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Forest School

Our Forest School Lead is Mrs Fitch.

Originating from Scandinavia, the concept of ‘friluftsliv’ (free open-air life in Danish) was initially developed with under-7s. The benefits of their self-esteem, motivation and learning was soon recognised and it developed in the UK in the 1990s into what we know now as forest school. Forest schools have been shown to:

  • Increase self-esteem and self-confidence

  • Improve co-operation, communication skills and awareness of others

  • Increase motivation, self-discovery and positive attitude towards learning

  • Encourage ownership and pride in the local environment

  • Encourage a better understanding of the outdoors

  • Increase the skills and knowledge

We are extremely lucky to have a large separate wildlife area on site that includes many trees, a clearing with a large circle of log seats and fire pit as well as a pond for pond-dipping activities.

Children are encouraged to work out problems for themselves and take the lead, whether through identifying safe trees to climb or discovering and mapping ant nests. They go out whatever the weather: snow, hail or sunshine. 

Forest School sessions are child-led and incorporate children’s right to play, to access the outdoor environment and to feel success.

Sessions can be linked to parts of the curriculum and, for example, linked to lessons on Romans by making bows and arrows out of wood. Science might involve filtering sediments with tree taps, making elderflower cordial, or identifying bugs using a magnifying glass. Also, sessions can inspire essays and art, involve traditional crafts such as weaving nettle cordage, balancing on a tree-to-tree tightrope or mindfulness in a hammock looking at the sky. There are also great opportunities for team building – making and testing shelters, for example - and self-esteem workshops. And there’s time for plenty of fun, digging in the mud, building dams, climbing trees and running through fallen leaves.