Forest School

Forest School is a unique approach to learning, which takes pupils outdoors. We feel passionately about the benefits of taking children outdoors, and have witnessed the progress they are able to make, that during 2014 – 15 we trained two members of staff to be Forest School Leaders Level 3. We were delighted when Mrs. Mitchell was awarded the ‘Forest School Leader of the Year Award’ after completing her training.

The following principles guide our practice & emphasise the nature of Forest School and how important the ethos is.

  • PARTICIPANTS: From the time children start in Nursery we focus on understanding and caring about the unique needs of each individual. We give them the freedom to explore, play, take risks and take ownership of their own learning. Our Forest School sessions mirror this as they provide the opportunity for individuals (staff and pupils!) to immerse themselves in their chosen activity.
  • BENEFITS: Each person is welcomed with acceptance and understanding. Our nurturing environment allows and encourages children to explore their feelings and emotions. We have witnessed how this leads to the development of:
    – Understanding of emotions
    – improved interaction and relationship with peers and adults
    – self-confidence and self-belief
    – perseverance
    – resilience
    – sense of belonging … and we use our observations to inform future sessions.
  • SITES: We have developed an area on our field for Forest School experiences. Using natural materials in the environment makes Forest School sustainable in our curriculum.
  • PLAY: We believe play is a fundamental part of development so within every session we provide opportunities for free and structured play. This fosters social elements of learning, creativity, curiosity and imagination.
  • RISK: Risk is an integral part of our Forest School provision  both emotionaly and physically. We provide opportunities to challenge pupils within a nurturing environment so that success and failure becomes part of the learning journey. All activities, and the site itself, are fully risk assessed and reviewed.

Click here to read about the IMPACT Forest Schools has had at Cheadle Heath.