We are delighted to be offering our children the opportunity to carry out Forest School from September 2022. Children across the whole school will attend six sessions across the school year.
What is Forest School?
Forest School gives unique opportunities to achieve, developing confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences. Forest School is a developmental learning approach that hinges on the learner being actively engaged with their outdoor environment on a regular basis.
Forest School is a long-term programme that supports play, exploration and supported risk-taking. The child-centred activities involve hands-on experiences in a natural setting. Additional resources to the natural surroundings are minimal.
Who will accompany the children?
Mrs Woodstock is qualified as a Level 3 Forest School Leader and will take the sessions on Wednesday afternoons. Each class will also be accompanied by the class teacher and other teaching assistants. This will ensure that the local trips are carried out safely and is also a wonderful opportunity for the staff to engage with the children in a completely different environment.
Where will it take place?
We are excited that this will be taking place in a natural woodland environment, in our local King’s Wood. This inspiring place will add to the experience of learning. The journey is a short walk away, which is mainly on quiet, public footpaths.
What does a Forest School site look like?
The Forest School boundary is marked by fallen trees and logs which are placed deliberately to form a place for the children to explore. Our sessions always include time together at ‘base camp’ – a log circle – where all children sit and enjoy hot chocolate. This drink is prepared at school and carried to the woods for Forest School.
What about the weather?
The sessions take place in most weather conditions. The exceptions are when there are weather warnings for high winds and lightning. In these conditions it is advisable to check our school website on the day for any updates. In these instances the children will have a session on the school field, away from trees, or in the classroom.
Being dressed appropriately for Forest School is absolutely key to its success. The idea is that if sufficient, comfortable and appropriate clothing is provided, all children can enjoy the Forest School experience in all weathers.
What will the children be doing?
For our younger children, activities can include: sensory walks, foraging for dead plants on the ground, team-building games, hunting for mini-beasts, building shelters and dens, climbing trees, playing in puddles, natural arts and crafts, tying knots and tunnelling.
For our older children, these can include all of the above as well as tree identification and knowledge, woodland life, leaf, twig, fruit, flower, seed identification, animal homes, identification of mini-beasts, lifecycles, habitats, seasonal changes, bird identification, feeders, bird song, celebrations and festivals activities such as wreath-making and helping wildlife.
It is recommended that all children bring the following kit to change into before each forest school session;
Long tracksuit bottoms – both in Summer and Winter we will be asking for children to wear these to keep warm, dry and to protect from scratches, bites and sunburn.
Long sleeved top – both in Summer and Winter, to keep warm and to protect from scratches, bites and sunburn.
Wellington boots or hiking boots – please ensure they are comfortable and fully waterproof.
Spare socks – for warmth and comfort.
Waterproof coat – an all-in-one suit works well instead of separate waterproof coat and trousers.
Waterproof trousers – to protect clothing from being wet and muddy.
Cold and wet days just add layers of clothing appropriate to the temperature and the season
in Winter the children will need at least three layers to keep warm. A base layer leggings, trousers and the waterproof trousers work well for their bottom half, and for the top half, a base layer top, long sleeved top, good quality fleece and waterproof jacket is a good mix.
Gloves – ideally waterproof but old ones as they will get muddy.
Warm socks – When it is really cold three pairs of socks can be needed!
Warm days just add
Applied suntan lotion
Ensure long trousers and long sleeved tops are loose and co