What is Forest School?
Forest School provides an opportunity for children to learn in a natural, woodland environment. It is not just about being outside, however. It is an individualised model of education that, for many, serves as an antidote to the ‘one size fits all’, test-based model found in mainstream school classrooms. The ethos of Forest School is that learning is child-led and interest-based-children are provided with resources, which they are free to explore at will, and adults act as facilitators to extend and support the learning which arises from their explorations. The Forest School methodology allows children to grow, and expand their interests in a non-competitive environment. Forest School focuses on nurturing the qualities that make children better life-long learners – perseverance, resilience, independence, creativity, problem-solving, co-operation and team skills
What happens at Forest School?
Children explore the woodland in a safely managed area. They may:
- build shelters
- make mud pies
- splash in puddles
- look for minibeasts
- climb on logs and trees
- get to know different plants and trees
- make things from natural materials
- cook on a camp fire
At Forest School, we aim to encourage children to build a positive and ongoing relationship with the natural world, and begin to take responsibility for the conservation of their environment, and understand why it is necessary to conserve and manage woodlands. They can be involved in woodland management tasks such as coppicing, building of wildlife habitats, recognising threats to the health of trees, understanding the uses of different plants, and working with natural lifecycles.
Busy Bees Forest School
We offer Forest school sessions for our Busy Bees Children, one morning a week during term time. Our forest school site is at Summerfields school in Summertown led by their Forest school teacher.