Outdoor Education – Forest School

Intent

Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks.
Forest School provides an opportunity to engage children in outdoor learning based on an understanding of ecology, sustainability, the nature of plants and animals and developing essential outdoor skills in survival, woodcraft and outdoor living.

Participants will develop:
• socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually.
• their ability to solve real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience.
• as healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.

Implementation

Mr England has completed the Forest School training and is now qualified to run our Forest School programme.
Our extensive grounds are being developed for our Forest School Programme and we hope to have our Outdoor Learning Centre and Forest School Programme ready by September 2021.

Currently, Mr England is working with a group of 8 Y4 children to complete our first Forest School project. During the national lockdown this has taken place through Zoom. The sessions have focussed on the safe use of a range of outdoor tools, developing personal and inter-personal confidence when working with natural materials and develop reflective learning ( metacognition).

Forest School at Brooke

Teachers also regularly use our grounds to support curriculum activities. Last term our Y3 children engaged in den building and making pointed spears without the use of any tools, as an investigation into surviving as a Neanderthal.

Recently, the Y4 Gardening club constructed two wheelbarrows without any instructions (true problem solving!) and a Y5 group build a greenhouse.

Children are taught to recognise and respect the dangerous parts of a range of woodland tools, and how to hold, carry, use and store them safely.

The concentration, determination of the children is clear to see.
These have all been activities designed to foster collaboration, intuitive thinking and to develop self esteem and confidence in our children.
We are continuing to develop the Forest Schools ethos of our Outdoor Learning Centre.

During these difficult times it has become clear that spending times outdoors has clear benefits for the Mental health and well-being of children, indeed for everyone. Even a short period outdoors listening to and engaging with the natural world has been scientifically proven to be beneficial to the mind and spirit.

Further information and resources

  • Long Term plan

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A Venn Academy Trust School

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Venn is a pioneering academy trust, committed to building educational environments where all pupils are inspired to become lifelong learners who achieve the very highest standards possible. Collaborating with all partners, the Trust works with its unique settings to create world class learning experiences for all.

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