. The Forest School Leaders are outdoor first aid trained and we have comprehensive emergency procedures in place. The children are taught how to identify and manage risks through the use of the safety talk we do before each visit using the safety rules poster.
What to wear?
Children must wear their Forest School clothes to school on their allotted Forest School day. Clothes should be old, practical playing out clothes. They must have long sleeved tops and long trousers. Please note that tight jeans are restrictive and uncomfortable for tree climbing. The recommended school PE tracksuit bottoms work well for both comfort and warmth, thermals/tights can then also be worn underneath in colder weather. Experience shows that the children are both warmer and less constrained in several thinner layers rather than one large puffy coat. In warmer weather children can wear shorts into school but must have appropriate long clothing in a bag. School provides waterproof dungarees and coat to go over the children’s own clothes and coats. Due to the nature of the sessions they may sometimes get wet socks or trousers, please provide your child with a spare set of clothes to change into if necessary. All Forest School clothing must still be named in marker pen please. As per the prospectus, KS1 children are required to have a pair of wellington boots to leave in school-please note trainer socks do not work with welly boots & the children need appropriate socks on the day.
In summer please apply sun cream to the children before school and provide a summer hat and in winter please ensure children have warm winter hats and gloves.
How will it run?
15 Children will be taken into the woods for each session with a qualified Forest School Leader, Forest School Teaching Assistant and 2 Parent helpers. The remainder of the children in each class will be continuing with the curriculum as normal in School. Each group will go out on a 2 week rotation.