What is Forest School?
The six principles of good practice:
- Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
- Principle 2: Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
- Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
- Principle 5. Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
- Principle 6. Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
The Forest School Association
At Loatlands our Forest school provision works alongside our school values of respect, resilience and curiosity. We feel it is important to offer all of our learners a chance to access our Forest School provision during the academic year. This allows us to nurture all parts of a child’s character and offers them opportunities to learn without the confines of the classroom walls.
As our provision has grown, we have found that our children have embraced having the choice and freedom to set their own challenges and partake in more risky experiences. They have access to a range of tools which they are taught to use competently and safely. We love to develop our physical skills through gross motor activities such as tree climbing and den building and our fine motor skills too through knot making and creative activities such as weaving.
Our Forest school snack has become an integral part of our provision where we look at ingredients, food preparation, hygiene practices and where we cook our recipes on an open fire. This in turn leads to conversations about allergies and choices surrounding the foods we eat.
Many of our sessions are inspired by stories or story-telling; this enables us to have deeper conversations, often about characters, feelings or the natural world. This leads us to greater opportunities to develop our speaking and listening skills and in turn our speech and language skills.
We seek to develop a love of the natural world broaden our experience and knowledge of being outdoors and exploring the natural world.