What is Forest School & How Does it Works
Wrekin Forest School provides ways for meeting National Curriculum learning objectives whilst developing practical life skills and encouraging child initiated learning for all ages & abilities, which is observed and assessed. Many children benefit from and prefer a practical element to their learning, and achieve greater levels of success when this is combined with traditional classroom learning. All children benefit from opportunities to demonstrate a wider range of knowledge and expertise – especially important for those who don’t often ‘shine’ in the classroom. Their peers accord them and their achievements greater respect.
Wrekin Forest School has a fun-loving, passionate team who thrive on seeing children succeed and is particularly successful in developing self-esteem and confidence, and motivating children who, for a range of reasons, struggle in a classroom environment.
It has additional physical, social and health benefits for children and young people who are leading increasingly indoor lives, helping them to enjoy physical activity outdoors and mitigate obesity. Children and young people become more confident in their own natural and made environments, and acquire a deeper understanding about environmental issues locally and globally.
Forest School believes that, although every Forest School will be unique, each should adhere to 6 key principles:
Forest School is a long term, repetitive learning process that uses a natural outdoor space. It is a specific ethos of learning that focuses on processes rather than products and allows learners time and space to develop at their own rate. Learners develop a strong sense of space through repeated contact with the natural world (ideally woodland, but not always) throughout the year and in all weathers.
Forest School empowers children and young people to take responsibility for their own learning and development. The ethos encourages child-led learning and learning through play. Choice increases enjoyment, participation and motivation. Children are set up to achieve and supported to take appropriate risks through developing trust in themselves and in others.
Forest School promotes holistic, individualised learning and development. It is for all ages and abilities and its ethos is fully inclusive. It is most effective in smaller than class size groups (15 mainstream children, fewer for those with specific needs) with a high adult to child ratio. The natural environment provides stimulus for all the senses, all areas of development and all learning styles; visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.
Forest School encourages emotional growth, self esteem, confidence and independence. It gives learners the time and space to be themselves, find peace and communicate with others in a safe and caring environment. Emotional literacy is actively practiced by adults and children within a Forest School.
Forest School is facilitated by qualified Level 3 Forest school Practitioners. Receiving a nationally recognised level 3 qualification in Forest School is essential for practitioners to link theory to practice and create the Forest School ethos. Training ensures practitioners provide safe, skilled and appropriate learning experiences. Practitioners build a trusting relationship and make careful observations of the group to then provide well planned, individualised support for each learner.
Forest School instils a deep respect and awareness for the natural world and reconnects participants to their environment. The repetitive ethos builds a deep, instinctual connection to the natural space and reconnects all to their ancient heritage. Being in nature allows learners to observe real life, witness cause and effect and consider our roles and responsibilities towards it.
Sharing Good Practice Fun Days:
These days are designed to allow Forest School professionals to share good practice and ideas with one another, learn new skills and have fun! We will give you access to a fab site, lead foraging and cooking activities, including supplying food for your lunch, we will allow likeminded people to share their ideas and network over coffee and cake. We will promise to have shelter from any rain with a warm fire burning and kettles always on. We will add a little fun to the day by allowing you to have a turn in the archery lane, a shelter building competition and a turn in the woodcraft centre!