At Longacre, the children from Nursery to Form II have Forest School for an hour a week throughout the whole year. Topics that are covered in Forest School include:
- Woodland Art
- Fire lighting
- Tool work (green woodwork)
- Wildlife and how we can help
- Fairies and Elves
- Seasons and weather
Forest School in the Early Years stage is an opportunity for the children to work on their fine and gross motor skills. Walking and running on uneven surfaces helps to improve their balance. It’s lovely to give the children an opportunity to explore the woods and let them climb trees and jump off logs in a safe but natural environment. It also provides an opportunity for children to improve their communication skills. And they aren’t restricted by four walls so the children can be as loud as they want when doing their activities! At this stage we start introducing some simple knife skills to start the foundation for learning green wood working at a later stage.
Forest School is a great subject as it provides many opportunities for cross-curricular links. It’s a fantastic subject to have on the school timetable as it allows the children to really use their imagination and creativity whilst also learning transferable skills and knowledge of British wildlife and how we can help sustain it.
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 is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education. The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia.
At Forest School all participants are viewed as:
- equal, unique and valuable;
- competent to explore and discover;
- entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge;
- entitled to choose and to initiate and drive their own learning and development;
- entitled to experience regular success;
- entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people;
- entitled to develop a strong and positive relationship with the natural world
This learner-centred approach interweaves with the ever-changing moods and marvels, potential and challenges of the natural world through the seasons to fill every Forest School session and programme with discovery and difference. Yet each programme does also share a common set of principles, aimed at ensuring that all learners experience the cumulative and lasting benefits that quality Forest School offers.