Forest School

Intent

Forest School builds on a child’s innate motivation and positive attitude to learning, offering them the opportunities to take risk, make choices and initiate learning for themselves. Our Forest School learning environment provides opportunities for children to

  • Develop self-esteem
  • Develop self-confidence
  • Form positive relationships with others
  • Develop a growing awareness of their emotional needs and the needs of others
  • Learn to cooperate and work with their peers and adults
  • Develop strategies to take risks within the boundaries of safety
  • Learn specific skills which link into the curriculum
  • Develop knowledge and appreciation of the natural world and a forest environment.

Moggerhanger Forest School is about exploring and experiencing the natural world through practical activities. The children go out in all weathers, all year round, exploring and learning from the seasons and changes in the environment. Appropriate clothing will be worn. During high winds or lightning it will be considered unsafe to go into the woods. The children’s interests along with the varied natural resources in our woodland are used to stimulate creative thinking, problem solving and skill development, all under the premise of ‘play.’

Implementation:

Our Forest School is organised into three core areas: Behaviour and Safety, Flaura and Fauna and Understanding Tools. From these core areas of development, we have created specific learning units that provide a focused theme for Forest School sessions across a term. Throughout our two-year cycle children experience progressive learning opportunities in each of these sub areas.

Behaviour and Safety:

These objectives are included explicitly at the start of each school year, but embedded into the wider planning for Forest School to ensure pupils continue to keep safe throughout their Forest School experiences.

Using Tools:

Within the Using Tools aspect of Forest School, we have created three specific learning units, each one is implemented across a term in each key phase of Forest school learning.

  • Independent Explorers
  • Tools and Purpose
  • Survival in the Forest

Flaura & Fauna:

Within Flaura and Fauna units we have separated our learning outcomes into three core units of learning:

  • Seasonal Changes
  • Plants and Trees
  • Bugs and Birds

Objectives are grouped per key stage, with each unit having specific focus objectives to be monitored throughout the term.

Whilst acquiring and developing these skills, the children should also learn:

  • To adapt their behaviour to suit different tasks so able to stay safe.
  • To understand why caring for our Forest and the wider environment is important.
  • To understand that being outdoors is good for fitness, health and well being.
  • To evaluate their own actions and take ‘safe’ risks

 

Impact:
The below measures help and support us in identifying pupils progress and outcomes, alongside the specific objectives highlighted above.

WTS: Working Towards end of Key Stage Standard

EXP: Children are meeting the objectives specified for their year groups

GDS: Children are working at a standard beyond that expected at the end of their key stage (Greater Depth Standard)

Teachers use the below statements, alongside the above ‘I can’ Statements to make an end of school year judgement linked to Forest School outcomes.

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