At Northchapel we have been developing an area of work called Forest School which is based closely on the Forest School concept that originated in Denmark in the 1980s. Through regular sessions outdoors we are developing the pupils self confidence, self-esteem, creativity, independence and team work skills through a carefully planned series of activities while also nurturing the children’s’ appreciation of and respect for nature and the natural environment. The children learn through direct, hands-on experience using ‘hand, heart and head’.
In September 2011 our Forest School Leader, Daioni Shuter began the process of Forest School. We found great local woodland within a 5 minute walk through the back of the school and through farmland. The development of our Forest School programme builds on a wealth of existing good practice in the school with learning outdoors. With the development of Forest School we are extending such outdoor learning opportunities to an even greater number of the pupils who wouldn’t normally have these opportunities outside of school.
Forest School aims
We have developed our Forest School aims to reflect those of Every Child Matters:
- To be able to assess risks and be increasingly ‘risk aware’
- To be able to manage own behaviour so the safety is maintained
- To be aware of own and other’s safety needs within natural settings
- To feel safe and relaxed in a natural setting
- To develop a sense of responsibility towards ones own safety and that of the rest of the group
- To know some basic bush craft and introductory survival skills such as safety, managing a campfire and den building.
Achieve Economic Wellbeing
- To appreciate the value of the natural environment- including its economic value as well as its spiritual and recreational value.
Make a positive contribution
- To work effectively as part of a team and alone
- To be able to sustain interest and endeavour so that tasks are completed
- To help maintain and improve the natural environment in and around the school
- To be able to use a growing range of simple tools and techniques to create simple woodland artefacts
- To develop physical skills such as balance, dexterity and observational skills
- To know how to dress and behave properly when outdoors in a variety of conditions
- To develop self-esteem and self-confidence
- To be aware of own needs and those of others
- To promote emotional intelligence
Enjoy and Achieve
- To be creative in a natural setting
- To develop problem solving skills
- To develop an affinity with the natural world
- To feel trusted and to develop a sense of responsibility
- To encourage curiosity
- To encourage exploration using all senses
and most importantly to have FUN!!!