Outdoor Education & Forest School
Our children are stimulated by the outdoors and we believe that Forest School provides experiences that develop our children’s self-belief and confidence, learning capacity, enthusiasm, communication, problem-solving skills and promotes emotional well-being. In our school, we have a dedicated, purpose-built Forest School area on site; it comprises of a Woodland Area and a Barefoot Sensory Trail.
The Woodland Area is a beautiful natural area with dozens of trees and indigenous species of plants and insects. It has a pathway running through it that is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, and it has two log circle areas. One can be covered by a tarpaulin in wet weather, and the other is used for fire or tool use. We have a fully qualified Forest School Leader who ensures the site/each activity is fully risk-assessed. Our children have timetabled sessions and some of the activities they have experienced include:
- boiling a storm settle to make hot chocolate;
- cooking popcorn on the fire;
- whittling sticks with a knife;
- sawing fire wood;
- forming clay ‘Tree Guardians’;
- creating Hapa Zome bunting using natural dyes,
- concocting smelly potions, and
- making natural paints and paint brushes.
Our Barefoot Sensory Trail is made from stones, wood, plants, wooden obstacles and a water area with a water fountain and coloured glass gems. It gives our children the experience of different textures and promotes animated discussions about how it feels to them. We also have a mini orchard with some fruit trees which we want to make use of as the different seasons offer us ‘woodland food’.
Previous activities have included making a ‘living den’ by growing beans around a cone made from bamboo canes and also making 'seed bombs', throwing them onto the mound in the middle of the trail, creating a bank of wildflowers.
As well as our on-site Forest School, we have Orienteering courses designed within our extensive school grounds. We often use our outdoor space to bring the Curriculum to life and also offer two Residential trips to the children in our school.