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, swinging 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, using loppers and secateurs safely to cut branches, making tipis for woodland creatures 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, woodland art - where they collected and crushed berries to make natural paints, relaxing in the hammock, den building, slacklining, hapa zome (leaf stamping onto fabric). They developed their teamwork skills and tool working skills, took risks and became curious, resilient and respectful learners.
Year 2 - Autumn 2
In year 2 we spent lots of time exploring the area. We practised our knots to build dens and secure hammocks to the trees. We also looked at habitats, particularly micro-habitats in the area of the woods. We had a go at building our own micro-habitats for mini-beasts to live in! The weather wasn't always great but we loved going to the woods each week and enjoyed a few cups of hot chocolate! We showed great resilience putting up the dens and hammocks and lots of curiosity exploring the area.
Year 3 - Spring 1
In Year 3, we took part in Forest School during Spring 1. We had a great time in Jubilee Wood and loved building dens, learning how to put up a hammock and best of all, digging in the compost pile for insects. We showed great ambition and curiosity to try new things and learn different skills.
Year 5 - Spring 2
Year 1 - Summer 1
In year 1, we enjoyed celebrating the king's coronation by making gifts in the woods. We built shelters that Mrs. Usher tested with water to make sure they were waterproof. We showed all the school values and were lucky with the weather!
Year 4 - Summer 2