At Wheatfields Primary School we have been developing a Forest School on site to give children the unique opportunity of experiencing first hand, play and learning in a controlled outdoor environment.
Forest School is the name for an approach to educating children in the outdoors on a regular basis. This work will support the main curriculum (particularly literacy, science, maths and the arts) and will have a strong emphasis on raising all children's self-esteem and independence, as well as teaching children how to manage their own risk. There are a large amount of risk assessments and policies in place to assure our families that all risks have been reduced to an acceptable level. An integral part of the Forest School experience is that children will experience the outdoors in all weathers (with the exception of very high winds and thunder storms), so we have started to stock up on wet weather gear and wellington boots in school to provide to the children.
Wheatfields Forest School site is next to the Key Stage 1 playground and backs onto the school field. Here the children have the opportunity to whittle wood, climb trees, build dens, explore the nature around them, learn how to make a fire safely and all whilst socialising with other children with whom they may not have interacted before. The impact of such activities leads to increased confidence both socially and in the classroom in areas such as motor skills, problem solving and team-working.
We are lucky enough to have two very enthusiastic Forest School Leaders in school who, with the support of a qualified Forest School Leader from the Local Authority, are currently training to Level 3 standard so that we can expand our Forest School provision to more than once a week and allow access to more children.
Please enjoy looking at the photographs of Forest School in practice.