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Forest School

Forest School sessions offer an exciting hands on learning experience in a natural environment with trees. The sessions offer ALL learners the opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self- esteem. Forest School is a specialised learning approach which compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education. The student led sessions are delivered by a qualified member of staff who ensures that the whole programme allows individuals to develop a relationship with the natural world, foster resilience, creativity and confidence.

Forest School fosters Holistic Development

Personal and Emotional Development:

  • Setting challenging but achievable activities helps to build the confidence of learners.
  • Student-led sessions can develop students' self-esteem.
  • Regular social interactions, new and challenging activities, and changing physical conditions result in students experiencing a range of different emotions.
  • Student-led activities and a reliance on natural materials fosters creative thinking.

Social Development

  • Cooperative play and team activities help students to build relationships with their peers
  • Long-term Forest School programmes with the same group of students facilitates the building of close friendships.
  • Promoting positive behaviours and social values through human interaction helps students understand how to act in real life situations.
  • Observing and interacting with other students, who are experiencing a range of different emotions helps to build an awareness of others.

Intellectual Development

  • Encouraging and scaffolding students through a range of new and challenging activities helps to develop their problem solving skills.
  • Regular contact with the natural environment helps to raise the students' awareness of environmental issues and helps to develop their understanding of the habitats and ecosystems present in British woodlands.
  • Encouraging students to recognise plants, trees, insects and other animals helps to develop their identification skills and knowledge of specific characteristics.
  • Activities such as den building and natural crafts develops understanding and recognition of shape, size, weight, quantity, and other mathematical concepts.

Physical Development

  • Many of the common Forest School activities - such as den building, obstacle courses and tree climbing - require different physical movements and thus help with the development of gross motor skills.
  • Similarly, activities such as tying knots, small natural crafts and whittling, using tools, require more intricate movements and therefore help with the development of fine motor skills.

Communication Skills

  • Team activities and cooperative play provide the opportunity to communicate in different ways, including verbal, written and visual methods.
  • Students have different levels of ability and are therefore able to scaffold the learning of their peers by demonstrating activities and encouraging them to attempt different activities.

Developing Cultural Understanding

  • Mixed groups often enable students to interact, communicate and form relationships with students from a range of different backgrounds and cultures.
  • The promotion of British values and appropriate cultural behaviours is a fundamental part of the Forest School ethos.

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