We are lucky to have a Woodland area which we are developing within our school grounds. Children in all classes enjoy exploring, working and playing in this area. Mr Smith leads Forest School sessions with children in classes from Year 1 to Year 6; our Nursery and Reception children also access the area with our Early Years team.
We know that learning outside the classroom happens in a fun and unconscious way when children are encouraged to explore, be creative and play. Children learn about our local natural environment simply by being in it and having opportunities to develop independence. They also use their initiative to solve problems, work together as a team and improve their decision making – which all lead to improved self-esteem.
Some of the activities our children engage with are:
- Exploring the natural, living environment
- Working in groups and teams to complete a task
- Cross-curricular learning
- Using tools and equipment safely
- Creating environmental art
- Building dens and shelters
We aim to:
- Provide freedom to explore outdoors, where there is no right or wrong way of doing things
- Encourage children to learn as individuals and collectively; sharing ideas and tasks which develops their communication skills
- Develop a feeling of ownership of the Woodland area and in so doing, foster a sense of responsibility and independence in themselves and the wider world
- Identify challenges and risks in the outdoors and understand the boundaries that are in place to keep children safe
- Provide opportunities for children to engage with nature and reflect on what they learn