Forest School




1. Intent

Forest School at Arunside provides opportunities for children’s broader development through hands-on learning in a natural setting, giving our young people the opportunity to exercise and interact with the environment, as well as take calculated risks, to encourage healthy living and confidence.

We hope to instill a love and wonder of nature, enabling them to develop and discover their own interests and talents.

2. Implementation

Years 1, 3 and 5 spend one half term and years 2, 4 and 6 spend two half terms each, over different seasons, whatever the weather, outside in our two designated Forest School areas.

Sessions are planned to cover appropriate parts of the National Curriculum as well as to ensure skills progression in tool use, environmental knowledge, wild cooking, shelter building, knots and more.

The children are strongly encouraged to lead with their own ideas over time, so that we are able to support their personal character development.

Risk Assessing the environment and activities is completed by qualified Forest School Practitioners to set challenges at a level where the children can succeed, and to guide and encourage them in learning about nature around them.

Forest School activities aim to encourage exposure to managed risk, use of imagination, exploration, asking questions and to sharing thoughts, ideas and feelings.

3. Impact

It has been proven that children who participate in Forest School become more confident and able in the classroom across all subjects. This is because it helps to foster traits such as resilience, confidence and independence as well as develop motivation, co-operation, decision-making and social skills. This in turn means children are happier to approach challenges in other areas of their lives.

As they are more knowledgeable and enthusiastic about nature, children choose to play outside more often and are healthier both physically and mentally as a result.
Children develop into advocates for environmental issues as they foster respect for nature, equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society.

Forest School supports our children’s well-being and helps relationships build in a more relaxed atmosphere so enabling and empowering all students to have the opportunity to achieve their complete and full potential.

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