28th May 2021
I am writing to inform you that Squirrels class will be participating in Forest School during next half-term. This will take place on Wednesday or Friday afternoons starting on the 16th June. Each session will be run by our two Forest School Leaders, Mr Hobhouse and Mr Bradford.
Forest School is centred around the idea that children benefit from exploring and playing in woodland. It also offers them regular opportunities to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences guided by an experienced adult.
At Forest School, we will offer a variety of activities and encourage the children to ‘choose’ what they enjoy doing or are interested in. We evaluate with the children at the end of each session and discuss what they would like to do at the next.
Learning at Forest School is ‘holistic’, with children being given the chance to develop their communication, physical and social skills, emotional intelligence and their knowledge and understanding of the natural world, all at the same time.
Our activities are all risk assessed both before and during the sessions. We encourage the children to take an active role in this process so that they can develop their resilience with new challenges safely and with increasing competence.
We call this appropriate, supported risk-taking and it is an important skill that children will take with them as they grow and develop.
Some of the activities that we may do at Forest School include:
Playing on rope bridges
Swinging on ropes
Playing in the mud
Weaving, threading and knot tying
Exploring the natural world – identifying flora/fauna
Sensory activities (e.g. blindfold)
Games, songs and stories
Fire lighting and management
Cooking on a fire
Learning how to safely use tools – bow-saw, hand drill and mallet
Art making – clay, rubbing, charcoal, sculptures
We will be providing all children with waterproof jackets and waterproof trousers in case of rain. Children will however be expected to arrive at school with the following named items of clothing:
Long sleeve, lightweight t-shirt/shirt
Sturdy boots/trainers/wellington boots
Thick pair of socks
Sun cream (applied before school)
Because of the nature of the learning, we ask that the clothes brought are old and don’t mind coming back torn or muddy. We always wear clothing with long arms and legs throughout the year at Forest School because this protects from bites, stings and scratches whilst outside. We take the weather very seriously and make on the spot assessments of how the children are coping, particularly if it is extra cold, hot or wet. We will adapt sessions in the event of high wind and we do not run sessions outside if there is thunder or lighting, extreme cold or high winds.
If you do not want your child to take part in this learning or have any further questions, please feel free to contact the Forest School Leaders through the school office.
Mr A Hobhouse and Mr Bradford
Forest School Leaders