Forest school sessions are on Tuesday and are for all our children. We also have Muddy Mondays where we take our children who do not attend on Tuesday out for a similar session. Both involve wellies and wet weather gear and allow the children to explore the outdoors and get muddy!
A Brief History of Forest School
The Forest School is not only a physical place but also a method of learning. It is outdoors and although a few trees would be nice, they are not a necessity. Some will be sited in a wood, others in the corner of a playing field or even playground.
They originated in Scandinavia during the 1950s, where they wanted to encourage children to appreciate nature and the environment. In the UK, Early Years departments have now recognised the benefits and Forest Schools are spreading around the country. They are now widespread at many settings and schools.
What is Forest School
Led by a qualified Forest School Leader, Forest School takes place throughout the year enabling children to experience the outdoors in all seasons and most conditions. It is not “survival training” and emphasis is put on children being comfortable – wearing appropriate clothing helps ensure this.
A safe environment is provided in which the children explore their own understanding of the outdoors.
Forest School children are physically active for most of the session and so their stamina improves. A safe environment is provided in which the children explore their own understanding of the outdoors. Practitioners enable children to develop in their own unique way – each child having small achievable tasks which helps boost their self esteem and enjoyment.
Much of the learning the child experiences comes as a result of the opportunities they have for testing their own abilities in a real life context. They learn to manage risks they encounter, giving them real life skills and encouraging independence.
What you need to bring
- Wellies – sometimes an extra pair of socks helps in cold weather
- Long trousers
- Long sleeved top or jumper
- Layers of clothing appropriate to the temperature and the season
- Waterproof coat and trousers or a waterproof all in one suit
- Winter hat or sun hat
- Gloves in winter
- Counting, measuring, matching and comparing using natural resources
- Construction, including shelters and dens
- Tool use
- Binoculars, bug viewers and ID sheets
- Stories and roleplay
- Listening activities
- Map or picture making using natural resources
- Mud / water – painting, mark making and digging
- Ribbons and weaving