Our Forest School programme is offered to every class throughout the school year. The sessions take place once per week for each current group within the Wildlife Area within the school grounds; enabling learners to develop relationships with the woodland and the natural world. Each Forest School session encompasses the child-centred, learner-led approach that is responsive to the needs and interests of the individuals. Role play and child-initiated activities are an integral part of the Forest School process. Observations and reflective practice feature in each session to ensure achievements are celebrated. Planned activities and learning experiences are tailored to the needs and development of each unique individual.
The long-term Forest School programme is designed to build on their emotional intelligence: to inspire motivation and confidence to take risks and ownership of their learning and build positive attitudes and relationships with others and the natural world in which they grow.
Our Forest School motto: ‘We take care of ourselves, our friends and everything (in the forest)’
What is forest school?
Forest school supports children’s’ holistic development in a natural environment. Forest school connects children to the environment, enabling exploration and adventure at each child’s own pace. Play and exploration is primarily child led and the forest school leader will carefully select and supports invitations to play which will spark and follow children’s interests. Our Forest School Leader holds an accredited and recognised forest school leader qualification and they will lead the session.
Forest School takes place over a period of time and in all weathers (subject to daily risk assessment) in the woodland. Kedington Primary Academy will use the ‘Wildlife wooded area’ at the bottom of the playing field on the school site.
Forest School principals are:
- Forest School is a long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visit; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session.
- Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world.
- Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning.
- Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.
- Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
Forest School allows children to grow and discover their abilities at their own pace, without fear of criticism or failure. Children can work with others in a team, play together and independently. They will be encouraged to explore, problem solve, think and question (at their own pace).
Forest School session’s support learning:
- Boundless opportunities: for children to engage in imaginative play, trying something new in the outdoor environment.
- Limitless opportunities to explore and discover the natural world.
- Hands-on, real-world learning, physical learning, stimulation all the senses.
- Regular sessions allow for the practice and consolidation of new skills alongside the child choice to continue to explore actions until satisfied
- The natural environment is ideal for problem solving with new materials and resources, allowing for better understanding and ways of doing things.
- Children are free to choose ways of doing things and make their own conclusions without pre-ordained outcomes.