The Forest School philosophy is an important part of our school life.
The aim of Forest School is to encourage and inspire children through positive outdoor experiences. Children are given the opportunity to play and explore freely and creatively with the outdoor elements of earth, water, air and, with adult supervision, fire. They become aware of the changing seasons, the effects of weather, animals and plants in their varying habitats and the beauty and wonder of nature. They understand teamwork in action.
Another very important aspect of Forest School is the opportunity it gives children to learn about risks. Life is full of risks, some safer than others. Children learn to feel what it’s like to take a risk and understand how to judge risks.
Each week children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 spend an afternoon in the woodland situated on the Blackdown Hills, irrespective of the weather.
Children are also gradually introduced to using tools such as potato peelers, hack saws, knives and bow saws. They use these tools with adult supervision to create a range of things such as flag posts, whistles and wooden bead necklaces. An important part of each session is snack time when the children sit around the camp fire discussing what they have been doing, whilst drinking hot chocolate and having a biscuit, or two! It makes fascinating listening.
In the Middle and Prep Years, children have the chance to be involved with Forest School as an after school club, as well as visits to the woods as part of the curriculum.
The site is always changing. Recent projects have included the construction of a clay oven, where the clay was dug, ‘heeled’ and shaped by the children, and the construction of a roundhouse shelter; a project completed by parents and willing families.