In early 2010 at Farnham Common Infant School, we ran a very successful pilot scheme for Forest Schools for the 23 children in Acorn nursery. We are now delighted to be involving the whole school in this very successful scheme. In addition to this, FCIS will ensure that each class has at least one hour of additional outdoor learning a week.
Forest Schools originated in Denmark in the 1950’s as a way of teaching children about the environment through songs, stories and practical hands on experience. At Forest School, children learn practical and social skills and are taught to understand health and safety issues.
To enable children to embrace the learning opportunities of the natural world and through positive learning and achievable tasks, allow the children to develop self confidence and self esteem. Forest School is child initiated, so the children can develop their learning at their own pace.
We are incredibly fortunate to have our very own ‘forest’ directly behind our school. We have developed an outdoor classroom and fire circle.
Activities include shelter building, potion making, identifying trees, birds, flora and fauna, getting muddy, learning how to make a fire, cooking marshmallows and using tools.
The sessions are always led by Forest School practitioners, however parents need to be aware that certain activities carry greater risks than the every day classroom. Extreme care has been taken to ensure these risks are minimalized and children are taught how to keep themselves safe and are encouraged to be part of the risk assessment process. There is a high ratio of adults to children and a qualified outdoor first-aider is present at each session.
We go out into the Forest whatever the weather (except for high winds). Your child will need to bring to school on their Forest School day, warm clothes which they can get dirty, a waterproof jacket, long waterproof trousers (we have some spares in school) and wellington boots.
Don’t forget hats and gloves on cold days too!
Please bring your child’s school uniform in a bag to change into later.
We believe this is a fantastic opportunity for children to achieve and develop self-esteem and confidence through the unique combination of play, environmental education and outdoor learning.
A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.
The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences and by participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment.
The children go into the woods in all weathers (except for high winds). Children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self motivated.
So Forest Schools will aim to develop:
Children need time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships.
This time and reflective practice develops understanding of the world, the environment and everything within it through the use of emotions, imagination and senses.
Learning outside the classroom continues in the Junior School, with lessons such as Maths, English, Science and Topic regularly taking place outside. We follow the ethos of first hand learning experiences being used to engage children in their learning.
Our site, which has a large playing field, a gardening area with an outdoor classroom and greenhouse, a firepit and a nature garden can be used easily for outdoor learning. We also have a quiet garden in the middle of our school which is often used.
In addition to this, the school can regularly use Burnham Beeches for our outdoor learning and each year group will complete visits to the site during the year.