What is forest school learning?
“Forest School is a child-centred inspirational learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a long-term program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.” Forest School Association
Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent, and creative learners; it is also an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands on learning experiences in our own natural environment. At Samlesbury our infants have Forest School sessions throughout the year in their single year groups every three weeks on a rota. Our children love their Forest School afternoons!
Forest School ties in with many areas of the National Curriculum. For example, being outdoors year-round helps children learn about weather and the seasons, which are part of the programme of study in geography, studying mini beasts and plant life relates to the science curriculum, and working on tasks like den building and woodwork links with design and technology. Full risk assessments are carried out for all activities but children are encouraged to assess risk for themselves but always with close adult guidance.
Mrs Kearns is our Forest School level 3 trained leader supported by Mrs Noblett. They are both passionate about the impact high quality Forest School learning has on all children whatever their age.
Forest School helps to develop:
• Confidence and self-esteem.
• Communication and social skills.
• Physical skills.
• Greater understanding and awareness of the natural environment.
• Natural motivation and a positive attitude to learning.
• The ability to recognise and manage risk.
• Healthier lifestyles.
Forest school Involves:
• Child initiated learning.
• Being outdoors.
• Integration with the National Curriculum.
Forest School Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for individuals to develop, to learn and to enjoy themselves.
• To provide a safe environment in which children can take risks, make choices, and initiate their own learning.
• To help children understand, appreciate and care for the natural environment.
• To provide ways of developing practical life skills in an outdoor environment.
• To develop self-esteem, confidence, and a positive disposition to learning through the completion of small, achievable tasks.
• To meet the needs of children with all learning styles
• To develop social and team working skills
• To enable children to be independent, self-motivated, and considerate.
• To develop a secure, happy environment.
• To provide stimulation and varied learning activities appropriate to the child’s needs and stages of development.
• To help each child build self-esteem, confidence, independence and self-control and interpersonal skills.
Ethos and Values of Forest school (3 Is too)
Forest school kit
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Sir Ranulph Fiennes
At Samlesbury, Forest School learning takes place whatever the weather! Clothing advice is shared with parents when their child joins school. Kit should be left in school as it isn't shared for hygiene reasons (this is especially relevant in these times of Covid). If any family is finding it a challenge to provide kit to stop in school, then parents should contact school.
All children will wear their school uniform with the addition of extra layers on cold forest school days. The essential kit is a pair of wellies plus an all in one waterproof suit or separate jacket and trousers which can be worn over their outdoor coat. In summer, sun cream and a sun hat are essential as children are outdoors for a full afternoon.
Forest School days are on a Tuesday
Children in Nursery and Reception will all have their Forest School sessions on a Friday and should come to school wearing appropriate own clothes (not school uniform) every Friday.