Northlands Wood Primary Academy Forest School

Forest School has roots in the Outdoor Life culture of Scandinavia and British traditions such as Scouting. It draws on the theories of educationalists such as Montessori and other advocates of child-led, holistic learning, By the 1950s outdoor learning was well established in Scandinavia, arriving in Britain in the 1990s.

Forest School is an inspirational process that offers children, young people
and adults regular opportunities to achieve, develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a local woodland
environment.

It offers opportunities for learning across the curriculum, providing inspirational and challenging outdoor activities to develop essential skills and qualities such as resilience, team-work, risk management, independence and self-motivation.

Physical fitness and well-being are promoted, along with an
appreciation and understanding of the natural world and a sense of place
and belonging.

Six Key Features of Forest School:
•    It is run by trained practitioners
•    It is a long term process with regular contact with a local wooded
     environment (preferably over the seasons)
•    It is child-centred learning, where children have opportunities to learn
     about and manage risk
•   It has a high adult/child ratio
•   Observations of the learners enable scaffolding of learning
•   It encourages care for the natural world

Some Activities at Forest School
The sessions are mainly a combination of activities linked to the curriculum
and ‘learner led’ activities. `Learner led` activities are following the children’s areas of interest, which reflects directions taken in the previous session. New skills, games and activities will be introduced so that a broad range of experiences will be built up over time. Some of the activities include:

• Games and opportunities for free play
• Exploring the natural environment and its plant and animal life
• Den making
• Crafts and creative/artistic activities
• Using tools safely, e.g. whittling and drilling
• Scavenger hunts, foraging and exploration
• Rope swings and adventure games
• Fire lighting and outdoor cooking