‘Forest School is an inspirational process, that offers children and young people opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment’, National Definition: Forest School (England) Network.
The philosophy of Forest School is to encourage and inspire individuals of all ages through positive experiences and participation in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks. Taking part in activities in woodland helps children and young people to develop a connection and respect for the natural world, promoting both physical and mental health.
What happens at a Forest School session?
Any outdoor environment with access to trees (ideally woodlands), bushes, plants, water, insects, or mud is fine. It is about allowing children the time to explore, imagine and take risk. This enables the children to develop their self esteem and confidence within an outdoor environment. To dig, to see who can find the longest/shortest sticks by measuring, to discover the mini beasts that hide under logs, to work as a team to build dens for everyone, to make mud pies, be creative using woodland resources and under supervision to use real life tools. In addition the children will also be shown how to identify trees, learn about the many different types of large and small wildlife that live in the natural environment while also learning about keeping themselves safe and other hazards (poisonous plants).
We have been fortunate in being able to use a space on the site of St Mary’s playing field.
In line with policy and procedure we will do risk assessments, register, planning and observe and assess the children’s individual progress.