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.
It’s been a beautiful sunny start to our forest school learning this year and seeing the children confident in the environment and watching how they’ve progressed since we introduced it here at Cliffdale is just brilliant.
The children have been discussing the impact of litter on the forest environment as part of basic conservation. Many of them can name litter they might find and what it is made from. They have also thought about how it may cause harm to animals that inhabit the forest too. The children thought the best way to help would be to help get rid of any we found. Using litter pickers they worked together as a team spotting lots of sweet wrappers, cans, plastic bottles and straws.
Some of the children made little houses for the animals to protect them too! They worked together in pairs and then went to evaluate each other’s work giving each one a positive comment. What do you think of their designs?
A few of the children found a letter ‘F’ made out of sticks and then used natural materials to make their own initial. They chose sticks too and were very proud of their work.