Forest School at Smallwood
Why you teach it - your purpose of study.
Forest School is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop their confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a natural environment.
Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within, and compliments, the wider context of outdoor education.
What you teach - your programme(s) of study
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children learn about physical and behavioral boundaries which allow for everyone’s safety and enjoyment at Forest School. Children have a chance to develop a wide range of skills, including Bush craft skills of using tools, fire lighting and working ‘Off the Floor’, alongside nature identification and ‘Big Art’ activities using natural materials.
Children develop an inquisitive, caring attitude toward the natural world, that we hope will create environmentally conscious citizens for the future.
We also use Forest School lessons as an opportunity to enhance other areas of the National Curriculum, by providing real life experiences in which to apply their learning. We regularly carry out Science, Geography, DT and Art related activities.
How you teach it - your delivery of the above
Each class has an afternoon Forest School lesson every fortnight in which there is a progression of skills throughout the year groups. This begins with observing ‘High Risk’ activities in EYFS and Key Stage 1, to assisted work in Lower Kay Stage 2 and progressing to independent work in Upper Key Stage 2, depending on the children demonstrating physical and emotional maturity. We support our SEND children by providing opportunities for them to excel, with adaptation of activities if necessary.
So what - your evaluations of the above
· There is a positive attitude towards Forest School across the whole school community.
· Parents engage in sessions by interacting with photographs and posts on Dojo and sending in correct equipment each week.
· Children enjoy and are positive about Forest School sessions.
· Class Books with photos of all our Forest School sessions help to celebrate the learning which takes place at Forest School. They also show progression for all pupils.