Originally a Scandinavian idea, forest schools operate on the principle that children of all ages can benefit greatly from the hands-on learning opportunities inherently present in a woodland environment. In an age when many children have few opportunities to be outdoors, it offers them a way to learn and experience a broad curriculum in a wood-land setting, with regular visits throughout the year.
The importance of Outdoor learning Daily access to the outdoors when in an Early Years setting is a statutory requirement for all children. But it is not just essential for children in the Early Years it is essential for ALL children and adults.
Outdoor learning/play is a critical component of good provision and must be encouraged. It is essential for the healthy development of all young children. Learning outside offers opportunities to build on and extend, skills taught and acquired inside. It also offers the chance to take on new challenges and risks and to investigate in a different way. The physical freedom of learning outside through climbing, exploring, running, jumping and balancing supports development of the young child’s body towards the finer movements that will be required for such skills as writing.
Experiencing the weather, searching for insects, climbing a tree or working on a large scale is learning.
Forest School is an inspirational process that involves: * child initiated learning; * being outdoors; integration with the National Curriculum; * Time for children to explore, learn and investigate; * Fun, imagination and creativity; * Using only the natural resources around us
Forest School helps to develop: * confidence and self-esteem; * communication and social skills; * physical skills; * greater understanding and awareness of the natural environment; * natural motivation and a positive attitude to learning; * Creativity and imagination; * Team skills; * ability to recognise and manage risk; * healthier lifestyles
Why is Forest School such a great opportunity for your children? It is proven from research that learning that takes place in the outdoors is much more powerful and memorable as all the senses are involved. Forest Schools develop children through a child led approach. Children are taught how to assess risks for themselves. Children are able to develop their speech, language, social skills and empathy. They learn to respect and appreciate the countryside.
The Forest School sessions will follow a routine that the children will soon become familiar with, including a group discussion, activity and exploring the woodland and a final get together for a reflection time before home time.
Forest School Clothing List “There is no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing” -Old Saying Forest School sessions will take place in all seasons in almost all weather (storms and high wind being the only exceptions). The following list of appropriate clothing is for EVERYONE participating in Forest School; children, staff and other adult helpers/volunteers.
Autumn - Winter Think Layers, we can always remove a layer but once cold, it can be hard to warm up * Vest or T-shirt * Long sleeved top * Hooded top, fleece or thick jumper * Waterproof jacket * Thick socks (thermal or two pairs of thinner ones) * Trousers * Waterproof over trousers * Wellington boots * Hat, gloves and scarf
Spring – Summer * Always long sleeves (to minimise risk from thorns, nettles and biting insects * Long-sleeved T-shirt or top. Arms to be covered at all times. * Light trousers. No Shorts. Legs to be covered in at all times. * Socks. * Trainers, shoes or Wellington boots. No sandals or flip-flops. * Sunhat or cap. * Sunglasses (if required.) * Participants are also responsible for providing their own sunscreen and, if deemed necessary, insect repellent.
Please Note: Short sleeved T-shirts and shorts cannot be worn – whatever the weather – arms and legs must always be covered in the woodland.
Marsh Gibbon CE School Castle Street, Marsh Gibbon, Bicester, Oxfordshire. OX27 0HJ Tel: 01869 277268