Forest School at Five Ways Primary is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland / natural environment. The Forest School ethos focuses on developing children's personal, social and emotional development and therefore encourages each child to reach their full potential and strive for excellence in all areas of school life.
At the heart of the Forest School approach, are the Forest School Principles.
Principle 1: Forest School is a long-term process of frequent and regular sessions in a woodland or natural environment, rather than a one-off visit. Planning, adaptation, observations and reviewing are integral elements of Forest School.
Principle 2: 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.
Principle 3: Forest School aims to promote the holistic development (intellectual, emotional, social, physical, artistic, creative and spiritual potentials) of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
Principle 4: Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves.
Principle 5: Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
Principle 6: Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for development and learning.
At Five Ways, these principles form the basis of each session and will allow all pupils:
- To grow and develop alongside the natural world.
- To value themselves, each other and their environment.
- To face new challenges with increased confidence.
- To develop resilience when faced with difficulties.
- To develop independent thought when carrying out activities of their choice.
- To discover and investigate through practical, hands-on activities.
- To enjoy calm times to reflect, think and just be themselves.
Forest School at Five Ways Primary is in its very early stages of development. It is led by Mrs Gosling in Key Stage 2 and Mrs Rock in Key Stage 1. At present, Year 4 children have Forest School for one session a week for one half term a year. It is anticipated that as the development of Forest School continues, further year groups will have the opportunity to experience the benefits from this unique outdoor learning ethos.
Activities that we have enjoyed so far:
Creating animal homes
Creating a spark and small cotton wool fire
Preparing for a fire
Cooking popcorn on a fire
Moving water from one place to another using drainpipes
Games (21, pass the pinecone, bat and moth, farmer farmer, capture the welly)
Learning to tie knots - Timber knot
Using initiative to tie branches together using grass.
The children have been able to: try new things, challenge themselves, work as a team, communicate, socialise with their peers, be creative, show resilience, increase confidence, compromise and think about others, make independent choices, be able to reflect on their own learning, respect others and the woodland and have fun.
Our Forest School Mascot Simon C'Owl