In modern society, contact with the outdoors is often limited for our children, and with that, vital developmental skills and respect for nature can fade. Forest School is one of the ways that we can attempt to correct this balance and give our children the chance to live and learn freely with nature.
Stonebury Learning is happy to arrange a bespoke programme of Forest School Sessions for pre-schools, primary schools and secondary schools. We can create a block of sessions that link to the curriculum or that stand alone as an independent activity. Many schools are now choosing to use regular Forest School Sessions as a way of providing PPA time for classroom teachers.
Schools who have given their pupils the chance to participate in regular Forest School sessions have seen: increases in concentration and focus during classroom time, improved behaviour from previously challenging pupils, increased energy and enthusiasm during classroom time and an improved sense of community spirit – as well as decreases in incidents of bullying.
As well as having an opportunity to participate in the planning of sessions, schools are given regular feedback from Forest School sessions and are given evaluations of sessions and pupil progress on a termly basis which can be used in school reports. If desired, Stonebury Learning can work with the school to link Forest School activities to NC targets.
Children who attend regular weekly Forest School Sessions learn about the necessity of independent preparation for the sessions (having the right clothes – and being able to dress and undress on their own), environmental awareness, safe tool use, respect for the natural and living environment, fine and gross motor skill development as well as problem solving and teamwork. We provide all of the necessary equipment – all schools have to do is take the leap of faith that their children really stand to benefit from regular exposure to their own natural, local environment.
Forest School is different to traditional outdoor learning programmes because it has several features intrinsic to it:
* Forest School is delivered in a woodland setting framed by strict safety routines and established boundaries which allow the flexibility and freedom for child-initiated learning.
* Forest School learning can link to the National Curriculum whilst setting those objectives in a different context. It is especially important for those who find it difficult to assimilate knowledge in a traditional classroom environment.
* Forest School encourages children to use all of their senses while engaging in creative, diverse and imaginative play. The focus is on the ‘whole child’ and the development of soft-skills such as teamwork, confidence, problem-solving and creativity.
* Forest School programmes that allow the children regular interaction with the environment throughout the year and in all weathers allow children to become familiar and confident to explore and notice the changes taking place around them.
At Stonebury, we aim to give children not only fun and inspiring opportunities to play and learn within the woodland, but also to help develop the skills that will allow them to feel confident in many other areas of their lives.
Regular attendance at Forest School builds children’s:
Confidence – Social Skills – Language and Communication Skills – Motivation – Concentration – Physical Stamina – Knowledge and Understanding of the Natural World.
Telephone 0781 235 7206
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