In Early Years, the children spend time each week at ‘Forest School’ (a wild area in the far corner of the infant school grounds).
Forest school sessions are planned using the Early Years curriculum, developing skills from all areas of learning. Our aim for Forest School is that it will help to improve physical development, language and communication skills, motivation and concentration, self-esteem and confidence. It also provides the opportunity to learn about the environment and how to care for it.
Forest School is excellent for building self-esteem, self-confidence and perseverance through a wide range of activities and crafts. Children learn to take responsibility for their own safety and take risks in a supported environment.
The children are engaged in a wide range of activities which involve exploring the area and using natural resources. They are taught to respect the area and everything that is living in it. They are taught new skills, such as tying knots and cutting wood.
They have the chance to work collaboratively e.g building a “bug hotel”, or in pairs making cosy homes for wild creatures to hibernate in. A lot of the Forest school learning is led by the children’s interests and they have the chance to ask questions and explore their own ideas.
The children, staff and parent helpers love their Forest school sessions and we have noticed an impact particularly in the children’s language and social skills, with increased vocabulary and confidence.