At Furzefield, all of our children benefit from Forest School provision. We have our own Forest School area and room on the school site and we also use nearby Furzefield Wood. Forest School activities are followed up in the classroom providing inspiration to help children develop their writing skills.
Our reception classes enjoy regular Forest School sessions. The activities are closely linked to the topic they are involved in at the time. We always make something to eat or drink on a campfire and there is time for children to enjoy free play and exploration.
All other year groups enjoy two units of Forest School sessions linked to another area of study. These also include campfire cooking and some time for self-directed play and exploration.
Some of examples of previously taught units are:
Year 2 – The Frost Dragon. In this unit, the children discover ‘clues’ that there has been a dragon in a Forest School site. They use clay and other natural materials to make dragons or weave willow to make dragon wings and cook ‘dragon tales’ on the campfire.
Year 3 – Hercules. In a session influenced by the story of Hercules and the Hydra, children make a giant, natural collage of the hydra and stinking ‘Hydra Breath Potions’, then try an authentic Roman recipe for porridge with honey and cheese. In a session based on Hercules and the Golden Hind, children learn some nature awareness and tracking skills through games and exploration of Furzefield Wood.
Year 5 – Traditional Australian Stories. In this unit, children create ‘song lines’ as a form of natural navigation; use tools to make bull roarers and forage for ‘bush tucker’.
You can read more about these and other Forest School fun and learning in ‘Forest School News’.
Safety at Forest School
School Safety is very important at Forest School.
- Clear safety procedures are in place
- Activities are carefully risk assessed
- Forest School leaders are trained in first aid in an outdoor setting
- Children are closely supervised
What are the benefits?
- It builds children’s confidence and self-esteem as they are responsible for making their own decisions and are carefully supported to achieve this
- It supports all areas of the curriculum in an exciting, hands-on way
- It develops communication and social skills. It develops knowledge, skills, interests and understanding through practical, hands-on experiences
- Children enjoy meeting and overcoming challenges at their own pace
Forest School Newsletter – October 2021