Forest School is a concept which has come from Scandinavia. It has been adapted for England since 1995 through Bridgwater College in Somerset. There are now Forest Schools across Britain, especially in Scotland, Wales and counties in southern England. There are very few Forest Schools in the North West and at Norwood we are extremely lucky to have our own private woodland on site, as often schools have to travel to public woodlands for Forest School sessions. Forest School began at Norwood in 2009 and is led by Mr M. James. Children are timetabled for Forest School on a termly basis. Because we have a specialist teaching Forest School, children’s learning develops all the time. We make good links with the Geography and Science Curriculum in daily lessons. As time develops with Forest School, we are improving our links with OA opportunities in PE.
The Benefits of Forest School:
- Raises self-esteem, skills in cooperation and listening, empathy and enthusiasm for learning in every child who attends.
- Children learn about and develop a respect for their natural environment.
- Every child can take part in and be successful in Forest School, regardless of ability or need.
- Allows children to learn at their own level and in their own style.
- Builds on children's innate motivation, curiosity and autonomy.
- Allows children to take and manage risks in a safe and controlled environment.
- Encourages children in a healthy, active lifestyle.
- Encourages and inspires children through positive outdoor experiences.
To start with, all the children get changed into outdoor clothes. Children are allowed to explore and see if they can spot anything new, interesting or anything that has changed since their last visit. There will then be activities and finally a time for snack and reflection on the session. Most of the Forest School sessions link to Science objectives, as well the Forest School guidance received on specific training.
By the end of a pupil’s time in Norwood, we want our children in Forest School to:
Have the time and space to develop skills, interest and understanding through a range of activities which provide practical, hands-on experiences in a natural environment. As well as, an understanding of Science in the world around them.