Forest Schools

What have we been doing at Forest School this week?

  • Leaf detectives

    The adult input for this weeks Forest School was all about Tree variety, leaf identification and features. As we walked into the forest we observed a group of trees in the distance. We looked at their height, colour, shape and how they moved. At our forest base we followed this up by looking in closer detail at the leaves from the Sycamore, Hawthorn, Hazel, Oak, Ash and Elder trees. We noticed their shapes and sizes.

    Before snack a Burma bridge was built, children swung off trees and much creative play was to be observed and overheard.

    Our adult led activity involved us making some forest crowns. This helped support the children’s investigations into leaf identification.

    Forest Homework: Keep noticing and naming the trees when out and about. Dens and camouflage activities next week.

    Posted 23 Jun 2017, 03:28 by Rosy Ritchie
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Freshford Pre-school runs Forest School activities on most Thursdays throughout the year. During the winter months we run short weekly Forest School activity sessions either on the playing field behind the Hall or in a small area of adjacent woodland by kind permission of the landowner. Once a week, during the summer term, the children spend the full Pre-school session outdoors in an extensive area of woodland on the outskirts of the village. The children are dropped off and collected nearby, and then access the woodland via a walk across fields.

What is Forest School?

A Forest School is a secure area of woodland, which acts as an outdoor classroom where children can explore, investigate and discover the natural environment. Forest School provides an excellent opportunity to bring learning to life, allowing the children to explore and learn in a constructive way. This inspirational process increases self-confidence, self-esteem, improves individuals’ ability to work co-operatively and counters a lack of motivation and negative attitude towards learning, while offering the opportunities to take risks, make choices and initiate learning for themselves.

We make the most of the unique resources available by using lots of natural materials, working (with appropriate levels of adult support) with tools and fires, and encouraging high levels of independence and team work. Forest School sessions will follow a pattern that the children will feel comfortable with. We will begin with a getting to know the woodland area, our boundaries and what keeps us safe. Typically we will introduce two new activities for each forest visit. They will range from going on a bug hunt, making a forest friend from the natural resources available, testing the strength of leaves, to making dens ...the forest’s our oyster! Of course we will break for a yummy, well earned outdoor snack and hot drink (warmed by our own fire!).

What does your child need for Forest School?

For each Forest School session we would ask you to ensure that your child comes to school suitably dressed for the trip. In good weather, they will need to have had suncream applied, light long sleeve trousers/leggings and tops, sturdy shoes and sunhats. In wet weather we will need them to have warmer long sleeve trousers and tops, a jumper, sturdy shoes and waterproof coats and trousers. However we want the children to feel relaxed and happy in the forest and appreciate that not much fun and learning can be had when soggy and cold. Should our forest sessions look destined to be spoilt by heavy rain  or other extreme weather we will not attempt to soldier on and instead open as usual at the Memorial Hall. 

You can read our Forest Schools Policies and Procedures here.

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