What is Forest School?
Forest School is a series of regular visits to a particular outdoor area, The Spinney, where the children will have the opportunity to develop personal and other skills. This aims to support their learning alongside the development of their independence and self-confidence.
What is so unique about Forest School?
Forest School uses a combination of powerful approaches to learning:
- The sessions use a child-led approach. Increasingly, the children themselves will take the lead with the activities and learning they wish to explore
- It encourages the children to be aware of hazards and risks, and to take responsibility for themselves and others
- It gives the children time to explore, through play, and to develop practical skills to build and strengthen their bodies and minds
- It develops an informed awareness of the natural environment and our impact on it.
Health and Safety
- Each session will be led by the Forest School leader
- The woodland area will be risk assessed before each visit
- Sessions will not take place in stormy or very windy conditions
- The adult/child ratio will be appropriate
- The Forest School leader is trained in outdoor paediatric first aid
- Guidance regarding the children’s responsibility for their own safety and for that of others will be addressed and reinforced at each session
- Permission will be sought, through Clarion Call, for the use of a natural insect repellent cream, as the season dictates.
In the autumn term, we will be using your child’s maroon tracksuit top and bottoms for Forest School sessions. We will provide waterproof jackets and trousers for wet days. Your child will also wear his/her coat and boots. As the weather gets colder, your child may require extra layers, along with a hat, scarf and gloves. We should greatly appreciate if you could ensure that your child has these items on the appropriate day. Your child will not enjoy Forest School if they are cold! When the weather warms up, we ask that children have a long sleeved t-shirt and lightweight long trousers to wear during their session:
- Miss Turner’s class - every Thursday
- Miss Henshall’s class - every Friday.
What happens during a session?
- The walk to The Spinney is part of the session. We always practise how to cross the drive safely. We may talk about any changes that the group notice since our last visit. We may do some maths - measuring the circumference of a tree by holding hands around it and then comparing it with another tree. We may pretend to be a creature and move as the creature would. This is a real opportunity to extend vocabulary.
- We will establish a base, usually around the fire circle, remembering agreements made about how to move around safely in this area.
- On wet days we may build a shelter where we will have our snack and a story.
- We will reiterate our behavioural and environmental boundaries, using games for reinforcement.
- We will talk about possible activities (these may be specifically chosen to support and develop skills and/or learning, based on observation and assessment from previous sessions).
- We will wash our hands and have a snack at some point during the session.
- We will gather at our base towards the end of the session and review and reflect before we leave The Spinney. We may read a story.
- We will ensure that we have left minimal evidence of our visit to The Spinney.
Year 3 Iron Man - Outdoor Learning?
Click here for our latest Guide to Forest School