What is Forest School?
The Forest School model arrived in the UK from Scandinavia in the 1980’s. Through exploring, experiencing and engaging with the natural world, Forest School enables children to develop emotionally, socially, physically, and build a range of skills. It is a long term, year round process, delivered in an outdoor setting (not necessarily a forest). Activities can be child initiated and led, or be ideas that I introduce, they could be anything from swinging on a rope swing, to making art from natural materials. Children are encouraged to use tools (supervised), make their own choices, resolve problems, and to take considered risks. My role is to provide a safe, positive environment for the children, and to enable them to follow their own interests by providing encouragement, skills, knowledge, equipment and guidance. We have a circle time at the beginning and end, but apart from that there is no set program during a session. Children have time to explore, try things out in an unhurried way, and build positive relationships with adults and their peers.
Skills that can be developed include:
- communication skills
- decision making
- fine and gross motor skills
- observation skills
- cooperative play
- problem solving
- respect for and knowledge of the natural environment
- social skills
- risk management
- self esteem
Who runs Forest School?
Forest School is led by Mr Stuart Fidler (Mr F) a level 3 Forest School leader, and experienced Primary teacher. The sessions take place on Wednesdays in an area next to the school field.
What does my child need to bring?
Your child should come to school ready for Forest School, please check the weather beforehand and dress them appropriately.
- sturdy footwear/wellies
- trousers/tops, warm enough for the weather (we may get messy, so not your Sunday best)
- a coat and waterproofs if necessary ( we have all-in-one waterproof suits in school)
- spare socks (just in case they get wet)
- hat/scarf/gloves if necessary
Please note that Forest School sessions dun in all weathers except extreme conditions where safety could be an issue. So come prepared!
The physical and mental benefits of spending time outside are long established and well documented. Forest School is year round, so children have the valuable opportunity to observe seasonal changes and experience variations in weather over the year.
During the colder months, it’s particularly important that children have appropriate clothing for the conditions. Clothing that keeps them dry and warm is essential to comfort and well-being. I find that wearing multiple layers is best (especially socks, wellies are waterproof, but not very warm).