Forest school, and the forest school approach to learning, is central to life here at Woolhampton CE Primary. We are very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful, natural woodlands and we aim to make the most of the opportunities that such a location offers us. We believe that the benefits of forest school are significant, so all children, from Year F to Year 6, regularly take part in forest school throughout the year. Mrs Burns and Mrs Cox are both Forest School qualified practitioners as is Mrs Howe, who set up our forest school in 2016 and now comes in twice a week to run our dedicated forest school programme.
The forest school approach to learning is an holistic approach which centres on the development of the whole child. Through play, exploration, team-work and practical skills such as fire light lighting, use of tools and den building, the children learn to become resilient and determined problem solvers who work together to challenge themselves and take risks. The natural forest environment provides the ideal opportunity to promote social, emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. This in turn provides the foundations to develop confident, resilient and successful learners.
At Woolhampton we believe that Forest School enables all children to flourish in the following ways:
Socially – children learn to build relationships and to work collaboratively within a community.
Physically – children challenge themselves, take risks and develop the physical skills and senses needed to navigate and interact with the world.
Intellectually – children develop rounding thinking skills which enable them to think critically, evaluate and solve problems for themselves.
Communication – children learn to use verbal and non-verbal cues to communicate and work effectively and collaboratively with others.
Emotionally – children become better able to recognise and influence the emotional states of themselves and others. Forest school is proven to promote self-esteem and confidence.
Spiritually – forest school helps the children to develop a sense of identity and purpose.
This is what our children have to say about Forest School: