In 2010 a member of our team, Sue Halmshaw, gained her Level 3 in Forest School Leadership. When we moved onto Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Primary School site in April 2011, Sue noticed a piece of land that wasn't being used and after negotiating with the headteacher we used this land to develop a ‘Forest School’ environment for use of the preschool and primary school.
Forest School is an inspirational learning process that originated in Scandinavia. The ethos of Forest School is to allow children time and space to develop skills, interest and understanding through a range of activities that provide hands on experiences in a natural outdoor environment.
The children have: dens, sensory plants, young trees, a large digging area, a log circle for story, song and mat times and also an ‘Insect hotel’, as well as the super pathways cut out of the long grass, ideal for a ‘bear hunt’!
Forest school allows the children to take ownership of their own learning, by making decisions, taking risk in a safe environment and learning new skills. It helps build their confidence and self-esteem and develop self awareness and responsibility towards others and the wider world.
The trained adults are facilitators and observers encouraging the children to have a voice, to have contact with nature and explore their environment using all of their senses.
This project is on-going and something we are always fundraising for, so if you would like to support us do please get in touch!