Forest Schools

What have we been doing at Forest School this week?

  • Bugs and Beads

    In our penultimate forest session we thought about bugs and minibeasts. We took 5 minutes to hunt them down and discovered that the forest is an excellent home for lots more than the creatures  we have thought about in our sessions so far. We discovered millipedes, centipedes, woodlouse, spiders, worms and much  more. The children were confident with handling and looking at our findings and we chatted a little about their habitats and food.

    After our snack we all sawed, whittled and threaded some Elder beads. Our nature jewellery looked truly lovely.

    Forest Homework: Bring a grown up (and sibling if you have one available) to the forest next week. Show them where all our forest fun has been happening this term. 

    Posted 7 Jul 2017, 04:29 by Rosy Ritchie
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Freshford Pre-school runs Forest School activities on most Thursdays throughout the year. During the winter months we run short weekly Forest School activity sessions either on the playing field behind the Hall or in a small area of adjacent woodland by kind permission of the landowner. Once a week, during the summer term, the children spend the full Pre-school session outdoors in an extensive area of woodland on the outskirts of the village. The children are dropped off and collected nearby, and then access the woodland via a walk across fields.

What is Forest School?

A Forest School is a secure area of woodland, which acts as an outdoor classroom where children can explore, investigate and discover the natural environment. Forest School provides an excellent opportunity to bring learning to life, allowing the children to explore and learn in a constructive way. This inspirational process increases self-confidence, self-esteem, improves individuals’ ability to work co-operatively and counters a lack of motivation and negative attitude towards learning, while offering the opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.

We make the most of the unique resources available by using lots of natural materials, working (with appropriate levels of adult support) with tools and fires, and encouraging high levels of independence and team work. Forest School sessions will follow a pattern that the children will feel comfortable with. We will begin with a getting to know the woodland area, our boundaries and what keeps us safe. Typically we will introduce two new activities for each forest visit. They will range from going on a bug hunt, making a forest friend from the natural resources available, testing the strength of leaves, to making dens ...the forest’s our oyster! Of course we will break for a yummy, well earned outdoor snack and hot drink (warmed by our own fire!).

What does your child need for Forest School?

For each Forest School session we would ask you to ensure that your child comes to school suitably dressed for the trip. In good weather, they will need to have had suncream applied, light long sleeve trousers/leggings and tops, sturdy shoes and sunhats. In wet weather we will need them to have warmer long sleeve trousers and tops, a jumper, sturdy shoes and waterproof coats and trousers. However we want the children to feel relaxed and happy in the forest and appreciate that not much fun and learning can be had when soggy and cold. Should our forest sessions look destined to be spoilt by heavy rain  or other extreme weather we will not attempt to soldier on and instead open as usual at the Memorial Hall. 

You can read our Forest Schools Policies and Procedures here.

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