‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’
Forest School by its very nature comes with an element of risk. We provide opportunities to enhance adventure and learning in the outdoor environment that will, in turn, develop skills and confidence in each child. This may include being near a fire, climbing trees and using tools. Forest School encourages children to discover and experience at their own pace either as individuals or with their piers. Our role as Forest School practitioners is to notice and support the children and provide opportunity for them to develop their own real life experiences. We ensure children stay safe and have respect for the environment and other people. We actively support the development of the children becoming active learners.
Lesson plans are in place, but each session can be informed by the children’s experiences in the previous session. Every session includes activities that the children can choose as well as time for their own adventures.
Forest School sessions run weekly for every child throughout the year and in all weather (other than high winds, thunder and lightning). Please make sure your child has appropriate outdoor clothing with weatherproof layers and spares – just in case they get wet!
A session usually runs as follows:
- Travel to site
- Request to enter (a short chant)
- Circle time, settling in, sharing
- Green Guidelines, keeping safe, environment aware
- Idea ‘seeds’
- Free Adventure
- Gather and reflect
- Thank you and goodbye (a short chant)
Benefits of children being outdoors include:
- Physical health benefits
- Mental health benefits
- Social benefits
- Risk awareness
- Positive behaviour
‘What is Forest School?’ – adapted from ‘Forest School Norfolk – A guide for practitioners’ (2009)
FSA (Forest School Association) Norfolk www.fsanorfolk.wix.com/fsan
More information about the Forest School approach www.forestschoolassociation.org
More information about the importance of play www.playwales.org.uk