Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem. This is done through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment with trees. It is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the wider context of outdoor and woodland education.
The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia.
Forest Schools originated in Scandinavia in the 1950’s where practitioners noticed the benefits in children who had regular contact with nature and access to outdoor play and experienced more practical and physical outdoor play. By doing this, the children showed greater self-awareness and self-regulation of behaviour and developed better social and communication skills as well as showing an improvement in their physical skills and independence.
At Norwood Green Infant and Nursery Forest School all participants are viewed as:
- equal, unique and valuable
- competent to explore & discover
- entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
- entitled to choose, initiate and drive their own learning and development
- entitled to experience regular success
- entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
- entitled to develop a strong and positive relationship with their natural world
Our 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 and safety is always considered.
Environmental Considerations & Conservation
One of the principles of our Forest School is to promote environmental awareness and encourage sustainability. Both children and adults are encouraged to respect and be responsible for their environment, the wildlife and of conservation issues of the woodland around them.
We are very lucky at Norwood Green Infant and Nursery School to have fantastic outdoor spaces.
At the beginning of the Forest School programme we start by using the Reception outdoor space which is an area familiar to the children. As they become more confident to explore new activities, take risks and build self-esteem, we then move into the Forest area.
Our children are very lucky to get the opportunities to experience forest school in all year groups from Nursery to Year 2.
Our 'love, laugh & learn' ethos is very much entwined in all activities that involve the forest. Children show such enjoyment in this environment and strive to achieve all outcomes. The forest develops a different and unique learning experience particularly for those children who do not have the benefits of an outdoor space at home.
Forest School Leader - Mrs Daljit Pabla