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Forest School

What is Forest School? 
Forest School is a unique approach consisting of regular sessions in wooded environments throughout the year that give young people increased contact with, and knowledge of, the natural world. The ethos and process of Forest School enables the holistic personal development of young people and benefits their physical and mental wellbeing.

We are very lucky to be on the edge of some amazing broadleaf woodlands containing a rich
of nature. With the kind permission of the landowners we use nearby Tin Woods on a weekly basis to deliver our Forest School curriculum. Our Level 3 trained Forest School Leader in EYFS and KS1 is Claire Linden and in KS2, Jade Jones. They work together and with school staff to ensure all children have well-planned and resourced activities that develop their physical, social & emotional and core curriculum skills. The sessions are run alongside teaching staff and valued parental support.
We are delighted that in March 2017 we became the first Primary School in the UK to gain 'Recognised Provider' status from the Forest School Association and we have successfully renewed this in 2018, 2019 and 2020 (see current certificate here).

Autumn Term 2019

posted 18 Dec 2019, 08:47 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 18 Dec 2019, 08:47 ]

Despite a lot of rain we have still enjoyed getting into the woods and in fact this is the only time when the small stream has enough water for us to have fun, even Year 6 aren't too old to sail a leaf boat!

New Autumn Term adventures

posted 13 Sep 2019, 08:38 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 13 Sep 2019, 08:38 ]

Our newest children are enjoying exploring the woodland environment and learning the Forest School rules. All groups have been on the hunt for blackberries and other Autumn treasures!

Forest School chefs

posted 4 May 2019, 11:35 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 4 May 2019, 11:36 ]

Robins made an excellent effort of trying our snack of dahl and roti which we cooked on the fire. The roti were a real hit, not all were convinced by the appearance of the dahl though! We enjoyed exploring our golf course base camp after a long break from visiting it. Throughout the school we have been trying to make sure we are looking after the woods when we visit and have been making individual peg litter pickers - Robins collected lots of rubbish, mostly plastic with a little paper and metal. 

Wet days are fun too!

posted 5 Apr 2019, 11:55 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 5 Apr 2019, 11:55 ]

Sometimes we are happy to see some rain! It means the stream will have some water, there will be puddles to jump in and it gives us a real reason to build some shelters. Here are Squirrels having fun in the April showers. 

Hedgehogs' Autumn learning in the woods

posted 4 Dec 2018, 04:07 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 4 Dec 2018, 04:08 ]

This was a great first term with Hedgehogs in the forest. As this was their first term of forest school, we started off with some short welly walks to build their stamina for walking on uneven ground. Autumn is a great time of year and we made full use of the wonders that we saw in the forest. 

Our sessions over this term have included mushroom spotting, slack-lining, collecting leaves, threading leaves, leaf crowns, tree identification, making a fire safely, cooking in the Dutch oven over the fire, making damper bread over the fire, chopping vegetables to make a soup, toasting marshmallows, lighting the Kelly kettle, using a dragon sneeze, sorting twigs for the fire, drilling wooden cookies, swinging on the swing  tree climbing, splashing in puddles and sliding down the muddy bank. 

The children also have an opportunity to document their learning in wide range of mediums. After their forest sessions we return to school so that the children can eat their lunch. After lunch I’ve been given the opportunity to embed the children’s thinking and learning through a ‘shared’ piece of learning in a floor book. This is a great way to explore the children’s ideas and thinking actively in a social context from the session. The children record their thinking through graphics and annotations. We print images of the children from their morning in the woods to support their recall. Every child is given an opportunity to then explore their idea in a more individual context. Each child has their very own ‘forest school journal’, this enables the child to explore their own ideas and conceptualize their thoughts. We facilitate their use of language and support scribing and marks to support their meaning. The children have taken great pride in showing their journals to significant others. I’m proud of their documentation and hope they become a keepsake for them to reflect on in the future as they develop their skills and knowledge in all things forest school.  

The weather has been unpredictable at times and the children have seen four seasons in one day at times. But they have been incredibly resilient and displayed great perseverance when things don’t go to plan. Next term we will looking at building dens, making food for the birds to help them through winter, using a range of tools and cooking lot of different treats on the fire! Thank you, Hedgehogs, for an amazing first term in the woods. 

Autumn discoveries

posted 28 Sep 2018, 12:52 by Francesca McLoughlin

Owls Class (Years 5 & 6) have been enjoying discovering the range of fungi in the woods, they love some of the names such as chicken-of-the-woods! They have taken photos and made sketches and watercolours. They have enjoyed tasting some of their WW2 cooking as Forest School snack. Their whittling project this term is to make a butter knife. 

Spring Term Explorations

posted 23 Mar 2018, 12:11 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 23 Mar 2018, 12:12 ]

This term has brought us snow, wind and plenty of rain! However we have made it out in all but very windy weather and had lots of fun and done some more brilliant learning. Forest School continues to develop our teamwork, resilience, communication skills and knowledge of the outdoor environment. We have whittled our own chopsticks and cooked noodles on the fire to celebrate Chinese New Year, made pancakes, worked on art projects, sailed our own boats and much more. Here is a snapshot of the term in the woods....


Autumn adventures

posted 21 Jan 2018, 12:22 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 21 Jan 2018, 12:22 ]

Here is a taste of some of our learning in the woods in the Autumn Term with everything from Gruffalo hunts to learning new challenges and skills.


Let's go fly a kite

posted 9 Jun 2017, 04:12 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 9 Jun 2017, 04:13 ]

This week the wind had dropped enough for Hedgehogs to take their kites to the woods. As you will see in this short film, they had a great time! 

Muddy fun

posted 17 May 2017, 05:25 by Francesca McLoughlin   [ updated 17 May 2017, 05:26 ]

Our EYFS children (and staff!) were not deterred by the rain today, in fact the lovely muddy puddles added a new challenge! All helps to develop resilience!

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