Forest school is a child-led long term learning programme delivered by our qualified Forest School Instructor. Following a holistic approach to learning and development, it focusses on nurturing the ‘whole child’ through increasing their self- awareness, self-regulation, self- motivation, empathy and social skills.
Through reconnection with nature, children are involved with hands on experiences and taking learning right back to basics. Forest School allows children to become immersed in learning by actively encouraging risk taking, using their own initiative and pushing their own boundaries to develop key skills which will transfer not only in to the classroom but to the child’s wider learning.
Autumn in the woods is always a magical time. The ground cover is wonderful and the trees cling on to their lush green leaves as long as possible. The beautiful beach trees have grown lots this year as well as the orchard that was planted in 2018. Hopefully we will have some fruit to harvest in the coming years. The amazing cover makes it brilliant for games of hide and seek and 123 come to me!
Out resident dragon Sneezy is covered in a young beach tree which makes him hard to spot however soon the colder weather will set it and he will be on full display again.
Autumn also brings lots of lovely tasty berries to pick including blackberries and elderberries. The rosehips are also starting to immerge.
We have been:
Searching for animals
Use the pots and pans to create dreadful delicacies
Playing camo games
Searching for signs of autumn
Going on leaf hunts
This summer has been very different for our wonderful Forest School. With the onset of the warm summer weather as well as the dramatic drop in footfall, the woodland has grown like a jungle!
We have a wide range of trees in the woods including Beach, Birch, Hawthorn and Oak- all at different stages of growth. This year has enabled the trees to grow without disturbance and with the new tree growth has come lot's of new habitats.
The children have noticed a massive increase in nesting birds such as robins and blue tits as well as lots of interesting insects such as dragon flies (around the stream) butterflies and beetles. Many of which we have not noticed before!
The growth has also provided some really great new hiding places for hide and seek as well as camouflaging our resident dragon 'Sneezy'.
We saw the bluebelles, wild garlic, jack o'the hedge and nettles come and go over the spring/summer months and are now looking forward to the picking the fruit trees we planted last year.
We have already harvested some Elder which we enjoyed smelling and we have also spotted some rare wild Orchids near the stream.
We have been:
Fishing with homemade rods
This arrival of winter in Forest School saw lots of children pulling on their warm winter woollies and braving the elements to enjoy the outdoors. The winter bought us particularly challenging weather with the arrival of Storm Ciara. The storm lasted only 24 hours but brought down aged trees, flooded the stream and caused lots of destruction to the neighbouring woodlands. The children worked hard as a team to move fallen branches and replant trees lost in the storm.
Spring has brought us lots of fantastic wild flowers as well as tasty wild garlic which we have picked and eaten!. We have also discovered lots of nesting bird sites as well creating and maintaining the existing habitats in the woods.
We have been:
Looking at the phases of the moon
Digging up worms
Building giant nests to keep us warm and cosy
Digging and splashing!
Enjoying warm drinks and soup
Helping to move storm debris
Planting new trees
Making mud pies
Autumn 2018/ Spring 2019 Update
In Forest School we have been...
Making pewter shapes
Improving our tool skills
Using tools to make Pinball games
Exploring the depths of winter
Making bird feeders for the wild birds
Sharing warm drinks and social time
Using natural materials to light fires
Making Dampener bread