What is Forest School?

Forest Schools are a type of outdoor education in which children visit forests/woodlands, learning personal, social and technical skills. At Green Lane Primary and Nursery School we are proud to offer our children a fantastic Forest School experience, within our own school grounds. We understand the huge benefits of Forest School and have developed a superb area, within the school grounds, in which to deliver a high quality programme, of Forest School activities. Children also have the opportunity to explore and use local woodland areas beyond the school grounds. 

 “Forest School is an inspirational process, which offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem, through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.” Forest School Association

At GLPNS we follow the 6 key principles to ‘Forest School’ practice:

  • Forest School is a long- term process with frequent and regular sessions rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaption, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
  • Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural wooded environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
  • Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
  • Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves
  • Forest School is run by qualified Forest School Practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
  • Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community

 

Sessions are delivered by Mr Fairclough, a Level Three Forest School practitioner, who is part of the staff at Green Lane. He is supported by additional adults during sessions. Mrs Reed, Deputy Head, is also a Level Three Forest School practitioner. All children in the school are given the opportunity to take part in Forest School sessions during their time at the school. There are weekly sessions for groups of Nursery and Reception children and children in years 5 and 6. There is also an after school club open to all children in Key Stage two. 

 

How do we keep the children safe?

The forest school leader is fully qualified and at least one member of staff is qualified in first aid. The sites being used will have been carefully assessed and the children will be given detailed training for all of the activities.  There are also a higher number of adults to children than in a classroom (1:6).

Part of forest school is teaching children about risks and how to evaluate them.  The children will be taught about how to add fuel to a fire, cook and make drinks using a fire, climb trees and use tools.  These activities will be introduced as the children in the group are ready for them and will be carefully supervised by an adult.  By allowing children to take these measured risks, we help to prepare them for making choices when they are older and teach them to be actively responsible for themselves, their choices and actions.

Please be aware of the signs and symptoms of ticks (Lyme Disease) and Weils Disease – a leaflet about both is attached below.  Whilst we take measures to reduce the risks by ensuring that they are wearing long sleeves and trousers and by washing hands, we hope that neither will be an issue, but we must bring this to your attention.  Please help us by ensuring that any skin breaks are covered with a waterproof plaster prior to the session.

 

Appropriate clothing required for Forest School:

  • Old jogging bottoms/trousers (not jeans)
  • Old jumper
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Waterproof jacket and ideally waterproof trousers
  • Wellington boots  or Old trainers with thick socks