Forest School offers our pupils the opportunity to take supported risks and experience the awe and wonder of the world around us. It enables children to explore, discover and learn about nature whilst developing their holistic skills such as independence, confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Forest School scaffolds the physical, intellectual, emotional and social development within a child-led approach. The sessions are a continuation of learning experiences across a long period of time that consolidates and embed key skills which can be transferred back into the classroom setting. We are fortunate to have our own Forest School area on site where the children can access the specialised learning throughout the year. We follow the Forest School Association’s key principles to ensure that the core ethos is maintained and embedded which include:
- Forest School is a long- term process with frequent and regular sessions rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaption, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
- 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.
- Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
- Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Forest School is run by qualified Forest School Practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
- Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
Reference to: http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/
Forest School at Eastbury
Forest school is an enabling environment for cross-curricular learning to take place. In one session, the children noticed that the muddy pond was “deeper” in certain areas. They thought of an idea to measure the depth using a stick. Then, they used their critical thinking to use rulers to check and compare the different levels of depth across the pond. The children incorporated mathematics, problem solving and creative thinking within their learning!
Here are some of the wonderful things that we have done in one of our forest school sessions:
- Used magnified glasses to find and compare bugs
- Balanced across different trails
- Climbed to the top of the hill
- Learnt how to use the water pump
- Found pear fruits growing from our tree
One of our favourite activities is jumping into the muddy pond! We have learnt to become resilient, take risks and explore new textures!