Forest school is an outdoor learning experience which supports pupils with their well being, self-esteem and social skills. The open and free environment fosters the development of children’s natural intelligence and provides activities which enable them to problem solve and ask questions; improving their resilience and concentration skills.
The ethos of Forest Schools is to allow children the time and space to develop skills, interest and understanding through a range of activities which provide practical, hands-on experiences in a natural environment. Here at Sunnybank small groups of children across Key Stage one and Key stage Two access a six week program of Forest school activities, with our qualified Forest School Leader, Mrs Lougheed.
The Forest School sessions encourage children to grow in confidence and boosts self esteem, giving children the opportunity to flourish in a small group which has a positive impact on mental health and emotional well-being.
Please see the link to Nature detectives which is full of ideas and activities which will encourage your children to develop a love for the outdoors.
Forest school Involves:
• Child initiated learning;
• Being outdoors
• Integration with the National Curriculum
• Delivery by a trained leader (Level 3)
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
• The ability to recognise and manage risk
• Healthier lifestyles.
Forest School Aims:
• To provide an opportunity for individuals to develop, to learn and to enjoy themselves.
• To provide a safe and non-threatening environment in which children can take risks, make choices and initiate their own learning.
• To help children understand, appreciate and care for the natural environment.
• To provide ways of developing practical life skills in an outdoor environment.
• To develop self-esteem, confidence and a positive disposition to learning through the completion of small, achievable tasks.
• To meet the needs of children with all learning styles
• To develop social and team working skills
• To enable children to be independent, self-motivated and considerate.
• To be true to the forest school ethos and approach
• To develop a secure, happy and welcoming environment.
• To provide stimulation and varied learning activities appropriate to the child’s needs and stages of development.
• To help each child build self-esteem, confidence, independence and self-control and interpersonal skills.
We hope you find our Forest school page useful and enjoy seeing the wonderful outcomes of our weekly sessions.
Keep an eye out for regular activities and ideas to try with your family and friends.
Term 3 - Week 2: The Theme for the session was curriculum linked to further extend the Children's knowledge of the story Where the Wild Things Are.
Today, we imagined that Basecamp was in fact Max's Bedroom. We thought about what his Forest adventure was like. Jeffers class then created amazing nature crowns and they became Max, The King of the Wild Things.
Lots of Wild fun at Forest school this afternoon!
Pictures from Week 2
Below: Term 3 - Week 1: The children engaged really well with the animal shelters activity. They really worked well together to create a big hedgehog house using a large box and they collected lots of sticks to make a roof. They really enjoyed exploring basecamp and I was very impressed with how they remembered the Forest school rules. It was very muddy but great fun was had!
Murphy class visit the Murston Heart Project
I cannot express enough how proud I was of Murphy Class. They were simply amazing.
The children answered the Councilor's questions about Forest school and the process. They were all so keen to tell him about the activities that they enjoy and why they enjoy Forest School. They were so well mannered and gave such sensible responses.
Above: Great fun was had, exploring the newly developed Forest school area this week.
The children found several ladybirds, Worms, and lots and lots of snails. We all really enjoyed the lovely sunshine, and we could definitely tell that Spring has sprung.
Some of the children decided to frame areas of the grass that had something different growing in it. We called this The Forest School frame it challenge.
To continue the word of the week theme of celebration, the children were set a challenge to create the word TILT using collected sticks.
They did a fab job and worked as a team!
Their second challenge was to collect natural materials to create a self portrait to celebrate them being amazing.
We ended our celebration with a cup of hot chocolate outside to warm us up.
Great afternoon all round!
They worked together to collect up some sticks from the playground and they worked together to create the stick art work on the grass.
Great to see the children engaging in nature art on the playground!
We also created nature weaving frames using recycled cardboard and string. We then went outside and collected natural items from the ground to weave into our frames. Some of the younger children also completed an.... it’s not a stick challenge. They found sticks and used their imaginations to think what else it could be. We had amazing magic wands, walking sticks and even used them as a writing tool and formed letters in the mud.
Fabulous engagement with the activities on offer this week at forest school!
Key statue two group made musical instruments using a stick and some natural string. They threaded beads onto the string to create a nature musical instrument.
This week the children made their own Nature Paintbrushes, using materials they collected outside. They also painted some lovely works of art using their handcrafted nature paintbrush. Amazing work!
Some of the younger children created Elf houses against base of the large tree trunks. They used sticks to create a frame and added a roof, and even added leaves as home comforts for the elves.
As always...much fun was had in the outdoors.
We loved exploring and finding as many beautiful Autumn colours as we could. This week we used colour matching charts and magnifiers to look closer at what we found.