Forest School is a unique method of Outdoor Education that allows children to develop confidence, independence, self-esteem and awareness and knowledge of the natural environment. This is achieved by setting small achievable tasks. The child is never put in a position where he/she will fail so success is attained. It is a child centred and child led programme that provides the opportunity for the children to use their personal learning style to complete their chosen tasks.
Intent of Forest School
Environmental Considerations and Conservation
One of the principles of Forest School is to promote environmental awareness and encourage sustainability. The children are taught about respect and responsibility for the world around them. Both the children and adults are encouraged to respect their environment and to be aware of conservation issues of the wild area around them. Encouraging children to care for the environment is an essential part of Forest schools. In order to encourage the children to look after the site we will always leave it tidy and never damage anything growing in it. We will only collect things that are on the ground or collect things which are in abundance and leave the area as we found it when we leave.
All children will be given the opportunity to take part in a Forest School session each academic year, for at least one half term. Sessions are led by a Level 3 trained practitioner, with support of the Class Teacher. The Forest School leader is responsible for the planning and leading of the session, ensuring that it follows and builds upon the agreed progression of skills document.
The Forest schools Leader will do a sweep of the site prior to the weekly sessions. First Aid kit, inhalers, wipes will be available. When required, the tool container, water containers and other equipment will be taken as appropriate to the designated area of the lesson. The Designated Leader will collect and return materials, checking that all objects are in working order and replaced at the end of the session. Pupils will be asked to wear appropriate clothing for the session (waterproofs etc.). Prior to the session children will be toileted, put on their waterproofs. FS safety rules will be shared with the group - at the first session, these will be established and reviewed there after. Children will put wellies on the outside the classroom door and walk to the site.
The following clothing requirements are for everyone attending a Forest School session:
During the Session:
During the session children participate in a variety of activities which are totally inclusive, thus catering for all ability levels.
After the session:
Cancelling Forest schools FS may need to be cancelled in extreme weather conditions, e.g. high winds, or blizzards. Adapted classroom activities will take place instead. Forest schools may not be able to go ahead if there are not enough adults to accompany us. If no replacement adult can be found then the session will be cancelled. The session may also be cancelled if the Forest schools leader is unable to attend. Campfires must not take place without a Qualified Forest School Leader.
Forest School Leader and Class Teachers will assess pupils skills throughout the sessions, identifying those who require additional support to meet expectations and those who are required to be challenged further to develop their skills. These amendments will be made in conjunction with the Forest School leader and progression documentation.
Children will be given the opportunity to showcase their learning at the end of their sessions. During this time, children will be given the opportunity to provide feedback through discussion, pupil interviews and questionnaires. Sessions and planning will then be adapted and amended for future cycles.
Learning will continue to progress for all children, using the progression document and agreed and of year group expectations.