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Forest School

Forest school is an outdoor learning experience, which gives children, young people and adults the opportunity to develop skills, confidence and independence using a woodland setting.  The Forest school sessions enable the learner to develop in personal skills, increase in self-confidence and self- awareness, build resilience, improve communication, understand risk-taking and problem solve. The Forest School ethos is unique, and has a learner centred approach. Activities are broad and may cover many curriculum subjects from foundation stage through to Key Stage 2 and beyond or may simply be lead by the interests and exploration of the learner.

The Forest School sessions are developed according to individual needs of the participants, enabling everyone to succeed. We currently provide forest school for children in Reception.  Other year groups have taster sessions throughout their schooling whilst Reception have access to full on Forest School. Lead by a level 3 practitioner using methods of self-directed play and activities, the learners are given the space to explore, experience and grow as both individuals and as a group. Some activities are planned, others emerge or evolve from the children’s imagination and play, but unlike traditional outdoor learning, forest school takes place over a long-term period at regular intervals. We adhere to the 6 Principles of Forest School as laid out by the Forest School Association:

What is quality Forest School?

Quality Forest School is delivery which holds to all six key principles that shape and govern the Forest School ethos. There are many forms of outdoor education and all have enormous value, however, Forest School is unique in its reach, delivery and effect. These six principles are:

  1. Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
  2. Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a lifelong relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  3. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
  4. Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
  5. Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
  6. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners, who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.

See The Forest School Association for more information:
https://forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/