Outdoor LearningEach half term, every child has a session in our Outdoor Learning area. These sessions may be run by teaching staff or a Forest School trained staff member.
What is Forest School?
Forest School takes place in a natural outdoor environment and is a method of working outdoors with children, young people and adults, using that environment to promote social and emotional development. It is a child centered, inspirational, holistic process that provides regular opportunities to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences. (Forestry Commision, Forest Research).
What sort of activities do the children do there?
Some activities may be linked to different areas of the curriculum. These can include:
Music – keeping a pulse or copying a rhythm pattern by beating sticks together, creating instruments from natural materials learning songs and singing as a group
Design Technology and Science – Building dens, knot tying, whittling wood, making wooden disks, investigating the life cycles of living things, planting and growing vegetables, exploring the changing states of matter
Literacy – Story telling around the fire, writing, role play, exploring with their senses to support writing, and creating story maps with natural objects.
Numeracy – Measuring, Data Handling, Shapes and Problem Solving
Art – creating pictures or sculptures out of sticks or mud, Hapa Zome creations, colour matching and making our own media to draw and paint with!
The Forest School sessions
Each session begins sat around the Fire Circle, where we talk through the safety rules and boundaries for working in the area and about respecting each other.
Each session has a plan which includes several small group activities. The sessions are child led and plans are continually adapted to reflect the interests of the participating children. The activities are made as safe as is reasonably possible to allow children the freedom to take controlled risks in a safe environment and to move comfortably within it.
Finally, the children return to the Fire Circle and have some time for reflection before the close of the session.