Forest School is an inspirational process that offers ALL learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning experiences in a woodland or natural environment.
At Stivhcall, Forest School is a specialised learning approach that sits within and compliments the school’s wider curriculum including promoting children’s personal development and welfare and LOtC (Learning Outside the Classroom).
The ethos is shared by thousands of trained practitioners across the UK and beyond. Its roots reach back to early years pioneers in outdoor learning and across the sea to Scandinavia.
At Forest School all participants are viewed as:
- equal, unique and valuable
- competent to explore & discover
- entitled to experience appropriate risk and challenge
- entitled to choose, and to initiate and drive their own learning and development
- entitled to experience regular success
- entitled to develop positive relationships with themselves and other people
- entitled to develop a strong, positive relationship with their natural world
This learner-centred approach interweaves with the ever-changing moods and marvels, potential and challenges of the natural world through the seasons to fill every Forest School session and programme with discovery and difference. Yet each programme does also share a common set of principles, aimed at ensuring that all learners experience the cumulative and lasting benefits that quality Forest School offers.
Principles of Forest School
Currently at Stivichall, children have an experience of Forest Schools during one term in each academic year – often this takes the form of one session per week for one half term (Year 6 have a Forest School ‘Graduation’ experience).
- Forest School takes place within the natural environment of the extensive school grounds to support the development of a relationship between the learner and the natural world and to develop children’s awareness and appreciation of their natural surroundings
- Forest School uses a range of learner-centred processes to create a community for being, development and learning
- Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners
- Forest School offers learners the opportunity to take supported risks appropriate to the environment and to themselves
- Forest School is run by qualified Forest School practitioners at Stivichall Primary School who continuously maintain and develop their professional practice.
The progression and sequencing of learning is assured both within and across year groups (see Skills Progression Overview document by clicking on the link below) so that pupils grow in confidence in the social and emotional and outdoor skills areas of learning: