At Westvale Park, we recognise that children learn in different ways. We are passionate about providing a wide variety of opportunities that will inspire them to become confident learners. Forest School provides enrichment opportunities and inspiration to help children develop their vocabulary and secure knowledge from the National Curriculum.
Children in EYFS have a range of outdoor learning opportunities, including camp fires where they enjoy hot chocolate and marshmallows in the winter months. Children in EYFS also take weekly trips to the local park to support their personal, emotional and social development.
Children in Year 1 and 2 access a full program of Forest School on a bi-weekly basis. In KS2 there are opportunities for children to develop more advanced bush craft skills.
Principles of Forest School
- A long-term process of regular sessions, rather than a one-off or infrequent visits; the cycle of planning, observation, adaptation and review links each session
- Takes place in a woodland or natural environment to support development of the relationship between the learner and the natural world
- Uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning
- Promotes the holistic development of all involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
- Offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and themselves
- Taught by qualified Forest School practitioners who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice
Safety at Forest School
- Everyone's safety is paramount at Forest School
- Clear safety procedures are in place
- Activities are carefully risk assessed
- Forest School leaders are trained in first aid in an outdoor setting
- Children are closely supervised
What are the benefits?
- Builds children’s confidence and self-esteem because they are responsible for making their own decisions and are carefully supported to achieve this
- Supports all areas of the curriculum in an exciting, hands-on way
- Enriches communication and social skills
- Develops knowledge, skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences
- Children enjoy overcoming challenges at their own pace