Curriculum enrichment through Forest School
What is Forest School?
Forest School is an internationally recognised process in which children are educated in the outdoors environment, preferably a woodland setting, on a regular basis. It is a planned and well organised programme of child-centred learning. Through a balance of responsible risk taking and building trust, Forest School explicitly supports children's social, emotional and physical development. It gives children an immersive window into the natural world, the environment and issues around respect and responsibility for our planet. At St John's we have 4 acres of forest school, and passionately believe that every child should have the opportunity to experience this type of learning within the school day at least once a week.
What happens at Forest School?
The session may often begin with a teacher-led, whole class activity and then the children move on to work in small groups, at their own pace, on a wide range of activities. These may include finding and collecting things, learning about the plants, trees animals and insects, creating art and sculpture using natural materials, making shelters and other structures and playing games. The sessions often end with sharing what we have discovered, enjoyed and even found challenging.
How do children benefit from Forest School?
Through Forest School we:
help children understand, appreciate and care for the natural environment
develop children’s confidence, independence and self-esteem
develop children’s thinking and problem-solving skills
develop children's ability to work effectively as part of a team
develop children's understanding of the link between freedom and responsibility
support areas of the curriculum, in particular science.
What clothes do they need?
play clothes, appropriate for the weather, that can become muddy
a spare pair of socks
all weather coat
waterproof clothing if possible
sun hat and sun cream when appropriate
Please make sure that all items are clearly named. We have some Wellington boots and waterproof clothing that we can lend – please ask.
Risk and Health & Safety
At Forest School, children have clear boundaries and rules and are supervised as appropriate to their age, development and Forest School experience. There is a high adult to child ratio. Risk assessments are carried out for the area, for activities and for any equipment they might use. These, together with all relevant policies and procedures are in our Forest School Handbook which is updated on a regular basis.
Parent or other adult volunteers
If you would like to be part of a group of Forest School Volunteer Helpers to support our Forest School, please let us know.