‘Not all classrooms have four walls’
‘The best learning happens when the sky is the limit’
The ethos of Forest School is to provide an opportunity for personal growth and development whilst engaging with nature. Those who take part will be given the chance to develop their curiosity, confidence, self-esteem, creativity, empathy, communication skills and in turn be given the skill set to flourish within green spaces.
Our Outdoor Education approach fosters a love of nature enabling our children to make meaningful links with their learning whilst our Christian Values are taught and embedded in the outside environment. Every child, from EYFS to Year 6, access Forest School sessions throughout the year within curriculum time. Miss Reed, our Forest Schools specialist, has many years of experience promoting outdoor learning; her enthusiasm and dedication fires the imagination of each individual to have a sense of awe and wonder in the natural world. Children are proud of their achievements and in their own skills within the natural environment.
Forest School is a holistic way of learning, it mean involving the whole child as a way of learning that covers social, physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and character building for each child. We use this curriculum time to explore nature and discover the awe and wonder of life. Children have time to ask questions, reflect and see life beyond themselves and their place in the world as motivated global citizens. When children experience nature they have time and space to question how the human race interacts with the world. It also means thinking about how their beliefs, values and human actions or their inaction have consequences on the greater environment. This time in nature has a positive impact on how people treat it and how much influence children believe they have to make a change as global citizens. Being outdoors helps learners to consider their own relationship and space within nature and develop a respect for it.
In developing an appreciation of nature, we also begin to nurture a deep understanding of the Christian teachings of community, kindness and the beauty of the natural world. In developing respect for other living beings, we begin to understand our responsibilities as guardians and custodians of our planet. We aim to teach children about caring for the environment in a variety of ways, and balance the benefits the woodland provides whilst teaching the children to care for the environment and its limited resources. This is lived out through our value of respect - respect for ourselves, for others, for our world and for God. The children are encouraged to investigate and explore but also to respect all living things. Through our Christian values and our commitment to outdoor learning and pupil wellbeing, we aim to unlock a natural curiosity for knowledge and skills with enhanced opportunities to engage, motivate and inspire as well as to recognise the individuality of each child.
By attending Forest School we hope; children will develop a lifelong love and understanding of the natural world whilst building their social skills, self-esteem, levels of resilience and confidence in a secure, safe natural environment. Through engaging in collaborative outside activities; children can also learn transferable skills such as; how to work as a team, grow their future aspirations, keep themselves safe, to encourage and support the efforts of others, to be good listeners and negotiators, to be co-operative global citizens, self-reliant and versatile, and perhaps most importantly, it is a space to be happy and have fun!
Within our Forest School we aim to:
- build children’s self-esteem and confidence
- develop as responsible citizens with some understanding of sustainability issues
- create a positive and safe environment
- develop children’s respect for their woodland surroundings
- encourage positive behaviour in line with our behaviour policy
- give children valuable and exciting experiences
- be a positive role model
- encourage teamwork and give opportunities for building positive relationship
Sessions will run outside all year round and in all weathers (except in extreme circumstances) and include focused, well-planned activities including: bush craft, mud play, den building and team games, as well as child initiated activities that allow space for imagination and creativity to soar. Natural resources are used to stimulate this imagination, fascination, creativity and increase curiosity of the world. Sessions are a fantastic opportunity to explore and assess risk and to take the time to stop and reflect on their experiences, asking questions and making sense of their own thoughts and feelings in the natural world. Children gain soft skills like creativity, emotional intelligence and co-operation, which will be valuable in the future.