Forest School is an educational movement that has gained momentum over the last few years as the children in our wider society are kept indoors both for safety reasons and the lure of technology seems greater.
Many parents and teachers were finding that children were more disconnected with the natural world and were actually scared of it in some cases.
Forest School originated in the Scandinavian countries where many pre-school settings were based outside or spent most of their time outside even through the coldest winter weather. The benefits were found to be wide ranging and included improved mental health, a growth in self-esteem, confidence and independence and a new found love of the natural world, which of course we all want to foster in these times of stress on our planet.
We run Forest School sessions each term, focusing on the older children in the Autumn term and leading onto those younger children who will also leave in the summer term. The focus is on the natural world, we plant and harvest fruit and vegetables, look at the creatures we observe including birds and minibeasts, learn to whittle using vegetable peelers and use a bow saw for making our own wands or other role play objects. We end the session with all of the children helping to lay a fire then cooking our own snack. Health and safety regulations are followed throughout and each separate activity is risk assessed.