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October Blog 2023: Forest School

October 3, 2023

October Blog 2023: Forest School

With a huge thanks to Sue, who reminded me how fabulous the forest school experience can be.

It is Autumn again and a great time to explore real things outdoors. There is an abundance of natural resources to excite, inspire, arouse curiosity, and provoke conversations. Children can use all their senses of hearing, touch, taste, sight, and smell.

Look out for chestnuts, conkers, blackberries, acorns, apples, feathers, squashes, pumpkins, gourds, sycamore helicopters, leaves, pears, peaches, sunflowers, and bales of hay.

Do not take chestnuts and conkers out of their shells too quickly. Children need to explore these and find out for themselves.

 

 

Awe and wonder are key

 

The Forest School Ethos

Forest School is a unique educational experience and process that offers children the opportunity to succeed and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in an outdoor environment.

Children engage in motivating and achieving tasks. These activities take place throughout the year and in all weathers. Children will work with tools, play, learn boundaries of behaviour – both physical and social, grow in confidence, self-esteem and motivation, developing an understanding of the natural world.

A forest school encourages children to:

  • develop personal and social skills

 

  • work through practical problems and challenges

 

  • use tools to create, build or manage

 

  • discover how they learn best

 

  • pursue knowledge that interests them

 

  • learn how to manage failures

 

  • build confidence in decision making and evaluating risk develop practical skills

 

  • understand the benefits of a balanced and healthy lifestyle

 

  • regularly experience achievement and success

 

  • explore connections between humans, wildlife and the earth

 

  • reflect on learning and experiences

 

  • develop their language and communication skills

 

  • improve physical motor skills

 

  • become more motivated

 

  • improve their concentration skills

 

 

 

Suggested Activities for Forest Schools

Activities for Forest Schools are diverse and numerous, but it should be remembered that we are trying to create independent learners who are inspired to try out their own ideas, explore their own interests and to attempt new ideas.

 

Some activities might include:

  • Shelter building.
  • Fire lighting.
  • Tool use.
  • Studying wildlife.
  • Sensory activities.
  • Cooking on an open fire.
  • Using a Kelly Kettle.
  • Rope and string work.
  • Art and sculpture work.
  • Developing stories and drama, and meeting imaginary characters.

 

For further help and ideas check out:

Extraordinary Humans: A creative approach to art in the early years. Hay Howell.

ISBN: 978-1-911505-96-9

faces with nature - Illustrations by Joanna Howell

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