We are proud to say we are a Forest School and we uphold the philosophy and values this brings. Working in this way supports our core values.
The philosophy of Forest Schools is” to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through an innovative, long term, educational approach to outdoor play and learning in a woodland environment.”
It is fundamental that Children’s basic needs are met before any higher learning can take place (Maslow’s Pyramid of Hierarchical Needs).
Warmth – correct clothing provided
Food- Health Snacks and meals
Drink – Hydrated water /hot drinks
Safe – individuals feel safe both physically and emotionally
The Forest School ethos focuses on an approach to learning that maximises the emotional, social and developmental benefits of education.Forest School works with children in the outdoors over a period of time, introducing responsible risk-taking and setting children up to achieve.
We aim to…
* Increase self-esteem and self-confidence
* Improved social skills
* Develop language and communication skills
* Improve physical motor skills
* Improve motivation and concentration
* Increase knowledge and understanding of the environment
* Become independent learners
* Stay safe and establish their own boundaries for risk taking
* Show creativity, innovation and problem solving
* To be able to explore at their own pace
Forest School provides an excellent opportunity to bring learning to life, allowing children to explore and learn in a constructive way. This process increases self-confidence, self-esteem, improves individuals’ ability to work co-operatively and offers the opportunity to take risks, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.
Children are supported in their learning, encouraged to explore and appreciate nature. They use tools and learn boundaries of behaviour both physical and social.Tools are used in Forest Schools in a traditional woodland manner and are introduced gradually with a structured safety base that your children become familiar with. The use of tools in the wood promotes trust and self-confidence within those taking part; their use will develop both gross and fine motor skills.
The content of the sessions will vary depending where the children take it. Sessions may involve looking at objects from nature using tools, lighting fires, shelter building, environmental awareness, team building games, story-telling and so much more.
Environmental sustainability involves making decisions and taking action that are in the interests of protecting the natural world, with particular emphasis on preserving the capability of the environment to support human life.
We maintain and look after the Woodland area and this reinforces our values of environmental sustainability. Our planet is unique and we must look after it. The Holbrooks area would have once looked like our Forest area and we want the children to value nature and learn from it. We have named our houses after native trees which come from this country and can be found in the locality: oak, beech, ash and willow.
Health and Safety checks
The Forest Schools practitioners will carry out daily site risk assessment and ensure all that each member of the group has the appropriate clothing and footwear. They will provide safety brief pitched at the appropriate level for your group and make sure the accompanying adults know the site entrance and the emergency evacuation point.
The daily Risk Assessment of the site will make sure there have been no major changes have happened since the last visit that might cause problems. This is recorded and appropriate action taken if necessary.
We start every session with the ground rules about how far they can go from the adults to how close to sit to the campfire.
Two highly committed members of our staff are fully trained to teach Forest skills. This way of learning suits many of our pupils and they say” it’s great fun learning outside.” The children wear waterproof clothes and wellies which are provided by the school and they go outside to take part in activities for most of the year. Activities are planned to develop the children’s self-esteem, each task is achievable for every child and no child is set up to fail.
Each child is free to safely roam the forest area. We want our children to grow stronger physically and mentally and to become more balanced and coordinated.