At Forest Academy we are delivering Forest School from Early Years to Year Six.
All of the activities we do during Forest School are designed to challenge children but also to be achievable. This way children are able to stretch their skills whilst also building their confidence.
At Forest Academy we are delivering Forest School from Early Years to Year Six. Children gain a variety of skills from the Forest School Programme including confidence, social skills, language, motivation, knowledge, physical skills and concentration.
Forest School takes a holistic approach. It nurtures the whole child by incorporating the following areas of development simultaneously;
- Physical development; the ability to complete day to day tasks using fine and gross motor skills and hand and eye coordination. For example through the use of tools.
- Intellectual development such as understanding information, reasoning, logical thinking and concentration.
- Language development by understanding others and acquiring new vocabulary.
- Emotional development refers to control and understanding of feelings and emotions. It also involves how a child perceives themselves, their identity and self-esteem. Forest School provides opportunities for success and risk taking.
- Social development includes learning how to work and play together, relating to one another and cooperating. As well as an understanding of social issues, hazards and their effect on environments.
Forest Academy recognises that good Forest School practice can also foster ownership, autonomy, independence and responsibility. At Forest Academy we value independence and strive to give pupils the skills to thrive in their learning. We refer to these skills as Building Learning Powers (BLP) including resilience, resourcefulness, reciprocity and reflectiveness.
In Forest School children also develop curiosity and understanding about the world they live and become excited and inspired by the deep dark woods that surround our local area.
At Forest School children get to take part in activities that encourage creativity and exploration. All of activities are designed to be fun and interesting, and importantly something they would probably never otherwise experience.
Forest School programmes run over a minimum of 6 sessions the lessons are designed to offer a continuum of learning, over which children will gradually build up their skills and confidence of working and playing in the natural environment. They progress towards activities involving tool use and fire at a rate suitable to the individual group.
All of the activities we do during Forest School are designed to challenge children - but also to be achievable. This way children are able to stretch their skills whilst also building their confidence.
Example activities for Early Years and Key Stage 1:
- Woodland walks and nature trails
- Nature crowns
- Shelter building
- Making teddy homes
- Forest School stories
- Basic tool use to make minibeast hotels, wooden snakes, tree cookies, leaf presses etc.
- Building and lighting fires
- Puddle splashing, mud painting, mud sliding
- Exploring and collecting woodland materials to make natural art
- Scavenger hunts
- Clay creatures
- Natural music
Example activities for Key Stage 2:
- Nature detectives
- Constructing ovens and cooking food on fire
- Building wooden and rope bridges
- Blindfold / trust games
- Using tools to create woodland crafts e.g. whistles, charcoal pencils, mallets etc.
- Willow weaving
- Exploring habitats
Some of the activities mentioned above involve tool use and fire building. As an unfamiliar activity this can sometimes cause a safety concern to parents. Children's safety is absolutely paramount to us - activities are always fully risk assessed and we always ensure children are prepared and capable before beginning any task involving tools or fire.