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, called the ‘Dell’. Children learn to recognise and assess risk for themselves, helping to develop life-long skills. Our own qualified Forest School Leader runs weekly sessions for children in Nursery, Kindergarten, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Separate sessions are run for the Early Years and KS1 children. These are supported by teaching assistants and specially tailored to meet the needs of individuals in the group. Forest School is part of the school curriculum all year-round and age-related activities are planned, where the children will be taught skills and topics that fall under National Curriculum guidelines. However, Forest School planning is not bound by just following the National Curriculum and the leaders may plan activities that tie in with certain days or events that fall within the calendar.
Our Forest School sessions mostly take place in and around The Dell, our outdoor classroom area. However, we are lucky to have extensive and very beautiful grounds, which provide an ever-changing learning environment and allow our girls to access deep and unforgettable learning experiences.
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. 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. Sessions go ahead in all weather conditions apart from strong winds and the children are dressed appropriately for all weather conditions.