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 Ms Herrington. Ms Herrington has led Forest School sessions with our Reception classes for a number of years. This year it has been decided to roll out Forest School across the whole school with each class attending Forest School sessions on a Thursday morning for one term. Our Reception class continued to attend Forest School sessions every Friday morning.
Have a look at the pictures showing the different activities we have experienced over the past year.
Reception - All year
Year 6 - Autumn 1
Year 6 took part in Forest School in Autumn term 1. They enjoyed exploring habitats, observing mini-beasts, woodland art - where they collected and crushed berries to make natural paints, relaxing in the hammock, den building, whittling, nordic braiding, slacklining, fire lighting, hapa zome (leaf stamping onto fabric) and pond dipping. They developed their teamwork skills and tool working skills, took risks and became curious, resilient and respectful learners.
Year 3 - Autumn 2
Year 3 took part in Forest School during Autumn 2. They developed their teamwork skills , as well as being respectful and curious of the environment. They were also very resilient battling different terrains. They enjoyed exploring the forest habitat and looking for mini-beasts, relaxing in the hammock, den and shelter building, Nordic braiding, pond dipping and fire lighting.
Year 2 - Spring 2
Mr Garfield and Year 2 had a fabulous time exploring Jubilee and Millennium woodlands this spring. The hammock was a particular favourite, but Nordic braiding, den building and fire lighting were also on the menu.
Year 5 - Spring 2
We were very lucky with the weather during our time at Forest School, we had one wet session, but otherwise the sun shone and we had a fabulous time. We loved the mud pile!
Year 1 - Summer 1
We had a fabulous time at Forest School. We built on skills we had developed in Reception: den building, mini-beast collecting, and learnt some new skills like slackline walking. We also learnt more about the woodlands and the creatures that live there. We did get wet, but we had a lot of fun!
Year 4 - Summer 2
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: