Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
Forest School has a developmental ethos shared by thousands of trained practitioners around the world, who are constantly developing their learning styles and skills to support new and imaginative learners. Its roots reach back to the open-air culture, friluftsliv, or free air life, seen as a way of life in Scandinavia where Forest School began. It arrived in the UK in 1993 and has grown from strength to strength since then.
The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it. Our approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. We believe that risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners. (https://forestschoolassociation.org/what-is-forest-school/)
At Crick Primary School, our Forest School is expertly led by Mrs Morris and Mrs Brennan. Several years ago, it was decided to roll out Forest School across the whole school with each class attending Forest School sessions on a Tuesday morning for one term. Our Reception class continued to attend Forest School sessions every Thursday morning.
For this coming academic year the following timetable has been set, this is to ensure the children experience the different seasons throughout their Forest School sessions over their time at Crick Primary School:
Have a look at the pictures showing the different activities we have experienced:
Reception - All year
Reception love going to Forest School every week. Some of the things we have loved are; bark and leaf rubbing, rocking in the hammock, making potions, lying on the ground and appreciating the world around us, making dens, digging in and rolling down the compost heap, making tipis for woodland creatures, climbing trees and playing lots of games! The children have become more and more confident as the weeks have gone on. Here are just a few photos from our time at the woods so far....
Year 6 - Autumn 1
Year 6 took part in Forest School in Autumn term 1. They enjoyed exploring habitats, observing mini-beasts, creating woodland art - where they collected and crushed berries to make natural paints, relaxing in the hammock, den building, hapa zome (leaf stamping onto fabric), whittling and using the bow saw and billhook to make mallets for the rest of the school to use at Forest School. They developed their teamwork skills and tool working skills, took risks and became curious, resilient and respectful learners.
Year 3 - Autumn 2
In year 3 we spent lots of time exploring both Jubilee and Millennium woodlands. We learnt a new game - 1, 2, 3 I see you - which we loved and played every week. We practised our knots and lashes to build dens and secure hammocks to the trees. We also looked at habitats, particularly micro-habitats in the area of the woods. We learnt how to use sheath knives to whittle and enjoyed building dens and climbing trees. We had a fire at our last session, and enjoyed trying the popcorn cooked on the fire with our hot chocolate - delicious!
Year 5 - Spring 1
Year 2 - Spring 2
Year 1 - Summer 1
Year 4 - Summer 2