On a Tuesday we offer the older children the opportunity to experience our Forest School initiative. The children love learning about the surrounding area that they live in and enjoy the outdoor experience that Forest School offers. We do not light our fire at this age group but we all help to build it and sit around as if the fire was burning. This helps the children understand the boundaries and expectations who then attend a Forest school session in their primary education.
The Woodland Trust state that 'Building on a strong tradition of outdoor learning and holistic approaches to education, forest school has been a grass roots movement. Ofsted is reportedly concerned that many children under 5 are not getting enough physical challenge for their natural development and wellbeing. This Nursery World article states almost a quarter of 5 year olds are overweight or obese and that funded research will look into this issue of physical challenge.
The health of our woodland and the health and wellbeing of our children is causing us great concern. It makes sense that those of us who care about both correlate the two wherever we can. Forest school gives us the perfect way to do that.
Forest school inspires children and young people to value the biodiversity and habitats within their site, to develop a strong sense of guardianship and understand the value of sustainable woodland management whilst learning the uses of the plants and timber around them.
Sharing food, stories and conversation around the fire along with enjoying rich, playful experiences gives all members of a forest school group a sense of belonging to each other and to the woodland. They learn that they are privileged to share this time each week with the animals, birds, plants and trees.
For further information please visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk