Learning in the Natural Environment
Forest School is a key facet of our emphasis on learning outdoors. Every child in school, from pre-school to Class 5, enjoys half a day of Forest School every week. This runs right the way through the year, following the seasons and allowing children to apply and deepen their learning.
Forest School is carefully planned and linked to class topics as well as following children’s interests. Children are able to direct their own learning, and we watch children growing in confidence as they test their abilities in a real life context that has direct relevance for them. Over time they learn to assess risks to keep themselves and each other safe. Each year children progress and hone their skills building year upon year.
We focus on five important life skills: independence, teamwork, responsibility, communication and resilience. From this firm foundation, all other learning can spring from. We teach practical bushcraft skills, from safe fire lighting to campfire cooking and safe use of tools; playing active games; as well as exploring nature and the seasons. We haven’t found anything we can’t teach outside - from Vikings to rhythm and music making, and from poetry and storytelling to science experiments and maths in the mud kitchen, to map making and natural artwork and crafts. Children learn to be attuned to the natural world and look after our shared space and get a great deal out of the contribution that we can all make.