Making a difference. All of our children, all of the time.
Forest School is something that we are passionate about. We continue to team up with the Community Environmental Trust (based on Castle Vale), who support our Forest School provision. We use our EYPP funding for this so that all our children will continue to benefit from having access to Forest School every week, which they otherwise wouldn’t have.
We are very privileged to be able to offer Forest School every week, as not many other provisions are in a position to. Forest School should be a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions, which is why we highly value our weekly sessions for all children.
Forest School provides children with the opportunity to learn in an outdoor environment where they have the right to play, the right to access outdoors, the right to access managed risk, and the right to build resilience. Children learn through play and Forest School provides the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to manage risks and learn how to solve problems independently and with others. We love to be outdoors and take pride in all we have to offer. Forest School has been shown on previous years to have a huge impact on children’s communication and social skills, self-esteem, independence, physical development, concentration and motivation for learning. These all form the prime areas of learning and are important skills for children’s lifelong learning.
What will children do in Forest School?
During sessions, children will have plenty of opportunities to climb, balance and jump off natural objects. We have a fallen tree, a climbing frame and a specific tree they can climb. This will help to develop important muscle groups and a strong core which will support their future writing.
Children will explore the natural world around them. They will learn the names of British birds and learn about their habitats. They will learn about different mini-beasts and how to encourage more into our Forest School space. They will learn how to look after and respect our natural environment. Children will help to trim bushes, weed, look after plants and grow new ones. We have chickens at Forest School that the children will help to look after too.
Children will have the chance to use a variety of tools during their time at Forest School. Children will understand how to use them safely before using them independently, under direct supervision of the Forest School Leader. Using tools is a fantastic opportunity for children to feel empowered and recognise and manage risks. Children will use saws and loppers with support to help maintain our Forest School space, or to create wood for creations or to provide firewood for a campfire.
Children will experience half termly campfires where they will learn about the safe uses of fire: to keep warm and cook food. Sitting around a campfire is a great social time where children will share experiences with each other and sing songs. With the Forest School Leader, one at a time, children will have the chance to toast their own marshmallows and cook other food items like quesadillas, chips, roasted vegetables and popcorn.
To explore other environments and learn how environments may vary from one another, we go on outdoor visits around the local area such as Pype Hayes Park, Sutton Park and Centre Park.