What is Forest School?
“Forest school is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self –esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees” (Forest School Association)
At Woodland Community Primary school, through Forest School sessions, we hope to encourage independent, enthusiastic and creative learners who develop holistically through a well-planned and interesting child centred approach.
We have 3 Level 3 Forest School leaders within the school, Miss June Williams, Mr Mark Allott and Mrs Miranda Hemmings. Currently, all year groups will take part on 2 Forest School sessions held on a Thursday afternoon. Keep checking this page to see photos of the children engaged in the different Forest School activities.
The Forest School Principles and how they link to our setting:
- Forest School is a long term process of frequent and regular sessions and aims for children to visit in blocks throughout the school year. Planning adaptation, observations and reviewing are all integral parts of the Forest School child centred process.
- It takes place in an open, natural environment – pond area and large tree lined playing field.
- We aim to promote the holistic development in all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- We aim to offer learners the opportunity to take support risks appropriate to the environment and themselves.
- It will be managed by a qualified Forest School Practitioner. Miranda Hemmings, Mark Allott and June Williams have recently undertaken training for the Level 3 Award, Forest School Leader.
- We will use a range of learner centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
More information regarding the Forest School Principles can be located at: http://www.forestschoolassociation.org/full-principles-and-criteria-for-good-practice/
Forest School Ethos
At Woodland Community Primary School we are committed to the ethos of Forest School and aim to:
Promote positive behaviour to ensure that safe running of Forest School sessions.
Provide appropriate adult:child ratios.
Plan sessions that contribute towards a safe environment.
Promote a secure, exciting and fascinating learning environment.
Develop a love of learning that creates independent and confident learners.
Fulfil every child’s potential.
Promote children’s self-esteem.
Support a positive relationship with home and the wider community.
Our rules and routines at Forest School:
Expectations of behaviour will be set by the Forest School Leader in conjunction with the school’s behaviour policy. These expectations will be discussed with the children in the classroom beforehand and reminders given at the start of each session outside. Children will also help to set some of the rules within Forest School.
Some of the main rules for our sessions will be:
Respect for plants, trees and animals.
No pick, no lick – be careful how you carry that stick.
Being aware of surroundings and own safety at all times.
Staying in view of the base camp/adults at all times.
Staying within the designated area at all times.
Forest School Leader
The Forest School Leader will plan and run sessions, taking into consideration all the Health and Safety issues that could arise The role of the Forest School Leader is to boost and develop children’s self-esteem, self-belief and confidence by suggesting small, manageable tasks and ensure that they have time and freedom to learn at their own pace without pressure.
Forest School Clothing
Forest school sessions will take place in all weathers unless the safety of the participants is in question, due to high winds or icy conditions etc.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”
Suitable clothing is essential for everyone participating; we need to be adequately dressed so that we can get the full learning potential of the session.
To take part in sessions children should have:
Long sleeved t-shirt
Trousers (even in warm weather as this reduces the risk of scratches, bites and stings.
Waterproof over trousers or dungarees and a jacket.
Long socks, wellies or old trainers (in very hot, dry weather)
During the summer, a sunhat and sun cream should be worn.
During the colder months, extra layers such as a fleece, leggings, tights, hats and gloves etc are required.
Children should bring their Forest School clothes in a bag with their name on it so they can get changed before the session and come to school in their school uniform as usual in the morning.