Each week the whole of the Junior School adventure into our woods and surrounding countryside in order to take their learning to the Forest School. But what is Forest School? And why do we make time for it in our busy curriculum?
According to Jane Worroll, Forest School is essentially outdoor, nature-based learning that focuses on the holistic development of the child.’ Jane is an ex-countryside ranger and co-author of Play the Forest School Way. Another view of Forest School is “is a long-term approach to education . . . that maximises the benefits of learning outdoors. Whilst its roots are planted firstly in our best understanding of the theory of how children learn, its practice puts the learner at the heart of the learning experience. From this fundamental platform, Forest School offers children and young people the opportunity, over repeated visits, to engage with the rich natural diversity of the “woodland environment” to help build confidence, sensitivity, resilience and curiosity.” (forestschooltraining.co.uk)
The foundations of forest school were laid in the early 1900s, with the creation of young people’s groups like the Scouts and Woodcraft Folk, which focused on youth camps and outdoor skills. In 1908, London’s first ‘open air nursery’ was launched for children from the slums, and outdoor learning and play has been a fundamental part of early years education in Scandinavia since the 1950s. Only in recent years have Forest Schools gathered momentum in the UK and being located by such beautiful countryside Fyling Hall is perfectly positioned to offer this opportunity to our student.
At Fyling Hall we pride ourselves in providing a valuable series of learning opportunities for the children. No matter the weather whole Junior School will put on their rain suits and go for an adventure. The activities are curriculum linked to Science, Geography, English and Art and this enchanting environment provides inspiration and excitement that enhances and reinforces learning. Not forgetting time to play and explore the environment!
We are so lucky to be situated in such a beautiful location, and we definitely make the most of it!