What is Forest School?
Forest school is about connecting children to nature, providing a setting for their innate curiosity to thrive. It approaches learning as a process and provides freedom for children to direct their own learning. The sessions are designed to build on learners’ self-confidence, independence, self-esteem & other transferable life skills.
During a session there will be a led activity by the forest school leader, followed by a free choice section to allow independent learning, with a sharing and reflection time finishing off with a story.
Activities can include den building, knot work, fire lighting, tool work, wildlife identification, exploration activities and camp fires!
Where our forest school sessions take place:
The Radcliffe on Trent Infants Forest School is located in the nature garden area, leading off from one of the classrooms. It benefits from several established woodland trees and shrubs, a decked area complete with mud kitchen and a raised bed garden. We also use the school field and grounds for outdoor games & wildlife hunts.
Ethos of forest school
- Sessions takes place in woodland/natural setting
- Long term process with frequent/regular sessions
- Promotes holistic development
- Uses a range of learner centred processes to create a community for development & learning
- Offers learners opportunity to take appropriate supported risks
- Run by a qualified forest school practitioner
Meet the Forest School Teacher/Leader – Mrs Gore
Mrs Gore is a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader & is trained in Outdoor & Paediatric First Aid. She gained her experience in wildlife education while working for the Devon Wildlife Trust. She has been lucky to work for serval habitat conservation projects in Devon, one of which has featured on Spring Watch with the beavers!
“I love connecting families and children to nature. From bug hunts to wild campfire experiences. The holistic development of children is very important to me, I love seeing forest school sessions enabling children to thrive and develop in multiple areas. My sessions aim to focus on child led learning, and provide experiences to build their confidence, self-esteem and get more into their wild side”.
Updates - Feb 2023:
- A new rotating compost bin has been added to the forest school, along with two others in different parts of the school. We will be using the future compost in school gardening activities.
- Animal log piles have been created by the Ecoclub and have already attracted some new wildlife.
- Signs of a local fox using the forest school as a walk through had been noticed by the children, using their tracking skills.
- The start of a gardening project has begun by turning some recycled tyres into raised flower beds. We hope to add flowers and herbs later in the year.
- The Woodland Trust will be delivering a selection of hedgerow tree saplings soon. We are using the saplings to create a new hedgerow, a perfect wildlife corridor!
- A new base camp is being developed within the large willow trees on the school field, which will be directly connected to the existing nature garden
- Recycled decking is being turned into benches
- A fantastic parachute shelter will be in place shortly
- New tools for the children for crafting projects & riskier challenges are being ordered
- Mrs Gore has tidied the nature garden and selected some areas for future projects with the children
- Miss Geary has been bringing in logs & sticks for campfires and activities