Our Forest School is an inspirational way of building independence and self-esteem in our pupils, through practical, hands-on learning experiences in our very own woodland location. Children learn to recognise and assess risk for themselves, helping to develop life-long skills.
The Forest School ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to Scandinavian early years pioneers in outdoor learning. All children are viewed as competent to explore and discover, as well as being entitled to choose, initiate and drive their own learning and development.
At Manor House, we are lucky to have our very own extensive grounds, which provide an ever-changing learning environment and allow our girls to access deep and unforgettable learning experiences. Forest School sessions are a key part of the Pre-Prep curriculum and take place in and around The Dell, our outdoor classroom area.
A qualified Forest School Leader runs weekly sessions for girls in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. These are supported by teaching assistants and specially tailored to meet the needs of individuals in the group. Each class has Forest School as part of the school day for two terms of the year on a rotation, while in the third term the girls go swimming at The Grange in Bookham.
The benefits of Forest School are known to include an increased sense of responsibility and improvements in social skills, language and communication skills, physical motor skills, motivation and concentration, and knowledge and understanding of the world. As the saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes”. Sessions go ahead in all weather conditions apart from strong winds.
Outdoor learning is a huge part of our Nursery curriculum and the girls are already familiar with many of the customs and tools when they start Forest School in Reception. Our Nursery Manager has achieved a Bronze Woodland Trust Award in recognition of her excellent outdoor learning provision.