Forest School offers children the opportunity of an educational experience in a ‘wild woodland’ setting, with safe, experiential learning about the world around them and how to care for it. The children have regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland environment. It fosters self-esteem and self-confidence skills, dealing with emotions though problem solving, critical thinking and teamwork. They will develop skills for simple conservation, creating shelters, making fires and cooking. Alongside this children will learn about seasonal changes and there will be time for games and fun!
Creech Woods and 100 Acre Woods are used to help pupils to:
- Increase their confidence in outdoor settings
- Use the setting for imaginative play
- Assess and manage risks to themselves and others
- Develop their communication and language skills
- Investigate how the natural world affects them
- Push themselves outside their comfort zones
- Have a sense of achievement and success.
All pupils at Cliffdale take part in Forest School for a morning or afternoon, once a week, for a whole term at some point each year. We have our own trained, experienced and skilled Forest School teacher whom the children affectionately now call ‘Forest Fran’! Everyone has a wonderful time and each achieves so much as the term goes on.
Spring has continued to be very exciting in the forest, especially with the changes in the weather! From rain and hail to sunshine and showers the woods have proved wonderful for learning and adventure.!
Rhino and Gorilla thought about explorers and hunting. They learnt about catapults and the items they would need to make one. Learning how to use simple tools to make notches in a Y-shaped stick they had to find was part of this but the greatest fun was, of course, testing them out! Jay was very pleased with his find as he wanted to make a big one, Maggie and Mazin enjoyed using the tools and Joe and Kimmie can be seen testing theirs out.
Tiger class continued with forest school this term and also used simple tools to create a bow and arrow! They focused on explorers and hunting and had to find suitable materials to create their bow and arrows. Bailey enjoyed creating his using the tools and Ediz loved testing his out too. They also carried on with their den building skills working together to lift heavier logs; this one was clearly a four man job! They were very happy with their finished den.
Lion class learnt lots about the changes in the forest environment and Marisa was fascinated by the ice and Denver had to go through the mud when the whole class went on a bear hunt! Tilly was very happy to find a bear after a long walk under and over obstacles!
Zebra class went on a bear hunt too which involved going through lots of puddles. Bailey and Harry definitely enjoyed that while others weren’t quite so sure J Jacob found a great stick to use as a staff walking through the woods to find the bears. They loved the story, exploring the forest and learning about nature.
Let’s see what Summer brings for our forest school classes!
Summer has truly begun and the woods have proved wonderful for learning, exploring and investigating, especially for lower school; who love the sense of freedom they get being outside.
Kangaroo class, especially Ben, enjoyed investigating puddles by splashing in them to see how deep they were and dropping pine cones and small stones in the water to watch the ripples like Leah and Freddie! They have been learning how to get around different obstacles by going over or under, Connie just about squeezed through but she was very determined!
Panda class enjoyed investigating puddles too! Macie-Lou and Sam had an entirely different approach, deciding that sitting in one would be best! Ismah took great delight in throwing dry leaves up in the air and watching them move. Francesca liked looking up at the trees swaying.
Monkey class have exploring too, learning what can be found in the forest to play with! Jacob loves to collect pine cones to take them home and Alex likes to use a tree stump with a drumstick! Just running through the leaves with your friends is great too; listening to the sounds you make! Dexter found a little home for a bear hidden in a tree and had great fun with a game of ‚peek a boo’.
Koala class have really settled in well to the forest environment too, finding games to play. Harry loves the dry leaves, while Nathan and George mastered the big log bridge. Flyn decided to try going under the bridge instead! Danny investigated a circle of leaves and smiled beautifully for his photo! J
What a fabulous term in the forest!