PRINCIPLES

 

Forest School is a decades old, educational process where children spend frequent sessions in a woodland environment.  Forest School enables children to utilize and develop all of their senses. Children in nature are free to:

  *    Explore safely but independently

  *    Participate in “risky play” such as climbing trees, building shelters, forts or bridges with the natural materials they discover

  *    Work together when a challenge requires more than one child

  *    Communicate as they discover new plants and animals. 

 

The primary pedagogical principle undergirding a Forest School is that children in nature will independently and collaboratively become learners and creators.  Learning is the focus, but by participating, rather than by instruction.  Forest School teachers are enablers not instructors.  They support a child’s natural inclination to explore and inquire, rather than instructing and feeding her/him information.  In addition, Forest Schools enable a child to develop a deep appreciation of nature and build a foundation for understanding the importance of protecting the environment

Forest School takes place in a woodland or natural environment in order to support the development of the relationship between the learner and the natural world.

Forest School strives to promote the holistic development of all those involved fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.

  •    Aims to link experiences to home, work, school

  •    Aims to develop the physical, social, cognitive, linguistic, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the learner

 

Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and the child.

  •    Builds on an individual’s innate motivation, positive attitudes and interests

  •    Tools and fire are only used when appropriate to learners

 

Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners who continually maintain and develop their professional practice. Leader must have an accredited Level 3 training.

  • High ratio of adults to learners

  • Practitioners must hold a current First Aid Qualification

  • Backed by relevant documents containing policies, procedures for running school and establishing roles and responsibilities of staff and volunteers

  • Leader is a reflective practitioner seeing themselves as a learner, too

  • Forest School uses a range of learner centered processes to create a community for development and learning.

  • Responsive to needs of learners

 

Play and choice are integral parts of Forest School, play being vital to learning. Forest School is a stimulus for all learning preferences. Reflective practice is a feature of each session to understand achievements, develop emotional intelligence and plan for the future.

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FOREST SCHOOL

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