At St Bartholomew's we want to give children the best possible experience that they otherwise wouldn't have. One of the experiences we offer is Forest School; we are lucky to have a wonderful site and surrounding area. With our custom built, and ever developing, Forest School area the children get to have a rich and enjoyable education using the great outdoors.
What is Forest School?
Forest School is a unique educational experience, where children are given regular, long-term contact with woodland.
In our setting this means once weekly visits to our own Forest School site (at the back of the school field), sometimes combined with walks through Half-Crown Wood.
It is run by a qualified Forest School Leader.
The emphasis is on child-led learning, creativity, safe risk-taking and skills development.
What are the benefits of Forest School?
- Supports young children’s need to learn through movement, social interactions and first-hand experiences.
- Fosters self-esteem and independence.
- Children learn to respect the environment and each other.
- Raises self-confidence.
- Promotes healthy children.
- Provides more opportunities for being outdoors.
- Listening walks – an opportunity for children to improve their listening skills as they listen to different bird sounds,
- Learn about the changing seasons and the different types of plants that grow in the woods,
- Exploring textures/colours/smells
- Using natural materials in art projects
- Den building
- Using tools to work with wood
- Sitting around the fire
Although many of the activities are led by the children’s interests, each session has a simple structure which includes whole-group times when we learn the rules and procedures we need to keep ourselves safe.
Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children are provided with a pair of waterproof dungarees to wear over the top of their clothes. During the Forest school session they will wear their own coat, the waterproof trousers provided by the school and their own wellington boots (to be kept at school).
Year 2 upwards - children need to bring a forest school kit to keep in school. This should include their wellies and warm trousers that can be got dirty.
Depending on the season they will also need:
- Winter: hat, gloves, scarf, thick socks
- Summer: Sunhat and sun-cream