Heart of the Forest Community Special School aims to make the most of its location in the heart of the Forest of Dean by offering pupils Forest School sessions. This approach to outdoor learning encourages children to become independent, develop and use their imagination, take appropriate risks within boundaries and initiate learning for themselves, whilst allowing pupils to learn through their interests.
Forest School is a holistic approach to learning, incorporating children’s individuality and develops their skills for lifelong learning. It can cover many areas of learning, including the emotional and spiritual aspects of learning where self-esteem and self-confidence can develop and positive relationships with others formed outside of the usual classroom environment. Forest School explores the outdoors and the natural environment with practical, useful activities all year round. It aims to develop peer learning with staff providing support and enabling activities to take place. The pupil’s interest should be at the heart of any activity and staff will do their best to enable as many pupils as possible to be able to experience Forest School sessions in a form that enables the pupils to access it. Sessions may take place in the Forest Classroom just outside the school boundary or in selected locations within school and will take place in all weathers as long as it is safe for the pupils to be outside in that area.
We have adapted the 6 key principles of Forest School to suit our school:
- sessions are led by a qualified Forest School Leader
- to attend Forest School weekly all year round
- to spend time outside with nature
- to develop the whole person
- to have opportunities to take risks
- – to have opportunities to make choices, explore and play
Parents/Carers of those pupils with timetabled Forest School sessions will receive a letter with more details including when the sessions are and a consent form. This letter also includes a request to provide suitable clothing to keep their child warm and dry during the activity and spare clothes if needed after the session, with examples of clothing needed in the letter.
Benefits of Forest School:
- Develop pupils’ understanding of and respect for nature
- Develop awareness of keeping self safe
- Develop a connection with the environment and natural world
- Develop play and exploration skills
- Improve pupils’ confidence, resilience, independence, communication, teamwork and self-esteem through exploration
- Improve wellbeing through being outdoors, using senses and body
- Increased physical activity
Duke of Edinburgh
Details coming soon