What is Forest School?
Forest School is an exciting opportunity for children to experience nature and learn outdoors. At Forest School, the children learn from first hand experience and develop resilience, independence and responsibility. These are all skills that will help them achieve more when they go back to the classroom.
Why is Forest School good for your child?
- Forest School helps to develop;
- Social skills
- Knowledge of nature
- Practical skills.
Children can also use their literacy and numeracy skills as well as their speaking and listening skills. Each programme is tailored to the needs of that group and will help children to enhance and develop their school curriculum.
Where do they go?
We use the minibus to go to the National Trust Woods at Alderley Edge. It is an ideal space for the programmes we develop, having lots of areas to explore and being very different from the area around school.
When do they go?
Sessions will take place on either a Tuesday morning or a Friday morning and will be every fortnight. Usually we try to run 6 sessions for each group.
What happens in the sessions?
The sessions last about 2 hours. In that time they will play some games, sit together and plan their session, and have the opportunity to develop new skills e.g. using tools, cooking or using ropes to make shelters, swings, etc. There is always a safety talk at the start and the leader will only introduce new skills if the children are ready for them.
What do they do?
There are lots of games and activities that the children can do which are both practical and creative. All activities will have a positive effect on your child's learning. They will also be learning about nature and have the chance to observe changes through different seasons.
What should they wear?
In cold weather, a few layers of t-shirts and jumpers are best with a warm overcoat. Joggers or warm trousers, thick socks and sturdy boots or trainers that can get dirty are needed. A change of clothes should also be brought in case the children get wet.
In warmer weather, light and cool clothing is desirable however children should still wear strong shoes or trainers.
How do we keep children safe?
The Forest School Leader is fully qualified and at least one member of staff will be First Aid qualified. The sites will have been carefully assessed and the children will be given detailed training in all of the activities. There is a higher ratio of adults to children than in their classroom at school.
Part of Forest School is teaching children about risks and how to evaluate them therefore the children may be taught about how to add fuel to a fire, how to cook and make drinks or how to climb trees and use tools. These activities are introduced as the children are ready for them and are carefully supervised.
By allowing children to take measured risks, we help prepare them for future choices and teach them to be actively responsible for themselves, their choices and their actions.
Research shows that Forest Schools contribute greatly to children's well being which is a major factor in academic success.