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.
Forest School is back this September with Koala, Giraffe, Gorilla, Lion and Rhino classes all going out once a week.
Koala class have been exploring their favourite parts of the forest. Kiera discovered banging a tree to the rhythm of ‘Bangedy, Bang, Bang’, while Luke used a branch to ‘sweep’ the leaves on the forest floor. Francesca had a lovely giggle running off the mounds of earth on a countdown!
Giraffe class made ‘survivor’ stick puppets of themselves to take around the forest. You can see Josh choosing clothes carefully deciding what would be warm in the forest. Connie took her stick puppet on a journey around the site, looking at a holly tree and then walking it along a log. Dylan was very excited to take his sliding down the ditch!
Charlie, in Lion class, decided that his puppet need a plastic hood to stay dry, while Tyler thought fur fabric would be warmer. Yameen enjoyed his first Forest school lesson by learning some serious climbing skills!
Rhino class have been showing how independent they can be getting over woodland obstacles and seeing changes in the forest. They found sweet chestnut shells; Ryan and Rudy were a bit worried about touching them as they’re so prickly. Mollie made music tapping a tree trunk with a stick and then rubbing two pine cones together.
Gorilla class took their ‘survivor’ stick puppets back to the forest and learnt about the importance of shelter. Nasir found a perfect spot for his stick puppet and built a leaf ‘house.’ Peter and Brandon used sticks to make a ‘den’ and Tommy added sticks to a den to make a ‘tent.’ Savanna and Viviana used leaves as beds and then covered their stick puppets so that they couldn’t be seen!
All in all, the forest continues to be a wonderful place to investigate, learn and explore.