As of January 2024 Swallowfield Primary is excited to announce that it is now a Forest School. Mrs Davies (Reception Teacher) leads our Forest School and currently works with children in Busy Bees and Reception each week during this dedicated time. Please see below some information about how this is run and some of the activities involved.
What is Forest School?
- Forest School is a child-centred learning process, that offers opportunities for holistic growth through regular sessions. It is a program that supports play, exploration and supported risk taking. It develops confidence and self-esteem through learner inspired, hands-on experiences in a natural setting.
- The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgemental nurturing environment for learners to try stuff out and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it. Our approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience. We believe that risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.
Why introduce Forest School?
- Builds independence
- Spatial Awareness
- Social skills
- Risk Management
- Problem solving
- Increases self-esteem
- Exploration of senses
- Motor development
- Team building
- Cross-curricula skills
When will Forest School take place?
- Forest School sessions will take place every Friday afternoon over a 6 week period from 1.15- 3pm
- Reception classes have been split in half so one group will participate in the first half term and the other half the second half term. Whilst one group is doing Forest School the other children will join the other class supported by LSA.
- Elm Class- Spring Term
- Ash Class- Summer Term
- Nursery 2 children have been split into groups of 4 to 5 children and they will be joining the Reception children. Each small group will participate in a 6 week programme and will be accompanied by a member of staff from Busy Bees.
What a typical session will look like
- Children will get themselves ready for Forest School. Adults will encourage children to put on their own outdoor clothes/ boots/ gloves etc.
- Walk to Forest School site and talk about hazards.
- Go to basecamp and do a safety sweep
- Group work activity (15mins)
- Basecamp- forest school rules/ hot drink/ story
- Exploring and investigation time/ tool use
- Basecamp- mindfulness activity, reflection of session
- Back to classroom- take off and put forest school clothing in correct bags etc