We are very lucky to have a Forest School site on school and all staff have been highly trained in forest schools.
The children spend a whole morning or afternoon session in the forest. Sessions take place whatever the weather (within reason), and the children are provided with warm, waterproof clothing and wellies. The children love to drink hot chocolate around the fire pit.
Forest Schools is a fun way of exploring and experiencing the environment through child initiated or child-directed learning. Many children and adults are used to learning in a structured way.
Forest School allows learning through play and in settings not always previously experienced. There are opportunities to take risks and learn in settings with wider boundaries. Enthusiasm and dedication by professionally qualified staff fire the imagination of each individual to have a sense of awe and wonder of the natural world and achievement in their own skills.
The children are encouraged to investigate and explore but also to respect all living things. Children learn best from first-hand experiences.
Exploring, playing and so learning using a range of activities (both designed by the leader and instigated by the children themselves) is what forest schools are all about. Building a sense of independence, high self-esteem and teamwork are important parts of forest school, but health and safety considerations are always of paramount importance.
Forest Schools has been running successfully for three years in the Early Years.