Forest School Vision Statement
I am very excited that we are a Forest School. It is important that this is a whole school approach so we are building up our ethos, resources, knowledge and skills slowly and appropriately to ensure all children, staff, parents and governors are on board.
The Forest School approach is an ethos that believes that it is paramount a child learns how to be a risk taker whilst learning how to stay safe and manage risks in a safe environment, with skilled trained adults. We have carefully woven Forest School through our four year curriculum to ensure children see all curriculum areas in the woods, throughout the seasons. We beleive that this hands on, problem solving enquiry based approach ensures our children enjoy, remember and apply what they learn there. They also learn a sense of responsibility and respect for nature and in turn to try and ensure we look after our planet.
As a child I was fortunate enough to play out all day and every evening. I could climb trees, ride my bike, do handstands against the wall and make rose petal perfume. I got to experience life in every season. It is a different world now for our children. The climate now is that we need to ferry our children around in cars,occupy them with Ipads or DVDs and rarely do they go out to play on their own. Forest School is an ethos that encourages children to be more free in an environment that is secure and safe. I carrried out my Masters Degree research into the impact of Outdoor Education on Children's Learning. The results were very interesting discovering children who played out regularly throughout the seasons made the most significant progress. The most interesting find for me was that children who rarely spoke in the classroom and lacked confidence, gained confidence and acquired language much more rapidly out of doors. Research shows that boys are likely to increase and improve their speech 25% more when playing outside. When children were engaged in 'Secret play' in dens, in bushes, in the undergrowth, I observed them engaging in wonderfully imaginative play that they had never demonstrated before. I am passionate that all children should have the opportunity for such play.
We have sourced a perfect woodland within 1 mile of school, in walking distance, to school. Staff and children and Open Award Learners refer to it as 'Our Happy Place'. We have our nature garden for the whole school to engage in outdoor activities and learn tool skills and safety. It is also a space to reflect and be at one with nature.
I have attached our Risk Assessment documents and a Forest School Policy for you to read. I have attached a Parent and Volunteer booklet, informing you of the progression in skills and knowledge that your children will engage in.
Other resources that may interest you are some wonderful books:
Forest School and Outdoor Learning in the Early Years Sara Knight
Forest School for All Sarah Knight
If you move onto our Forest School Level 3 Training Award page 'The Fungis' there yiu wil find a full list of suggested reading around the importance of outdoor learniong for our children.
Home School Learning: