Forest School is an innovative approach to outdoor play and learning. Sessions are run by qualified leaders and take place in a woodland setting. The focus is on achievement, developing self esteem and confidence, risk taking and having fun.
What type of activities are there?
The type of activities within a session depend on the age, interests and needs of the children. They include:
o Nature Studies – insect hunts, identifying trees or birds, and conservation work, for example building bird boxes
o Bush-craft /Green Woodworking – tying knots, shelter building, fire lighting and using tools
o Crafts using natural materials – using natural dyes, willow weaving, leaf mobiles
o Physical Activities – digging, tree climbing, playing hide and seek
o Imaginative Play – story telling, songs, drama
o Sensory games – activities using senses – listening, smell, touch
o Team building games – circle time games, problem solving activities
The aim of our sessions is to move gradually from adult directed activities to activities that are child led. The session usually follows the same format:
o Gather at the meeting point — we talk about the weather, what we need to take to the woods, get ready and go to the toilet
o Walk to the woods and sit around the fire pit
o Talk about Health and Safety issues
o Circle Time – getting to know each other
o Main activity – introduction to session, teaching skills, practising skills
o Free choice and snack
o Circle Time to reflect and share
o Closing – end of session – ensure site is left safe, and return to meeting point
We believe Forest School sessions benefit children in many ways. These include learning about risk assessment and risk taking, getting lots of exercise, developing team building and leadership skills, improving self confidence and self esteem as well as learning about nature.