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Forest School

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We love Forest School.

Forest School enriches our children's learning and encourages them to be adventurous, imaginative and observant. Renzo and Kate, qualified Forest School leaders from the Sussex Wildlife Trust work closely with the class teachers to link Forest School with all areas of our curriculum. 

The children develop in confidence as they achieve new skills; both social skills, such as collaboration and communication and personal qualities such as initiative and determination. These skills develop over the block of sessions through real life experience in our beautiful woodland. The children learn to care for themselves and develop trust in each other while playing. They are taught to use tools safely and respect the natural world.

We carry on in almost all weathers which gives us opportunities to build shelters, light fires and get muddy. Whilst there are real challenges and adventures the children’s safety and well-being is at the heart of Forest School.

Forest School nurtures a culture based on collaboration and of embracing challenge so that children, over time, develop their character, resilience and empathy as well as a greater sense of connection with nature.

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Forest School and the National Curriculum

The first sessions focus on core skills and safety. Activities increase week on week and may include: games; storytelling; natural art activities; use of tools (if skills and behaviour indicators secured); exploring, nature watching and bug hunting; climbing, rolling; practical woodland skills (e.g. willow weaving); building dens, sculptures; making charcoal; time to be quiet, reflect or talk; developing the ability to observe silently – to look and hear what’s happening around them.

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Forest School sessions seek to consolidate all areas of the curriculum and build and extend knowledge:

LITERACY - Children will use descriptive vocabulary to describe woodland objects and plants, through sensory games. All of these sessions use speaking and listening, key literacy skills such as learning new and interesting vocabulary which then permeates all areas of learning. They will talk and share ideas about how we can help to look after the planet.

SCIENCE – Children will look at different habitats and identify some in the school grounds. They may look at how animals are grouped into vertebrates and invertebrates and how vertebrates are further grouped into: birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and fish. They  will  consolidate this learning by finding examples of each and learning more about the animals that live in our immediate environment. 

MATHS – Children measure lengths of sticks and consolidate 3D shapes when making bird houses, dens etc.

ART and DT – The Forest Schools curriculum gives all children  opportunities to cut wood and shape it safely using a range of tools. They will learn how to use a hand drill, peeler and loppers. They will also learn how to lash pieces of wood together and how and why we tie different knots. Making bird tables, bug hotels and nest-in-boots provide opportunities to apply these skills, as will making sculptures for the garden.

PSHE – We nurture a deeper bond with nature and consider how much joy it brings us, and how we in turn should respect and look after our planet. 

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