Here at Mere Green we are very lucky to have an area of woodland at the foot of our playing field that we use for Forest School sessions. In addition to this area, we have a dedicated Forest School Cabin, which can house a full class group of children for a session. Having a building right next to our Forest School area provides us with an amazing place to bring our natural treasure back to investigate. The children are hard at work helping us to design and fill the space with some wonderful natural items and features.
The Forest School Team includes:
- Rachel Hayes (Forest School Level 3 Practitioner and Teacher)
- Emma Sargent (Forest School Level 3 Practitioner)
- Deborah Cox (Forest School Level 2 forest Practitioner and teaching assistant)
We are passionate about outdoor learning and believe in the importance of children’s contact with nature. Forest School takes learning outdoors, this may include exploring the woods, collecting natural materials, building dens or simply taking the lesson outdoors away from the classroom.
As part of our ‘Making a Difference’ guarantee, every child has access to a Forest School session each week, led by our Forest School team. We believe that it is important for all children to experience learning in a natural, outdoor environment which enhances their personal, social and emotional development.
Forest School sessions provide a safe, natural and fun environment for children to develop many skills. Some of the benefits include:
- Self Esteem
Forest School helps children to grow in confidence as a result of the freedom, time and space they are given in their learning.
- Social skills
Activities such as sharing tools and participating in play help teach the children to work together as a group, which strengthens their bonds and social ties.
- Physical skills
The increase in outdoor activity is bound to have a positive physical impact. Not only does the development of physical stamina improve but also gross and fine motor skills.
The sensory experiences provided by Forest School’s helps prompt language development. Improving communication skills has a positive effect on a child’s self-esteem and is a crucial part of their development.
- Risk Taking
Children are also encouraged to take supported risks in order to develop their resilience, creativity and curiosity.
Forest School Curriculum
Types of activities will include tree planting, fire making, shelter building and this year there will be a big focus on wildlife!