Our fully qualified level 2 and level 3 Forest School teachers work with all the children throughout the year. Children learn to develop their listening and attention skills, their communication skills and their personal and social skills as they follow the Forest School Programme. This curriculum centres around safety, taking calculated risks and trying new things out in a controlled environment. Through this ethos and teaching, children learn to be resilient and confident learners who take risks, problem solve and are excited to engage with new experiences. Children are also taught about how we look after the world around us and how it is important to have respect for, and show thought to, nature through sustainability, conservation and education. Children plant trees and create homes for mini-beasts to help them to understand the importance of their natural world.
Children learn about how to use real tools such as bow saws, loppers and peelers in a safe, supervised and strategic way. The children also learn to light a fire, cook on it and then eat the resulting food! Through activities similar to ‘bush craft’, children make land art, build shelters, bug hunt, create jewellery and much, much more!
Children experience this enhanced provision in our specially designed forest school garden. We provide high quality Swedish water and windproof suits for the children to wear so that we can enjoy working outdoors the whole year through. We ask parents to provide a pair of wellington boots which can be kept at school and used for outdoor play in wet weather.
Forest school sessions are planned according to the children’s individual learning needs and children’s progress is assessed against the Early Years Outcomes. Key Persons work with the children during Forest School sessions and use their assessments to inform planning and next steps for learning. Observations inform assessments and contribute to the children’s learning record which is shared with parents through the children’s online Learning Journals ‘Tapestry’, displays and at consultation meetings.