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Alfreton Park Community Special School Learning together for personal success

Forest Schools

 

What is Forest School ?

 

  • Forest School is a long-term approach to education, that maximise’s the benefits of learning in the outdoors.
  •  Forest Schools provides direct experiences in a woodland environment where students can ‘learn by doing’.
  • It is rich with opportunities, it has the ability to awaken enthusiasm, create a fascination for the environment, motivate exploration and develop natural curiosity.
  • Forest School offers children and young people the opportunity to engage with the woodland environment  over repeated visits to practice, refine and build on their skills.
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The Benefits

 

Research shows – that children and young people are stimulated by the outdoors and typically experience, over time, an increase in their:

 

  • Self Esteem.
  • Confidence.
  • Learning capacity.
  • Physical skills.
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Communication.
  • Problem-solving skills.
  • Social and Emotional well-being.

 

Forest School Ethos

  • The Forest School experience promotesholistic development’ through a nurturing environment.
  • Forest Schools focus on child initiated learning were activities are:
  • Freely chose
  • Self-directed and
  • Intrinsically motivating.
  • It incorporates flexibility and adaptability were students have the freedom to choose to:
  • Develop their own learning styles.
  • Explore at their own pace.
  • Discover an enjoyment for learning.

 

 

Learning in a different context

  • Forest School sets learning in a different context for students where they can undertake a range of practical activities through small achievable tasks with support from familiar staff to help them to build and increase their independence, confidence and self –esteem.

 

Through development of:

 

  • Team working and co-operative skills.
  • Practical skills.
  • Communication, speech and language.
  • Social skills.
  • Emotional skills.
  • Imagination and self expression.
  • Resilience.
  • Conservation and the development of a life-long relationship with the natural environment.

 

 

Taking Risks

 

  • Research shows that many children are no longer encouraged to play outside or take risks; they may have never had the experience of playing outside independently, exploring safely and problem solving with-out adult supervision.

 

‘Children with disabilities have an equal if not greater need for opportunities to take risks, since they may be denied the freedom of choice enjoyed by their non-disabled peers.”

 

 

Our Forest School provides a safe environment were students are able to manage the positive elements needed for risk taking for themselves with appropriate support.

 

 

Forest School Sessions:

 

This year all classes will have had the opportunity to experience Forest Schools throughout the year and will:

 

  • Work together to build dens for themselves and construct animal homes.
  • Explore the mud kitchen
  • Have the opportunity to set and light the fire using a fire steel.
  • Prepare food for cooking on the fire.
  • Used small hand tools to cut logs, prune plants and whittle sticks.
  • Enjoy stories, music and singing around the fire
  • Create mud monsters, personal portraits and environmental art using natural materials.
  • Play team building and woodland games.
  • Plant saplings, trees and taken cuttings to enhance the environment.
  • Create a dead-hedge to enclose a safe dedicated tool area.

 

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