'A Forest School is an innovative educational approach to outdoor play and learning.’
The philosophy of Forest Schools is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences.
By participating in engaging, motivating and achievable tasks and activities in a woodland environment each child has an opportunity to develop motivation as well as emotional and social skills. These can be developed so children can reach their personal potential.
Forest Schools has demonstrated success with children of all ages who visit the same local woodlands on a regular basis. Through play children have the opportunity to learn about the natural environment, how to handle risks and most importantly to use their own initiative to solve problems and co-operate with others. Our Forest School programme run throughout the year going to the woods in all weathers (except for high winds). Children use full sized tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour; both physical and social, establish and grow in confidence, self-esteem and become self motivated.
So Forest Schools will aim to develop:
- Self Awareness
- Self Regulation
- Good social communication skills
- A positive mental attitude, self-esteem and confidence
Children, and more and more adults, need time to thoroughly explore their thoughts, feelings and relationships. This time and reflective practice develops understanding of the world, the environment and everything within it through the use of emotions, imagination and senses.
Aims and Ethos of St Leonard’s Forest School
St Leonard’s Forest School is designed to enhance and complement our day to day curriculum for all children in school. It offers our children opportunities to develop confidence and self-esteem, and to experience achievement in our growing woodland, outdoor classroom area and in the Grove Lane woodland. We aim for the children to learn to take risks and to succeed with small, achievable tasks. They will learn to manage their own risk levels to achieve personal safety, under guidance of a Forest School leader/teacher. From an early age, the children will learn to use and care for a range of tools, such as; knives, saws and loppers as well as rope techniques, outdoor first aid and basic personal care in the outdoors. The tasks the children undertake promote the development of self-confidence, patience and determination to succeed.
Our core objectives are to produce confident and capable children:
- Who are happy, content and care for each other.
- Who are independent and resourceful.
- Who do lots of outdoor activities.
- Whose language skills are always improving.
- Who have good ideas and enjoy finding new things out.
- Who can make choices and think deeply.
- Who know when it is safe to take risks.
- Who understand and care for the natural environment.
- Whose practical skills are improving all the time.